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NATION



Published: Wed, October 18, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



NATION

Inflation decline islarger than expected

WASHINGTON -- Wholesale inflation dropped by the largest amount in more than three years in September.

The reports Tuesday were viewed as evidence that the slowing economy is lowering inflation pressures -- just what the Federal Reserve hoped for.

Wholesale prices fell by 1.3 percent, nearly double the expected decline, as the cost of gasoline sank by 22.2 percent, the biggest drop on record, the Labor Department reported.

Mercantile exchange agreesto buy rival board of trade

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Mercantile Exchange said Tuesday it agreed to buy the Chicago Board of Trade for 8 billion, as cross-town financial rivals with roots in the 1800s join forces in the face of intensifying global competition.

The deal will combine both the electronic and open-outcry trading platforms of the Board of Trade with the 108-year-old Merc, which has gone far beyond its trademark livestock contracts to become the world's largest futures exchange.

If the deal is approved, the combined company will be named CME Group Inc., and will be based in Chicago.

Associated Press




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