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(MENAFN - AFP) Eurozone inflation edged up to 0.4 percent from multi-year lows while unemployment was little changed, official data showed Friday, providing only limited reassurance that a modest economic recovery remains on track.

Analysts said the figures were far from encouraging, with the European Central Bank likely to come under additional pressure from anxious governments ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) French bank BNP Paribas surprised investors with a sharp rise in third-quarter net profit on Friday, sending its shares up more than 2.0 percent.

The bank has just been cleared as financially solid by eurozone-wide stress tests, but its nine-month performance is still suffering from the cost of a record US fine for breaking sanctions.

Net profit for the ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) The European Union will "fully play its role" to implement the gas deal signed by Ukraine and Russia on Thursday, the French and German leaders said in a joint statement.

Francois Hollande and Angela Merkel said they had spoken with Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko earlier in the evening, and all four "have welcomed ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Russia's central bank on Friday said it would raise its interest rates to 9.5 percent from 8 percent, as Western sanctions and falling oil prices sent the ruble plunging.

"The board of directors of the Bank of Russia on October 31 took a decision to raise the key interest rate to 9.50 percent," the central bank said in a statement. The new rate will take effect ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) European stocks rallied at the start of trading on Friday, as investors welcomed the Bank of Japan's surprise stimulus boost, dealers said.

In initial deals, London's benchmark FTSE 100 index gained 1.24 percent to 6,543.59 points, Frankfurt's DAX 30 soared 1.85 percent to 9,283.40 points and in Paris the CAC 40 jumped 1.74 percent to 4,213.47.

The BoJ ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) German shoppers cut back their spending sharply in September, official data showed on Friday, adding to concern over whether consumers will help bolster growth in Europe's top economy.

Retail sales posted the biggest monthly drop in September for more than seven years, the data showed.

German retailers' sales, which tend to be volatile and frequently ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Britain's state-owned Royal Bank of Scotland has set aside £400 million ($639 million, 509 million euros) linked to global probes into alleged price-rigging in foreign exchange markets, it said Friday.

RBS revealed in a results statement that litigation and conduct costs for the third quarter "included £400 million of potential conduct costs following investigations ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) British Airways owner International Airlines Group on Friday logged rising third-quarter profits, lifted by growing revenues and falling fuel costs, and increased its annual earnings forecast.

Net profits advanced 3.1 percent to 598 million euros in the three months to the end of September.

That compared with 580 million euros a year earlier, IAG said ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Asian markets rallied Friday and the dollar pushed past 111 yen after Japan's central bank said it would expand its vast monetary easing scheme and the United States released forecast-busting economic growth data.

Japanese stocks clocked up gains of almost five percent to sit at a seven-year high after the Bank of Japan announced its surprise decision in a ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Japan's public pension fund -- the world's biggest -- said Friday it will double the amount of equities in its investment portfolio, as it seeks higher returns to cope with an ageing population.

The unprecedented shift by the $1.26 trillion Government Pension Investment Fund will see stocks account for a combined 50 percent of its portfolio, up from about 24 ...

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