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State Fund to Take over Crisis-Hit Malaysia Airlines

Malaysia Airlines will be taken over by a state investment fund under plans announced Friday, ahead of a "complete overhaul" aimed at saving the company from oblivion.

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Obama: U.S. Sanctions are Straining Russian Economy

President Barack Obama says that U.S. sanctions levied against Russia over its actions in Ukraine are working but that Washington would face a much different set of questions about how to respond if Moscow invaded eastern Ukraine.

Western officials warn that a Russian military buildup on Ukraine's border could herald a major incursion to protect the pro-Moscow separatists fighting Ukrainian forces. Despite bipartisan pressure from lawmakers to send U.S. military aid to Ukraine, however, the Obama administration thus far has said it doesn't believe U.S. military assistance is needed.

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Ukraine Looms over European Central Bank Meeting

The crisis in Ukraine and a hesitant recovery in Europe are casting shadows over the European Central Bank's meeting.

Economists say the monetary authority for the 18 countries that use the euro will look to reassure markets later Thursday that it is ready to back further stimulus measures if the economy takes a serious turn for the worse.

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Bank of America expects to pay $16-17 bn U.S. settlement

Bank of America has tentatively agreed to pay a record $16 to $17 billion settlement to resolve allegations it misled investors on mortgage-linked securities, a person familiar with the matter said Wednesday.

The Justice Department settlement -- covering securities allegedly mis-sold ahead of the housing bust -- is expected to be revealed by next week, according to the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity and confirmed reports in U.S. media.

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Moody's: Global Growth to Slow as Populations Age

As populations age around the world, economies will be held back and growth trends will slow sharply in the next 20 years, a report forecast on Thursday.

The mismatch of old people to the numbers of people at work is no longer a shadow only over advanced economies; it now extends to emerging markets as well, a report by rating agency Moody's said.

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Istat: Italy Back in Recession, Economy Shrinks 0.2% in Q2

The Italian economy shrank by 0.2 percent in the second quarter, dragging the eurozone's third-biggest economy back into recession, the national statistics agency said on Wednesday.

The contraction, which follows on the heels of a decline in growth in the first quarter, will be a sharp blow for Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's government as the country struggles to pull out of the worst recession since World War II.

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Standard Chartered Faces New U.S. Money-Laundering Probe

Standard Chartered confirmed Wednesday that it faces fresh U.S. fines over alleged breaches in its anti-money laundering systems, two years after it paid massive penalties for violating American sanctions.

Media reports said the probe by New York's financial regulator followed allegations that the London-based, Hong Kong-listed lender failed to spot millions of risky transactions flowing through its U.S. operations. 

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China to Punish Audi, Chrysler for 'Monopoly' Acts

China stepped up pressure on foreign carmakers in the world’s biggest auto market Wednesday, pledging to punish German luxury brand Audi and Chrysler of the United States for "monopoly behavior".

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), which polices violations of China's "anti-monopoly" law, has been investigating the sector -- dominated by foreign companies and their joint ventures -- for more than two years but had not mentioned any particular firms.

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Euro Stays Near Eight-Month Low in Asia

The euro was hovering near an eight-month low against the dollar in Asia on Wednesday on speculation that the European Central Bank (ECB) would hint at further stimulus after a policy meeting.

The euro bought $1.3367 and 137.08 yen in Tokyo afternoon trade against $1.3369 and 137.20 yen in New York late Tuesday. 

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Eurozone Recovery Holding Up Despite Ukraine

Further evidence has emerged that the economic recovery across Europe is gaining some traction, providing some headroom against the potential impact from a further escalation in the crisis in Ukraine.

Financial information company Markit says Tuesday that its purchasing managers index — a gauge of business activity — for the 18-country eurozone rose to a three-month high of 53.8 points in July, a full point higher than the previous month's figure.

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