Latest stories
Madrid Lays on Lavish Party for Pope Amid Economic Crisis

Madrid is laying on a lavish party for Pope Benedict XVI and more than a million faithful for the Catholic Church's youth festival this week -- as Spain suffers its worst economic crisis in decades.

The irony has not been lost on the country's 15-M "indignant" movement, launched on May 15 against the management of the economic crisis, soaring unemployment and political corruption.

W140 Full Story
BMW Extends Contracts in U.S. Union Dispute

Luxury automaker BMW said Saturday it had agreed to a contract extension for employees at a California warehouse following a union dispute that had threatened to go national.

"We had a good discussion with the Teamsters and we intend to extend the contract for six months to provide the time to address the substantive issues," said company spokesman Tom Kowaleski.

W140 Full Story
Italy Says Eurobonds Would Have Prevented Crisis

The issuance of Eurobonds, something the EU is considering, would have prevented the current debt crisis enveloping the Eurozone, Italy's Finance Minister Giulio Tremonti said Saturday.

Tremonti told a press conference in Rome that there is now "a fundamental need for greater consolidation of public finances in Europe."

W140 Full Story
World Bank Chief Says "More Dangerous" Times Ahead

World Bank chief Robert Zoellick on Saturday warned of a "new and more dangerous" time in the global economy, with little breathing space in most developed countries as a debt crisis hits Europe.

Zoellick said the Eurozone's sovereign debt issues were more troubling than the "medium and long-term" problems which saw the United States downgraded by Standard and Poor's last week, sending global markets into panic.

W140 Full Story
Europe Short-Sales Ban Helps sentiment, Stocks Turn Firmer

European stock markets were holding onto gains Friday after another rollercoaster ride as nervous investors tried to get ahead of the curve and a short-selling ban in Europe helped the under-fire banks.

France, Italy, Spain and Belgium banned short-selling in bank stocks after rumors about their financial health saw them suffer massive losses in recent days and then Germany upped the ante by calling for a Europe-wide bar.

W140 Full Story
Ghana, China Reach $800 Million Gas Development Deal

Ghana will borrow $800 million from China to build natural gas infrastructure, the head of the national gas company said Friday, months after the country became Africa's newest major oil producer.

"An agreement has been reached and we have secured $800 million (560 million euros) from the Chinese Development Bank for the project to take off," George Sipa-Adzah Yankey told Agence France Presse on Friday.

W140 Full Story
Oil Falls Below $85 as Traders Eye EU Debt Crisis

Oil prices fell below $85 a barrel Friday in Asia as investors tried to make sense of a week of sharp zigzags in the equity and commodities markets.

Benchmark oil for September delivery was down $1.08 to $84.64 a barrel at late afternoon Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Crude rose $2.83, or 3.4 percent, to settle at $85.72 on Thursday.

W140 Full Story
European Shares Recover on Big Wall Street Gains

Bank stocks recovered their poise Friday and helped European stock markets push higher as investors assessed the impact of a short-selling ban on financial shares in four eurozone countries.

The advance in Europe follows big gains on Wall Street Thursday, which helped support most markets in Asia.

W140 Full Story
Kuwait Posts Healthy Budget Surplus on Record Income

OPEC member Kuwait posted a healthy budget surplus of 5.3 billion dinars ($19.5 billion) in the last fiscal year on record revenues thanks to high oil prices, the finance ministry said on Thursday.

Revenues in the year ended March 31 hit 21.5 billion dinars ($79 billion), the highest ever in the emirate's history, according to figures on the ministry's website.

W140 Full Story
France Says Merkel to Meet Sarkozy over Debt Crisis

French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Thursday called a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel amid market turmoil to find solutions to the Eurozone debt crisis.

Merkel will travel next Tuesday to Paris for the meeting which is aimed at producing "joint proposals" on the governance of the Eurozone before the end of the summer, Sarkozy's office said in a statement.

W140 Full Story