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Saudi January inflation jumps to 3.0 percent on VAT, gasoline price hike

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DUBAI Saudi Arabia's annual consumer price inflation jumped to 3.0 percent in January after the government introduced a 5 percent value-added tax and hiked domestic gasoline prices at the start of the year, official data showed on Sunday.

UPDATE 2-Saudi January inflation jumps to 3.0 pct on VAT, gasoline price hike 2:47pm GMT

* Inflation boosted by austerity steps to rein in budget deficit

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi lower as weak banks outweigh rising petchems 2:21pm GMT

DUBAI, Feb 25 Saudi Arabian shares fell on Sunday as weakness in banks more than offset a rise in petrochemicals after Brent crude oil rebounded to around $67 a barrel at the end of last week.

UPDATE 1-Saudi oil minister hopes OPEC, allies can ease output curbs in 2019 24 Feb 2018

* Eyes buying stakes in new, existing Indian refineries (Recasts, adds details)

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Oil climbs with support from Libyan outage, Saudi comments 24 Feb 2018

NEW YORK Oil prices rose on Friday to their highest in more than two weeks, supported by the shutdown of the El Feel oilfield in Libya and upbeat comments from Saudi Arabia that an OPEC-led effort to cut stockpiles is working.

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All that jazz: Saudis attend country's first jazz festival 23 Feb 2018

RIYADH Men and women swayed to music at Saudi Arabia's first-ever jazz festival on Friday, the second of a three-day outdoor event that showcases the Kingdom's recent efforts of shedding its conservative image.

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All that jazz: Saudis attend country's first jazz festival 23 Feb 2018

RIYADH Men and women swayed to music at Saudi Arabia's first-ever jazz festival on Friday, the second of a three-day outdoor event that showcases the Kingdom's recent efforts of shedding its conservative image.

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Oil climbs as Libyan outage, Saudi comments support 23 Feb 2018

NEW YORK Oil prices rose on Friday to their highest in more than two weeks, supported by the shutdown of the El Feel oilfield in Libya and upbeat comments from Saudi Arabia that an OPEC-led effort to cut stockpiles is working.

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Saudis promised double the fun in drive to lure back tourist dollars 23 Feb 2018

RIYADH Saudi Arabia will stage more than 5,000 shows, festivals and concerts in 2018, double the number of last year, as it tries to shake off its conservative image in a drive to keep tourist dollars at home and lure in visitors. | Video

UPDATE 1-Saudis promised double the fun in drive to lure back tourist dollars 22 Feb 2018

* Pushback from religious conservatives to easier gender rules (Adds Minister of Culture and Information admonition)

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Iran says Damascus suburbs assault to continue as fighting rages

BEIRUT Iran said pro-Damascus forces would press ahead with attacks on an insurgent enclave near the Syrian capital, as ground fighting raged on there in defiance of a U.N. resolution demanding a 30-day truce across the country. | Video