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Australia & New Zealand

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  • *Asia shares buoyed as Wall St surges for second day. LONDON, Dec 19- World markets are ending their last full week of 2014 on a high, as Wall Street made its biggest two-day advance since late 2011 and European shares headed for their strongest week of the year. French IT services company Atos SE Xerox Corp's outsourcing arm.

  • *Shanghai copper reverses early losses to follow LME up. SYDNEY, Dec 19- Copper futures edged higher on Friday as oil prices rose and on worries over a possible supply disruption in Africa. Barrick Gold Corp said on Thursday it would suspend operations at its Lumwana copper mine in Zambia if legislation is passed to lift royalties on open-pit mining operations to...

  • Moving target: How China steel data masks scale of glut Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 4:00 PM ET

    SINGAPORE/ BEIJING, Dec 19- China appears to have been routinely underestimating output from its sprawling steel sector, with official figures for last year alone 40 million tonnes below a key industry estimate- an amount equivalent to Germany's entire annual production. "It is not satisfactory to have doubts about the accuracy of steel production statistics,...

  • SYDNEY, Dec 18- Australia's New South Wales state said it plans to raise $16 billion by selling just under half its electricity network, using proceeds from one of the country's biggest privatisations for major rail, road and other infrastructure upgrades. The so-called "poles and wires" deal has been seen as attractive to large offshore investors like State...

  • SYDNEY, Dec 18- Australia's New South Wales state said it plans to raise A $20 billion by leasing or selling 49 percent of its electricity network, enabling it to pay for a second Sydney Harbour rail crossing and several road upgrades. State Treasurer Andrew Constance said the plan, to proceed if the government is re-elected in a ballot scheduled for March, would...

  • BANGKOK, Dec 17- Thailand's central bank left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 2 percent on Wednesday, as expected, saying the level is low enough to support the country's "weaker-than-expected" economic recovery. But the BOT said it sees "not much" impact on Thailand from Russia's economic crisis. The rate-hold means Thailand only changed its benchmark...

  • Clinton denounces torture, says black lives matter Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 12:09 AM ET

    NEW YORK— Hillary Rodham Clinton said Tuesday she's proud to have been part of an administration that "banned illegal renditions and brutal interrogations" and said the U.S. should never be involved in torture anywhere in the world. Clinton spoke about the importance of the nation acting in accordance with its values after receiving an award from The Robert F....

  • LONDON, Dec 16- Aluminum prices hit their lowest level in two months on Tuesday, while copper also slid after poor industrial data from China, the world's biggest metals consumer, and a further fall in oil prices. Activity in China's factory sector contracted in December for the first time in seven months, the latest in a string of weak economic indicators.

  • LONDON, Dec 16- Aluminum prices hit their lowest level in two months on Tuesday, while copper also slid after poor industrial data from China, the world's biggest metals consumer, and a further fall in oil prices. Broader market sentiment was soured as Brent oil futures sank towards $59 per barrel for the first time since May 2009, while Russia's central bank raised...

  • *China data shows factory sector contraction. LONDON, Dec 16- A plunge in oil below $60 and the failure of an emergency interest rate rise to stabilize Russia's rouble sent another shock through global financial markets on Tuesday, adding to a growing sense of crisis in a volatile end to 2014.. After a bumper few years driven by the huge quantities of extra cash...

  • SYDNEY, Dec 16- The self-styled sheik behind a siege at a Sydney cafe had been charged as an accessory to murder and with multiple sexual offenses. Last year Monis was charged as an accessory to the stabbing murder of his ex-wife, who was set alight in a Sydney apartment block. He was charged this year with more than 40 counts of sexual or indecent assault against...

  • SYDNEY, Dec 16- Heavily armed Australian police stormed a Sydney cafe early on Tuesday morning and freed terrified hostages being held there at gunpoint, in a dramatic end to a 16- hour siege in which two captives and the attacker were killed. Authorities have not publicly identified the gunman, but a police source named him as Man Haron Monis, an Iranian refugee...

  • Business events scheduled for Tuesday Monday, 15 Dec 2014 | 2:07 PM ET

    WASHINGTON— Commerce Department releases housing starts for November, 8:30 a.m.. BERLIN— Germany's ZEW institute releases its monthly index of investor confidence in Europe's biggest economy. CHINA— HSBC preliminary China manufacturing purchasing managers' index.

  • Police storm Sydney café  Monday, 15 Dec 2014 | 10:19 AM ET

    CNBC's Mandy Drury provides the latest details on the siege taking place at a Sydney, Australia cafe.

  • Sydney gunman identified as Sheikh Haron  Monday, 15 Dec 2014 | 10:07 AM ET

    CNBC's Mandy Drury provides the latest details on the identity of the gunman holding a number of hostages inside a cafe in downtown Sydney.

  • IllRideWithYou: Aussies offer support to Muslims Monday, 15 Dec 2014 | 9:04 AM ET

    Some Australian social-media users sent a message of solidarity to Muslims as the Sydney cafe siege stretched on for almost a day, offering to accompany anyone who felt intimidated on public transit. Hostages were held for more than 16 hours inside Sydney's Lindt Chocolat Cafe by a gunman who had a flag bearing an Islamic declaration of faith that has been used...

  • *Petsmart to be acquired by private equity consortium. NEW YORK, Dec 15- U.S. stocks were set to rise at the open on Monday, following the worst week for the S&P 500 in more than two years, with investors focused on crude oil prices which earlier hit a fresh 5-1/ 2- year low. Shares of pet supply retailer PetSmart rose 4.8 percent in premarket trading after it agreed to be...

  • GHENT, Belgium, Dec 15- Belgian armed police stormed an apartment in the western city of Ghent on Monday to end a siege after reports that gunmen had taken a hostage there. The victim was safe and well and three other men had been detained, a spokeswoman for state prosecutors said. The incident occurred within hours of Australian police locking down the center of...

  • US STOCKS-Futures jump early as crude prices rebound Monday, 15 Dec 2014 | 7:39 AM ET

    *Petsmart to be acquired by private equity consortium. NEW YORK, Dec 15- U.S. stock index futures rose on Monday, following the worst week for the S&P 500 in more than two years, with investors focused on a rebound in crude oil prices which earlier hit a fresh 5-1/ 2- year low. *Shares of pet supply retailer PetSmart rose 4.2 percent in premarket trading after it agreed to...

  • BRUSSELS, Dec 15- Four gunmen took a man hostage in an apartment in the Belgian city of Ghent on Monday, officials said, adding there was no initial evidence linking the assault to a jihadist organisation. Belgian police cordoned off part of the city after the four men were seen entering the building in the Dampoort district, where they took a hostage.