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(MENAFN - AFP) Standard & Poors lowered its credit rating for Ukraine on Friday to CCC- with a negative outlook, warning that dangerously low foreign currency reserves could prompt a default within months.

"The negative outlook reflects our view of the increasing risk that, without additional financial support, Ukraine may default on its obligations," the credit rating ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) European stocks traded mixed on Friday following strong gains the previous day, while oil futures rose after sharp falls amid huge volatility across global markets ahead of the festive shutdown.

London's benchmark FTSE 100 index climbed 1.23 percent to close at 6,545.27 points, but in Paris the CAC 40 slid 0.18 percent to 4,241.65 and in Frankfurt the DAX 30 ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) The EU launched Friday a fresh trade dispute at the World Trade Organization, charging that the United States was providing "billions of dollars" in unfair subsidies to help Boeing build its new 777X jet.

The European Union said the United States was breaking WTO rules by offering "vastly expanded" tax incentives to the airplane maker, to ensure it develops, ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) The United States said Friday that North Korea was behind a cyber attack on Sony Pictures, warning that those responsible would face punishment, as an envoy for Pyongyang again denied involvement.

Threats issued after the November attack prompted the movie giant to cancel the Christmas Day release of "The Interview," a madcap satire about a CIA plot to kill ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) A listeria outbreak believed to originate from commercially packaged caramel apples has killed at least four people in the United States and sickened 28 people since November, officials said Friday.

Listeria monocytogenes is caused by a bacteria and can cause life-threatening illness. It is particularly dangerous for children, the elderly and pregnant women, ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) North Korea was responsible for a "destructive" cyber attack on Sony Pictures, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation said Friday, warning it would hunt down the perpetrators and make them pay.

The November attack prompted the movie giant to cancel the Christmas Day release of "The Interview," a madcap satire about a fictional CIA plot to kill North Korean ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Gulf countries are bracing for tough times as vital oil revenues fall and after they missed a golden opportunity to diversify their economies in a decade of unprecedented windfalls, analysts say.

The six nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) -- Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates -- could soon start reeling from falling ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) US stocks edged higher in early trade Friday as the market sought to keep alive a winning streak since Wednesday that has recovered most of December's losses.

About 30 minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 17,791.26, up 13.11 points (0.07 percent).

The broad-based S&P 500 added 5.32 (0.26 percent) at 2,065.55, while the tech-rich ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Major grain exporters in Russia, a top supplier to the world market, have stopped buying stocks from Russian farmers in the hope that it would squelch a surge in the domestic price of wheat due to a plunge in the ruble.

It is the latest in a series of developments that analysts have interpreted as government attempts to slow wheat exports without resorting ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) The plight of an eight-year-old Chinese boy with HIV, reportedly ordered to leave his village by 200 petitioners, sparked intense online soul-searching Thursday in a country where discrimination against sufferers remains rife.

The boy's guardian, his grandfather, was among those in southwestern Sichuan province who signed an agreement to expel the child to ...

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