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Abengoa’s fate unknown as boss quits

Abengoa SA on Friday said that its chief executive, Santiago Seage, had resigned after it emerged the Spanish renewable energy giant was close to bankruptcy, as concerns rise over the fate of a firm that employs close to 29,000 people. The company announced on Wednesday thatFULL STORY

Netherlands to appeal EU demand for taxes

The Dutch government on Friday said that it will appeal an EU ruling that Starbucks Corp must pay about 30 million euros (US$32 million) in back taxes for enjoying an “illegal” tax break. In a major blow to sweetheart tax arrangements, Brussels said last month theFULL STORY

Microsoft’s Gates to start clean technology initiative

Microsoft Corp cofounder Bill Gates is to launch a multibillion-dollar clean energy research and development initiative with heads of state tomorrow, the opening day of the UN climate change summit in Paris, the French government said on Friday. Gates and a group of developing and developedFULL STORY

Gold industry to shrink, half not feasible: miner

Half of the gold coming from mines might not be viable at current prices, underscoring the industry’s need for consolidation and output cuts, according to the best-performing producer of the metal in the past decade. “The more we continue to produce unprofitable gold, the more pressureFULL STORY

Asian central banks seek tools amid stability risks

Asian central banks said an expansion in policy instruments and careful coordination are essential to building defenses against increased challenges to growth and financial stability in the region. Central banks also must remain vigilant and improve their domestic economies amid changing global economic conditions, the governorsFULL STORY

Swiss super-rich are getting richer, annual report says

Morose economic growth and a turbulent stock market have not stopped Switzerland’s super-rich from getting richer this year, a report showed on Friday. In its annual analysis of the fortunes of Switzerland’s 300 richest people, Bilan magazine said that the exclusive club, including the likes ofFULL STORY

China dreams of electric sheep at robot conference

By Benjamin Dooley

In a martial artist’s white silk pyjamas, a man practiced taichi in harmony with a motorized arm at a Beijing exhibition showcasing a vision of robots with Chinese characteristics. Vehicles with automated gun turrets sat alongside drink-serving karaoke machines at the World Robot Conference, as manufacturersFULL STORY

Climate change pushing Chile’s vineyards south

By Anthony Esposito and Antonio De la Jara

Well into their drive to make Chile’s wines less about bang-for-your-buck and more about premium vino, vintners in the world’s fourth-largest wine exporter are watching some of their most promising vines wither with climate change. Nestled between the Pacific Ocean to the west and the AndesFULL STORY

Virtual reality app brings world’s crisis zones closer to home

By Brittany Schell

Bombed-out buildings tower overhead, and rubble is piled high in the deserted streets of Syria’s onetime economic hub, Aleppo. Gunshots can be heard in the distance. The destruction of four years of civil war is overwhelming — and then you switch your phone off. Welcome to AleppoFULL STORY

Asian stocks down on Chinese probes

Asian stocks declined, with a regional gauge heading for a one-week low, as Chinese shares tumbled the most since the depths of this year’s rout as some of the largest brokerages disclosed regulatory probes and the nation’s industrial profits fell. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slippedFULL STORY

US dollar enters a make-or-break week

Currency traders are gearing up for one of the busiest weeks of the year. The European Central Bank (ECB) is forecast to boost monetary stimulus, the US Federal Reserve gets its last chance to scrutinize US payroll data before its Dec. 15-16 meeting, and Fed ChairFULL STORY

US stock markets end little-changed

US stocks ended little-changed on Friday in a shortened session a day after the Thanksgiving holiday, with retailers in focus as Black Friday sales started the important year-end shopping season. Investors shrugged off a steep plunge in Chinese stocks, sparked after authorities opened investigations into severalFULL STORY

Oil gains ahead of OPEC meet, gold at five-year low

World oil prices rose this week on concerns that heightened geopolitical tensions could disrupt Middle East supplies, despite a market awash with crude. Traders were turning their attention to next week’s OPEC output meeting to see if the oil producers’ cartel will slash high output levels. TheFULL STORY

European stocks recover from China rout

European shares put a sell-off in Shanghai stocks behind them after economic confidence in the eurozone matched the highest level in four years and as speculation built the region’s central bank would boost stimulus next week. US Treasuries rose and stocks fluctuated as trading resumedFULL STORY

Weak euro, ECB put pressure on Asian currencies

The euro on Friday hovered around seven-month lows on the US dollar and was also weak against Asian currencies on speculation that the European Central Bank (ECB) will unleash fresh stimulus measures next week. Further action by the ECB to boost the 19-nation eurozone economy wasFULL STORY

World Business Quick Take

RETAIL Record online holiday sales Nearly 136 million shoppers are expected to flock to US sales over the four-day Black Friday holiday weekend, both in stores and online, the National Retail Federation said. “Reports of long lines outside stores on Thanksgiving and Black Friday were matched byFULL STORY

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