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Oil Prices Mixed as Hopes Dim for OPEC Output Cut

Oil prices were mixed in Asia Wednesday as dealers predicted that leading producer Saudi Arabia will resist pressure from other OPEC members to cut output in order to prop up falling prices.

U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate for December delivery fell 44 cents to $74.17 while Brent crude for January rose eight cents to $78.55 in afternoon trade.

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Energy Giant Shell Wins Major India Tax Case

Anglo-Dutch energy giant Royal Dutch Shell has won a lengthy court battle against Indian tax authorities, marking a significant victory for multinationals involved in taxation wrangles in the country.

The Bombay High Court ruled in favor of Shell, whose Indian unit had been accused of under-pricing shares issued to its parent firm by about 180-billion rupees ($3 billion).

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Indonesia Raises Interest Rates after Fuel Price Increase

Indonesia's central bank raised interest rates Tuesday for the first time in a year in anticipation of surging inflation after the new government increased the price of subsidized fuel by over 30 percent.

At a special meeting called following the price increase, Bank Indonesia raised its key rate by 25 basis points to 7.75 percent, the first rise since November last year and its highest level for more than five years.

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Actavis to Buy Botox-Maker Allergan for $66 Billion

Actavis Monday announced plans to acquire Botox-maker Allergan for $66 billion, creating a global pharmaceutical behemoth and likely ending the aggressive pursuit of Allergan by Canada's Valeant Pharmaceuticals International.

The combination creates a heavyweight in opthalmology, neurosciences and medical aesthetics that will be among the 10 biggest global pharmaceutical companies by sales, according to a joint Actavis-Allergan statement.

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Official Data: British Annual Inflation Rises to 1.3 Percent

Britain's 12-month inflation rose unexpectedly in October, rebounding from a five-year low the previous month, lifted partly by the rising cost of computer games, official data showed Tuesday.

The annual rate accelerated to 1.3 percent in October from 1.2 percent in September, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement.

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Hong Kong-Shanghai Trade Link Disappoints on Day Two

Investors largely ignored the link-up between the Hong Kong and Shanghai stock exchanges Tuesday, a day after it launched to much fanfare and hopes of billions of dollars in daily cross-border transactions.

Officials have trumpeted the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect as opening up China's closeted stock markets to the outside world and giving mainlanders a chance to enter the lucrative Hong Kong exchange.

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Belgium Charges HSBC with Fraud Involving Diamond Dealers

Belgian prosecutors charged a subsidiary of British bank HSBC on Monday with fraud and money-laundering worth hundreds of millions of euros, mainly for diamond dealers in the industry's international hub of Antwerp.

Swiss subsidiary HSBC Private Bank SA (Suisse), which is wholly owned by the Asia-focused banking giant, allegedly helped hundreds of clients cheat the Belgian state, a statement from the prosecutors said.

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Japan Slides into Recession as Tax Hike Takes Toll

Japan's economy unexpectedly slipped back into recession as housing and business investment dropped following a sales tax hike, hobbling its ability to help drive the global recovery.

The world's third-largest economy contracted at a 1.6 percent annual pace in the July-September quarter, the government said Monday, confounding expectations that it would rebound after a big drop the quarter before.

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UK's Carney: Curbs on Bankers' Fixed Pay May be Needed

Authorities may need powers to regulate the fixed pay of bankers as well as their bonuses, the Bank of England governor said Monday amid concern the current pay regime does not deter misbehavior.

In the latest scandal to hit the sector, six global banking giants were slapped with $4.2 billion in fines last week for trying to manipulate foreign exchange markets.

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Landmark Hong Kong-Shanghai Stock Link Officially Opens

A landmark trading link that is expected to see billions of dollars in trades between Hong Kong and Shanghai's stock exchanges officially launched Monday, but early figures show mainlanders holding back from piling into Hong Kong.

At the opening ceremony Charles Li, chief executive of Hong Kong's stock exchange, declared the tie-up a "historic" moment and hailed a "new era" of trade, while chairman Chow Chung Kong said it was a "breakthrough in the opening up of China's financial market".

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