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  • LONDON, March 4- Nickel rebounded on Wednesday, breaking a string of four straight losing sessions, after reports of closures of nickel operations in China and despite a surge in inventories. On Tuesday, it had hit the lowest since January 2014 at $13,610. Analysts at Macquarie Bank said nickel demand in China should get a boost from a government order to close some...

  • LONDON, March 4- Nickel prices slid for the fifth straight session on Wednesday towards the lowest levels in nearly 14 months after inventories touched another record high, fanning worries over demand in top consumer China. It should have done, but it hasn't, "said Nic Brown, head of commodities research at Natixis. "I worry that the picture in China is worse than we...

  • *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...

  • "Clearly the bulls have capitulated," said strategist Daniel Hynes of ANZ in Sydney, adding that there appeared to be no sign of nickel ore being replaced with nickel in China. Macquarie, however, said nickel demand in China should get a boost from a central government order to close some nickel pig iron factories to curb pollution, citing China research house...

  • CANBERRA, Australia— Australian authorities are clamping down on wealthy foreigners illegally buying real estate, ordering a Chinese billionaire to sell a Sydney mansion he recently bought for $30 million. The billionaire, Hui Ka Yan, is chairman of Hong Kong- listed real estate developer Evergrande Real Estate Group, which is based in Guangzhou, China.

  • 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 submarines and stealth jets. "Compared with great powers, the road of China's defence modernisation is more difficult.

  • US stock indexes sink as market heads for a second loss Wednesday, 4 Mar 2015 | 12:08 AM ET

    KEEPING SCORE: In early trading, France's CAC-40 added 0.4 percent to 4,886.38 points and Germany's DAX gained 0.1 percent to 11,291.77. Britain's FTSE 100 fell 0.2 percent to 6,878.49. Meanwhile, a key gauge of business activity showed growth in February in all four of the region's big economies— Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

  • DIARY-Top Economic Events to March 17 Wednesday, 4 Mar 2015 | 12:01 AM ET

    LAKE FOREST, United States- Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans speaks on current economic conditions and monetary policy before the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Rotary Club 2015 Economic Breakfast- 1400 GMT. KANSAS CITY, United States- Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City President Esther George speaks on the U.S. economy at an event hosted by...

  • TOKYO, March 4- The dollar held firm near an 11- year high versus a basket of major currencies on Wednesday, as investors awaited U.S. economic data and a European Central Bank meeting later this week for fresh clues on policy direction. On Tuesday it had touched a high of 95.570, its strongest level since September 2003. Against the yen, the dollar held steady at...

  • "Clearly the bulls have capitulated," said strategist Daniel Hynes of ANZ in Sydney, adding that there appeared to be no sign of nickel ore being replaced with nickel in China. Macquarie, however, said nickel demand in China should get a boost from a central government order to close some nickel pig iron factories to curb pollution, citing China research house...

  • SINGAPORE, March 4- As global shipping grapples with its worst downturn in 30 years, private equity firms are unwinding massive bets made on the sector in a move set to accelerate a restructuring of the shipping industry. The New York- based private equity firm had generated "great but not spectacular" gains in its investments in clean tankers, vessels that carry...

  • SYDNEY, March 3- Australia has ordered the Chinese owner of a A $39 million Sydney mansion to sell up, the first crackdown on foreign residential purchases in nearly a decade amid government attempts to cool one of the world's hottest property markets. "Villa del Mare" was bought "illegally" in November by Golden Fast Foods Pty, a firm owned by Hong Kong- listed...

  • LONDON, March 3- Copper slid on Tuesday from a seven-week peak hit the previous session and nickel sank to a near 14- month low as optimism over a weekend interest rate cut in top consumer China dissipated and as inventories continue to rise. The news overshadowed the weekend move by China's central bank to cut interest rates. This week could see China's growth...

  • BERLIN— Switzerland has signed an accord with Australia aimed at cracking down on tax evaders. Swiss Finance Ministry spokesman Mario Tuor said it's the first time Switzerland has pledged such an automatic information exchange, though negotiations are underway with the United States and the European Union over similar accords. Switzerland says Australia...

  • *China sees sluggish pick-up in demand after New Year hols. LONDON, March 3- Copper prices slipped on Tuesday from a seven-week peak hit in the previous session as excitement over a weekend interest rate cut in top consumer China dissipated, and as the dollar was seen gaining strength. This week could see China's growth forecast coming in at around 7 percent, and...

  • SYDNEY, March 3- Australia has ordered the Chinese owner of a A $39 million Sydney mansion to sell up, the first crackdown on foreign residential purchases in nearly a decade amid government attempts to cool one of the world's hottest property markets. "Villa del Mare" was bought "illegally" in November by Golden Fast Foods Pty, a firm owned by Hong Kong- listed...

  • SYDNEY— Nearly a year has passed since Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 vanished on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, sparking one of the most perplexing mysteries of modern times. The current phase of the search in the deep, dark and desolate waters of the Indian Ocean has failed to yield a single clue about the plane's fate. A: Crews have scoured more than 40...

  • SYDNEY, March 3- Australia on Tuesday announced it was forcing the Chinese owner of a A $39 million Sydney mansion to sell up within 90 days, the first such crackdown on foreign investment in residential real estate since 2006.. "Villa del Mare" was bought "illegally" in November by Golden Fast Foods Pty, owned by Hong Kong- listed Evergrande Real Estate Group through a...

  • TOKYO/ SYDNEY, March 3- The dollar pulled back a little from an 11- year peak against a basket of major currencies on Tuesday, with the Australian dollar stealing the spotlight as it surged after the Reserve Bank of Australia stood pat on interest rates. The U.S. currency also was pressured against the yen after Etsuro Honda, an economic adviser to Japanese Prime...

  • *Brent crude stabilizes after plunge on Iran nuclear deal talk. TOKYO, March 3- Most Asian stock markets edged higher on Tuesday, bolstered by another record day on Wall Street, while a resurgent yen helped knock the U.S. dollar index off an 11- year high. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added about 0.1 percent, while Japan's Nikkei stock...