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Global Business & Economy

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Oil prices slip on weak Asian data, fading prospect of output cut SINGAPORE: Oil prices fell on Monday after China and South Korea posted weak economic data, while fading prospects for a coordinated output cut by leading crude exporters also hurt the market.Chinese data showed its manufacturing sector had contracted at the fastest pace since 2012 in January, adding to worries about demand from the world's top energy consumer at a time when the market is already weighed down by a large supply overhang.Numbers from South Korea were also gloomy, with exports down to levels last seen during the 2009 financial crisis.Front-month Brent crude was down 79 cents at $35.20 per barrel at 0716 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate was down 70 cents at $32.92 a barrel.Oil prices also came under further pressure from dimming prospects of a coordinated production cut by exporters like the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia due to their differences."We do not expect ...

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South Korea's exports record biggest drop since 2009 SEOUL: South Korea's exports, the main driver of the national economy, suffered their sharpest drop in more than six years in January, extending what is now a 13-month losing streak.Government data released Monday showed exports down 18.5 percent from the same month last year at $36.7 billion -- the steepest decline since August 2009.The report cited a host of factors, such as slowdowns in major economies, including South Korea's biggest trade partner China which accounts ...

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China manufacturing index falls to three-year low BEIJING: Manufacturing activity in China contracted at its fastest level in more than three years in January, government data showed Monday, underlining weakness in the world's second-largest economy.The official Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), which tracks activity in factories and workshops, fell to 49.4, figures from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed.It was the lowest figure since 49.2 in August 2012, and was below the median forecast of 49.6 in a Bloomberg survey of economists.PMI ...

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Israel jobless rate unchanged at 5.3pc in Q4 JERUSALEM: Israel's unemployment rate held steady at 5.3 percent in the fourth quarter, the Central Bureau of Statistics said on Sunday.The number of employed in the October-December period rose to 3.678 million from 3.658 million in the third quarter, with 60.8 percent of those 15 and older having jobs, similar to the prior three months, the bureau said.The participation rate in the labour force of those 15 years old and above also was unchanged at ...

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Israel should raise taxes to lower debt burden: OECD JERUSALEM: Israel should find ways to raise revenue through higher taxes to lower its public debt burden that is expected to remain stagnant in the next two years, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said on Sunday.The OECD sees the ratio of debt to gross domestic product remaining at around 66 percent through 2017."The current structural budget deficit is too high to allow a substantial reduction in public indebtedness and thus needs to be ...

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Saudi Arabia wants to cooperate to support oil DUBAI: Saudi Arabia wants to cooperate with other oil producers to support the oil market, Saudi-owned al-Arabiya television reported on Sunday, quoting an unnamed Saudi source.The source also told the Dubai-based satellite channel that the kingdom was not the source of a proposal to cut production that Russia was studying.Russia said on Thursday that OPEC had proposed oil production cuts of up to 5 percent in what would be the first global deal in over ...

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Growth in eurozone private sector loans slows: ECB FRANKFURT: Growth of loans to the private sector in the euro area slowed in December, European Central Bank data showed on Friday. The statistics are a key indicator of economic health for the ECB, as borrowing is a main financing source for corporate investment which in turn should boost the eurozone's currently weak economy.In December, approved loans rose 0.6 percent from a year ago, much slower than growth of 1.2 percent in November, an ECB ...