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US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has said some factors that are weighing on the economy may lift by the end of this year, spurring growth.

The maker of Nescafe, Haagen Dazs and Jenny Craig said it estimated that the Pfizer unit's 2012 sales would bring $2.4 billion.
The US Labor Department said that the number of people applying for jobless benefits declined 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 386,000
All but one of Japan's 54 nuclear power reactors are offline in the aftermath of a nuclear crisis set off in March 2011 by the tsunami in northeastern Japan.
Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell to 9,464.71, South Korea's Kospi index slipped 0.4 per cent to 1,985.30 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 0.2 per cent to 20,562.31.