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Forbes Publisher Sold to Asian Investors

The publisher of the U.S. business magazine Forbes said Friday a controlling stake in the group had been sold to a Hong Kong-based investment consortium.

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U.S. Opens Door to East Coast Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling

The United States on Friday opened the way to offshore oil and gas exploration in the Atlantic Ocean, authorizing the controversial use of sonic cannons for seismic surveys.

Exploration off the U.S. East Coast has been banned since the early 1980s, largely because of environmental concerns. The use of sonic waves, whose noise levels are magnified under water, risks harm to marine life.

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China Announces Heavy Investments in Argentina

Visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping announced Friday huge investments in hydroelectric power, shipbuilding, railways and a deal to help Argentina build its fourth nuclear plant.

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Business Leaders Urge G20 Reforms to Boost Global Growth by $3.4 trn

Business leaders in Australia Friday called on G20 leading economies to implement recommendations on structural reforms and free trade that could boost global growth by U.S.$3.4 trillion and create millions of jobs.

The business chiefs, who are in Sydney for a two-day B20 summit, said their list of 20 recommendations -- if adopted by G20 leaders -- would help them exceed the 2.0 percent additional GDP target over five years that finance ministers agreed to in February.

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Geopolitical Woes Send Oil Prices Higher in Asia

Oil prices rose in Asia on Friday after a Malaysia Airlines plane came down in war-ravaged Ukraine and Israel launched a ground offensive into Gaza, sparking fears about tensions in the crude-rich Middle East.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for delivery in August was up 53 cents at $103.72 in late-morning trade and Brent crude for September advanced 65 cents to $108.54.

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Dollar up After New York Losses Fuelled by Plane Tragedy

The dollar edged up in Asian trade Friday after tumbling in New York on news that a Malaysia Airlines jet had crashed in Ukraine killing almost 300 people, with the U.S. saying it had been shot down.

The Malaysian ringgit slipped against the greenback in response to the tragedy, the second to hit the troubled carrier since the disappearance of flight MH370 in March.

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Asian Shares Hit by News of Ukraine Air Tragedy

Asian markets were mostly lower on Friday after a Malaysia Airlines jet came down in battle-wracked Ukraine, sparking geopolitical tensions and sending Wall Street tumbling as the U.S. claimed the aircraft had been shot down.

Airline stocks retreated, led by a slump in already under-pressure Malaysia Airlines as the company faced up to its second major disaster in four months following Thursday's tragedy that killed almost 300 people. 

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European Markets Fall on Fresh Ukraine Worries

Europe's stock markets fell on Thursday after the United States and European Union announced that they would apply further sanctions against Russia over the crisis in Ukraine.

The news sent markets sliding as many investors sought to minimise risky investments amid heightened Ukraine concerns, dealers said.

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Reports: China Picks Site for BRICS Bank

China has already chosen a site for the future Shanghai headquarters of the BRICS development bank, state media said Thursday just two days after its creation.

At a summit in Brazil, the BRICS group of emerging economic powers -- which also includes Russia, India, China and South Africa -- on Tuesday created the New Development Bank to finance infrastructure projects.

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Action not Words Needed to Boost Growth, Australia Tells G20

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott called Thursday for G20 economies to adopt more ambitious growth targets, urging leaders not to "waste each other's time" with a talk-fest.

Abbott told more than 380 business leaders from the grouping attending a two-day B20 summit in Sydney that the world's economies were still "in the shadow of the (financial) crisis" and "action, not words" was needed to boost growth.

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