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S. Korea's industrial output drops 1.8 pct on-month in Feb.

SEJONG, March 28 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's industrial output dropped in February for the second straight month, stoking concerns that economic conditions might not be improving fast, a government report showed Friday. According to the report by Statistics Korea, production in the mining, manufacturing, gas and electricity industries shrank 1.8 percent last month from January. This marked the second month in a row that the output has declined on-month following a revised 0.1 percent fall in January.

U.S. economic growth in Oct.-Dec. qtr revised upward to 2.6%

The U.S. economy grew an annualized 2.6 percent in the three months to December, revised upward from an earlier estimated 2.4 percent rise, due partly to stronger-than-expected personal consumption, the Commerce Department said Thursday. The pace of economic growth, measured by real gross domestic product, compared with a growth of 4.1 percent in the July to September quarter.

European stock rally fizzles out

Europe's main stock markets pulled back on Thursday as the US increased the pressure on Russia over Ukraine and traders took profits following a recent rally. London's benchmark FTSE 100 index of leading shares fell 0.60 percent to stand at 6,565.66 points in afternoon trading. Frankfurt's DAX 30 slid 0.42 percent compared with Wednesday's closing values to 9,409.22 points and in Paris the CAC 40 index gave up 0.31 percent to 4,371.51.

European stocks climb on bright data

Europe's main stock markets advanced strongly for a second day running on Wednesday as investors focused on upbeat economic data and set aside Ukraine-Russia worries, dealers said. London's benchmark FTSE 100 index climbed 0.48 percent to 6,636.90 points around midday, and in Paris the CAC 40 index jumped 1.11 percent to 4,392.43 points compared with Tuesday's close. Frankfurt's DAX 30 rallied 1.45 percent to 9,473.64 points, boosted also by data showing German consumer confidence held at a seven-year high in March.

European stocks climb on bright data

Europe's main stock markets advanced strongly for a second day running on Wednesday as investors focused on upbeat economic data and set aside Ukraine-Russia worries, dealers said. London's benchmark FTSE 100 index climbed 0.48 percent to 6,636.90 points around midday, and in Paris the CAC 40 index jumped 1.11 percent to 4,392.43 points compared with Tuesday's close. Frankfurt's DAX 30 rallied 1.45 percent to 9,473.64 points, boosted also by data showing German consumer confidence held at a seven-year high in March.

Ruble enters force as Crimea's official currency

The ruble entered force as Crimea's official currency on Monday as Russia seized complete control of the peninsula, but businesses were still dealing mainly in the Ukrainian hryvnia. "From this day, we can officially make payments in rubles. The hryvnia remains in use until the 1st of January, 2016," Crimea's pro-Moscow prime minister Sergiy Aksyonov said on Twitter.

European stocks higher after wobble

European stocks eked out marginal gains on Friday and the euro rebounded against the dollar after falling sharply the day before on expectations of sooner-than-expected US interest rate hikes. London's benchmark FTSE 100 index gained 0.02 percent to stand at 6,543.87 points at around midday in the British capital. The CAC 40 in Paris was also up 0.02 percent to 4,328.80 points and Frankfurt's DAX 30 gained 0.12 percent to 9,307.59 compared with Thursday's closing values.

European stocks higher after wobble

European stocks rose Friday and the euro rebounded against the dollar after taking a brief knock the day before on expectations of hikes to US interest rates sooner than anticipated. London's benchmark FTSE 100 index gained 0.38 percent to stand at 6,567.32 points at around midday in the British capital. The CAC 40 in Paris won 0.40 percent to 4,345.42 points and Frankfurt's DAX 30 gained 0.54 percent to 9,346.23 compared with Thursday's closing values.

Dollar gains further on Fed rate expectations

The US dollar added to gains against the euro Thursday as fresh positive US economic data followed a slightly accelerated monetary tightening outlook from the Federal Reserve. At 2200 GMT the dollar was at $1.3779, compared to $1.3827 late Wednesday. The dollar edged higher to 102.42 yen from 102.32 yen, while the euro slipped to 141.14 yen from 141.53. The British pound fell to $1.6506 from $1.6536, while the dollar rose to 0.8835 Swiss francs from 0.8807.

Europe strikes deal to complete banking union

By John O'Donnell and Tom Körkemeier BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Europe took the final step to complete a banking union on Thursday with an agency to shut failing euro zone banks, but there will be no joint government back-up to pay the costs of closures. The breakthrough ends an impasse with the European Parliament, which persuaded euro zone countries to strengthen the scheme. It completes the second pillar of banking union, which starts at the end of the year when the European Central Bank takes over as watchdog.
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