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Turkish Central Bank Raises Inflation Outlook

Turkey's central bank, fighting to defend the lira, raised sharply its inflation forecast for 2014 to 6.6 percent from 5.3 percent on Tuesday.

"We have updated our 2014 inflation estimate by 1.3 points" the bank's governor Erdem Basci said in remarks broadcast live.

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Default on $500 mn Chinese Investment Scheme 'Averted'

A looming default on a $500 million Chinese investment product sold by China's largest bank ICBC to hundreds of investors appears to have been averted days ahead of deadline, a document seen by Agence France Presse Tuesday showed.

A default by the "Credit Equals Gold #1 Trust Product" would send a shockwave through the multi-trillion dollar "shadow banking" system in the world's second-largest economy.

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India's Central Bank Unexpectedly Hikes Key Interest Rate

India's central bank hiked its key interest rate by 25 basis points on Tuesday in a surprise move aimed at taming inflation, which remains above the bank's comfort level.

After a meeting in the financial capital Mumbai, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said the benchmark repo rate, at which it lends to commercial banks, would rise to 8.0 percent.

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Reports: Japan and Australia Nearing FTA Deal

Japan and Australia are moving closer to signing a free trade agreement, officials said Tuesday amid reports the deal will be inked within months.

If realised, the deal would cement a relationship worth around $58 billion annually in two-way trade, and bolster ties at a time when many in the region are nervously eyeing the rise of China and its growing economic power.

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German Business Confidence Starts Year with a Boost

German business confidence rose sharply in December, data showed on Monday, with a surprisingly strong boost suggesting a sunny outlook for Europe's biggest economy.

The Ifo economic institute's closely watched business climate index climbed to 110.6 points this month, higher than the 110 points penciled in by analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires. In December, it had stood at 109.5 points.

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Turkish Central Bank Calls Emergency Meeting as Lira Falls

The Turkish central bank announced a crisis policy meeting on Tuesday, as the lira plunged further against the dollar and euro.

The announcement came after the lira hit another record low value against the dollar despite heavy central bank intervention in the foreign exchange market last week.

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Japan Trade Deficit Hits Record High in 2013

Japan's trade deficit swelled to a record $112 billion in 2013, official data showed Monday, as the benefits of a cheap yen for the export-driven economy were diluted by soaring post-Fukushima energy bills.

The shortfall of 11.47 trillion yen marked the biggest deficit since comparable data started in 1979, according to the finance ministry, with the December figure alone doubling from a year earlier.

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Samsung, Google Sign Patent-Sharing Deal

Samsung said Monday it had signed a long-term cross-licence deal with Google in a move to help the South Korean technology firm stave off potential patent disputes in the future.

The move comes as the South Korean firm is engaged in a series of long-running copyright infringement rows with Apple over technology and design in the firms' smartphones and tablets.

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China Gear Up for Peak New Year Travel Period

China was gearing up Saturday for the peak travel period of the world's largest annual human migration as the Spring Festival national holidays draws near.

Hundreds of millions of migrant workers will return home to their backwater towns and rural villages before the Lunar New Year, which falls this year on January 31.

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Turkey Moves to Reassure Davos Amid Currency Woes

Turkey on Friday sought to reassure investors at the World Economic Forum in Davos over the health of the economy despite the Turkish lira hitting new lows on political turmoil.

Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan told the assembled global elite that despite recent volatility on the currency markets, investors were not rushing to pull their money out.

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