White House sees China as trump card in trade debate

The Obama administration is confident lawmakers will warm up to a proposed Pacific free trade deal on the grounds it is a chance for the United States, rather than China, to dictate the rules of Asian trade, a top official said on Thursday.

Europe

German lawmakers approve Greek bailout extension

Germany's parliament approved an extension of Greece's bailout on Friday after Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, who has voiced doubts about whether Athens can be trusted, promised he would not let Greece "blackmail" its euro zone partners.

Alibaba's online payment firm Ant Financial eyes 2017 IPO: state media

Ant Financial Services Group, Alibaba's affiliate which runs online payment platform Alipay, is seeking to raise up to $4 billion in a private placement of shares and is looking at a domestic IPO in 2017, the state-run Shanghai Securities News reported.

Africa

Ethiopia bets on grand projects in drive for industrial power

Chinese workers mingle with Ethiopians putting the finishing touches to a metro line that cuts through Addis Ababa, one of a series of grand state infrastructure projects that Ethiopia hopes will help it mimic Asia's industrial rise.

Buffett, a cheerleader for America, takes his checkbook abroad

Warren Buffett, in his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway Inc shareholders last year, called America "the mother lode of opportunity."

European shares at fresh seven-year high as ECB QE nears

European shares rose to fresh seven-year highs on Friday, extending a two-month rally fueled by the European Central Bank's money printing program which starts in the coming weeks.

Brent approaches $61, set to end seven-month losing streak

Crude oil futures rebounded on Friday, with Brent heading for its biggest monthly gain since May 2009, as supply outages in North Sea and renewed fears of gas supply disruption in Europe supported prices.

Nissan says can meet U.S. sales goal with capacity in South Korea, Japan

Nissan Motor Co (7201.T) will be able to meet its goal of taking 10 percent of the U.S. market in two years without any major new investments and by making use of capacity available at factories in Japan and South Korea, a top executive said on Friday.

IBM targets $40 billion in cloud, other growth areas by 2018

International Business Machines Corp (IBM.N), which ruled computing in the age of the mainframe, is targeting $40 billion in annual revenue from the cloud, big data, security and other growth areas by 2018.

Japanese stocks at 15-year peak, dollar firm after data boost

Japanese stocks crawled to a fresh 15-year peak on Friday after the dollar surged against the yen as upbeat U.S. data flipped expectations back in favor of an early interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve.

Euro zone lending shows sign of turnaround as morale improves

Bank lending in the euro zone fell slightly in January but at a slower pace than a month earlier, suggesting the economy may be turning a corner as consumer morale picks up in the bloc's largest economies.

Russia's Khodorkovsky: Putin is a 'naked king' facing economic ruin

Former Russian tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky said on Thursday Vladimir Putin was a "naked king" presiding over an economy that will weaken further, eventually provoking a battle between rival clans in Moscow.

J.C. Penney holiday-quarter adjusted profit misses estimates

Department store chain J.C. Penney Co Inc (JCP.N) reported a lower-than-expected quarterly adjusted profit as it discounted more during the holiday season and invested in store expansions.

Nasdaq resumes climb; S&P 500, Dow fall with energy

The Nasdaq resumed its recent advance on Thursday after deal news in the technology sector, while the Dow and S&P 500 dipped as energy shares sank with oil prices.

Lower gasoline prices dampen U.S. consumer inflation

U.S. consumer prices fell over the past year for the first time since 2009 as gasoline prices continued to tumble, which could allow a cautious Federal Reserve more room to hold off on raising interest rates.

Weak spending to show Japan consumers unconvinced by Bank of Japan's stimulus

Japanese households cut spending further and retail sales fell for the first time in seven months in January, data on Friday is likely to show, a sign the central bank's radical stimulus has yet to convince consumers that inflation will take hold.

Fed's Bullard sees spring price rebound, summer rate hike: CNBC

The Federal Reserve should make a change to its policy statement next month that would allow it to monitor inflation readings through the spring and then hike interest rates some time in the summer, a top Fed official said on Thursday.

Oil up near $62 after Saudi comments on demand

Oil rose towards $62 a barrel on Thursday as indications of a coming recovery in demand offset a further jump in U.S. crude stockpiles which underlined currently ample supplies.

Tougher Internet rules to hit cable, telecoms companies

U.S. regulators are poised to impose the toughest rules yet on Internet service providers, aiming to ensure fair treatment of all web traffic through their networks.

Standard Chartered picks ex-JPMorgan executive Winters as CEO to replace Sands

Standard Chartered (STAN.L) said former JPMorgan (JPM.N) investment bank boss Bill Winters will take over as chief executive in June to replace Peter Sands, after investors demanded change at the helm following two years of problems.

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