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Oil exporters agree to extend output curbs

The world’s leading oil exporting nations have agreed to extend production curbs, aimed at boosting the oil price, by nine months. The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) and non-members, led by Russia, agreed the output limits would continue until the end of 2018. The limits were first agreed a year ago, and helped to

Tesla mega-battery in Australia activated

The world’s largest lithium ion battery has begun dispensing power into an electricity grid in South Australia. The 100-megawatt battery, built by Tesla, was officially activated on Friday. It had in fact provided some power since Thursday due to demand caused by local hot weather. South Australia has been crippled by electricity problems in recent

RBS to close one in four branches and shed 680 jobs

RBS is closing 259 branches – one in four of its outlets – and cutting 680 jobs as more customers bank online. The closures involve 62 Royal Bank of Scotland and 197 NatWest branches. RBS, which is 71%-owned by the taxpayer, said it would try to ensure compulsory redundancies were “kept to an absolute minimum”.

Factory activity accelerated in November, survey says

UK manufacturing activity grew at its fastest pace in more than four years last month, according to a closely watched survey. The Purchasing Managers’ Index index compiled by IHS/Markit hit 58.2 in November, the best level in 51 months. The report said exports played a “big part” in the expansion. Separate official data showed that