Business news briefs: Strong export demand, supply worries boost ethanol prices

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Strong export demand, supply worries boost ethanol prices

Ethanol prices rose to a 12-week high Friday, shrinking the biofuel's discount to gasoline, amid strong export demand and concern that domestic supplies will tighten. And natural gas prices jumped in New York, heading for its largest monthly gain since March, on forecasts for colder weather that would spur demand for heating homes and businesses.

Australian officials block GrainCorp Ltd. takeover

Archer-Daniels-Midland Co.'s proposed $2 billion takeover of Australia's GrainCorp Ltd. was blocked by Australian officials, who ruled the takeover bid "isn't in the national interest." The world's largest corn processor now must consider share buybacks, bigger dividends or other acquisitions as the company reviews how to use about $3.5 billion in cash.

Canadian economy's growth during Q3 fastest in 2 years

Canada's economy, the world's 11th largest, grew in the third quarter at the fastest pace in two years amid a gain in consumer spending and rebounds in business investment and inventories. Gross domestic product rose at a 2.7 percent from July through September. But Canada's dollar touched its weakest level in more than two years against its U.S. peer Friday.

Jobs report speculation lifts Treasury 10-year note yields

Treasury 10-year note yields traded at almost a two-month high on speculation that a U.S. jobs report next week will be strong enough to convince the Federal Reserve to vote to trim bond purchases as soon as December. U.S. debt fell before data forecast to show employers added 183,000 jobs this month and the unemployment rate dropped to 7.2 percent, the lowest since 2008, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists.

10 face charges following Black Friday Walmart protests

Annual Black Friday Walmart protests led to arrests in Ontario, Calif., where 10 people were charged with failure-to-disperse misdemeanors on Friday. Another 10 people were cited during a Chicago-area Walmart protest. The protesters want better wages and hours for the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer's employees.

'Super top shelf' whiskey enjoying popularity in Ky.

A new whiskey created in Kentucky features a blend of age and scarcity that spiked demand -- and its price. Whiskey fans including celebrities and CEOs are angling to snatch up the fewer than 300 bottles of Michter's Celebration Sour Mash Whiskey, at a price nearly $4,000 per bottle, part of a "super top shelf" trend in spirits.

Saudi, Nigerian declines drop OPEC crude production

OPEC crude production dropped to a two-year low in November, led by declines in Saudi Arabian and Nigerian output, a Bloomberg survey shows. Output by the 12-member Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries decreased 245,000 barrels to an average 30.007 million barrels a day this month from 30.252 million in October.

U.K. markets regulator probing RBS allegations

Allegations that Royal Bank of Scotland Group -- owner of U.S.-based Citizens Financial Group, the second-biggest bank in Pittsburgh -- pushed small businesses into default will be investigated as the U.K. markets regulator called on other banks to review their lending practices. The regulator, called the Financial Conduct Authority, will consider whether to take action against the Edinburgh-based bank after a review by independent analysts.

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