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  • NEW YORK/ LONDON, March 26- Raw sugar futures tested the prior session's six-year low in thin trade on Thursday, under pressure from a strengthening dollar, abundant supplies and light physical demand, while arabica coffee extended gains. New York cocoa futures eased, pressured by the weak sterling, and bucking the session's higher trend in larger commodity...

  • "The flight deck is capable of accommodating three pilots and there shouldn't ever be a situation where there is only one person in the cockpit," said James Hall, a former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, referring to the "jump seats" in airliners. Hall was head of the safety board in 1999 when the board investigated the crash of an EgyptAir plane...

  • Yemen war clouds raise dangers for top oil shipping route Thursday, 26 Mar 2015 | 12:39 PM ET

    LONDON, March 26- Conflict in Yemen risks spilling out into the busy sea lanes that pass it and potentially disrupt the narrow Bab el-Mandeb passage through which nearly 4 million barrels of oil are shipped daily to Europe, the United States and Asia. Oil prices rose as much as 6 percent on Thursday after neighbouring Saudi Arabia and its allies launched air...

  • *Iran says halt "aggressions"; security up at Kuwait oil sites. NEW YORK, March 26- Oil prices rallied for a second straight day on Thursday after Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab allies began air strikes in Yemen, sparking fears of a bigger Middle East battle that could disrupt world crude supplies. The military operation against Houthi rebels, who have driven the...

  • LONDON, March 26- The Bank of England said on Thursday that it planned to quiz British asset managers about whether they could cope with a flood of investors asking for their money back in times of market stress. The call came in a quarterly statement from the BoE's Financial Policy Committee, chaired by Governor Mark Carney, which was set up two years ago to spot...

  • The euro hit $1.10525 early Thursday, its highest since a nearly two-week high of $1.10625 on March 18 after the Fed released its latest policy statement, before erasing its gains. Analysts said the euro has seen selling pressure above the $1.10 mark on the view that the European Central Bank's new bond-buying stimulus program should weaken the currency...

  • DUBAI, March 26- Saudi Arabia has begun drawing down its foreign currency reserves for the first time since 2009 to cover a record state budget deficit caused by the plunge in oil prices, data from the Saudi central bank indicated on Thursday. It was the first year-on-year drop since February 2010, when Saudi Arabia was affected by the global financial crisis.

  • Co-pilot was 'very happy' with Germanwings job Thursday, 26 Mar 2015 | 10:03 AM ET

    MONTABAUR, Germany— Andreas Lubitz never appeared anything but thrilled to have landed a pilot's job with Germanwings, according to those who helped him learn to fly as a teenager in this town in the forested hills of western Germany. Members of his hometown flight club in Montabaur, where he renewed his glider license last fall, told The Associated Press that the...

  • NEW YORK— A see-saw day for U.S. stocks ended with slight losses on Thursday, giving the market its fourth drop in a row. Edgy investors continue to monitor violence in the Middle East and the rapid ascent of the U.S. dollar, which is causing companies to pull back their profit forecasts for the year. "We have been due for a pullback," said Brad Sorensen of the Schwab Center...

  • *Citi lowers forecasts on global smartphone sector. The STOXX Europe 600 Technology Index was down 2.4 percent at 1315 GMT, tracking a similar decline in the United States concentrated among semiconductor companies overnight. Traders said one reason for the pull-back was a note by U.S. investment bank Citigroup, which on Thursday cut its forecasts for the...

  • LONDON, March 26- The dollar sank to a five-week low against the yen on Thursday, hit by the combination of another round of weaker-than-expected U.S. data and a bid for traditional safe havens by investors worried about stock markets and Gulf oil supplies. News that Saudi Arabia and its allies in the Middle East had launched air strikes against Iran- allied forces...

  • Shell cuts staff numbers in North Sea operations Thursday, 26 Mar 2015 | 8:14 AM ET

    LONDON— Shell U.K. says it will cut at least 250 staff and contractors in the North Sea, amid sharp drops in the price of oil. The oil company said Thursday the cuts are part of a range of initiatives it has been pursuing to manage costs and improve competitive performance. Paul Goodfellow, Shell's upstream vice President for the U.K. and Ireland, says that despite tax...

  • Markit services PMI flash March at 1345 GMT. LONDON, March 26- Copper hit its highest in nearly three months on Thursday after mines closed in the world's top producer Chile due to flooding, the dollar weakened and oil rallied on military strikes in Yemen. Torrential downpours in the north of Chile have forced companies to suspend operations at some major mines,...

  • *Oil rises on fears of Middle East supply disruption. LONDON, March 26- Crude prices rose as much as 6 percent on Thursday after Saudi Arabia and its allies launched air strikes on Yemen, pushing shares lower in Europe, the Middle East and Asia and lifting oil producers' currencies. "Oil is having a nice move after more geopolitical tensions in the Middle East over...

  • *Adidas to allow in-store product customisation. HERZOGENAURACH, Germany, March 26- German sportswear firm Adidas announced plans to revolutionise the way it manufactures goods to speed up production and allow more customisation of goods to help it accelerate sales and profit growth in the next five years. Adidas said it would focus marketing on six big...

  • FOREX-Yen, franc surge on Saudi worries, dollar weakens Thursday, 26 Mar 2015 | 5:20 AM ET

    LONDON, March 26- The dollar sank to a five-week low against the yen on Thursday, hit by the combination of another round of poor U.S. data and a bid for traditional safe havens by investors worried about stock markets and oil supplies out of the Middle East. News that Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab allies had launched air strikes against Iran- allied forces in Yemen...

  • PARIS— Passengers with moments to live screamed in terror and the pilot frantically pounded on the locked cockpit door as a 27- year-old German co-pilot deliberately and wordlessly smashed an Airbus carrying 150 people into an Alpine mountainside. "We have no idea of the reason," Marseille Prosecutor Brice Robin said, revealing the chilling conclusions...

  • LONDON, March 26- From the shabby streets of east London, some of the brightest minds in technology and banking are plotting a revolution. Investment in fintech firms in Britain and Ireland swelled to $623 million last year, more than double the $264 million seen in 2013 and representing 42 percent of fintech investment in Europe, according to research by...

  • Correction: Financial Markets story Thursday, 26 Mar 2015 | 12:21 AM ET

    Peter Cardillo works for Rockwell Global Capital, not Avalon Partners. The selling gathered strength in the afternoon, with companies like Avago Technologies and Skyworks Solutions losing the most. Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital, said the market's fall was driven by big investors selling some of their winnings before the...

  • DIARY- Top Economic Events to April 8 Wednesday, 25 Mar 2015 | 8:01 PM ET

    ROME- European Central Bank president Mario Draghi addresses the Italian parliament's finance and EU policy committees- 1200 GMT. LONDON- Bank of England to publish Financial Policy Committee statement- 0930 GMT. FRANKFURT- Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard gives OMFIF Public Lecture on the economy and monetary policy- 0835 GMT.