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  • *North Korea calls accusations "groundless slander". SEOUL/ WASHINGTON, Dec 20- North Korea said on Saturday U.S. accusations that it was involved in a cyberattack on Sony Pictures were "groundless slander" and that it wanted a joint investigation into the incident with the United States. On Friday, President Barack Obama blamed North Korea for the devastating...

  • *North Korea calls accusations "groundless slander". SEOUL/ WASHINGTON, Dec 20- North Korea said on Saturday U.S. accusations that it was involved in a cyberattack on Sony Pictures were "groundless slander" and that it wanted a joint investigation into the incident with the United States. On Friday, President Barack Obama blamed North Korea for the devastating...

  • *North Korea calls accusations "groundless slander". *Obama says Sony should not have caved in to hackers. SEOUL/ WASHINGTON, Dec 20- North Korea said U.S. accusations that it was involved in a cyberattack on Sony Pictures were "groundless slander" and that it was wanted a joint investigation into the incident with the United States.

  • North Korea proposes joint probe over Sony hacking Saturday, 20 Dec 2014 | 6:09 AM ET

    SEOUL, South Korea— North Korea on Saturday proposed a joint investigation with the U.S. into the hacking attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment, warning of "serious" consequences if Washington rejects a probe that it believes would prove Pyongyang had nothing to do with the cyberattack. U.S. officials blame North Korea for the hacking, citing the tools used...

  • WASHINGTON, Dec 19- The United States has sought help from China, Japan, South Korea and Russia in combating cyber attacks such as the one Washington on Friday accused North Korea of carrying out against Sony Pictures, U.S. officials said. The outreach, which included meetings among U.S. and Chinese officials in both nations' capitals, is a tacit acknowledgement...

  • CHICAGO, Dec 19- China has officially approved imports of a genetically modified Bayer CropScience soybean variety after seven years of review, the company said on Friday, raising expectations that approval notices will come soon for other biotech crops. Bayer received an import certificate from China, the world's top soybean importer, for its LL55 Liberty...

  • CHICAGO, Dec 19- China has officially approved imports of a genetically modified Bayer CropScience soybean variety after seven years of review, the company said on Friday, raising expectations that approval notices will come soon for other grains. Bayer received an import certificate from China for its LL55 Liberty Link soybean, which is engineered to help...

  • Made in the USA: An iconic holiday toy comes home Friday, 19 Dec 2014 | 7:31 AM ET
    Logs being cut at Pride Manufacturing’s Burnham, Maine, plant. They will be turned into Lincoln Log toys.

    The iconic Lincoln Log toy has moved its manufacturing back to the U.S., without hurting its profit margins. Here's a look behind the scenes.

  • LONDON, Dec 19- This year has brought plenty of reminders of just how contrary and difficult markets can be. But for industrial metals the persistent underlying worry throughout the year has been slowdown in China, a drag on demand growth that shows no sign of ending any time soon. Even Hermes Investment Management, one of the trailblazers for commodities...

  • Sony hack adds to security pressure on companies Friday, 19 Dec 2014 | 6:14 AM ET

    The Sony attack, which U.S. officials blamed on North Korea, was unusual because it included threats of violence if the Hollywood studio released its movie "The Interview," a comedy that depicts the assassination of the North's leader. He said his company has received a growing number of requests from financial institutions and other businesses alarmed by...

  • *Risk appetite re-emerges as oil, Russia's rouble stabilise. *Barrick says may suspend Zambia copper mine. LONDON, Dec 19- Copper rose more around 1 percent on Friday, leading other base metals higher as recent sharp falls prompted some bargain hunting among investors, who were also encouraged by gains in oil and equities.

  • HONG KONG, Dec 19- A former top Hong Kong civil servant was found guilty on Friday of accepting HK $8.5 million in bribes from executives of property developer Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd, in the city's highest profile corruption case. Rafael Hui, 66, who headed Hong Kong's civil service from 2005 to 2007, was found guilty of three counts of misconduct in public...

  • Hong Kong shares close up, buoyed by U.S. optimism Friday, 19 Dec 2014 | 3:08 AM ET

    HONG KONG, Dec 19- Hong Kong shares finished up on Friday, climbing for a second day heartened by the prospect that U.S. interest rates will stay low for a while. Among the most actively traded stocks on Hong Kong's main board were CCT Land Holdings Ltd, unchanged at HK $0.02 G-Resources Group Ltd, up 1.7 percent at HK $0.18 and China Construction Bank Corp, up 1.0...

  • The CSI300 index of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen rose 1.1 percent to 3,383.17, and climbed 5.95 percent for the week. Among the most active stocks in Shanghai were China State Construction Engineering, up 10.1 percent to 6.88 yuan; GD Power Development, up 9.9 percent to 4.10 yuan and China Shipbuilding Industry, up 5.9 percent to 9.84...

  • China's wealth finds home in Washington state Friday, 19 Dec 2014 | 2:08 AM ET

    MEDINA, Wash.— Savvy Seattle-area real estate agents have gained an advantage by paying attention to the growing connections between China and Washington state. "I'm so glad my mother made me study Chinese," laughed property broker Janie Lee, after showing a client from Beijing a $4 million home in the suburb of Medina. And a recent top-grossing Chinese romantic...

  • SHANGHAI, Dec 19- China on Friday set up its first insurance fund for its $2.1 trillion trust industry in a move to reduce financial risk in shadow banking, the country's banking regulator said. The fund, jointly established by China Trustee Association and 13 trust firms, will be chaired by Xu Zhichao, an ex-deputy president of the state-owned Cinda Asset...

  • Hack attack spurs call for more NKorea sanctions Friday, 19 Dec 2014 | 12:06 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— Suspicions that North Korea was behind a destructive hacking attack against Sony Pictures and a threat against movie theaters are intensifying calls for tougher U.S. steps to cut that country's access to hard currency and declare it once more as a state sponsor of terrorism. A U.S. cyber-retaliation against North Korea would risk a dangerous...

  • SHANGHAI, Dec 19- China's yuan is plunging to fresh lows in December, declining 1.3 percent so far this month, heading toward its worst monthly performance since February and set to close the year down over 2 percent. "This is a dollar strength story and the CNY moves are market-driven," said Dominic Bunning, senior FX strategist at HSBC in Hong Kong.

  • Shanghai shares ease off 4-year intraday peak, HK gains Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 11:44 PM ET

    *Hong Kong positive on Fed "patient" stance on rates. BEIJING, Dec 19- Shanghai shares retreated from their highest intraday level in four years on Friday, while Hong Kong stocks rallied for a second day on positive global sentiment. China COSCO China Shipping Development, China Shipping Container Lines and China Merchants Energy Shipping jumped by their 10 pct...

  • *Asia shares buoyed as Wall St surges for second day. SYDNEY, Dec 19- Asian shares enjoyed their best day in 15 months on Friday, after Wall Street boasted its biggest two-day advance since late 2011 amid relief the Federal Reserve was in no rush to withdraw stimulus from the U.S. economy. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan put on 1.5 percent,...