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Bank of America Corp, the No. 2 U.S. bank by assets, posted a first-quarter profit, narrowly beating analysts' estimates, as legal costs fell steeply and the bank earned more from mortgage lending and investment and brokerage services.
Brent crude oil prices rose on Wednesday amid tension in the Middle East and signs of a dip in U.S. production, but gains were capped by a report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) indicating that supplies would take longer to tighten than previously expected.
Crude oil rose on Tuesday after a forecast that U.S. shale oil output would record its first monthly decline in more than four years and on tension in Yemen, where top oil exporter Saudi Arabia is embroiled in a civil war.
JPMorgan Chase & Co, the biggest U.S. bank by assets, reported a 12.2 percent rise in quarterly profit as revenue from fixed-income trading rebounded.
Nokia Oyj (NOK1V.HE) is in talks to buy smaller telecom equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent (ALUA.PA), a deal that would combine the industry's two weakest players but could pose challenges in cutting costs and overcoming political opposition.
The European Union is looking at creating rules on how to deal with financial firms outside the banking industry that run into trouble, including clearing houses, insurers and asset managers, the EU's financial services chief said on Friday.
The U.S. Federal Reserve may allow big banks to use some municipal bonds to meet new liquidity rules that ensure they have enough cash during a credit crunch, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
The Frankfurt-listed shares of Internet companies Yahoo (YHOO.O) andFacebook (FB.O) outperformed those of rival Google (GOOG.O), after media reports thatGoogle would face anti-trust action from the European Union.
The Japanese unit of McDonald's Corp (MCD.N) forecast deeper losses this year and said it would renovate 2,000 stores while closing underperforming outlets, as it struggles to bring back customers after a series of food safety scandals.
Euro zone government borrowing costs slid to new lows on Thursday, a day after the European Central Bank pledged to fulfill its 1 trillion euro bond-buying program, although regional stocks took a step back from this week's multi-year peaks.
Oil rose more than 3 percent on Thursday, pushing Brent crude to a 2015 high above $63 per barrel on increasing evidence that U.S. production is peaking, balancing a market that has been in heavy oversupply for more than a year.
Unilever reported better-than-expected sales for the first quarter on Thursday, showing improvement from the hammering it took last year from weak emerging markets including a slowdown in China.
Nokia is to buy Alcatel-Lucent in an all-share deal that values its smaller French rival at 15.6 billion euros ($16.6 billion), building up its telecom equipment business to compete with market leader Ericsson.
South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS) on Wednesday said demand for both the flat-screen and curved-screen models of its new flagship Galaxy S6 smartphones is "much higher" than initially planned for.
Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T), the world's biggest automaker, plans to move production of its Corolla compact cars to a new factory in Mexico from Canada to benefit from lower costs, the Globe and Mail reported, citing sources familiar with the situation.