'Back to normal' for AstraZeneca CEO, despite Pfizer rumors

Though speculation is rife of a new Pfizer bid, AstraZeneca's chief executive is not holed up with advisers in London or New York. Instead, he has spent the last three days immersed in heart science in Barcelona.

Africa

Ebola causing huge damage to West Africa economies: development bank

Ebola is causing enormous damage to West African economies, draining budgetary resources and slashing economic growth by up to 4 percent as foreign businessmen leave and projects are canceled, the African Development Bank president said.

U.S. construction spending hits highest level in 5-1/2 years

U.S. construction spending rebounded strongly to hit its highest level in more than 5-1/2 years in July as private construction increased and state and local government outlays surged, in a further sign of vigor in the economy.

Asian shares inch down, dollar on top of the heap

Asian shares inched lower early on Wednesday after a lackluster day on Wall Street, while the dollar was close to 14-month highs against a basket of major currencies after data underscored that the U.S. economy's modest expansion continues to chug along.

Wall Street ends mixed, energy shares fall

U.S. stocks ended mostly lower on Tuesday, retreating from records set the previous month, as falling crude oil prices dragged energy shares down and offset strong manufacturing data.

Dollar General sweetens Family Dollar bid, may go hostile

Dollar General Corp (DG.N) raised its bid for Family Dollar Stores Inc (FDO.N) to $9.1 billion, and warned it may turn hostile and appeal directly to shareholders if the new offer was rejected.

U.S. factory activity expands in August at fastest pace since April 2010: Markit

The U.S. manufacturing industry expanded in August while employment in the sector grew at its fastest pace since March of last year, an industry report showed on Tuesday.

Pakistan parliament backs embattled prime minister as crisis deepens

Pakistan's parliament threw its weight behind embattled Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday as a deepening crisis over violent protests demanding his resignation prompted fears of an army intervention.

Russia, Ukraine agree on gas talks on Sept 6, await EU decision

Russia's Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Monday that Moscow and Kiev have agreed to hold a new round of talks to resolve a gas crisis on Sept. 6.

Amid foreign crises, Obama takes solace in U.S. economic turnaround

Throughout much of his presidency, Barack Obama has been under siege about the state of the U.S. economy.

From Seoul to Mexico City, pressure mounts to ease U.S. oil export ban

Washington is facing growing international pressure to ease its long standing ban on crude oil exports, with South Korea and Mexico joining the European Union in pressing the case for U.S. oil shipments overseas.

Factory activity in Europe, Asia cools; demand lull a concern

Factory activity in Europe and Asia cooled in August after a strong July, as new orders dwindled in the face of escalating tensions in Ukraine and a patchy recovery in China, purchasing managers indexes showed.

Virgin Money eyes 2 billion pound stock market listing

Virgin Money [NRTRK.UL], the British financial services company partly owned by Sir Richard Branson, is in talks over a possible 2 billion pound ($3.32 billion) stock market listing as early as next month, Sky News reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Samsung Heavy to absorb Samsung Engineering for $2.5 billion

Samsung Heavy Industries will absorb Samsung Engineering for about $2.5 billion, the latest step in a restructuring at South Korea's largest conglomerate that has accelerated since the controlling Lee family's patriarch was hospitalized in May.

EU regulators to decide on Facebook, WhatsApp deal by Oct. 3

European Union antitrust regulators will decide by Oct. 3 whether to clear world No. 1 online social network Facebook's $19 billion offer for mobile messaging startup WhatsApp, the European Commission said on Monday.

Florida power utilities fear return of ‘Green Governor' Crist

When Charlie Crist last governed Florida, his green energy and climate policies made him few friends among the state's powerful electricity corporations.

Citi to pay allowance to compensate for limited bonuses

Citigroup Inc (C.N) has told senior staff in Europe that they would receive fixed monthly pay in addition to their salaries in an attempt to compensate for rules that limit bonuses to up to twice the level of base salaries, the Financial Times reported, citing several people.

Weak data to test BOJ's rosy economic view, policy on hold

The Bank of Japan will maintain its existing stimulus policy and optimistic economic view on when it meets on Thursday, sources say, preferring to take more time to gauge whether a run of weak data is sufficient to threaten a fragile recovery.

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