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(MENAFN - AFP) The European Central Bank surprised financial markets on Thursday by paring back its key interest rates to new all-time lows to ward off deflation, and it also cut growth forecasts.

The news sent the euro down by more than a cent against the dollar to the lowest level in 13 months.

The head of the ECB, Mario Draghi, also said at a later press conference ...

(MENAFN - AFP) The European Central Bank on Thursday cut its forecasts for growth in the 18-country euro area this year and next year, and also lowered its projection for area-wide inflation.

The ECB is pencilling in gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 0.9 percent in 2014 and 1.6 percent in 2015, the central bank's president Mario Draghi told a news conference.

"Compared ...

(MENAFN - AFP) The Bank of Japan's chief on Thursday stuck by his rosy view of the economy despite mounting evidence that an April sales tax hike has stalled growth.

Haruhiko Kuroda's upbeat take on the world's number three economy has appeared increasingly at odds with the official data, but he brushed off questions about the apparent gap after a meeting where policymakers ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Europe's main stock markets diverged on Thursday in nervous trading, with investors on tenterhooks before an important policy decision by the ECB in Frankfurt.

All eyes are on the European Central Bank, and its president Mario Draghi, to see what action will be taken to prevent the 18-country eurozone from slipping into deflation, dealers said.

In late ...

(MENAFN - AFP) China General Nuclear Power, the country's largest nuclear power producer, has filed for an initial public offering in Hong Kong reportedly worth $2 billion.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch, China International Capital Corp. and ABC International - the investment arm of Agricultural Bank of China - are all joint sponsors of the listing which still needs approval. ...

(MENAFN - AFP) China will need more than 6,000 new aircraft over the next 20 years, US manufacturer Boeing forecast Thursday - an increase of almost 500 on its equivalent prediction last year.

Flight demand in the world's most populous country and second-largest economy is increasing and diversifying, Boeing said in its new Current Market Outlook for the country.

Chinese ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Danish toy maker Lego has taken the top spot as the world's biggest maker of toys by sales, overtaking Barbie doll-maker Mattel, its first-half results showed on Thursday.

First-half sales rose 11.0 percent to 11.5 billion kroner (1.55 billion euros, $2.03 billion).

Performance was boosted by the Lego Movie product line which was launched together with ...

(MENAFN - AFP) German industrial orders, a key measure of demand for German-made goods both at home and abroad, jumped in July, suggesting the fallout from the Ukraine crisis remains limited for now, data showed on Thursday.

Factory orders were up 4.6 percent in July compared with the level in June, the statistics office Destatis said in a statement.

In June, German ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Nine firms have made non-binding bids for Cyprus Airways with Ireland's Ryanair and Greece's Aegean Airlines among those still interested in buying the loss-making national carrier, a report said Thursday.

There has been no official announcement since the deadline for bids closed on Wednesday but the Phileleftheros newspaper said nine of the 14 firms that had ...

(MENAFN - AFP) French luxury products group LVMH and Internet search engine Google have agreed to work together to fight the sale of counterfeit goods online, the two firms said on Thursday.

The agreement ends nearly 10 years of litigation over complaints by LVMH - owner of top luxury labels in everything from champagne to luggage - that the Google Adwords key words service ...

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