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Dutch Told to Cut Gas Production in EU's Biggest Field

A top Dutch advisory body Wednesday ordered the Netherlands to review extraction of natural gas from the EU's biggest gas field and cut production after a series of minor earthquakes.

The Council of State said it was cancelling decisions cutting production taken in January and June by the Economic Minister Henk Kamp, and ordering him back to the drawing board.

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Greek Farmers Protest against Tax Hikes in Bailout Deal

Thousands of Greek farmers on Wednesday protested in Athens against tax hikes planned under the country's latest economic bailout.

Police said 4,000 farmers had gathered on the central Syntagma Square.

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French New Anti-Terror Spending 'a Few Hundred Million Euros'

Fresh French spending on security in response to the Paris attacks will amount to "a few hundreds of millions of euros (dollars)", a lawmaker said in remarks published  Wednesday.

Dominique Lefebvre, deputy and vice-president of parliament's finance commission, also told the L'Opinion business daily that France was still on target to meet its EU deficit targets if the new anti-terror spending was stripped out.

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Dollar Holds Strength against Euro in Asian Trade

The dollar sat near seven-month highs against the euro and stood firm against the yen Wednesday following a pick-up in U.S. inflation, while traders await minutes from the Federal Reserve's last policy meeting for clues about its plans for interest rates.

Ongoing weakness in the eurozone and Japanese economies continues to put pressure on their central banks to increase stimulus, putting pressure on their respective currencies.

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China Search Giant Baidu Plans to Open Online Bank

China's main search engine Baidu plans to launch an online bank with financial services group Citic, the two companies said on Wednesday, as the Internet firm seeks to compete with rivals moving into banking. 

The Baixin Bank, a venture between Baidu and China Citic Bank, will be the country's first lender formed by an Internet company and a traditional bank, Baidu said in a statement.

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ZEW: Investor Sentiment Rebounds in Germany

Investor sentiment in Germany rebounded in November after seven consecutive falls thanks to still resilient economic data from Europe's top economy, a leading survey said Tuesday.

The investor confidence index calculated by the ZEW economic institute rose to 10.4 points from just 1.9 points a month earlier, the think tank said in a statement.

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British Inflation Remains in Negative Territory

Britain's annual inflation rate held in negative territory in October, official data showed Tuesday.

The 12-month Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rate stood at minus 0.1 percent last month, unchanged from September, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement.

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France Warns Security Spending Means Won't Meet EU Budget Target

Additional spending on security in the wake of the Paris terror attacks means that France will not be able to meet its EU budget obligations, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Tuesday.

With the government planning to hire an additional 8,500 law enforcement officers, France's EU-agreed spending limits "will certainly be exceeded as these resources ... won't be taken from other budgets. We have to do this and Europe should understand this," Valls said.

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Hefty Fine on MTN Remains: Nigeria Telecoms Regulator

Nigeria's telecoms regulator has said a $5.2 billion fine imposed on South Africa's MTN remains valid until talks with the company are concluded.

Africa's biggest mobile phone operator was handed the penalty for failing to deactivate 5.1 million unregistered SIM cards in breach of a Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) order.

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Dijsselbloem: Greece Creditors Ready to Pay out 12bn Euros

Greece's international creditors are ready to pay out 12 billion euros ($12.9 billion) in much needed bailout funds and bank aid, Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijssebloem said on Tuesday.

"This is good news," Dijsselbloem said in a statement, adding that the funds would be paid once the Greek parliament adopts fresh reforms on Thursday.

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