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Flaherty sees recovery, credit risks lurk

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said on Monday that while the economic recovery is under way, risks still lurk, including global credit issues and high domestic unemployment. "There's still concerns in credit markets around the world. Witness what we've just been through with ... fiscal crisis in Greece and the fallout that can come from that kind of sovereign crisis," he told reporters in Toronto.

Shaw to acquire Canwest cable channels

TORONTO (Reuters) - Shaw Communications Inc said on Monday it would buy the television operations of Canwest Global in a C$2 billion ($1.97 billion) deal that will add Food Network Canada and other cable channels to its stable of media holdings. The agreement, which includes the assumption of C$815 million of debt, ends months of uncertainty over television assets that Canwest spent billions to acquire in 2007 in a bid for growth. Canwest had filed for creditor protection for the television properties last October.

Canada launches spending review to tackle deficit

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The Canadian government aims to identify savings this year of C$1.7 billion ($1.68 billion) as part of its plan to reduce the budget deficit, Treasury Board President Stockwell Day said on Monday. Day told reporters the government will conduct a strategic review this year of C$35 billion in spending across 13 government departments and agencies, with the goal of shaving 5 percent off spending in each.

TSX turns lower as resources weigh

TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index turned negative on Monday morning as energy shares were pressured by an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and investors in gold companies took profits from a recent rally. At 11:23 a.m. the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index <.GSPTSE> was down 23.86 points, or 0.2 percent, at 12,186.84.

UAL, Continental to form largest airline

NEW YORK/CHICAGO (Reuters) - United Airlines parent UAL Corp will buy Continental Airlines Inc for $3.17 billion to form the world's largest carrier, moving to better withstand the hazards that have battered airlines in recent years. The merger, if approved by regulators, would create a sprawling global airline designed to lure more well-heeled business travelers.

Investors skeptical on record Greek bailout

ATHENS/LONDON (Reuters) - Financial markets reacted skeptically on Monday to a record 110 billion euro ($146 billion) EU/IMF bailout for Greece, with investors expressing doubts whether it would solve the euro zone's debt crisis. Despite Sunday's agreement by European finance ministers on an unprecedented three-year loan package, the euro fell as markets questioned the ability of the Greek government to push through new austerity measures pledged in exchange for aid and worried other euro states may be vulnerable.

U.S. stocks rise on data

NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Monday, sparked by improved consumer spending and factory activity and an airline merger, but global stocks and the euro fell on skepticism over a debt bailout for Greece. The U.S. manufacturing and consumer spending data as well as an unexpectedly rise in construction spending all bode well for an economic recovery. Factory activity grew at the fastest pace in nearly six years.

Feisty Buffett supports Goldman, high on economy

OMAHA, Nebraska (Reuters) - Warren Buffett on Sunday intensified his feisty defense of a controversial mortgage transaction marketed by Goldman Sachs Group Inc , saying the investment bank's behavior does not warrant public fury. Buffett also said he is seeing real signs of improvement in the economy, especially in manufacturing, though it will take another year for a sustainable housing recovery to take hold.

Canadian dollar higher with oil, U.S. stock index futures

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's dollar rose against the U.S. currency on Monday as commodity prices were higher and U.S. stock index futures signaled strength at the open, suggesting investors were willing to take on more risk. "It's more a little bit of a consolidation phase with equity markets pointing to a slightly stronger opening today," said J.P. Blais, vice president foreign exchange products at BMO Capital Markets.

HSBC says Dubai World plan fair, resolution in weeks

DUBAI (Reuters) - Dubai World's restructuring plan is "very fair" and could be signed by lenders in coming weeks, a senior executive at one of its major bank creditors said on Monday. Simon Cooper, head of HSBC's Middle East operations, made the remarks on the sidelines of an HSBC trade survey launch.

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