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(MENAFN - AFP) Black Friday, the biggest US shopping "holiday", kicked off with expectations that lower gasoline prices and higher consumer confidence could mean better year-end retail sales than last year.

The buying frenzy started early, turning Thursday's Thanksgiving Day holiday into what the industry has begun calling "Gray Thursday".

Big retail chains like Walmart, ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Energy-related stocks were hammered Friday, leaving US stocks mixed in a holiday-shortened session, after OPEC decided not to cut production in response to lower crude prices.

As the markets closed, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 17,832.09, up 0.02 points (0.26 percent).

The broad-based S&P 500 slid 4.94 (0.24 percent) to 2,067.89, while ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Energy-rich Russia's currency extended Friday its slide into record low territory and the government lowered its crucial oil price forecast in the wake of OPEC's decision to leave its output target unchanged.

The ruble shed another 1.6 percent against the dollar and stood near the 49.35 mark in evening trading on the Moscow Exchange. It gave up the same percentage ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Inflation in the eurozone returned to a five-year low, official data showed on Friday, raising pressure on the European Central Bank to unveil even more steps to fight the threat of deflation.

The official data also showed that unemployment remained steady at 11.5 percent in October, unchanged amid a stagnating European economy.

The latest figures from ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Petroleum stocks were hammered in early trade Friday in a holiday-shortened session a day after OPEC decided not to cut production in response to lower crude prices.

About 30 minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 17,874.06, up 46.31 points (0.26 percent).

The broad-based S&P 500 slipped 1.40 (0.07 percent) to 2,071.43, while ...

(MENAFN - AFP) India said Friday the economy grew 5.3 percent from July-September year-on-year, significantly slower than the previous three months, stirring hopes of interest rate cuts to boost investment.

The performance was a little better than market forecasts of 5.1-percent expansion in the second quarter of the financial year, but still a sizeable downturn from 5.7-percent ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Brazil's economy grew 0.1 percent in the third quarter compared with the second, crawling timidly out of recession, the government has said.

The manufacturing sector in particular, which had been hard hit by an economic slowdown, began to grow in the third quarter, the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics said Thursday.

The services sector ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Global oil prices plunged Friday to yet another four-year low after the OPEC oil producing cartel decided to maintain crude output in an oversupplied market, dealers said.

London Brent oil for January delivery sank in early deals to $71.12 per barrel -- the lowest level since July 7, 2010.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for January had meanwhile ...

(MENAFN - AFP) A US tyre tycoon on Friday ridiculed French laws and trade unions that he said had prevented him from investing in a stricken factory, saying France should become "Communist."

Maurice Taylor, chief executive of Titan International, had initially expressed interest in taking over the loss-making Goodyear tyre plant in Amiens, northern France.

But he pulled ...

(MENAFN - AFP) The EU on Friday gave France, Italy and Belgium an extra three months until March to fix their bloated budgets, but warned it would still enforce humiliating sanctions if they fail to curb spending.

The three countries were singled out by the European Commission, the EU's executive branch, as it unveiled a tough assessment of eurozone budgets under new powers ...

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