Global business

After five years of negotiations a deal was at last struck on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the biggest trade accord in years. TPP covers 12 countries in Asia and the Americas that account for 40 percent of the world's economy. The deal was largely welcomed by political leaders.

"Tentative" recoveries in the economies of Japan and the euro area were factors that caused the IMF to lower its forecast for world economic growth this year to 3.1 percent, which would be the worst performance since 2009. The IMF's outlook for emerging markets was grim. Russia's GDP is forecast to contract by 3.8 percent and Brazil's by 3 percent.

German exports fell 5.2 percent in August, the most since early 2009, underlining the slowdown in China, Germany's fourth-largest export market. And America's trade deficit rose sharply as exports, hampered by a strong dollar, fell to their lowest level since mid-2012. But stock markets were buoyant as investors bet that the bad economic news would delay impending increases to interest rates.

Deutsche Bank said it expected to report a $7 billion loss for the third quarter as it books write-downs and accounting charges. As a result, the German bank may not be able to pay a shareholder dividend, after having paid one even during the depths of the financial crisis.

American Apparel filed for bankruptcy protection. The clothing chain has long struggled with debt, and last year was thrown into turmoil when Dov Charney, its founder, was dismissed as chief executive.

Political economy

In an unusual move in Malaysia, nine sultans, state leaders with a largely ceremonial role, called upon the prime minister, Najib Razak, to step down. His failure to clear his name over allegations of corruption, they said, had created a "crisis of confidence" in the country.

Days after an Italian aid worker as shot dead in Bangladesh, a Japanese national was also killed. That led to fears that militant Islamists, who have killed Bangladeshi bloggers deemed un-Islamic in recent months, are now targeting foreigners. A Bangladeshi Baptist pastor was also knifed, but survived.

Seven high court judges in Ghana were suspended over claims that they took bribes. The latest action comes after 22 magistrates and judges in lower courts were suspended in September over similar allegations.

Venezuela's economy will be one of the worst performers this year, according to the IMF. The fall in oil prices and macroeconomic imbalances will cause GDP to shrink by 10 percent in 2015. Inflation will be well above 100 percent. Price controls and a lack of foreign exchange have led to shortages of goods.