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Malaysia to Pump in $4.6 bn to Bolster Stock Market

Malaysia will inject up to $4.6 billion to bolster its stock market and will spend tens of millions of dollars on infrastructure projects to try to stimulate the slowing economy, Prime Minister Najib Razak said Monday.

Najib, who is also finance minister, said up to 20 billion ringgit ($4.6 billion) would be used to reactivate the dormant equity investment firm ValueCap, which was set up in 2002 to invest in undervalued local firms.

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Dollar Broadly Weaker in Asian Trade

The dollar broadly weakened against its Asian peers on Monday, fueled by persistent worries over China's economy ahead of a crucial U.S. interest rate decision later this week.

Nervous traders moved into safer assets, pushing up the Japanese currency to 120.30 yen against the dollar, compared with 120.57 yen Friday in New York.

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India Escapes the Worst of Emerging Markets Misery

Three years ago India was the weakling of the emerging markets clan, politically stagnant and struggling to grow -- but as gloom engulfs other developing economies, the subcontinent is enjoying a moment in the sun.

Brazil and Russia lie deep in recession and South Africa is teetering on the brink after demand for raw materials collapsed, while alarm bells have sounded over fears the China juggernaut may be faltering.

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China Grapples with Risk of Economic Hard Landing

When Chinese Premier Li Keqiang sought to reassure business leaders that the world's second-largest economy can stave off a hard landing, he acknowledged mounting fears of exactly that, and analysts say the adjustment to slower growth will be painful.

Just six months ago, Li set a 2015 economic growth target of "around seven percent", confidently telling lawmakers that the economy was adjusting to a "new normal".

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Germany Slams Proposed Eurozone Deposit Insurance Plan

Germany's powerful finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on Saturday sharply criticized an EU proposal to create a common deposit-insurance system for eurozone banks.

"We have to make sure not to put the cart before the horse," the influential minister said on the sidelines of an EU meeting of finance ministers.

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Renzi Claims Italy on the Mend with Money to Spend

Italy is on the mend and will have 17 billion euros extra to spend next year after winning its battle for greater flexibility on EU deficit rules, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said Saturday.

Renzi, who is preparing tax and spending cuts for a 2016 budget due to be unveiled in October, said the Eurozone's third-biggest economy was finally set to accelerate after years of stagnation or worse.

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IEA: Saudi Oil Market Shake up Set to Squeeze U.S. Shale

Cheap oil prices ushered in by Saudi Arabia's policy of protecting its market share will end up squeezing high-cost producers like U.S. shale drillers, leading next year to the biggest drop in output in nearly a quarter century, the IEA said Friday.

Cheap fuel is also hooking consumers, with oil demand growth set to hit a five-year high this year, the International Energy Agency said in its monthly report.

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S&P Cuts Brazil Sovereign Credit Rating to Junk

Standard & Poor's cut Brazil's sovereign credit rating to junk Wednesday, citing the struggle by President Dilma Rousseff's government to master growing debt and political turmoil.

"We are lowering the long-term foreign and local currency ratings on Brazil to 'BB+' and 'BBB-' respectively," the agency said in a statement.

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Oil Prices Down ahead of U.S. Energy Report

Oil prices eased in Asia Thursday as dealers focused on an upcoming U.S. energy report for clues about production and demand in the world's top crude consumer amid abundant global supplies.

U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate for October delivery fell 65 cents to $43.50 while Brent crude for October dropped 76 cents to $46.82 in late-morning trade.

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Study: Forget Social Media, Friends and Family Drive Purchases

Although many companies are pouring money into social media to market their goods, the recommendations of friends and family remain the top driver of purchasing decisions, a study released Thursday found.

"Direct word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family are by far the most important source of information for customers thinking about buying a product or service," said a study by Boston Consulting Group.

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