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Sarkozy's US Visit Exposes Tough G20 Dollar Debate

French President Nicolas Sarkozy's visit to Washington Monday highlighted the difficulty G20 members face in questioning the dollar's supremacy among reserve currencies.

Sarkozy and his finance minister, Christine Lagarde, made a brief visit to the U.S. capital to sound out the White House and the Treasury on France's reform agenda as it heads the Group of 20 this year.

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World Oil Prices Drop

World oil prices eased Tuesday as traders awaited the U.S. government's monthly assessment for the global energy market, and the focus turned away from supply worries in Alaska, analysts said.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for February delivery, slipped 11 cents at $89.14 a barrel.

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Jordan King Orders Price Cuts 'to Protect Poor'

Jordan's government is preparing to take urgent steps to reduce prices of commodities amid rising popular discontent around the country, a senior official said on Tuesday.

"King Abdullah II has instructed Prime Minister Samir Rifai to take immediate and effective measures to mitigate the impact of rising prices of commodities on citizens," the official told Agence France Presse, speaking on condition of anonymity.

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DuPont Purchases Danisco

Danish specialty food ingredients company Danisco said on Monday it would be acquired by US chemical giant Dupont in a deal worth $6.3 billion (4.9 billion euros), pending approval by regulators.

The purchase will involve $5.8 billion paid in cash and assumption of $500 million of Danisco's net debt, the Wilmington, Delaware-based DuPont announced late on Sunday.

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Brazil's Finance Minister Warns of 'Trade War'

The world could face a full-scale "trade war" if governments keep pushing down exchange rates to boost exports, Brazil's Finance Minister Guido Mantega warned in an interview on Monday.

He also told the Financial Times that Brazil was preparing new measures to prevent further appreciation of its currency, the real, whose continued strengthening threatens the country's export-led economy.

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Air France-KLM Loses 70 Million Euros Due to Snow

Air France-KLM said on Monday that bad weather in December that led to the closure of airports across Europe cost the company an estimated 70 million euros ($90 million), the Franco-Dutch airline said in a statement.

"The passenger and cargo activities were each affected by the periods of heavy snowfall in December in both Europe and the United States," the airline said.

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Chrysler Hopes Jeep Will Boost Global Sales

Chrysler has its eye on China and is counting on its iconic Jeep brand to boost global sales and help return the U.S. automaker to profitability after a government-backed bankruptcy.

The first boatload of the new Jeep Grand Cherokee exported from Detroit is expected to reach China soon and Chrysler is also preparing to expand sales in South America, Eastern Europe and Russia, officials said.

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China Plans $1.3 billion 'Seven-Star Hotel'

Beijing authorities plan to build a "seven-star hotel" modeled after Dubai's Burj Khalifa -- the world's tallest building -- in a $1.3 billion joint project with Saudi Arabia.

The hotel will be erected in western Beijing's Mentougou district some 30 kilometers (18 miles) from the

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Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Turkey Moving Closer to Economic Integration

Jordan’s Transport Minister said Thursday that Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Turkey have moved closer to economic integration.

The official Petra agency said that the countries signed an agreement establishing a committee to unify their legislation to enhance economic integration.

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Indian Oil Giant Optimistic Over Iran Supply Problem

India's biggest oil refiner said Thursday it did not expect any supply shortages because of a payments problem between India and Iran, but other refiners are making contingencies in case of disruption.

In December, India's central bank said payments to Iran -- India's second biggest supplier of crude -- could no longer be settled through a long-standing clearing house system because of sanctions.

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