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OPEC Agrees Shock Oil Output Cut

OPEC shocked markets with a deal to cut oil output after kingpin Saudi Arabia allowed bitter rival Iran to be exempted, but analysts warned Thursday the move would not likely have a lasting impact.

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Hariri's Troubled Saudi Firm Lays Off Koran Printers

Woes deepened on Wednesday for employees of troubled conglomerate Saudi Oger which laid off more than 1,300 staff at a printing plant for the Koran, a newspaper reported.

The once-mighty firm led by Lebanon's billionaire former prime minister Saad Hariri has been hit by a drop in income from its core construction business after Saudi Arabia delayed or canceled projects in the face of plummeting oil revenues.

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Greek Lawmakers Pass Fresh Reforms Sought by Creditors

The Greek parliament on Tuesday adopted fresh austerity measures sought by its international creditors, including expediting privatization of utility companies.

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Canada Approves $36 bn LNG Project, Eyes Asia

Canada approved on Tuesday a massive Can$36 billion ($27 billion USD) project by Malaysia's Petronas to build a liquefied natural gas pipeline along its Pacific Northwest coast, targeting Asian markets.

The project is the first deal by Canada's year-old Liberal government that goes against environmentalists in the name of the country's economic interests. Environmental activists and indigenous groups have opposed the plans.

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Saudis Say 'Optimistic' ahead of OPEC Talks

Saudi Arabia's energy minister said on Tuesday he was optimistic that energy ministers at an informal OPEC meeting in Algiers would reach a "common view" on the international oil market.

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Iran Says not Ready for Oil Output Freeze in Algiers

Iran is not ready to agree to an oil output freeze in Algiers, its Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said Tuesday on the eve of an informal OPEC meeting in Algeria's capital.

"It's not in our agenda to reach an agreement in two days. We need time for more consultation," he told reporters on the sidelines of an energy conference.

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Commerzbank Could Trim around 9,000 Jobs

Germany's second-largest lender Commerzbank could slash around a fifth of its staff in the coming years as part of a billion-euro restructuring programme, a German newspaper said on Tuesday.

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Saudi King Cuts Ministers' Salaries 20%

Saudi Arabia Monday cut the salaries of cabinet ministers by 20 percent and froze the wages of lower-ranking civil servants in an intensified austerity drive to cope with lower oil revenues.

While ministers will have lower salaries, the 160 members of the Shura Council will see a 15-percent drop in their annual allowances for housing, furniture and cars, a royal decree said.

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Oil Dips in Asia as Algiers Meeting Looms

Oil prices edged down in Asia Tuesday amid continued speculation over whether producers will agree to limit output at talks in Algeria this week, analysts said.

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Saudi Aramco: Oil Market Still Weak despite Recovery

Oil prices have been recovering but are still weak, the head of Gulf giant Saudi Aramco said on Monday, warning that market volatility could persist in the near future.

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