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Bundesbank Opposes More Emergency Funding for Greece

Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann says he is opposed to giving Greece more emergency loans, charging the new government in Athens with frittering away a lot of trust.

"Until the autumn, an improvement in the economy had been discernible. But the new government has gambled away a lot of trust," Weidmann said in an interview with the weekly Focus that was released on Friday.

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U.S. Senate Passes Budget, with 2016 Jockeying on Display

The Republican-led U.S. Senate approved a 2016 budget blueprint early Friday, one that would balance federal spending in 10 years without raising taxes, trim trillions of spending dollars and repeal "Obamacare."

The process, in which several dozen politically-charged amendments were offered, saw Democrats and Republicans stake out their positions ahead of the 2016 presidential election as potential candidates prepare to battle over who will succeed Barack Obama in the White House.

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Ukraine's Russia Debt Threatens IMF Rescue

A default by Ukraine on $3 billion in debt to Russia this year could threaten the International Monetary Fund's lifeline to the embattled country, an IMF spokesman said Thursday.

The Ukrainian government has begun negotiations with creditors for $15 billion in debt relief, part of a $40 billion, four-year financial rescue envisioned by the IMF.

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Borse Dubai Sells Key Stake in London Stock Exchange

Borse Dubai has sold its significant stake in the London Stock Exchange, sending the British group's share price plunging on Thursday.

"Borse Dubai has today sold its shareholding in London Stock Exchange Group plc, representing approximately 17.4 percent of the share capital in the company," said a statement issued by the Gulf group, which was the biggest single shareholder in the LSE.

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French 2014 Deficit Smaller than Expected, Growth at 0.4%

France's public deficit increased by slightly less than expected in 2014, while growth in the eurozone's second biggest economy was confirmed at 0.4 percent, the same as in 2013, the Insee statistics agency said Thursday.

Last year, France's deficit was equivalent to 4.0 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), smaller than the 4.4 percent originally projected, and compared with 4.1 percent in 2013, Insee said in a statement.

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U.S. Caught off Guard by Success of New China-led Bank

The success of the new China-led development bank has caught the United States off guard, after it fought the project and now finds itself increasingly isolated.

Britain, Germany, France... the United States has watched, helpless and dumbfounded, as its European allies flocked to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, seen as a potential rival to the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, both institutions under powerful U. .influence.

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Oil Extends Rise in Asia on Yemen Crisis

Oil prices jumped more than five percent in Asia Thursday after Saudi Arabian jets struck rebel targets in Yemen, with fears growing that a spiraling crisis in the country could threaten key crude producers in the Middle East.

U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for May delivery rose $2.87, or 5.83 percent, to $52.08 while Brent crude for May rose $2.90, or 5.13 percent, to $59.38 in afternoon trade.

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French Alps Crash Heavy Blow to Lufthansa's Image

The deadly crash of a jet belonging to low-cost carrier Germanwings deals a body blow to the image of its parent company Lufthansa, already battling a bitter labor dispute and ferocious competition from budget rivals, analysts said on Wednesday.

"These are very hard days, undoubtedly one of the hardest days in the history of Lufthansa," the airline's finance chief Simone Menne said, after the group held a minute's silence for all 150 people aboard Germanwings flight 4U 9525, which went down in the French Alps en route from Barcelona to Duesseldorf.

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Iraq's Oil Exports in February were Below Planned Level

Iraq's Oil Ministry says crude exports averaged 2.596 million barrels a day in February, far from levels planned to provide the nation with badly needed cash for ongoing military operations against Islamic State extremists.

Ministry spokesman Assem Jihad said on Wednesday the exports grossed about $3.402 billion, based on an average price of $46.795 per barrel. Iraq's 2015 budget is based on an expected price of $56 per barrel with a daily export capacity of 3.3 million.

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China Approves Three more Free-trade Zones

China has given the go-ahead for three more free-trade zones, state media reported, despite the country's first project in Shanghai proving disappointing 18 months after its establishment.

A meeting of the Communist Party's politburo hosted by President Xi Jinping on Tuesday approved zones in the southern province of Guangdong, eastern province of Fujian and northern city of Tianjin, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

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