World Bulletin / News Desk
A fire burned for a third day in two fuel storage tanks at Venezuela's biggest refinery on Monday, putting in doubt plans to restart the facility quickly after one of the world's most deadly oil industry accidents.
Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez told state TV the blaze remained contained to the storage tanks. He has insisted that the Amuay refinery can be restarted within two days, once the flames have been extinguished.
A gas leak caused an explosion and then a fire before dawn on Saturday at the 645,000 barrel-per-day facility, part of the world's second biggest refinery complex - obliterating homes nearby, killing at least 41 people and wounding dozens more.
State oil company PDVSA said that none of Amuay's production units was affected, and that Venezuela has enough stocks to meet its commitments to the domestic market and keep up exports.
President Hugo Chavez promised a full investigation into the tragedy during an emotional visit to the scene on Sunday.
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The September rate was revised to 9.9 percent from the 10 percent first given last month.
Many analysts had expected the producers' cartel to fail to reach a deal as major players like Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia remained divided ahead of the meeting.
The report, which collects views of economists, business contacts and others in the 12 Federal Reserve districts in preparation for the monetary policy meeting next month, noted improved retail sales and home construction in most regions.
If the cartel does not reach a deal to cut output, prices could fall below $40 a barrel
European air travel giant Lufthansa has been battling its own pilots over pay and conditions for more than two years.
Failure to get an accord on Wednesday could send oil prices tumbling and deal a further blow to the credibility of the 56-year-old Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
Around midday, shares in Italian lenders Unicredit and Banco Popolare were down 4 percent compared with Friday's closing levels.
Officials on Friday's said the tie-up between the Hong Kong and Shenzhen markets will start on December 5.
The announcement comes as the country is gearing up for a key election next year, with the parties in Chancellor Angela Merkel's grand right-left coalition keen to woo ageing voters.
The weak inflation data -- core prices excluding fresh food fell 0.4 percent from a year ago -- come several weeks after Japan's central bank pushed back the timeline for hitting its 2.0 percent inflation target.
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The Ifo's headline business confidence index reached 110.4 points in November, unchanged from the October reading, and the highest level since April 2014.
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Gross domestic product was expected to grow by only 1.4 percent next year -- sharply down from the prior estimate of 2.2 percent given in March.