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  • NEW YORK, July 31- As traders, market pundits and economists jaw over whether the Federal Reserve this year will lift its benchmark lending rate for the first time in almost a decade, several corners of the U.S. bond market are not waiting around. Banks, money market mutual funds and other investors do not want to be stuck with low-yielding debt when the U.S. central...

  • *OPEC output up more than 1.7 mln bpd since policy shift. LONDON, July 31- OPEC oil output reached the highest monthly level in recent history in July, a Reuters survey found on Friday, as Saudi Arabia and other key members show no sign of wavering in their focus on defending market share instead of prices. OPEC supply has risen in July to 32.01 million barrels per day...

  • *Rest of Europe and Brazilian business strong. PARIS, July 31- France's Carrefour said its turnaround plan was reaping rewards in Europe and Brazil, where strong performances helped it beat first-half profit forecasts. The company, which makes about three-quarters of it sales in Europe, is making price and cost cuts and expanding into smaller convenience...

  • EU to probe FedEx takeover of Dutch rival TNT Friday, 31 Jul 2015 | 9:38 AM ET

    BRUSSELS— The European Union is opening an in-depth probe into whether FedEx's proposed $4.9 billion takeover of Dutch company TNT would strangle competition in the massive market for small package deliveries. EU Antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said Friday she had to "make sure that FedEx's takeover of TNT would not impede effective competition and...

  • MADRID— Spain's prime minister Friday promised a 1 percent pay rise for Spain's 2.5 million civil servants in the 2016 budget, their first hike in five years after public spending was reined in because of the country's economic crisis. Spain was battered by the global financial crisis and only emerged from a double-dip recession at the end of 2013. It still has a...

  • *Germany risks becoming "sick man of Europe" again-expert. Elderly entrepreneurs unable or unwilling to pass the reins to the next generation could be putting in jeopardy the fate of some of the roughly 3.6 million firms that make up Germany's world-famous Mittelstand. The number of graying managers seeking to hand over their businesses has climbed to a record...

  • LONDON, July 31- The dollar fell by a third of a percent against the euro on Friday, the lack of decisive new direction from numbers on the U.S. economy prompting traders to take profit on its rise since Wednesday's statement by the Federal Reserve. Another 1 percent fall in Brent crude helped drive the Norwegian crown and Australian and Canadian dollars lower...

  • Tsakos tops 2Q profit forecasts Friday, 31 Jul 2015 | 8:30 AM ET

    ATHENS, Greece _ Tsakos Energy Navigation Ltd. on Friday reported second-quarter net income of $41.3 million, after reporting a loss in the same period a year earlier. The average estimate of eight analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 43 cents per share. Six analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $119.4 million.

  • Diana Shipping reports 2Q loss Friday, 31 Jul 2015 | 8:21 AM ET

    ATHENS, Greece _ Diana Shipping inc. on Friday reported a loss of $15.5 million in its second quarter. The average estimate of nine analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for a loss of 20 cents per share. Diana Shipping shares have increased 13 percent since the beginning of the year.

  • Seagate beats Street 4Q forecasts Friday, 31 Jul 2015 | 8:15 AM ET

    DUBLIN _ Seagate Technology PLC on Friday reported fiscal fourth-quarter profit of $138 million. The average estimate of 11 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 65 cents per share. Seagate shares have fallen 23 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard& Poor's 500 index has increased slightly more than 2 percent.

  • LONDON— An experimental Ebola vaccine tested on thousands of people in Guinea seems to work and might help shut down the waning epidemic in West Africa, according to interim results from a study published Friday. There is currently no licensed treatment or vaccine for Ebola, which has so far killed more than 11,000 people in West Africa since the world's biggest...

  • French PM sees decision on Russia Mistral deal soon Friday, 31 Jul 2015 | 8:03 AM ET

    PARIS, July 31- French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said "important decisions" on the cancellation of a Mistral helicopter carriers deal with Russia would be taken soon. Russian media had reported earlier on Friday that Paris and Moscow had reached a compensation deal for the cancellation of the delivery of two French-made Mistral helicopter carriers,.

  • LONDON/ CAIRO, July 31- Imports of food, including wheat, are dropping sharply to Libya, which has the highest per capita bread consumption in the world, as foreign shippers run scared of making direct deliveries due to worsening turmoil. The risks are now so high ship owners should contact their insurers before each trip, said Jonathan Moss, head of transport with...

  • Who needs the Fed? The rate hike cometh on its own Friday, 31 Jul 2015 | 8:00 AM ET

    NEW YORK, July 31- As traders, market pundits and economists jaw over whether the Federal Reserve this year will lift its benchmark lending rate for the first time in almost a decade, several corners of the U.S. bond market aren't waiting around. Banks, money market mutual funds and other investors want to avoid being stuck with low-yielding debt when the U.S....

  • LONDON, July 31- Oil prices fell on Friday as concern over global oversupply intensified after oil producers' cartel OPEC indicated there would be no cuts in production despite a huge global oversupply. "All commodities are down," said Abhishek Deshpande, oil analyst at Natixis. Benchmark North Sea Brent crude headed for its fifth consecutive weekly fall after...

  • Italian bank Intesa SanPaolo Q2 profits soar Friday, 31 Jul 2015 | 7:57 AM ET

    MILAN— Second-quarter earnings at Italian bank Intesa SanPaolo more than quadrupled thanks to lower provisions amid signs of economic recovery and an improved credit market. Italy's second-largest bank by assets reported Friday net income of 940 million euros for the quarter, up from 217 million euros in the same period last year. Intesa SanPaolo said it...

  • *Chicago wheat down more than 18 pct for July. Chicago Board of Trade front-month wheat rose 1.1 percent to $5.02 a bushel by 1111 GMT, edging away from the prior session's five-week low of $4.93-3/ 4. Crop scouts on the U.S. Wheat Quality Council's annual three-day tour of North Dakota and adjacent states projected spring wheat yield potential at 49.9 bushels per...

  • Russia slows rate of cuts amid ruble weakness Friday, 31 Jul 2015 | 7:20 AM ET
    Elvira Nabiullina

    Russia's central bank cut its key interest rate by 50 basis points on Friday, amid signs of renewed weakness in the country's currency, the ruble.

  • Russia's central bank cuts key interest rate Friday, 31 Jul 2015 | 7:09 AM ET

    MOSCOW— The Russian central bank cut its key interest rate by 0.5 percentage points to 11 percent on Friday, bowing to the pressure of businesses to make lending more accessible. Moscow- based investment bank Sberbank CIB said in a note to investors that Friday's 0.5 percentage cut is not as big as anticipated, indicating that the central bank wants to "play it safe"...

  • European shares edge lower, commodity stocks weigh Friday, 31 Jul 2015 | 6:59 AM ET

    *UCB, BNP Paribas, Natixis up after results. The European oil and gas index fell 1 percent as oil prices fell after producers' cartel OPEC indicated there would be no output cuts despite a huge global oversupply, while the STOXX Europe 600 basic resources index was down 1.8 percent after copper fell on lingering worries about the metals' demand in top consumer China.