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WireTap 1400 02/12/11

A round-up of the key stories across the specialist financial media, including news on how Shell has been forced to quite Syria

EU sanctions force Shell to quit Syria

Royal Dutch Shell will “cease” its activities in Syria after the European Union blacklisted three state-owned oil companies in the country as Brussels seeks to raise the pressure on the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

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U.S. Senate approves sanctions aimed at crippling Iran oil sales 

The U.S. Senate took aim at the Iranian central bank in an effort to choke off oil exports, while the European Union stopped short of targeting crude as it tightened sanctions intended to curb Iran’s nuclear program

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Merkel calls for rapid EU treaty change 

Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, has spelt out her determination to create a legally-enforceable “fiscal union” for the eurozone, rejecting “quick fixes” such as the immediate introduction of eurobonds to deal with the debt crisis in Europe.

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ECB overnight lending jumps to €8bn 

Eurozone banks borrowed more than €8bn from the European Central Bank overnight on Thursday, the highest amount since March, in a sign of the deep strains in the financial markets.

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US stock futures rise ahead of payrolls 

US stock futures posted sharp gains Friday, as Germany and France talked up prospects for tighter fiscal union in the euro zone, and as investors awaited data on US nonfarm jobs.

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China Central Bank says property prices about to reach a ‘turning point’ 

China’s property prices are about to reach a “turning point”, with developers facing tighter liquidity, the central bank said, citing a research report by its statistics department.

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