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EU is 'Falling Apart', Soros Warns

The European Union is "falling apart", American financier George Soros warned as part of wide-ranging remarks at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday.

The magnate and philanthropist also said China's economy was experiencing a hard landing, the U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates too late, and Republican presidential front runner Donald Trump was "doing the work" of the Islamic State (IS) group.

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Oil Prices Extend Gains in Asia on Stimulus Pledge

Oil prices rose in Asia Friday after the European Central Bank (ECB) signaled further stimulus measures to help the struggling eurozone economy, but analysts expect oversupply woes to limit gains.

Remarks by ECB chief Mario Draghi that possible additional monetary stimulus measures could come as soon as March lifted global markets and brought a measure of joy after weeks of painful losses.

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Christine Lagarde Says to Run for Second IMF Term

Christine Lagarde announced Friday that she will run for a second term at the head of the International Monetary Fund, after winning strong backing from across Europe.

"Yes, I am running for a second mandate," the former French finance minister confirmed in an interview with France 2 television.

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China's Xi Inks Deals Worth Billions on Mideast Tour

Chinese President Xi Jinping announced Thursday billions of dollars in special loans and investments in the Middle East as Beijing seeks to boost its economic ties and clout in the region.

Xi offered China's financial support in an address to the Cairo-based Arab League after holding talks with Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi during his first tour to the Middle East as president.

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Italy's Banking System is 'Robust', PM Says as Bank Shares Rebound

Italy's prime minister said Thursday that the country's banking system was "much more robust" than investors thought after three days of meltdown of banking shares on the Milan stock exchange.

As shares recovered in early trading Thursday after plunging on fears about the country's burgeoning toxic loan crisis, Matteo Renzi took to the pages of the Il Sole 24 Ore daily to try to reassure skittish investors.

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Russian Ruble Plumbs New Depths against Dollar

Russia's ruble on Thursday continued to plummet to new record lows against the dollar, tumbling by over 4 percent beyond 85 to the greenback on falling oil prices.

The ruble -- which has already been battered over the past 18 months by low energy prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine -- also weakened to over 93 against the euro. 

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Will Lagarde Renew? IMF Opens Nominations for Top Post

The IMF on Thursday opens formal nominations for the next term of managing director, with incumbent Christine Lagarde seen as the leading candidate despite possibly facing a trial in France.

The International Monetary Fund said nominations for the five-year term to run the global crisis bank beginning in July will close on February 10.

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JPMorgan, Goldman Execs Point to Benefits of Oil Rout

Two top U.S. bankers said Wednesday that the oil price collapse is likely to help economies long-term, even as markets slump in reaction. 

JPMorgan chief executive Jamie Dimon said he is still hoping the stock rout of early 2016 that worsened Wednesday will turn out to be only a "speedy adjustment" that does not signal a major global slowdown.

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Five European Airlines Launch New Alliance

In an unprecedented step, Europe's five largest airline groups including budget carriers EasyJet and Ryanair Wednesday launched a new alliance to combat rising airport charges amid a fierce battle with Gulf rivals.

The new association dubbed Airlines for Europe (A4E) brings together the budget airlines with giants Lufthansa, Air France-KLM and the International Airline Group, parent company of both British Airways and Iberia.

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Ukraine Expands Bitter Trade War with Russia

Ukraine on Wednesday escalated its bitter trade war with Russia in punishment for Moscow's seeming efforts to choke off its westward-leaning neighbor’s economic ties with other former Soviet states.

Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk told a cabinet meeting that Kiev was adding 70 food products to its existing list of items Russia cannot sell in Ukraine.

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