*Manufacturing growth in China expands. LONDON, July 30- Lead prices fell on Wednesday as investors took profits after a rally this month, but a brighter global economic outlook is seen providing support to industrial metals. Part of that is driven by improving macro sentiment, "said commodity analyst Ivan Szpakowski of Citi in Shanghai.» Read More
*Manufacturing growth in China expands. LONDON/ SYDNEY, July 30- Lead and zinc fell on Wednesday as investors took profits after a rally by both metals this month, but a brighter global economic outlook could see industrial metals resuming their rise. Part of that is driven by improving macro sentiment, "said commodity analyst Ivan Szpakowski of Citi in Shanghai.
*Finance Ministry cuts 2014 GDP growth f'cast to 2 pct from 2.6 pct. The poor output figures increases worries that Southeast Asia's second-largest economy may have slipped into recession in the second quarter, though the Finance Ministry said there was a little growth in April-June.
TOKYO— World markets were mostly higher Wednesday ahead of U.S. economic data while cheery earnings from major Japanese companies such as Honda Motor Co. boosted Asian stocks. KEEPING SCORE: In morning trade in Europe, France's CAC 40 dipped 0.1 percent to 4,359.30 and Britain's FTSE 100 was flat at 6,807.75.
LONDON, July 30- The euro fell below $1.34 on Wednesday for the first time since last November before German inflation data that was likely to add to the case for the European Central Bank pumping more money into a moribund economy.
SYDNEY/ SINGAPORE, July 30- The dollar touched a six-month high against a basket of major currencies on Wednesday, holding firm ahead of a Federal Reserve policy decision and U.S. gross domestic product data due later in the day.
SYDNEY/ SINGAPORE, July 30- The dollar hovered near a six-month high against a basket of currencies on Wednesday as investors awaited a Federal Reserve policy decision and U.S. gross domestic product data due later in the day.
Japan's June industrial output fell its fastest since the quake in March 2011 as companies slowed production to offset a build-up in inventories.
SINGAPORE, July 30- Gold was trading in a tight range below $1,300 an ounce on Wednesday, as investors nervously awaited the end of a Federal Reserve policy meeting to gauge the U.S. central bank's view on the economy and monetary policy.
FORT WORTH, Texas— The U.S. has barred a shipment of Kurdish crude oil from reaching the Texas coast amid concerns independent oil sales from Kurdistan could further weaken Iraq's fragile central government as it struggles to contain a Sunni military offensive.
Analysts and officials compare the current operation to a one-month war between Israel and Hizbollah guerrillas in Lebanon in the summer of 2006, as well as to conflicts in Gaza in 2009 and 2012, when the economy took a hit but bounced back quickly, except for tourism.
*Baudot-Trajtenberg doesn't see economic shock from Gaza conflict. JERUSALEM, July 29- Israel is unlikely to cut interest rates again as the shekel is not strengthening as much as last year and the war in Gaza should not have a major impact on the economy, the central bank's deputy governor said.
Major indexes in Europe and Asia closed with slight gains. On Friday, the Labor Department releases its monthly look at the job market. FROZEN: "The market today looks a little frozen, because it's going to face some really revealing stuff in the next 72 hours," said Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at Wells Capital Management.
*Japan jobs-applicants ratio hits 22- year high. TOKYO, July 29- Job availability in Japan hit its highest in 22 years in June as companies grew more confident about hiring, and household spending rebounded modestly- reinforcing expectations economic recovery will resume in the third quarter without the need for additional stimulus from the central bank.
A flurry of economic data out of Japan on Tuesday showed an improving labor market and an encouraging household spending picture.
HONG KONG, July 28- China shares jumped on Monday, with Hong Kong's index hitting its highest close in more than 3-1/ 2 years, on growing bets that the world's second-largest economy has turned a corner and as investors expect more growth-friendly policies.
SHANGHAI, July 28- China's yuan strengthened against the dollar on Monday, as better-than-expected economic data offset a weaker central bank midpoint fixing, traders said, as the spot market continued to push the traded rate closer to the midpoint.
Family Dollar rose the most in the Standard& Poor's 500 index— with a 25 percent gain— after Dollar Tree announced plans to buy the rival discount store for roughly $8.5 billion. Family Dollar's stock surged $15.08 to $75.74. Trulia jumped on news that Zillow, a rival real-estate listing service, was buying it for $3.5 billion.
Chinese industrial firms' profits rose 17.9 percent to 588.08 billion yuan ($94.98 billion) from a year earlier, up from an 8.9 percent rise in May.
With companies in Asia slowing their capital investment, the region may face a deceleration in economic growth ahead, HSBC said.
From China's twin factory data to a raft of corporate earnings, CNBC's Pauline Chiou highlights what will drive markets this week.
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