The euro came close to cracking on Wednesday as feverish speculation of further policy stimulus in the euro zone drove bond yields to all-time lows and lifted Asian stocks to peaks not seen in almost seven years.
Banks cut 5,500 branches across the European Union last year, 2.5 percent of the total, leaving the region with 20,000 fewer outlets than it had when the financial industry was plunged into crisis in 2008.
Last year's cuts com
Brent crude held below $103 a barrel on Friday, retaining most of its steep gains from the previous session, when an interest rate cut by the European Central Bank boosted investors' appetite for riskier assets.
The decision c
Gold hit a 10-month trough below $1,540 an ounce on Thursday as the dollar strengthened ahead of a statement by European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi, after the bank left rates on hold as expected at its latest policy meetin
Europe clinched a deal on Thursday to give the European Central Bank new powers to supervise euro zone banks from 2014, embarking on the first step in a new phase of closer integration to help underpin the euro.
European Union leaders took a big stride towards establishing a single banking supervisor for the euro zone, agreeing it would enter into force next year, opening the way for the bloc's rescue fund to inject capital directl
Heavily indebted euro zone firms are reaping the benefits of the European Central Bank's pledge to pull the region out of crisis, allowing them to borrow more cheaply and draw investors back into their shares.
In the aftermath
Gold hit an 11-month high of $1,795.69 an ounce on Friday in its fifth day of gains as stimulus measures from major central banks continued to increase its appeal as an inflation hedge.
The European Central Bank kept interest rate
The outlook for Europe's economy darkened on Thursday with euro zone business confidence falling to a three-year low and a range of economic indicators across the continent pointing towards recession.
Shrinking lending and ris
Brent futures steadied above $113 a barrel on Friday ahead of a US jobs report that will gauge the economic health of the world's biggest oil consumer as it considers a release of emergency oil reserves, potentially much larger than the last