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December 24 2012, 07:32AM

A roundup of news in finance, economics and business from around the world:


WASHINGTON - US senators have bickered over who's to blame for lurching the country toward a year-end "fiscal cliff", bemoaning the lack of a deal days before the deadline but bridging no differences in the debate.

WASHINGTON - Confidence among US consumers has sunk to its lowest point since July, according to a monthly index.

TOKYO - Japan's incoming prime minister Shinzo Abe has stepped up pressure on the Bank of Japan to set a two per cent inflation target, threatening to change a law guaranteeing the bank's independence if it does not agree.

ROME - After keeping Italians, and the rest of Europe, in suspense for weeks, caretaker Premier Mario Monti on Sunday ruled out campaigning in February elections, but said he would consider leading the next government if politicians who share his focus on reform request it.

TEHRAN, Iran - Iran's oil minister claimed Sunday his country has successfully overcome sanctions on the sale of its oil, state TV reported.

NEW ORLEANS - A federal judge has given final approval to BP's settlement with businesses and individuals who lost money because of the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

CAIRO - The governor of Egypt's Central Bank, Faruq El-Okda, has resigned, state television reports, after days of speculation that he would step down for health reasons.