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  • SEJONG, South Korea/ SEOUL, March 27- South Korea hopes its infrastructure companies will benefit from the country joining the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the finance ministry said on Friday. China is South Korea's biggest trading partner and the two countries are set to sign a free trade agreement in the first half of this year.

  • *Lingering concerns over conflict in Yemen limit stock gains. TOKYO, March 27- Asian stocks crawled higher on Friday as upbeat U.S. economic data helped revive some risk appetite lost following air strikes on Houthi militants in Yemen, while the dollar rebounded. Crude oil prices were slightly lower on the dollar's bounce after surging overnight on the...

  • TOKYO— Japan reported lackluster inflation and wages data for February that suggested Friday that its economic recovery remains in the doldrums. Excluding the impact of an April 2014 sales tax hike, inflation was flat. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has sought to spur growth through extreme monetary easing by the central bank that is meant to drive prices higher,...

  • DIARY- Top Economic Events to April 9 Thursday, 26 Mar 2015 | 8:02 PM ET

    SAN FRANCISCO, United States- Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen speaks on "Monetary Policy" before the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Conference: The New Normal for Monetary Policy- 1945 GMT. PRISHTINA- European Central Bank's Deputy Director General International& European Relations, Gilles Noblet, speaks at an event to celebrate the conclusion of a...

  • March 26- Private equity firm Platinum Equity LLC is in advanced talks to buy PrimeSource Building Products Inc, the largest distributor of screws and nails in the United States, from Itochu Corp, according to people familiar with the matter. Reuters reported in November that Itochu, a Japanese trading house, had hired investment bank JPMorgan Chase& Co in an...

  • *Iran denounces strikes, Russia calls for "immediate ceasefire". NEW YORK, March 26- Oil jumped about 5 percent on Thursday, the biggest daily gain in a month, as air strikes in Yemen by Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab allies sparked fears that escalation of the Middle East battle could disrupt world crude supplies. The Saudi military operation against the Iran- backed...

  • *Iran denounces strikes, Russia calls for "immediate ceasefire". NEW YORK, March 26- Oil jumped about 5 percent on Thursday, rallying a second straight day, after air strikes in Yemen by Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab allies sparked fears of a bigger Middle East battle that could disrupt world crude supplies. Pakistan, a Riyadh ally far away from the conflict, promised a "...

  • Business events scheduled for the coming week Thursday, 26 Mar 2015 | 2:41 PM ET

    WASHINGTON— Commerce Department releases personal income and spending for February, 8:30 a.m.; National Association of Realtors releases pending home sales index for February, 10 a.m.. WASHINGTON— Institute for Supply Management releases its manufacturing index for March, 10 a.m.; Commerce Department releases construction spending for February, 10 a.m..

  • Business events scheduled for Friday Thursday, 26 Mar 2015 | 2:24 PM ET

    Major business and economic events scheduled for Friday:. WASHINGTON— Commerce Department releases fourth-quarter gross domestic product, 8:30 a.m. Eastern. TOKYO— Japan releases its February economic data.

  • *Oil rises on fears of Middle East supply disruption over Yemen. *Gold tops $1,200 an ounce. NEW YORK, March 26- Stock markets worldwide were knocked lower and oil prices jumped on Thursday after Saudi Arabia and its allies carried out air strikes in Yemen that fueled worries Middle East energy shipments may be put at risk, although Wall Street later recovered.

  • *Iran says halt "aggressions"; security up at Kuwait oil sites. NEW YORK, March 26- Oil prices rallied for a second straight day on Thursday after Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab allies began air strikes in Yemen, sparking fears of a bigger Middle East battle that could disrupt world crude supplies. The military operation against Houthi rebels, who have driven the...

  • SEOUL, March 26- South Korea said on Thursday it has decided to seek to be a founding member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, another key U.S. ally joining the China- led institution despite Washington's misgivings. South Korea has demanded improvement in relation to the governing structure of the bank and other safeguards and there has been...

  • MUMBAI, March 26- A group of investors led by Japanese mobile telecom firm SoftBank Corp is in talks to buy a 20 percent stake in Indian handset maker Micromax Informatics IPO-MINF.NS> for up to $1 billion, two people aware of the discussions said. The investment would value Micromax, an unlisted provider of affordable smartphones that competes with South...

  • MUMBAI, March 26- A group of investors led by Japanese mobile telecom firm SoftBank Corp is in talks to buy a 20 percent stake in Indian handset maker Micromax Informatics for up to $1 billion, two people aware of the discussions said. The investment would value Micromax, an unlisted provider of affordable smartphones that competes with South Korea's Samsung...

  • TOKYO, March 26- Japanese electronics supplier Panasonic Corp said it was ready to spend 1 trillion yen on acquisitions over the next four years, emboldened by a stronger profit outlook for its automotive and housing technology businesses. Chief Executive Kazuhiro Tsuga said at a briefing on Thursday that Panasonic doesn't have specific acquisition...

  • *Oil rises on fears of Middle East supply disruption. LONDON, March 26- Crude prices rose as much as 6 percent on Thursday after Saudi Arabia and its allies launched air strikes on Yemen, pushing shares lower in Europe, the Middle East and Asia and lifting oil producers' currencies. "Oil is having a nice move after more geopolitical tensions in the Middle East over...

  • *Adidas to allow in-store product customisation. HERZOGENAURACH, Germany, March 26- German sportswear firm Adidas announced plans to revolutionise the way it manufactures goods to speed up production and allow more customisation of goods to help it accelerate sales and profit growth in the next five years. Adidas said it would focus marketing on six big...

  • FOREX-Yen, franc surge on Saudi worries, dollar weakens Thursday, 26 Mar 2015 | 5:20 AM ET

    LONDON, March 26- The dollar sank to a five-week low against the yen on Thursday, hit by the combination of another round of poor U.S. data and a bid for traditional safe havens by investors worried about stock markets and oil supplies out of the Middle East. News that Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab allies had launched air strikes against Iran- allied forces in Yemen...

  • JGBs steady after smooth 2-year auction Thursday, 26 Mar 2015 | 2:56 AM ET

    TOKYO, March 26- Japanese government bonds were mostly steady on Thursday, after a sale of two-year notes went as investors had expected. The Ministry of Finance offered 2.5 trillion yen of 2- year bonds with a 0.1 percent coupon. The lowest accepted price of 100.130 was in line with market expectations, while the bid-to-cover ratio rose to 4.80 from 4.39 at last...

  • ADELAIDE, Australia, March 26- At least some of Australia's new submarine fleet should be built in the country, an influential retired Japanese admiral said on Thursday, signalling a possible softening in Japan's position on the controversial A $50 billion project. Speaking on the sidelines of a conference of Australian naval officials, defence contractors...