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  • HONG KONG, Aug 29- China shares rose on Friday, buoyed by banks and outperforming aviation counters, while the Hong Kong market slipped again on profit-taking and lackluster earnings. The Hang Seng Index, which has declined the past three days, slipped 0.3 percent to a two-week low at 24,678.14 points.

  • SHANGHAI, Aug 29- The yuan edged higher versus the dollar on Friday and is set to rise nearly 1 percent in August in the third straight month of gains, with China's improving exports helping boost market sentiment towards the Chinese currency, traders said.

  • China's defense budget nearly three times Japan's. TOKYO, Aug 29- Japan's defense planners are seeking their biggest budget ever for the coming fiscal year to pay for stealth fighters, drones and a hi-tech submarine, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe bolsters the military amid an intensifying rivalry with China.

  • SYDNEY, Aug 29- London copper futures were mostly unchanged on Friday, but prices were on track for their biggest monthly loss since March on worries that escalating tensions in Ukraine could set back global growth and hit metals demand. *The most-traded October copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 1 percent to 49,740 yuan a tonne.

  • *New study shows China's productivity growth turned negative after global financial crisis.

  • *Rejected as pariah by West, Mugabe welcomed in Beijing. HARARE/ BEIJING, Aug 28- Snubbed by a U.S.-hosted gathering of African leaders this month, Zimbabwe's veteran President Robert Mugabe has turned again to "old friend" China, but even Beijing's support may not be enough to rescue his country's sinking economy.

  • *Shanghai rebar futures drop to record low. SINGAPORE, Aug 28- Spot iron ore hit a two-year low on Thursday and was on course to fall to its lowest since 2009 as tighter credit in China curbed purchases of imported cargoes, and iron ore futures in Dalian slumped to a contract low.

  • Hawaii tourism officials expect slower growth Thursday, 28 Aug 2014 | 9:01 AM ET

    HONOLULU— Hawaii tourism officials said Thursday they were tempering their expectations, but they still anticipate continued growth for the state's biggest industry. Still, growing numbers of travelers from markets like Australia, China and South Korea should help fuel continued expansion.

  • KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 28- Malaysia Airlines has warned of poor second-half earnings as passenger bookings continue to fall in response to the loss of two aircraft in separate disasters this year.

  • UPDATE 1-Malaysia Airlines posts Q2 net loss of $98 mln Thursday, 28 Aug 2014 | 7:48 AM ET

    KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 28- Malaysia Airlines on Thursday reported another financial loss and warned of poor second-half earnings, as passenger bookings tumbled in response to the loss of two aircraft in separate disasters this year.

  • PetroChina profit up 4 percent as gas sales rise Thursday, 28 Aug 2014 | 7:30 AM ET

    BEIJING— State-owned PetroChina, East Asia's biggest oil producer, says its profit in the first half rose 4 percent as sales of gasoline and natural gas increased. PetroChina Ltd. said Thursday it earned 68.1 billion yuan, or 0.37 yuan per share, in the six months ended June 30.

  • *PetroChina says aims to make Athabasca payment soon. HONG KONG, Aug 28- PetroChina, the country's top oil and gas producer which also owns refineries, posted a 15 percent rise in second-quarter profit, partly due to higher upstream earnings and improved refining margins.

  • Wealthy Chinese after US investor visas     Thursday, 28 Aug 2014 | 6:17 AM ET

    The U.S. has stopped taking applications from Chinese people for the EB-5 visa program. CNBC's Eunice Yoon explains why.

  • Microsoft's Nadella to visit China amid probe Thursday, 28 Aug 2014 | 5:52 AM ET

    Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is set to visit China in late September as the Chinese government conducts an antitrust probe.

  • HONG KONG, Aug 28- Anti-corruption officers in Hong Kong on Thursday raided the home of Jimmy Lai, a media magnate and outspoken critic of Beijing who has supported pro-democracy activists through his publications and with donations.

  • HK graft cops raid pro-democracy media boss's home Thursday, 28 Aug 2014 | 4:58 AM ET

    HONG KONG— Hong Kong anti-corruption police on Thursday searched the homes of a media magnate who is an outspoken critic of Beijing and a pro-democracy legislator after receiving a complaint alleging that lawmakers had taken bribes.

  • BEIJING, Aug 28- Activity in China's vast factory sector likely weakened in August as demand faltered, a Reuters poll showed on Thursday, reinforcing expectations that further policy steps may be needed to keep economic growth on track.

  • Special economic zones in China: Do they work?     Thursday, 28 Aug 2014 | 3:45 AM ET

    Jim Coleman, head of economics at BuroHappold Engineering, and Stephen King, chief global economist at HSBC, discuss whether China's special economic zones are a benefit to the economy.

  • METALS-LME copper steadies in low volumes, ECB in focus Thursday, 28 Aug 2014 | 3:43 AM ET

    SYDNEY, Aug 28- Copper steadied in low trade volumes on Thursday as markets awaited fresh signals on whether the European Central Bank would act to shore up a faltering economy that could drag on world growth and metals demand.

  • HONG KONG, Aug 28- China shares slipped on Thursday as a batch of initial public offerings started taking subscriptions, diverting money from existing stocks and pulling down the indexes to multi-week lows. Agricultural Bank of China, joining two other major banks, late on Tuesday reported slowing profit growth and rising bad loans for the second quarter.