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(MENAFN - AFP) The S&P 500 topped the 2,000 mark for the first time Monday helped by more promises of economic support from the US and European central banks.

A fresh burst of merger activity also sparked buyers, with Switzerland's Roche paying $8.3 billion for smaller pharmaceutical company InterMune, and fast-food chains Burger King and Tim Hortons discussing a tie-up.

An ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Aircraft leasing firm BOC Aviation said Monday it has ordered 80 Boeing 737 planes and two B777-300ERs worth a total $8.8 billion at list prices, to meet expanding client needs as travel booms in Asia.

The Singapore-based company, owned by the Bank of China, said the bulk of the orders was for 50 B737 MAX 8 planes and 30 next-generation B737-800s.

The ...

(MENAFN - AFP) German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave her powerful backing Monday to Spain's economy minister, Luis de Guindos, in his bid to lead the Eurogroup forum of eurozone finance ministers.

The German leader's support could be crucial in landing him the job, a testament to Spain's changed fortunes two-and-a-half years since the nation was fighting off the threat of ...

(MENAFN - AFP) A Dundee hospital has been criticised by a former government adviser for serving a gut-busting 'fry-up' pie consisting of bacon, sausage, black pudding and beans with an egg on top, the Telegraph newspaper reported.

Professor Mike Lean, chair of human nutrition at Glasgow University, described the calorific concoction on sale for £1.50 at Ninewells Hospital ...

(MENAFN - AFP) IMF chief Christine Lagarde wants Germany to play a bigger role in propelling economic recovery in Europe, she hinted in an interview broadcast on Monday, suggesting that German wages should rise.

Part of her remarks may be interpreted by personalities on the left of French politics as going in the same direction as criticism of French, German and European ...

(MENAFN - AFP) German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday she is backing Spain's economy minister, Luis de Guindos, to lead the Eurogroup forum of eurozone finance ministers.

"We will support Luis de Guindos' candidacy," she told a news conference during a visit to the northwestern Spanish city of Santiago de Compostela, praising his performance during Spain's economic financial ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Germany's Ifo business confidence index fell to the lowest level for more than a year in August, data showed on Monday, as Europe's biggest economy continues to run out of steam.

The Ifo economic institute's closely watched business climate index fell to 106.3 points in August from 108.0 in July.

Analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had expected a shallower ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Borrowing costs for France fell to a record low level early on Monday despite the resignation of the government, which plunged the country into a political crisis on top of depressed economic activity.

But analysts said the main factor was not increased risk from the political situation in France, which could be expected to push interest rates up, but a promise ...

(MENAFN - AFP) The owner of Australia's McGuigan wine label said Monday it had won a distribution deal with China's state-owned food conglomerate COFCO, giving it a chance to tap the vast market.

Australian Vintage said it had signed a long-term agreement with COFCO Wine and Spirits to distribute McGuigan wine effective immediately.

"There is currently an opportunity ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Japanese entertainment giant Sony said Monday its online music and gaming sites came under a cyber attack by a hacker group that also claimed there were explosives on a plane carrying a senior company executive.

The company said a US commercial aircraft carrying the president of Sony Online Entertainment had to be diverted after a warning online about the explosives.

"The ...

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