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Eurozone Pressed over Growth at IMF, World Bank Meet

The world's economic policy elite kept up pressure on the eurozone Friday to fight off stagnation, with Germany under the gun to support more spending to spark growth.

But Berlin continued to fend off pressure to allow a loosening of budget constraints across the struggling euro area, saying it would be "foolish" to sacrifice the gains made in improving government finances.

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Virtual Currency Founder Extradited to Face U.S. Charges

The founder of virtual currency firm Liberty Reserve, Arthur Budovsky, was extradited Friday from Spain to face U.S. criminal charges for operating what officials called a massive money-laundering scheme.

Budovsky, a 40-year-old Costa Rican national and former U.S. citizen, will be tried in the U.S. on charges related to setting up the alternative digital currency used by criminals around the world to launder illegal profits, federal prosecutors said.

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Global Growth Fears Weigh on U.S. Stocks

Wall Street stocks suffered one of the worst weeks of 2014 as global growth fears overwhelmed some positive economic news and pushed the Dow into negative territory for the year.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 465.59 points (2.74 percent) at 16,544.10, leaving the index about 30 points below the closing level of 2013.

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OPEC Keeps Oil Demand Growth Unchanged, as Price Falls

Oil cartel OPEC kept its world oil demand growth projections unchanged for 2014 and 2015 on Friday, as global economy forecasts remained stable going into next year.

The estimates were issued as the price of oil continues to fall because of gloomy sentiment on the market about prospects for economic growth, notably in the eurozone.

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Malaysia Bank Giants Eye Merger to Create Biggest Lender

Two of Malaysia's largest financial institutions, CIMB Group and RHB Capital, said they plan to merge along with a property lending firm to create a "financial powerhouse" that will become the country's biggest bank. 

The three institutions are seeking central bank approval for the merger, according to documents submitted Thursday with Malaysia's stock exchange, and aim to sign a definitive agreement early next year.

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IMF Warns of Eurozone Recession, Presses Germany

The International Monetary Fund stepped up its warnings over a possible eurozone recession Thursday, pressing governments like Germany to spend more for reverse a stall.

Worries about the eurozone stagnating were at the forefront as the annual IMF-World Bank meetings on the global economy kicked off.

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Top Finance Officials Hope to Boost Growth

Finance officials from the world's largest economies are being urged to prevent the global economy from falling into a "new mediocre" in which growth remains stuck at subpar levels for years to come, trapping millions of people on unemployment rolls.

Finance ministers and central bank presidents of the Group of 20 nations, which include traditional economic powers such as the United States, Japan and Germany, and emerging economies such as Russia, China and India, were wrapping up two days of talks Friday with a joint statement of goals and a news conference expected in the early afternoon.

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FAO: World Food Prices Fall, Ebola Hits Farmers

Bumper harvests and big stockpiles of food are helping to drive world food prices down to the lowest levels for about 15 years, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization reported on Thursday.

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German, French Trade Data Hit by Falling Exports

The economic skies above the eurozone darkened again on Thursday as data showed a sharp drop in exports from its two biggest economies, Germany and France.

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Firms to Invest $2.12 bn in Ecuador Oil Fields

Firms from a range of countries will invest $2.12 billion to develop oil fields in Ecuador's Amazon basin region, the government said Wednesday.

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