BIG DEAL: Customers walk past a Dollar Tree store in Miami, Florida after the US chain announced it will buy Family Dollar Stores for about $8.5bn in cash and stock. ( Joe Raedle, AFP)
In other news
Asian shares have touched fresh three-year highs as a rally in Chinese markets encouraged investors, though caution was widespread on expectations of US data.
US stocks have finished mixed following prominent corporate deals and a drop in pending home sales as investors looked ahead to fresh earnings and labour data.
Oil prices have slipped further in Asian trade on global demand fears but losses were limited by concerns about the crisis in Ukraine, analysts said.
A Kenya hotel chain has disputed official tourist figures, saying violent attacks by militant Islamists have scared away more tourists than authorities admit.
Global business travel spending will reach a record $1.18trn this year, up nearly 7% from 2013, bolstered by growth in China, a US trade group says.
Canadian explorer Africa Oil and its partner Tullow Oil are likely to bring in a third partner to help develop their oil discoveries in northern Kenya.
The Bank of England has won backing from the IMF for keeping interest rates low, even as the body welcomes signs that Britain's economic recovery is broadening.
There has been a reversal of fortunes between Ivory Coast, the world's largest cocoa grower, and Ghana, the second-largest.