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  • 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...

  • China a big buyer of Yemen oil as export risks rise Thursday, 26 Mar 2015 | 12:31 AM ET

    SINGAPORE, March 26- Oil prices have surged on growing conflict in Yemen, though trade sources said there was ample crude supply in global markets to replace any drop in exports to buyers such as China as long as the conflict did not cause broader disruption. There is concern the crisis could escalate, exacerbating wider sectarian conflict in the Middle East,...

  • FOREX-Dollar drifts lower, undermined by soft U.S. data Thursday, 26 Mar 2015 | 12:10 AM ET

    *Forex market reaction muted to Yemen escalation, oil price surge. TOKYO/ SYDNEY, March 26- The U.S. dollar ground lower in small ranges on Thursday, edging towards a four-week low against the yen in the wake of disappointing U.S. data that suggested the greenback's recent rally is on ice for now. News that Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab allies had launched air strikes...

  • March 26- Saudi Arabia announced on Wednesday it had launched military operations in Yemen, carrying out air strikes in coordination with a 10- country coalition seeking to beat back Houthi militia forces besieging the southern city of Aden where the country's president had taken refuge. The crisis risks spiraling into a proxy war with Shi'ite Iran backing...

  • March 26- Saudi Arabia announced on Wednesday it had launched military operations in Yemen, carrying out air strikes in coordination with a 10- country coalition seeking to beat back Houthi militia forces besieging the southern city of Aden where the country's president had taken refuge. The crisis risks spiraling into a proxy war with Shi'ite Iran backing...