Business News as of 6 P.M. ET

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Business News as of 6 p.m. ET

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MONDAY, APRIL 1, 6 p.m. ET

BUSINESS NEWS ADVISORY

Here are the top Business News stories from The Canadian Press as of 6 p.m. All times Eastern unless otherwise stated. Coverage plans are included when available. Entries are subject to change as news develops.

Queries should be addressed to the business desk at 416-507-2138. To reach CP Business by email, send messages to business@thecanadianpress.com.

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TOP BUSINESS NEWS THIS HOUR

Companies release latest April Fools' ads

April-Fools-Ads

MONTREAL -- Some Canadian companies tried to generate some good-natured brand buzz Monday by releasing April Fools' Day ads, but not everyone viewed the effort as a laughing matter. This year's participants included WestJet, the Toronto Transit Commission, Lululemon, Boston Pizza and Rogers, each of which seemingly introduced a new product. PHOTO. Moves Business and National;

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Arkansas spill gives ammo to Keystone foes

Keystone-Arkansas

CALGARY -- A crude oil leak from an ExxonMobil pipeline in Arkansas comes at a particularly bad time for the Canadian company looking to build the contentious Keystone XL pipeline through the American heartland. TransCanada Corp. (TSX:TRP) hopes it is in the home stretch of a years-long process to win U.S. government approval for its multibillion-dollar project, which has been assailed by environmental groups for its potential impact on everything from fresh water sources to climate change. Moves Business and National

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No mining IPOs on TSX and TSXV in Q1: PwC

No-Mining-IPOs

TORONTO -- The mining sector failed to book a single initial public offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange or the TSX Venture Exchange in the first quarter, the first time that has happened in a decade, according to a report by PwC. The audit and consulting firm said Monday that a single small mining issue for $250,000 was placed on the CNSX in the first quarter of this year.

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Jana accuses Agrium of buying votes

Agrium-Jana

CALGARY -- Agrium says it will pay a fee to brokers and investment advisers whose clients side with the fertilizer giant in a nasty proxy battle, which is likely to be resolved by shareholder vote next Tuesday. Jana Partners LLC, the New York activist hedge fund looking to install five directors to Agrium's board, says the move is the company's attempt at "vote buying."

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Survey: US manufacturing grew more slowly March

US-Economy-Manufacturing

WASHINGTON -- A survey shows U.S. manufacturing activity expanded more slowly in March than February, held back by weaker growth in production and new orders. But factories hired at the fastest pace in nine months, an encouraging sign ahead of Friday's report on March employment. The Institute for Supply Management said Monday that its index of factory activity slipped to 51.3 per cent. The index fell from 54.2 per cent in February, which was the fastest growth since June 2011. PHOTO.

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Apple issues apology following attacks in China

AS-TEC-China-Attacking-Apple

BEIJING -- Apple has issued an apology to Chinese consumers after government media attacked its repair policies for two weeks in a campaign that reeked of economic nationalism. A statement posted in Chinese to Apple's website on Monday said the complaints had prompted "deep reflection" and persuaded the company of the need to revamp its repair policies, boost communication with Chinese consumers and strengthen oversight of authorized resellers. APNewsNow.

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Card maker American Greetings agrees to go private

US-American-Greetings-Acquisition

CLEVELAND -- American Greetings has agreed to be taken private for about $600 million by a group led by some of its top executives. The greeting card and gift seller said Monday that a group formed by the Weiss family, including Chairman Morry Weiss and CEO Zev Weiss and others, will buy the shares of the company they don't already own for $18. …

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