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Oil Price Falls Pressure Australian Energy Firms, Economy

Australian energy firms are having to reassess their investment strategies and outlook as oil prices sit at multi-year lows, with analysts warning of knock-on effects for the wider economy as it shifts away from resources-driven growth.

OPEC's decision to maintain output sent the price of oil plunging last week, extending a sell-off since June that has been fuelled by a supply glut and slow demand growth.

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Indonesia to Lead SE Asian Online Shopping Boom

Indonesia is set to lead a boom in online shopping across Southeast Asia as Internet access explodes and investors pour money into a rapidly growing host of retail startups, analysts say. 

Much like China several years ago, the region is enjoying a rapid increase in web access that observers say is starting to drive a fundamental shift in shopping habits among the emerging middle class.

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U.S. Says American Automakers Still Barred from Iran

U.S. car manufacturers remain barred from doing business in Iran even though European automakers are eying huge deals as sanctions are eased against the Islamic republic, a U.S. official said Tuesday.

France's PSA Peugeot-Citroen was in "intense" talks about resuming production in Iran, halted since March 2012, a company representative said in Tehran on Monday at the start of the Iran Auto Show.

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Russia Predicts Recession in 2015 on Sanctions, Oil Slump

The Russian economy ministry on Tuesday slashed its economic forecast for 2015, announcing a contraction of 0.8 percent due to the pressure of Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis combined with falling oil prices.

The ministry cut its previous outlook of 1.2 percent growth by two percentage points, referring to worsening economic indicators and a "more conservative" assumption that Western sanctions will remain through 2015.

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Iraq Government, Kurds Strike Deal on Budget, Oil

Iraq's government and the autonomous Kurdish region on Tuesday announced an agreement on resolving their longstanding disputes over the budget and oil exports, boosting prospects of closer cooperation against jihadists.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's office said the deal was approved during a cabinet meeting also attended by Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani.

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Report Criticizes Boeing, FAA over 787 Battery Woes

U.S. investigators Monday said the three-month grounding of the Boeing 787 in 2013 was due to a defect in the battery that was poorly addressed by manufacturers and regulators.

The National Transportation Safety Board's report divided blame for a pair of battery fire incidents in January 2013 that prompted a global grounding of the 787 Dreamliners. The planes were cleared to fly three months later when Boeing won approval for a battery fix.

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Venezuela Faces Hyperinflation Threat

Gloomily watching their money shrink in value, Venezuelans don't need government statistics to tell them what they already know: their country is facing the looming risk of hyperinflation.

Breaking its own regulations, the Venezuelan central bank has stopped publishing the official inflation rate, which stood at 63.4 percent at the end of August.

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World Bank: Ebola to Push Guinea, Sierra Leone into Recession

The World Bank said Tuesday that the fallout from the deadly Ebola pandemic will push Guinea and Sierra Leone into recession next year.

With the disease still not under control in West Africa, the cost to the two countries plus less-impacted Liberia of shuttered businesses and curtailed investment will run "well over" $2 billion in 2014-2015, the Bank said in a new report.

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Asian Markets Up, Energy Firms Recover as Oil stabilises

Asian shares rose Tuesday, with energy firms clawing back some losses as oil prices recovered from multi-year lows, while Shanghai surged to a three-year high on hopes for more Chinese government easing.

The Russian ruble strengthened slightly against the dollar after suffering its worst one-day fall in 16 years, battered by falling crude prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine.

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Russian Ruble Plumbs New Depth

The beleaguered ruble hit new record lows on Monday after oil prices sank further amid spreading worries about Russia's economy.

The Russian currency fell for a third day in a row, slumping to over 52 rubles against the dollar and 65 rubles against the euro in afternoon trading on the Moscow Exchange.

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