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Russian Ruble Hits Historic Low against Dollar

The Russian ruble fell on Monday to a historic low against the dollar after the West imposed fresh sanctions over Ukraine.

The ruble slumped to 38.04 to the dollar shortly after Moscow markets opened, at 0619 GMT. It was the first time that the ruble had weakened beyond the rate of 38 to the dollar.

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Air France Strike Sparks Travel Chaos

French flag carrier Air France was set to scrap at least half its flights Monday as pilots began a strike against the company's plan to develop its low-cost subsidiary.

Several passengers were stranded as the week-long strike kicked off, sparking outrage among weary travelers such as Jean-Marc Ragot, who arrived from Nairobi to Paris to find his connecting flight to the eastern French city of Lyon cancelled.

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OECD Chops Growth Forecasts as Eurozone Crimps Recovery

Sickly eurozone recovery is a drag on the outlook for the global economy, the OECD warned on Monday as it cut growth forecasts for most major advanced economies.

The sluggish recovery is also at risk from increased tension over conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East, and uncertainty over the future of Scotland, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said.

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Libya Central Bank Governor Fired over 'Irregularities'

The new parliament in Libya, where rival administrations are vying for power, announced Sunday the dismissal of central bank governor Seddik al-Kabir following allegations of financial irregularities.

"The governor was summoned to appear before parliament after allegations of financial irregularities. Mr Kabir did not appear so MPs voted to have him dismissed," Fradj Abu Hashem, spokesman for Libya's internationally recognized parliament, told Agence France Presse

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U.S. Stocks Retreat Despite Strong Apple Launch, Data

Wall Street stocks took a breather this week, finishing down from record levels despite solid U.S. economic data and a successful products launch by Apple.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 149.85 points (0.87 percent) to close the week at 16,987.51, while the broad-based S&P 500 fell 22.17 (1.10 percent) to 1,985.54.

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Argentina Faces New Devaluation as Dollar Demand Grows

Recession-hit Argentines are flocking to buy dollars, nervous over the government's latest debt default and pressure from the business community to devalue the peso for the second time this year.

Officially, a dollar is worth 8.42 Argentine pesos.

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HSBC Paying $550M to Resolve Mortgage Bond Claims

British bank HSBC has agreed to pay $550 million to resolve U.S. claims that it misled U.S. mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac about risky mortgage securities it sold them before the housing market collapsed in 2007.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie and Freddie, announced the settlement Friday with HSBC. London-based HSBC is Europe's largest bank and also has extensive operations in the U.S. Its U.S. division has about $289 billion in assets, making it the 9th largest bank in the U.S.

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Chinese Output Growth Slows to Five-Year Low in August

China's industrial production growth slowed sharply in August to its lowest level for more than five years at 6.9 percent, official data showed Saturday, intensifying concerns for the world's second-largest economy.

The key indicator, which measures output at factories, workshops and mines, slumped from a 9.0 percent year-on-year expansion in July and was the worst since 5.7 percent in December 2008, during the global financial crisis.

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Eurozone Industrial Production Recovers in July

Industrial output in the eurozone rose one percent in July, official data showed on Friday, offering a rare glimmer of positive news to a single-currency economy struggling with stagnating growth and low inflation.

The increase in factory output data was a turnaround from the previous month, when an unexpected 0.3-percent drop in industrial activity caught analysts off guard.

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Govt: China Bank Loans Nearly Double in August

China's bank lending nearly doubled in August from the previous month, central bank data showed Friday, rebounding towards what analysts described as a normal level.

Chinese banks granted 702.5 billion yuan ($114.5 billion) in new loans last month, the People's Bank of China (PBoC) said in a statement, nearly twice July's 385.2 billion yuan.

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