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China to Start Direct Currency Trading with Euro

China will begin direct trading between its yuan currency and the euro starting on Tuesday, the national foreign exchange market's operator said, as Beijing seeks to broaden the unit's global usage.

The China Foreign Exchange Trade System already offers a platform for yuan-euro transactions but direct trading means the U.S. dollar will not be used as an intermediary currency to calculate rates, according to a statement released Monday.

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Lenovo Looks to Expand after IBM Acquisition

The chairman of Lenovo Group says the company has received U.S. government approval to complete its acquisition of IBM Corp.'s low-end server business and plans to use it to grow faster outside its personal computer business.

Yang Yuanqing said Monday the $2.1 billion acquisition is due to close Wednesday following a successful review by a U.S. government security panel.

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Regulator: Alibaba Approved for Private Bank in China

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, which completed the world's largest stock offering earlier this month, has received approval to set up a private bank, it was announced Monday.

The China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) said Alibaba would be the majority shareholder with a 30 percent stake in a private bank to be established in the eastern province of Zhejiang, where the company is headquartered.

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Oil Prices Down on Stronger U.S. Dollar

Oil prices eased in Asia Monday as the US dollar strengthened while dealers sat on the sidelines due to a dearth of trading cues, analysts said.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for November delivery dropped 54 cents to $93.00 while Brent crude for November fell 31 cents to $96.69 in afternoon trade.

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Union: Lufthansa Pilots to Strike on Long-Haul Flights on Tuesday

Pilots with Germany's Lufthansa will stage a strike on long-haul flights on Tuesday, their latest walkout in the ongoing dispute with management over early retirement provisions, their union said.

Vereinigung Cockpit called on its members to strike on long-haul flights departing from Frankfurt between 8:00 am and 11:00 pm (0600-2100 GMT) on Tuesday.

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Company: BNP Paribas Chairman Resigns

The chairman of BNP Paribas has resigned, some three months after the French bank was hit by a record $8.9 billion fine for violating U.S. sanctions, the bank said.

Baudoin Prot, 63, who has headed the bank since 2011, was stepping down as of December 1 "for personal reasons," the bank said in a statement following a meeting of the board late on Friday.

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Economy's Q2 Rebound Was Even Faster than Thought

The U.S. economy's bounce-back last quarter from a dismal winter was even faster than previously thought, a sign that growth will likely remain solid for rest of the year.

The economy as measured by gross domestic product grew at a 4.6 percent annual rate in the April-June quarter, the Commerce Department said Friday. It was the fastest pace in more than two years and higher than the government's previous estimate of 4.2 percent.

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Venezuela Announces 'Temporary Occupation' of U.S. Firm Clorox

The Venezuelan government announced Friday it was temporarily taking control of a Clorox factory, after the U.S.-based firm said this week it was leaving the country and selling its assets.

Vice President Jorge Arreaza was accompanied by a dozen workers as he entered the plant with the slogan "Chavez lives, the struggle continues," in reference to late president Hugo Chavez.

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Union Makes Offer to End Marathon Air France Strike

Air France's main pilots' union offered to lift its crippling strike late Friday if an independent mediator were named to run negotiations in a bitter battle over the fate of the company's low-cost subsidiary.

The SNPL union, in what it called a "gesture of appeasement", said it was "ready to end the conflict as soon as this mediator is named" by the government.

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Intel to Buy Stake in Two Chinese Firms

U.S. semi-conductor maker Intel said Friday it will invest $1.5 billion in two Chinese cell phone part companies.

The California firm said it would acquire a 20 percent stake in a holding company that owns Spreadtrum Communications and RDA Microelectronics, according to an Intel statement.

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