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  • *China is world's second-biggest defence spender. *Aircraft carriers, submarines seen among China's priorities. BEIJING, March 4- China's defence budget this year will rise about 10 percent compared with 2014, a top government official said on Wednesday, outpacing the slowing economy as the country ramps up investment in high-tech equipment such as...

  • WASHINGTON, March 4- The United States expects a global deal to cut customs red tape and streamline import procedures to come into force this year, a senior trade official said on Wednesday. Trade Representative for World Trade Organization and Multilateral Affairs, said Washington was "pretty confident" the deal agreed in Bali in 2013 would be up and running by...

  • March 4- Teen apparel retailer Abercrombie& Fitch Co said the factors that led to a drop in sales in the fourth quarter- a strong dollar and weak demand for clothing featuring its name and logo- would persist in the first half of its fiscal year. Abercrombie& Fitch shares fell as much as 15 percent to a six-year low of $20.37 in morning trading on Wednesday.

  • Mar 4- Teen apparel retailer Abercrombie& Fitch Co said the factors that led to a drop in sales in the fourth quarter- a strong dollar and weak demand for clothing featuring its name and logo- would persist in the first half of its fiscal year. Teen apparel retailers such as Abercrombie, American Eagle Outfitters Inc and Aeropostale Inc have suffered as young...

  • Abercrombie & Fitch profit falls by a third Wednesday, 4 Mar 2015 | 7:44 AM ET

    Mar 4- Teen apparel retailer Abercrombie& Fitch Co said its quarterly profit fell by a third, hurt by low demand for its Hollister and namesake brands, discounts and a strong dollar. The company's net income fell to $44.4 million, or 63 cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended Jan. 31, from $66.1 million, or 85 cents per share, a year earlier. Net sales fell 14 percent to...

  • LONDON, March 4- Brent crude oil steadied above $60 a barrel on Wednesday after Saudi Arabia's oil minister said he expected the oil market to balance itself. Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said he hoped and expected the oil market to balance and prices, which hit a nearly six-year low around $45 in January, to stabilize, adding to signs OPEC's largest exporter is...

  • *China is world's second biggest defense spender. *Aircraft carriers, submarines seen among China's priorities. BEIJING, March 4- China's defense budget this year will rise about 10 percent compared with 2014, a top government official said on Wednesday, outpacing the slowing economy as the country ramps up investment in high-tech equipment such as...

  • *Indonesia beef price could rise 50 pct ahead of Ramadan in June. JAKARTA, March 4- Plans by Indonesia's new president to make the nation self-sufficient in foods such as beef are showing signs of backfiring, with a major industry group warning prices for the meat could soar 50 percent in the next few months. Reduced imports would also hurt shipments from world No.3...

  • *Fighting escalates in Libya, militants seize oilfield. LONDON, March 4- Brent dipped on Wednesday but held above $60 a barrel, supported by a rise in Saudi crude prices and air strikes and militant raids on oil facilities in Libya. In a move widely seen as showing Saudi Arabia's confidence in a demand recovery, the OPEC kingpin raised official selling prices for its...

  • Ailing Malaysia Airlines readies for drastic overhaul Wednesday, 4 Mar 2015 | 3:49 AM ET

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia— After a year of calamity, Malaysia Airlines is shrinking to survive. His new bosses hope he'll be able to pull off a similar feat at Malaysia Airlines though analysts say success is far from guaranteed because of the political baggage of being a state-owned company. At least four other major restructurings of Malaysia Airlines since 2001...

  • BEIJING— China's official military budget will grow by about 10 percent in the coming year, a legislative spokeswoman said Wednesday, amid unease among Beijing's neighbors about its growing might and territorial ambitions. The spending reflects China's growing power and desire to assert itself in the region and globally. Fu told a news conference that...

  • NEW DELHI— India's central bank on Wednesday unexpectedly cut a key interest rate by a quarter percentage point, the second such reduction this year as the bank lends support to government efforts to boost economic growth. But India's inflation rate has fallen substantially in recent months as global oil prices have dropped sharply. India's Prime Minister...

  • *Saudi Arabia raises monthly prices for crude sales to U.S., Asia. SINGAPORE, March 4- Brent dipped on Wednesday but held above $60 a barrel, supported by a rise in Saudi crude prices and air strikes on oil facilities in Libya. In a move widely seen as showing Saudi Arabia's confidence about a recovery in demand, the OPEC kingpin raised the official selling prices for...

  • Brent holds above $60 after Saudi price hikes Tuesday, 3 Mar 2015 | 10:10 PM ET

    *Fighting escalates in Libya before UN talks. SINGAPORE, March 4- Brent held above $60 a barrel on Wednesday supported by a hike in Saudi crude prices and strikes on oil facilities in Libya. In a move widely seen as a vote of confidence by Saudi Arabia in demand recovery, the OPEC kingpin raised the official selling prices for its oil deliveries to Asia and the United...

  • *Netanyahu hits out against Iran in U.S. Congress, fueling rise. NEW YORK, March 3- Oil rebounded on Tuesday as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the Obama administration against accepting a weak nuclear deal with Iran, and rival Libyan forces targeted oil terminals in the African nation. Gains accelerated just before noon in New York when...

  • NEW YORK, March 3- Oil rebounded on Tuesday as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the Obama administration against accepting a weak nuclear deal with Iran, while rival Libyan forces targeted oil terminals in the African nation. Higher prices imposed by Saudi Arabia on its crude buyers in Asia, the United States and northwest Europe was another...

  • *Saudis fear Obama wants Iran deal "whatever the cost". Secretary of State John Kerry flies to Riyadh this week to try to reassure King Salman that any nuclear deal with Iran will be in Saudi interests, despite the kingdom's fears that it may boost Tehran's backing for Shi'ite Muslim groups in the region. While the main critics of the U.S. push for a nuclear deal with...

  • NEW YORK— Target Corp. is cutting several thousand jobs as part of a plan to eliminate $2 billion in costs over the next two years. Target also plans to invest between $2 billion and $2.2 billion in capital expenditures for the current fiscal year. We have to create a more innovative culture, " Brian Cornell, Target's CEO told analysts Tuesday at a meeting in New York...

  • JAKARTA, March 4- Selling goods online may only rely on a few mouse clicks, but in Indonesia, delivering purchases to dozens of islands via creaky ports and potholed roads is the logistical challenge Lippo Group faces when its department store opens in cyberspace this month. Lippo, the biggest shareholder of No. 1 retailer PT Matahari Department Store Tbk, is...

  • *Netanyahu hits out against Iran in U.S. Congress, fuelling rise. NEW YORK, March 3- Oil rebounded on Tuesday as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the Obama administration against accepting a weak nuclear deal with Iran and rival Libyan forces targeted oil terminals in the African nation. Gains in Brent accelerated after Netanyahu told the U.S....