Germany

Fed considers time to end free money pledge

The U.S. Federal Reserve would give the clearest signal next week that its easy money stance is ending if, as some expect, it drops its two-year long pledge to keep interest rates close to zero for a "considerable time".

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Bundesbank chief critical of EU stance on French budget: report

Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann said the European Commission's decision to give France longer to prove it is serious about economic reform and fixing its excessive public deficit risks damaging the credibility of the bloc's budget rules.

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TUI in talks with investors on Hapag stake sale

TUI AG is in talks with investors interested in buying its stake in Hapag-Lloyd as an option in its long-planned exit from the German shipping company, TUI's chairman told a newspaper.

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Pfizer bets on gene therapy as technology comes of age

Pfizer Inc is moving into the gene therapy space in the latest sign that the technology for fixing faulty genes may finally be ready for prime time, following earlier setbacks.

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Germany targets coal plants to reach 2020 climate goals

Germany's cabinet on Wednesday agreed plans to cut CO2 emissions by up to 78 million tonnes by 2020, pushing operators to shut some coal-fired plants, to help Europe's biggest economy meet bold targets to fight climate change, government sources said.

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Euro zone economy looking set to contract in the new year: PMI

Heavy discounting failed to stop euro zone business activity growing less than thought last month, a survey showed on Wednesday, suggesting the bloc's economy may contract again early next year.

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Shanghai Electric Power says in contact with E.ON over Italy assets

China's Shanghai Electric Power (600021.SS) said on Wednesday it was in preliminary contact with top German utility E.ON (EONGn.DE) over the possible purchase of its Italian assets.

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Iran hackers targeted airlines, energy firms

Iranian hackers have infiltrated some of the world's top energy, transport and infrastructure companies over the past two years in a campaign that could allow them to eventually cause physical damage, according to U.S. cyber security firm Cylance.

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Oil hits five year low, emerging stocks hammered

Oil prices fell to their lowest in five years on Monday, hit by slowing factory activity in China and Europe and hammering emerging market stocks and commodity-linked currencies.

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Germany's Merck aims to grow, not sell $1 billion consumer health arm

Merck KGaA (MRCG.DE) aims to keep hold of its consumer healthcare unit, it said on Friday, pledging to develop a business that is expected to generate 2014 sales of $1 billion for the German drugs and chemicals company.

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Ahead of rate meeting, ECB's Lautenschlaeger sees very high hurdles to more easing

ECB Executive Board member Sabine Lautenschlaeger said on Saturday she saw little room for further easing of monetary policy despite a further fall in euro zone inflation.

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Putin to push trade in Turkey despite disagreement on Syria

Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to Turkey on Monday will have trade and energy issues at its heart, but is not expected to bridge deep differences over Syria and Crimea.

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Germany backs Blackberry's purchase of Secusmart

Germany has approved Canadian smartphone maker Blackberry's (BB.TO) planned acquisition of Secusmart, the encryption technology of which is used to protect the mobile devices of top politicians including Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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E.ON sells majority in U.S. wind farms to Enbridge

German utility E.ON (EONGn.DE) agreed to sell an 80 percent stake in two wind farms in the United States to Canada's Enbridge (ENB.TO), as the group continues to rake in much-needed cash by building and selling pricey renewable assets.

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ECB's Draghi warns countries to reform as clouds gather over euro zone

Failure to reform and shield weaker members threatens to divide the euro zone, the head of the European Central Bank warned on Thursday, amid fresh signs the currency bloc's economy is losing speed.

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