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  • There were also hopes that Greece could avoid destabilizing snap elections after Greece's Prime Minister Antonis Samaras made a surprise offer to bring pro-European independents into the government if they backed his choice for new president. Britain's blue-chip FTSE 100 index advanced by 1 percent, Germany's DAX by 0.9 percent and France's CAC rose 1.2...

  • BEIJING/ WASHINGTON, Dec 22- China said on Monday it opposed all forms of cyberattacks but there was no proof that North Korea was responsible for the hacking of Sony Pictures, as the United States has said. North Korea has denied it was to blame and has vowed to hit back against any U.S. retaliation, threatening the White House and the Pentagon. But the United States...

  • TOKYO, Dec 22- Japan's government said on Monday it would "steadily reduce" new government bond issuance for the next fiscal year from that planned for the current year ending in March 2015 in a bid to curb runaway public debt. Japan's public debt tops twice the size of its economy, by far the worst in the developed world. In a show of Abe's resolve to keep Japan's public...

  • BEIJING/ WASHINGTON, Dec 22- China has said it opposes all forms of cyberattacks, but it stopped short of directly condemning the hacking of Sony Pictures, or of responding to U.S. calls for action against North Korea, blamed by Washington for the assault. But the United States has also accused China of cyber spying in the past and a U.S. official has said the attack on...

  • Why the Sony hack isn't big news in Japan Saturday, 20 Dec 2014 | 8:01 AM ET

    Japan's biggest newspaper, Yomiuri Shimbun, featured a story about Sony Corp. on its website Friday. While American journalists have extensively covered the fallout from the unprecedented Sony hacking attack, it hasn't exactly been massive news in Japan. This might all be perplexing to the rest of the world since Sony is one of Japan's most iconic global...

  • 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...

  • Sony saga blends foreign intrigue, star wattage Saturday, 20 Dec 2014 | 12:43 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— President Barack Obama declared that Sony "made a mistake" in shelving a satirical film about a plot to assassinate North Korea's leader, and he pledged the U.S. would respond "in a place and manner and time that we choose" to the hacking attack on Sony that led to the withdrawal. Sony said it had had no choice but to cancel distribution of the movie since...

  • DETROIT, Dec 19- General Motors Co has developed contingency plans in case recalls of potentially lethal Takata- made air bag inflators widens, forcing the U.S. automaker to repair millions of vehicles, the company said on Friday. GM's plans include directing Takata to share with rivals TRW and Autoliv the No. 1 U.S. automaker's air bag specifications and data so...

  • Obama says North Korea hacked Sony, vows response Friday, 19 Dec 2014 | 11:53 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— President Barack Obama declared Friday that Sony "made a mistake" in shelving a satirical film about a plot to assassinate North Korea's leader, and he pledged the U.S. would respond "in a place and manner and time that we choose" to the hacking attack on Sony that led to the withdrawal. Sony said it had had no choice but to cancel distribution of the movie...

  • LONDON, Dec 19- Brent crude oil rose to around $60 a barrel on Friday, rallying from near a 5-1/ 2- year low as investors squared books ahead of the year-end festive break after six months of falling prices. Oil prices were on track for a fourth straight week of declines after OPEC members last month decided against cutting production despite a huge global overhang...

  • 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...

  • TOKYO, Dec 19- Japan's Nissan Motor Co and French partner Renault SA have stopped taking orders for some cars in Russia and could raise prices on others if the rouble's plunge continues, alliance Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn said on Friday. Russia is Nissan's fifth-largest market and the Japanese firm's alliance with Renault SA, of which Ghosn is chairman and...

  • LONDON, Dec 19- Brent crude oil rose above $60 a barrel on Friday, recovering from near a 5-1/ 2- year low as investors squared books ahead of the year-end festive break after six months of falling prices. Oil prices were on track for a fourth straight week of declines after OPEC members last month decided against cutting production despite a huge global overhang of...

  • *CPI, jobs and household spending data due 2330 GMT Dec 25. TOKYO, Dec 19- Japan's annual core consumer inflation probably slowed for a fourth straight month in November, mirroring a slide in oil prices, a Reuters poll showed, underscoring a tough task for the Bank of Japan to achieve its 2 percent inflation target. "Consumer spending lacks strength and prices of items...

  • TOKYO, Dec 19- Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda voiced confidence the bank will meet its ambitious price target, seeking to dispel speculation a global oil rout will slow inflation and force it to ease again soon. Offering a brighter view of the economy at his first news conference since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's landslide victory in a Dec. 14 election,...

  • Expectations of more Japan stimulus weighs on yen. LONDON, Dec 19- The yen fell on Friday amid expectations of further stimulus next year to bolster Japanese inflation and also on a revival of global risk sentiment after battered oil prices and Russia's rouble stabilised. BoJ chief Haruhiko Kuroda said Japan was still halfway towards meeting an inflation goal...

  • TOKYO, Dec 19- Japan's Nissan Motor Co and French partner Renault SA have stopped taking orders for some cars in Russia and could raise prices on others if the rouble's plunge continues, alliance Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn said on Friday. Russia is Nissan's fifth-largest market and the Japanese firm's alliance with Renault SA, of which Ghosn is chairman and...

  • *Gold cuts weekly loss, other precious metals also firmer. SINGAPORE, Dec 19- Gold edged up above $1,200 an ounce on Friday as buyers helped the metal hold up against rising equity markets, paring losses fueled by worries over a looming hike in U.S. interest rates. A surge in gold prices to above $1,230 an ounce last week from around $1,140 a week earlier has spurred...

  • Japan scientist quits as cell research discredited Friday, 19 Dec 2014 | 12:10 AM ET

    Haruko Obokata said in a statement Friday that she was leaving the Riken Center for Developmental Biology after the lab concluded the stem cells she said she had created probably never existed. But questions about the validity of the research prompted Riken scientists, including Obokata, to retract two scientific papers. The allegations of research...

  • Japan scientist quits as cell research discredited Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 10:57 PM ET

    TOKYO— The Japanese researcher whose claim of a major breakthrough in stem cell research was discredited has resigned after the government lab where she worked failed to replicate her results. Haruko Obokata said in a statement Friday that she was leaving the Riken Center for Developmental Biology after the lab concluded the stem cells she said she had...