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    Canada's main stock index opened higher on Friday, tracking global market gains, as the heavily weighted resource and financial stocks led advances. The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index rose 29.31 points, or 0.19 percent, to 15,421.66. Five of the index's 10 key groups were rose.

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    Share buybacks encourage executives to loot companies, stall innovation and depress wages, argues Rex Nutting. Two hurdles stand in the way of Greece moving forward. Any deal with European authorities must take into account mutually agreed-upon reforms, writes Yanis Varoufakis.

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    * Euro retreats as little breakthrough made on Greece. * German IFO slightly better. * Dollar index edges up, durable goods orders eyed. By Anirban Nag. The euro retreated from a two-week high against the dollar on Friday as lingering hopes that cash-strapped Greece was making progress toward securing fresh funding were dashed.

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    German Bund yields were on track for their biggest weekly rise of 2015 as fears of an imminent Greek default eased, though strategists still saw ECB buying as a powerful driver in the opposite direction. Greece offered concessions on Friday on some key reforms demanded by international lenders in exchange for new funding, with Athens' coffers emptying rapidly.

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    The Nasdaq Composite's record performance helped Taiwan stocks hit their highest close in more than 7 1/ 2 years Friday as the benchmark Taiex index ended one of its best weeks so far this year, while the recent rallies in Shanghai and Hong Kong showed signs of weakening. The Nasdaq's record close Thursday helped the tech-heavy Taiex to a strong finish--it added 1.2% to 9,913.28 Friday and ended the week with a gain of 3.6%. Heavyweight Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSM) rose...

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    * FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.4 percent. * Electrolux and Renault, rise after results. * German Ifo points to strong business morale. * Greek shares up on debt deal optimism. By Alistair Smout. European shares climbed higher on Friday, boosted by encouraging corporate earnings and upbeat economic data, while the volatile Athens market also rose on prospects for a deal over Greece's debt crisis.

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    Daily reference rate set at strongest level since January. China's central bank guided the yuan to its strongest level in three months as Beijing seeks to stem outflows and keep the tightly controlled currency buoyant just as the economy suffers a bruising slowdown. A gauge of factory activity is at its lowest in a year, growth has fallen to its slowest since the global financial crisis and signs of distress are growing in China's bond markets.

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    * Euro up 0.7 percent vs dollar. * German IFO slightly better. * Dollar index nurses Thursday's losses. By Anirban Nag. The euro hit a two-week high against a soft dollar on Friday, supported by a rise in a key German business sentiment survey and hopes that cash-strapped Greece was making tentative progress toward securing fresh funding.

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    * MSCI World extends multi-year rally. * Euro hits 2-wk high ahead of Ifo survey. * Oil prices steady. By Lionel Laurent. Global equity markets rode to new all-time highs on Friday, with positive corporate updates in Europe and a post-dotcom-boom peak for the U.S. Nasdaq stoking investor optimism.

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    Yields on Greek debt fell Friday, while bond prices rose, as eurozone finance ministers were set to talk about Greece's mounting debt troubles. The yield on 2- year debt fell 1.1 percentage points to 23.63%, and the yield on 10- year bonds fell 83 basis points to 12.04%. Greece and its creditors have been unable to reach a deal on Greek economic reforms needed for Greece to receive its next tranche of bailout funds.

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    * FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.4 percent. * Electrolux, Renault, Sabadell all rise after results. * German Ifo points to strong business morale. * Greek shares up on debt deal optimism. By Alistair Smout. European shares rose in early deals on Friday, boosted by encouraging earnings reports, with investors also cautiously optimistic over the prospects of a deal over Greece's debt crisis.

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    German Bund yields dipped on Friday but were on track for one of their biggest weekly rises of the year as diminishing fears of an imminent Greek default reduced appetite for safe haven assets, though ECB buying still supports.

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    European shares rose in early deals on Friday, boosted by encouraging earnings reports, while global sentiment was lifted by a new record high for the U.S. blue-chip Nasdaq index. The FTSEurofirst 300 was up 0.4 percent at 1,627.56 by 0704 GMT. Top riser was Swedish home appliances maker Electrolux, up 6.3 percent after reporting a smaller-than-expected fall in first-quarter earnings.

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    Berlin and Brussels seem intent on crushing Syriza government. WASHINGTON-- As a payments squeeze slowly crushes Greece, it is becoming increasingly apparent that its foreign lenders, led by an unbending European Union, are negotiating in bad faith. In fact, they are not negotiating at all, but simply insisting that an agenda of destructive policies rejected by Greek voters nonetheless be adhered to.

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    Euro rose to a two-week high against a soft dollar on Friday, supported by expectations of a rise in a key German business sentiment survey and hopes that cash-strapped Greece was making tentative progress toward securing fresh funding. Helping the euro were comments from German Chancellor Angela Merkel who said on Thursday everything must be done to prevent Greece from running out of money.

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    LONDON, April 24 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening 21 points higher, or up 0.3 percent, on Friday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on * The FTSE 100 closed up 0.4 percent at 7,053.67 points, near a record high of 7,119.35 reached on April 16. The index is up 7.4 percent so far in 2015. * UK ELECTIONS - Business leaders have become frustrated at the tactics and tone of the Conservative election campaign. Twenty FTSE 100 and other business leaders told the Financial Times that they are anxious that despite presiding over an economic recovery, David Cameron has not opened a lead over Labour. (http://on.ft.com/1aVXwfn) * TESCO - Tesco Lotus, the Thai operation of Tesco, remains committed to Thailand and will continue to invest in expanding its retail and online channels, the Bangkok Post quoted Chief Executive John Christie as saying. (http://bit.ly/1Eky7b0) * BP - BP said on Thursday that talks to end an 11-week strike at its Whiting, Indiana, refinery were at a standstill over the union's bargaining rights while a walkout at its joint-venture Toledo, Ohio, plant would likely continue for some time. * ROYAL DUTCH SHELL - Shell has taken into account the risks presented by the Petrobras graft scandal to its expanding operations in Brazil and is confident the Brazilian state-run oil company will emerge stronger, the company's CEO said on Thursday. * ASTRAZENECA PLC - The drugs group is braced for dissent from leading investors over executive pay almost a year after it saw off a 69 billion pounds takeover bid from Pfizer, Sky News reported late on Thursday. The FTSE-100 drugs giant will be the subject of a modest shareholder revolt at its annual meeting on Friday. (http://bit.ly/1OM5vZK) * UK CORPORATE DIARY: Symbol Event Spectris PLC Trading Statement Release Q1 2015 Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC Trading Statement Release Q1 2015 AstraZeneca PLC Earnings Release UBM PLC Trading Statement Release TODAY'S UK PAPERS > Financial Times > Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * 3000 Xtra : visit http://topnews.session.rservices.com * BridgeStation: view story .134 For more information on Top News visit http://topnews.reuters.com (Reporting By Francesco Canepa)

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    The following are some of the factors that may move German stocks on Friday: DEUTSCHE BANK. The bank's executives are due to present strategic options to the supervisory board.