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Australia & New Zealand

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  • FOREX-Dollar holds near highest in almost 9 years Wednesday, 24 Dec 2014 | 7:19 AM ET

    LONDON, Dec 24- The dollar held near its highest point in almost nine years against a basket of currencies on Wednesday after investors brought forward forecasts for when U.S. interest rates will rise. That was the strongest sign yet that growth has shifted into higher gear and it pushed the dollar index to highs not seen since March 2006, while the two-year yield...

  • SINGAPORE, Dec 24- Brent futures fell toward $61 per barrel on Wednesday, giving up some of the previous session's gains, as the U.S. dollar held near its highest level in nearly nine years on strong data. Brent for February delivery dropped 54 cents to $61.15 by 0400 GMT after settling up $1.58 on Tuesday. U.S. crude fell 53 cents to $56.59, after settling $1.86 higher...

  • SINGAPORE Dec 24- Brent futures fell toward $61 per barrel on Wednesday, giving up some of the previous session's gains, as the U.S. dollar held near its highest level in nearly nine years on strong data. Brent for February delivery dropped 28 cents to $61.41 by 0235 GMT after settling up $1.58 on Tuesday. "Every time oil prices come up for air an OPEC member or short...

  • *Sterling at 16- month lows, bombarded by UK and U.S. data. NEW YORK, Dec 23- The dollar strengthened on Tuesday after a revised third-quarter U.S. gross domestic product report blew past expectations to register the fastest pace of growth in 11 years. At first blush you have to say it was a very good revision, "said Lou Brien, strategist at DRW Trading in Chicago.

  • *Sterling hits 16- month low vs dollar after weak UK data. LONDON, Dec 23- Sterling skidded to its weakest since early September 2013 against a rallying dollar on Tuesday after data showed UK growth slowing in the third quarter, keeping pressure off the Bank of England to raise interest rates. Sterling fell by 0.4 percent to $1.5522 after UK growth was revised down...

  • LONDON, Dec 23- The Australian dollar hit a 4-1/ 2- year trough against its U.S. counterpart on Tuesday as prices of iron for construction fell in China amid weak demand from the property sector and after Australia's premier warned of heightened "terrorist chatter." Following the siege in a Sydney cafe a week ago, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the...

  • *China reforms, Australia state sales to drive 2015 growth. Non-state companies from China, including Fosun International and Haitong Securities, have sealed a series of outbound deals this year, a marked change from past years when state-owned enterprises dominated China's mergers and acquisitions. "What we are seeing is companies that haven't been on the...

  • *Australia's plan to become top LNG exporter still on track. Just last week, Woodside Petroleum Ltd delayed the FID for its $40 billion Browse floating project with Royal Dutch Shell and BP. The next cab off that rank could be ExxonMobil and BHP Billiton's $10 billion Scarborough project.

  • *Copper price heading for double-digit pct drop in 2014. SYDNEY, Dec 22- Copper prices traded slightly higher on Monday, reversing losses earlier in the day, with traders saying contracts looked cheap following recent price drops. Copper is down some 13 percent so far this year on worries the market is heading into a supply surplus after several years of deficit,...

  • Asian markets gain as oil rebounds Sunday, 21 Dec 2014 | 11:12 PM ET

    South Korea's Kospi added 0.4 percent to 1,936.79 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 1.4 percent to 23,428.73. Stocks in Southeast Asia and Taiwan also rose. ANALYST'S TAKE: "Our markets have opened firmer after the strong rebound in energy prices," said Tony Kwok, a sales trader in Sydney for CMC Markets.

  • SYDNEY, Dec 22- Spanish infrastructure giant Ferrovial SA tore up a sweetened $830 million offer for Australia's Transfield Services Ltd, putting the contractor under pressure to show it can thrive as the country's mining boom grinds to a halt. The shares fell to A $1.63 by mid-afternoon, their lowest since before Ferrovial made its initial A $1.95- per-share...

  • TOKYO, Dec 22- Asian shares took their cues from Wall Street and kicked off a holiday-shortened week on a strong footing on Monday, while the euro touched a fresh two-year low against the greenback on divergent monetary policy expectations. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan extended gains and was up 1.1 percent. "We're seeing a positive...

  • WASHINGTON, Dec 21- Malicious software likely linked to China was used to infect visitors to a wide range of official Afghan government websites, U.S. cybersecurity researchers say. He said the latest attack was very recent and one timestamp associated with the Java file was from Dec. 16, the same day Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang met with Afghanistan's chief...

  • Honolulu, Dec 20- The Obama administration is consulting the UK, Australia and New Zealand, among other countries in hopes of organizing an international response to the cyberattack on Sony Pictures that it has pinned on North Korea, an administration official told Reuters on Saturday.

  • *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...