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  • NEW YORK, Dec 24- U.S. shares ended flat on Wednesday, with the Dow industrials eking out a record close after the latest data showed strength in the world's largest economy, while a mixed economic picture in Europe kept the region's stocks largely in check. Oil prices resumed declines after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported a large build in U.S....

  • *Brent oil drops back near $60 a barrel. NEW YORK, Dec 24- U.S. shares extended a five-day winning streak on Wednesday after the latest data showed strength in the world's largest economy, while a mixed economic picture in Europe kept the region's stocks largely in check. U.S. equity markets will operate on a shortened trading schedule Wednesday, closing at 1 p.m....

  • Smith & Nephew outperforms sluggish European markets Wednesday, 24 Dec 2014 | 8:43 AM ET

    *UK's FTSE 100 rises 0.2 pct to 6,609.93 points. The 7.7 percent jump in Smith& Nephew, after Bloomberg News reported U.S. rival Stryker was planning a takeover offer for it, allowed Britain's blue-chip FTSE 100 index to end 0.2 percent higher at 6,609.93 points. France's CAC ended down 0.4 percent as data showing another set of record unemployment figures in...

  • LONDON, Dec 24- Brent oil fell on Wednesday, trading around $60 per barrel weighed down by strong supply in the United States and a rising dollar. Brent for February delivery was down $1.50 to $60.19 at 1327 GMT after gaining $1.58 on Tuesday. In Europe, gasoline stocks reached their highest in five months in the Amsterdam- Rotterdam- Antwerp oil hub, data from PJK...

  • UPDATE 2-Russia's grain exports stop - farm lobby Wednesday, 24 Dec 2014 | 7:59 AM ET

    *About 3 mln T of grain are now stuck in Russia- Union. *Wheat futures rise on Russia export curbs. Russia's main wheat buyers are Turkey, Iran and, very vulnerable to supply disruption, Egypt.

  • HeidelbergCement offloads Hanson unit for $1.4 bln Wednesday, 24 Dec 2014 | 7:48 AM ET

    BERLIN— Germany's HeidelbergCement AG says it is selling its North American and British brick and concrete pipe business, Hanson Building Products, to an American affiliate of investor Lone Star Funds in a deal worth $1.4 billion. HeidelbergCement said Wednesday it expects the transaction to close in the first quarter. HeidelbergCement CEO Bernd Scheifele...

  • UPDATE 1-Russia may fail to supply wheat to Egypt in Jan Wednesday, 24 Dec 2014 | 4:49 AM ET

    MOSCOW, Dec 24- Russia may fail to supply wheat to Egypt's state buyer GASC in January as its exports have been effectively suspended by informal government curbs, Arkady Zlochevsky, the head of Russia's Grain Union, said on Wednesday. Russia's government imposed informal curbs with tougher quality monitoring and limits on railroad loadings earlier this...

  • Dec 24- Top European truckmakers operated a cartel for 14 years to delay the progress of emissions-reducing technology, the Financial Times reported, citing leaked documents in a European Commission investigation. The newspaper said that one of the documents states that DAF Trucks, Daimler, Iveco, Scania, Volvo and MAN "agreed the timing and price increase...

  • European shares inch up in shortened session Wednesday, 24 Dec 2014 | 3:03 AM ET

    PARIS, Dec 24- European stocks inched up on Wednesday in a shortened session ahead of the Christmas break, gaining ground for the seventh day in a row and mirroring a rally on Wall Street fuelled by unexpectedly strong U.S. The London Stock Exchange is set to close the session at 1230 GMT, while Euronext markets will close at 1305 GMT, along with the Madrid Stock...

  • Financial shocker of the year: Oil at $60 Tuesday, 23 Dec 2014 | 2:40 PM ET

    NEW YORK— For the first half of 2014 the oil market looked just as it had the year before— and the 2 years before that. Oil was over $100 and drivers in the U.S. were paying around $3.50 for gasoline. Oil reached a high for the year of $107 in late June after Islamic State fighters in Iraq seemed poised to threaten Iraq's southern oil fields and disrupt supplies from...

  • JERUSALEM, Dec 23- Shares of Israel's Bank Leumi jumped nearly 4 percent on Tuesday after it agreed to pay $400 million to settle two separate investigations into whether it helped its American clients evade U.S. taxes. "We expect to see upward moves in the stocks as the settlement with U.S. authorities should lift a major overhang from the shares," said Barclays...

  • LONDON, Dec 23- Investment bankers working on corporate takeovers and share issues can expect good news on bonuses after a buoyant year when they return from the holidays, but bond and currency traders face lower payouts. "We're seeing bonus pools on average up by between 5 and 10 percent on 2013 numbers, but that's massively differentiated across different...

  • *Germany's No. 2 bank to intensify reforms. FRANKFURT, Dec 23- Commerzbank boss Martin Blessing has restored the German lender to health but it is unlikely to meet ambitious 2016 turnaround targets as it faces tough competition at home and a stagnating European economy. "When Commerzbank set out its 2016 targets in 2012, no one could have predicted the...

  • By Renee Maltezou and Lefteris Papadimas. ATHENS, Dec 23- Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras failed to capture the support needed to elect a new president in a second round of voting on Tuesday and now needs another 12 votes in the final round next week to avert a snap general election. Parliament must elect a president or a general election would have to be held...

  • *Greece, China worries in background. LONDON, Dec 23- The year-end rally on Europe's major stock exchanges edged into its sixth day on Tuesday, just managing to ride out growing concerns over Greece and the pace of growth in China, in markets thinned out by the Christmas holiday season. Britain's FTSE 100 index was up 0.3 percent, Germany's DAX index up 0.1 percent and...

  • *Shares in Nutreco fall 5 pct as Cargill drops takeover bid. Shares in Dutch animal feed company Nutreco bucked the trend, falling 5 percent after U.S. commodities company Cargill said it was dropping its takeover bid. Around Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 index was up 0.6 percent, Germany's DAX index up 0.3 percent and France's CAC 40 up 0.5 percent.

  • BRUSSELS, Dec 22- Short, snappy and focused on two priorities- reviving sagging investment in Europe and standing firm towards Russia, the first European Union summit under new leadership was a demonstrative break with the past. Donald Tusk, the former Polish prime minister who took over the chairmanship of the 28- nation European Council this month, put his...

  • OSLO, Dec 22- Greenhouse gas emissions by the world's top 500 companies rose 3.1 percent from 2010 to 2013, far off the cuts urged by the United Nations to limit global warming, a study showed on Monday. The top 500 firms by capitalisation accounted for 13.8 percent of world greenhouse gas emissions and 28 percent of gross domestic product in 2013, according to the...

  • "Alstom's corruption scheme was sustained over more than a decade and across several continents," Deputy Attorney James Cole said at a news conference. In one case in Indonesia, prosecutors said, an Alstom executive emailed an employee that "one of the engineering chaps" who had influence on the outcome of a particular project was involved in a new project and "...

  • LONDON/ PARIS, Dec 22- Britain's Serious Fraud Office has charged a British subsidiary of French energy equipment firm Alstom with bribing officials to secure a power contract, making it the second Alstom unit to face UK charges this year. Monday's charges are the latest in a series of international bribery investigations into Alstom, which has suffered a drop...