European anti-trust investigators searched the offices of price agency Platts and at least one major oil company for a third day on Thursday, hunting for evidence of possible price manipulation on oil markets, witnesses said.» Read More
SHANGHAI, Dec 20- Long-time China watchers probably felt a sense of deja vu when HSBC's chief China economist, Qu Hongbin, predicted last month that the yuan would be convertible within five years. China has been thwarting such predictions since 1993, when it first formally adopted capital account convertibility as a long-term goal.
NEW YORK, Dec 19- Oil prices rose on Wednesday as expectations a battle over the U.S. budget will be resolved spurred optimism about crude demand in the world's top consumer. All markets were looking to go higher, and I think crude has fed off that, "said Addison Armstrong, director of market research, Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.
*Germany's Ifo data better than expected, supportive to oil. "The divide between the two parties... now appears to be just a hop, skip and jump away from a resolution being reached if recent market trajectory is anything to go by," Tim Waterer, a senior trader at CMC Markets in Sydney, wrote in a note.
LONDON, Dec 19- BHP Billiton has selected mining venture B&A Mineração as the preferred bidder for its stake in Mount Nimba, one of the largest iron ore deposits in Guinea, a source familiar with the situation said. "BHP will enter exclusive negotiations with B&A to sell its slice in Mount Nimba and its smaller iron ore assets in Liberia," the source said.
LONDON, Dec 19- Banks led the gainers among European shares on Wednesday as expectations of a deal to avoid growth curbing tax hikes and spending cuts in the United States kept alive the end of year rally in equities. The FTSEurofirst 300-- which has risen in December in 12 of the last 15 years-- climbed to a 19- month provisional closing high of 1,142.35 points.
ZURICH, Dec 19- Switzerland's financial regulator gave its top bank overseer Mark Branson the all-clear over his past role as head of UBS in Japan at a time when the Swiss bank's traders there were manipulating benchmark interest rates.
LONDON, Dec 19- The complex world of inter-dealer broking took centre stage on Wednesday as UBS admitted that its traders paid bribes to brokers in return for their help rigging interest rates.
LONDON, Dec 19- Brent crude oil rose by more than $1 to above $110 a barrel on Wednesday on expectations that a budget crisis in the United States will be resolved, heading off a recession threat to the world's top oil consumer.
Dec 19- Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Inc on Wednesday listed "numerous issues" with a supposed takeover offer from PST Capital Group Ltd, indicating the bid was likely bogus. It also listed law firm Lauby& Hogans LLP. The address for PST listed on the filing appears to be Speedy Parcel Post, a mailbox and shipping store in London.
*Wall Street wavers after strong two-day rally. NEW YORK, Dec 19- World shares rose to 17- month highs and the euro surged on Wednesday as hopes grew for a year-end budget deal in the United States and for further monetary stimulus from the Bank of Japan.
LONDON, Dec 19- Is gold's extraordinary rally finally about to end as it limps towards the close of its twelfth year of gains? At around $1,666 an ounce on Wednesday, it remains 13 percent below last year's record high of $1,920.30 and well away from the $2,000 level that beckoned to gold bulls at the time.
LONDON, Dec 19- Arabica coffee futures on ICE were lower on Wednesday, drifting towards a 2-1/ 2 year low set last week, as increasing supplies from Brazil and Central America weighed on prices.
NEW YORK, Dec 19- The euro surged to a 16- month high against the yen and an 8-1/ 2- month peak versus the dollar on Wednesday, bolstered by better-than-expected German business confidence data and increasing optimism about debt-burdened Greece.
Rocky Mountain, which makes candy and franchises candy stores, said it received a letter from PST Capital with the address on the envelope handwritten. According to Rocky Mountain, the return address listed a law firm that, when contacted, said it did not represent PST Capital.
*Germany's Ifo data better than expected. LONDON, Dec 19- Brent oil rose towards $110 a barrel on Wednesday on expectations that a budget crisis in the United States will be resolved, heading off a recession threat to the world's top oil consumer. Brent crude was up 96 cents to $109.80 a barrel at 1359 GMT.
*Lead hits highest since mid-September 2011. LONDON, Dec 19- Copper slipped on Wednesday as uncertainty about the outlook for demand kept investors cautious, although easing fears about a U.S. budget crisis prevented further falls in metals prices.
LONDON, Dec 19- Hedge funds owned by commodity giants including Cargill and Louis Dreyfus have outwitted their standalone rivals in a year of market volatility that has disrupted traditional models for oil and metals trading.
LONDON, Dec 19- The euro rose to a 16- month high against the yen and an 8-1/ 2 month peak against the dollar on Wednesday, bolstered by better-than-expected German business confidence data.
LONDON, Dec 19- European shares scaled fresh 18- month highs on Wednesday, boosted by banks, as expectations built that a budget deal will be reached in Washington.
LONDON, Dec 19- "Be a hero today," a UBS trader told "Superman" in July 2009. It is among dozens of emails and instant messages published by Britain's financial regulator on Wednesday as it and its U.S. and Swiss counterparts fined UBS $1.5 billion for its role in the scandal.