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Oil Prices up as Canada Wildfires Threaten Crude Output

Oil prices climbed in Asia Thursday with Brent breaching $45 a barrel as raging wildfires threatened to cut Canadian output and a decline in U.S. crude production also boosted the commodity.

Authorities say wildfires are burning out of control in the Alberta oil sands region of Canada, which mines and ships heavy crude south to the U.S. market, and oil companies have reduced operations to facilitate the evacuation of non-essential employees.

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Tunisia-Libya Border Trade Will Resume 'very soon', Says Tunisia

Tunisia is confident that trade at the main border crossing with Libya will resume "very soon", local authorities said Wednesday, nearly a week after the Libyan side imposed a blockade.

"This problem will be resolved very soon," Tahar Matmati, the governor of Medenine, which lies on the principle route between Tunisia and Libya, told AFP.

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Tesla Accelerates to Hit Target of 500,000 Cars Yearly

Tesla is speeding the timeline for building half a million cars annually as it steps up production to meet growing demand for its electric vehicles.

Hot demand for a new, more affordable Model 3 led the company to shave two years off its timeline for building a combined total of 500,000 vehicles, combining Model S, Model X, and Model 3, each year and make the new target date 2018.

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Saudi Oil Minister Visits Sudan to Cement Improving Ties

Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi visited Sudan on Wednesday promising increased investment in a major fillip for the impoverished African nation after its tilt from Tehran towards Riyadh.

For years, the Islamist regime in Khartoum maintained close relations with Iran, whose warships made repeated calls in Sudanese ports and allegedly delivered arms for onward delivery to the Hamas rulers of Gaza.

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Days are Numbered for 500-euro Banknote

The European Central Bank is set to decide on Wednesday the fate of the 500-euro banknote, which many people associate with money laundering, the black market and terrorist financing.

But its possible abolition is raising hackles in countries such as Germany.

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Seven Banks to Pay $324 Million to Settle Suit Alleging Interest Rate Manipulation

Seven big banks, including Bank of America, JP Morgan, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank, have agreed to pay a total of $324 million to settle a lawsuit accusing them of market manipulation of interest rates.

The settlement Tuesday followed a federal judge's ruling in March admitting the class action lawsuit brought by investors and pension funds against the banks.

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Air France KLM Narrows Losses, Warns of Turbulence as Pilots' Pay Cut

Air France-KLM said Wednesday it cut its losses in the first quarter of 2016 but passenger traffic to Paris was affected by terror attacks and the airline also warned of a difficult year ahead as it moved to cut wages of French pilots.

The Franco-Dutch group enjoyed lower fuel prices but said this was likely to be offset over the rest of the year by pressure on revenue and by the negative impact of currency swings.

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Riding on the Dubai Property Roller Coaster

For more than 10 years Dubai property prices have been on a roller coaster, creating and wiping out fortunes, but recently they appear to have run out of steam.

The Gulf emirate shot to prominence as an attractive real estate market after opening up special freehold zones for foreign buyers in 2002.

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Saudi Says to Ensure Binladin Group Resolves Wage Issue

The Saudi labor minister vowed Tuesday to ensure the Binladin Group keeps a promise to resolve wage issues, amid reports of thousands at the building firm facing unpaid salaries and layoffs.

Labor Minister Mufarrej al-Haqbani's comments followed a Saudi newspaper report on Monday that Binladin Group, one of the world's largest construction companies, was laying off 77,000 foreign workers.

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HSBC Profit Drops on Market Volatility

HSBC on Tuesday said its net profit fell almost a fifth in the first quarter, with Europe's biggest bank hit by "extreme levels" of markets volatility, while bad loans doubled.

Equity and currency markets from Asia to the Americas were sent into meltdown at the start of the year as a growth slowdown in China and plunging oil prices fanned concerns about the world economy.

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