Republican leaders bowed to intense pressure Friday and voted to extend a payroll tax holiday for 160 million Americans, handing victory to President Barack Obama after a tense showdown.
The deal, which finally sailed unopposed through the Senate and the House of Representatives two days before Christmas, allows Obama to end the year on a triumphant note after being thwarted by Republicans for months.Full Story
There is a "gentlemen's agreement" between OPEC members to accommodate increasing output from Libya, the North African country's oil minister said Saturday.
The comments by Abdul-Rahman bin Yazzah indicate that while there is no formal deal among members of the 12-nation Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to cut output, the producer group is willing to take the step as Libya's production ramps up to pre-civil war levels of 1.6 million barrels per day.Full Story
Japan's cabinet approved Saturday a 90.334 trillion yen ($1.16 trillion) budget for the 2012 fiscal year, with a record 49 percent financed by bonds even as the country struggles to rein in its massive public debt.
Finance Minister Jun Azumi said Japan had reached its "limit" in relying on debt and said he was aware the global community was watching him in light of the serious debt woes in Europe.Full Story
New York oil prices topped the $100 level on Friday but slipped back below the threshold to end little-changed ahead of the Christmas holiday.
There was little real news to drive markets, but analysts said that optimism in the markets and traders' pre-holiday short-covering generally helped keep a floor on prices.Full Story
The dollar was flat against the euro on Friday in holiday-thinned trade, as traders sought to cover positions ahead of the three-day U.S. weekend.
Investors continued to show more taste for the single currency after Italy accepted fresh austerity measures and following positive U.S. jobs data, traders said.Full Story
Eurozone banks deposited the biggest amount of overnight funds at the ECB for more than a year on Thursday, official data showed Friday in a fresh sign of banks' wariness of lending to each other.
Banks put 347 billion euros ($453 billion) on deposit for 24 hours at the European Central Bank, the highest amount since June 2010.Full Story
Oil prices closed in on $100 a barrel Friday in Asia amid expectations an improving U.S. economy will boost demand for crude.
Benchmark crude for February delivery was up 23 cents to $99.76 a barrel at late afternoon Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 86 cents to finish at $99.53 on Thursday.Full Story
European stocks rose on Friday, the last trading day before the Christmas break, as traders temporarily put aside the debt crisis worries that have roiled markets for most of 2011.
Amid thin trading, investors continued to buy up stocks and the single currency after Italy accepted fresh austerity measures and positive U.S. jobs data, traders said.Full Story
The French economy grew less than first thought in the third quarter at a revised 0.3 percent, down from the initial estimate of 0.4 percent, the national statistics institute INSEE said Friday.
INSEE said the downward revision reflected lower industrial output and the inclusion of final sales figures.Full Story
European stocks were higher Wednesday and the euro was steady as markets digested a mixed set of U.S. economic data in subdued trade ahead of the Christmas holiday break.
Dealers said that after a volatile and dramatic year driven by fears the Eurozone debt crisis will tip the world into recession, the tone has turned slightly more positive, driven mainly by recent U.S. figures.Full Story