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AP Financial News Summary at 12:01 a.m. EDT

July 5, 2006

Oil Prices Settle Above $72 a Barrel

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LONDON (AP) _ Oil prices fell Tuesday in thin trading as markets in the United States were shut for Independence Day, but strong demand and geopolitical worries limited the declines.

Jackson Leads Anti-BP March Near Refinery

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TEXAS CITY, Texas (AP) _ The Rev. Jesse Jackson brought his protest of BP PLC to the site of one of the state’s worst refinery accidents Tuesday to speak against what he calls price gouging, discriminatory hiring practices and unsafe working conditions at the company.

Japan Stocks Drop After Missile Launches

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TOKYO (AP) _ Japanese stocks fell early Wednesday after North Korea stunned the region with overnight missile tests. The dollar rose against the yen.

Chavez Marks Mercosur Entry With Summit

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CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) _ President Hugo Chavez marked Venezuela’s entry into the South American trade bloc Mercosur with a six-nation summit Tuesday, an alliance that he says should be a common front against U.S. free trade deals.

Analysts: GM Revival Challenge for Ghosn

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TOKYO (AP) _ Carlos Ghosn has earned a reputation as a fixer by turning around Japanese automaker Nissan from the verge of bankruptcy under an alliance with France’s Renault. But he faces a far bigger challenge if he hopes to revive General Motors, analysts say.

ECB Set to Hold Interest Rates Steady

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FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) _ The European Central Bank is set to hold interest rates steady this week but may set the stage for a series of increases starting in August in the face of faster economic expansion and higher oil prices.

Auto Dealers Overflow With Job Openings

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PARMA, Ohio (AP) _ Sitting front and center in her college marketing class, Kim Smith took copious notes as a woman lectured about the importance of customer satisfaction and the lure of lucrative sales.

Domino’s Pizza Expands Locally, Globally

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) _ Get the door _ it might be the Domino’s delivery guy, who is ringing more doorbells in more places every day. Now delivering pizza in 55 countries, Domino’s Pizza Inc. is aggressively expanding its presence across the globe while at the same time expanding its domestic delivery area.

Bank of Japan Said to Raise Interest Rate

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TOKYO (AP) _ The Bank of Japan will raise a key interest rate to 0.25 percent from zero next week, a news report said Tuesday, amid conflicting signals from government officials over the wisdom of such a move.

South Korean Stocks Bounce Back

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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) _ South Korean shares recovered after opening sharply lower Wednesday on news that North Korea had launched a series of missiles overnight.

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