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  • *Renewed violence in Iraq supports prices. LONDON, Jan 30- Oil rose above $49 a barrel on Friday, supported by renewed violence in Iraq but with a persistent global supply glut keeping the market on course for a seventh straight month of declines, its longest bear run on record. Benchmark Brent crude prices have kept within a band of $45- $50 a barrel since hitting a...

  • World stocks uneven ahead of US growth report Friday, 30 Jan 2015 | 4:57 AM ET

    HONG KONG— World stock markets were uneven Friday and Wall Street futures slid ahead of quarterly growth figures that will show whether weakness in China, Japan and Europe has hit the U.S. economy. Britain's FTSE 100 slipped 0.6 percent to 6,772.63. The U.S. zoomed ahead in the third quarter while Europe, Japan and China struggled.

  • FOREX-Franc down 5 percent on week, dollar dips Friday, 30 Jan 2015 | 4:51 AM ET

    *Swiss franc down 5 percent this week. LONDON, Jan 30- The Swiss franc fell past 1.05 francs per euro for the first time since the Swiss National Bank dumped its 1.20 francs cap two weeks ago on Friday, with markets increasingly convinced the bank is now intervening on both euro and dollar markets. "Really what we're going through now is an exercise to determine where...

  • European gains tracked a late rally on Wall Street on Thursday, where stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs numbers and a rally in Apple and Boeing helped offset some disappointing earnings. "Retail sales in Germany and Spain, as well as consumer spending in France, are above expectations. These are the first signs for the positive impact from low oil prices and are a...

  • *Oil keeps in $45- $50 band for most of January. *China import demand lends market some support. Although Brent prices have kept within a band of $45- $50 a barrel for most of the month, high global stock levels threaten further declines, said Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at London- based Energy Aspects.

  • DUBAI, United Arab Emirates— Qatar Airways announced Friday it has bought nearly 10 percent of the parent company of British Airways and Spain's Iberia, deepening wealthy Qatar's business ties to Europe and intensifying competition with the airline's fast-growing Gulf rivals. "It makes sense for us to work more closely together in the near term and we look...

  • Ford results highlight pressure on profit margins Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 | 4:50 PM ET

    Jan 29- Ford Motor Co has two big challenges in 2015- narrowing its loss in Europe where it trails key rivals, and rebuilding North American margins which drive overall profits. Just four months ago, Ford told investors it would lose $250 million in Europe in 2015. It lost money in the region last year despite boosting revenue by $2.2 billion and selling more cars...

  • NEW YORK, Jan 29- The Swiss franc dominated trade on major currency markets again on Thursday, weakening against both the euro and U.S. dollar on renewed speculation of intervention by the Swiss National Bank, while commodity-based currencies fell against the greenback. The euro gained broadly, even in the face of Greek political ructions with the European...

  • *Greece drops resistance, says "not a Russian puppet". BRUSSELS/ KIEV, Jan 29- European Union foreign ministers extended existing sanctions against Russia on Thursday, holding off on tighter economic measures for now but winning the support of the new left-leaning government of Greece, whose position had been in doubt. Germany said that decision would depend on...

  • *Greece drops resistance, says "not a Russian puppet". BRUSSELS/ KIEV, Jan 29- European Union foreign ministers extended existing sanctions against Russia on Thursday, holding off on tighter economic measures for now but winning the support of the new left-leaning government of Greece, whose position had been in doubt. Germany said that decision would depend on...

  • NEW YORK— A fundraising campaign inspired by the popular photo blog Humans of New York has raised more than $1 million to send middle-school students from a high-poverty Brooklyn school on field trips to Harvard. Thirteen-year-old Vidal Chastanet told blogger Brandon Stanton in a Jan. 20 post that his principal, Nadia Lopez, was the person who had influenced...

  • WASHINGTON, Jan 29- U.S. homeownership fell to a 20- year low in the fourth quarter, but a sharp rebound in the rate at which Americans are setting up home is expected to help drive a pick-up in housing. The seasonally adjusted home ownership rate slipped to 63.9 percent, the lowest level since the third quarter of 1994, the Commerce Department said on Thursday.

  • Business events scheduled for the coming week Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 | 1:37 PM ET

    WASHINGTON— Commerce Department releases personal income and spending for December, 8:30 a.m.; Institute for Supply Management releases its manufacturing index for January, 10 a.m. Eastern; Commerce Department releases construction spending for December, 10 a.m.. WASHINGTON— Commerce Department releases factory orders for December, 10 a.m..

  • Shell says it will drill off Alaska if it can get permits Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 | 12:56 PM ET

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska— Royal Dutch Shell PLC will move forward with drilling off Alaska's northwest coast if it can obtain permits it needs and drill safely, its chief executive officer said Thursday. The announcement was consistent with what Shell officials have been saying about the upcoming summer open-water season in Alaska. Shell last drilled in Arctic...

  • LONDON, Jan 29- The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, spiralled downwards to its lowest level in nearly three decades as rates for all the four vessel types continued to flounder. "Dry bulk remains under pressure across all segments on the back of very thin spot demand," Omar Nokta of Clarkson...

  • FOREX-Swiss franc under pressure, euro broadly stronger Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 | 11:38 AM ET

    NEW YORK, Jan 29- The Swiss franc dominated trade on major currency markets again on Thursday, weakening against the euro and the U.S. dollar on renewed speculation of intervention by the Swiss National Bank, while commodity-based currencies fell against the greenback. "Despite all the uncertainties related to Greece, the euro is trading resiliently off the...

  • NEW YORK, Jan 29- Global equity markets eased on Thursday on simmering worries over Greece's new anti-bailout government and the prospect for corporate earnings, but U.S. government debt prices fell on fresh signs of a strong American labor market. On Wall Street, Alibaba Group shares dropped 10.5 percent to $88.12 after its revenue missed expectations.

  • *Belarus economy has been hit by economic turmoil in Russia. MINSK, Jan 29- Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko spooked bond markets on Thursday by speaking of a possible restructuring of $4 billion of Belarussian foreign debt falling due this year, then softened his comments to refer only to refinancing. During a marathon news conference the veteran...

  • LONDON, Jan 29- Brent oil futures rose above $49 a barrel on Thursday as speculator buying on hopes for a price rebound offset data showing record-high U.S. crude stocks. At 1438 GMT, U.S. crude was trading at $44.64 a barrel, up 19 cents off a six-year low hit on Wednesday. Brent was up 53 cents at $49 a barrel.

  • CNH meets 4Q profit forecasts Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 | 9:27 AM ET

    BASILDON ESSEX, United Kingdom _ CNH Industrial NV on Thursday reported fourth-quarter profit of $83 million. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was also for earnings of 12 cents per share. Analysts expected $8.21 billion, according to Zacks.