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French economy will grind to a halt in third quarter, statistics office says

PARIS (AP) - France's economy will grind to a halt in the third quarter as households succumb to the global slowdown and rein in spending, the country's statistics institute said in its quarterly economic forecast.

Indicator of economic confidence in euro-zone drops

BRUSSELS (AP) - Confidence in the euro-zone economy dropped further in June, an EU survey said Friday, adding bad news to an already gloomy outlook and causing a bigger headache for the European Central Bank as it tries to reign in inflation without squelching growth.

Oil rises above US$142 a barrel

KUALA LUMPUR (AP) - Oil rose above US$142 a barrel Wednesday in Asia, with analysts warning that prices may spike further amid persistent concerns over tight supply and tension in the Middle East.

Oil soars to record above US$144

KUALA LUMPUR (AP) - Oil soared to a record above US$144 a barrel Thursday in Asia, fueled by concerns over a larger-than-expected drop in U.S. stockpiles and the threat of conflict with Iran.

Oil rises to US$145 as investors shun equities

Crude oil rose to a record above US$145 a barrel in New York as investors sought an alternative to tumbling stock markets.

Auto consolidation seen

A current slump in the global automotive sector could give fresh impetus to plans for consolidation within the industry, the head of French carmaker Renault said on Saturday.

ECB, BoE expected to leave interest rates steady

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) - The European Central Bank and Bank of England will likely leave interest rates unchanged on Thursday as they face mounting inflation and slowing growth.

ECB expected to hold interest rate steady

The European Central Bank is expected to hold its benchmark interest rate steady later Thursday as inflation fears outweigh the growing financial crisis.

Europeans scramble to save failing banks

Germany became the latest country to move to allay fears about the financial meltdown, enhancing a rescue plan for Hypo Real Estate AG and guaranteeing private bank accounts as European governments scrambled on their own Sunday to save failing banks.