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Australian banks face 'Pandora's box' of taxes after state hike

SYDNEY (Reuters) - A second Australian state on Friday said it was open to charging its own bank tax, raising fears the federal government has opened a "Pandora's box" by slapping a A$6.2 billion ($4.7 billion) levy on major lenders in its May budget.
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Lower Oil Prices Hit US Energy Sector, Stirring Fears of Economic Downturn

US near-term investment took a blow as the falling oil prices are driving demand for longer-term US government bonds, and the US drillers are sustaining losses to their capitalisation in the stock market....
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Macron win, Brexit talks boost European stocks

European stock markets rose on Monday as traders greeted a strong victory for President Emmanuel Macron's centrist party in French parliamentary elections and Britain began formal Brexit talks....
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Investors flee to gold, German bonds as political worries rise

World stocks fell while safe-haven gold and German government bonds were in demand on Tuesday as tension in the Middle East, an election in Britain and upcoming testimony from the former head of the FBI pushed investors away from risky assets....
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Factbox: Qatar, Iran share world's biggest gas field

The world's biggest gas field is shared between Iran, which calls its share South Pars, and Qatar, owner of the North Field (also known as the North Dome)....
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Oil prices slide over worries Middle East rift will undermine output cuts

Oil prices fell for a third day on Tuesday, hit by concerns that a political rift between Qatar and several Arab states would undermine an OPEC-led push to tighten the market....
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US approves $1.4 bn slice of massive Saudi arms deal

WASHINGTON: The United States approved two large military contracts totalling more than $1.4 billion on Monday after promising Saudi Arabia a huge arms package to counter any threat from Iran....
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Saudi Arabia vs. Russia: The fight to become China's top oil supplier

Crashing oil prices brought Russia and Saudi Arabia closer together than ever. But now, a race to satisfy China's huge energy needs threatens to drive them apart....
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Israel-Jordan gas pipeline to begin operating in 2017

Israel Natural Gas Lines CEO Samuel Tordjman says pipeline in Dead Sea area will be operational next year....
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What Is Behind The Diplomatic Crisis In The Persian Gulf?

...Shortly after Trump’s visit, Saudi and UAE media began launching verbal attacks on Qatar, including accusations that an alleged phone call from Qatari leader Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was an attempt to strengthen relations between the two countries.......
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