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  • PRECIOUS-Gold retreats as upbeat U.S. data lifts dollar Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 | 6:09 AM ET

    LONDON, Aug 20- Gold prices extended a three-day losing streak on Wednesday, as demand stagnated and the dollar hit its highest in nearly a year against a currency basket on growing optimism over the U.S. economy.

  • GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks halt rally, BoE jolts UK markets Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 | 5:06 AM ET

    *Attention shifts from Ukraine- Russia conflict. LONDON, Aug 20- World stocks mostly halted their recent rally on Wednesday before the latest policy signal from the U.S. central bank, while UK stocks and bonds fell after Bank of England minutes showed two rate-setters voted to raise interest rates earlier this month.

  • LONDON, Aug 20- Brent crude oil edged higher towards $102 a barrel on Wednesday, after slumping to a 14- month low in the previous session, as growing output from Iraq and Libya despite violence in those countries has kept the market well supplied.

  • FOREX-Dollar breaks out to 11-month highs, eyes on Fed Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 | 4:18 AM ET

    *All eyes on Fed minutes, Jackson Hole speeches. WARSAW, Aug 20- The dollar reached an 11- month high against the euro and a basket of major currencies on Wednesday, buoyed by optimism over the health of the U.S. economy. The greenback broke through resistance around $1.3300 and last November's high of $1.3295 per euro in morning trade in Europe.

  • Global cruise lines set sail for China Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 | 3:44 AM ET

    But surging growth in China means it's a market operators can no longer ignore. Carnival Corp., the No. 1 cruise company, will become the first global cruise operator to have four ships based in China when it deploys its Costa Serena to Shanghai in April.

  • FEATURE-Tyre makers race to turn dandelions into rubber Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 | 3:30 AM ET

    *Dandelion native to Kazakhstan yields tyre-grade rubber. MUENSTER, Germany, Aug 20- Dutch biologist Ingrid van der Meer often meets with disbelief when she talks about her work on dandelions and how it could secure the future of road transport.

  • TOKYO, Aug 20- Citigroup Inc is preparing to sell its Japanese retail banking operations, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday, as it waves the white flag on a venture plagued by regulatory troubles and anaemic lending.

  • Nikkei up a tad, gains for 8th day as weak yen supports Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 | 2:29 AM ET

    TOKYO, Aug 20- Japanese stocks eked out a small gain on Wednesday to mark its longest winning streak since last December, though sentiment was subdued as many investors stuck to the sidelines ahead of a gathering of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. A weaker yen nudged the Nikkei share average up 0.03 percent to 15,454.45, the eighth straight day of gains.

  • Aug 20- Hackers who stole the personal data of about 4.5 million patients of hospital group Community Health Systems Inc broke into the company's computer system by exploiting the "Heartbleed" internet bug, making it the first known large-scale cyber attack using the flaw, according to a security expert.

  • Bloomberg offers grants to help cities innovate Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 | 2:09 AM ET

    NEW YORK— American cities looking to be more innovative in how they address local issues can now get a helping hand from former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's charitable foundation. "We're asking cities to do so much more," said James Anderson, who leads the government innovation programs at the foundation.

  • SINGAPORE, Aug 20- Brent crude futures steadied near 14- month lows above $101 a barrel on Wednesday, with ample supplies putting prices at risk of further losses as worries over geopolitical tensions ease.

  • NEW YORK/ BOSTON, Aug 20- A few months ago, an innovative partnership between Valeant Pharmaceuticals and billionaire investor William Ackman to buy Botox maker Allergan Inc looked like a blueprint for success.

  • FOND DU LAC, Wis., Aug 20- Glenn Grothman is a fiery conservative who wants to slash welfare programs and crack down on illegal immigrants who he says will "destroy" America. And if U.S. House Speaker John Boehner wants to keep his job next year, he had better be sure Grothman and his fellow House of Representatives newcomers are happy.

  • WASHINGTON, Aug 20- Mike Yack has left the workforce twice in the last eight years and calls himself retired, yet at age 62 the former General Motors employee does not consider his working life over. Yack, who says he can get by on Social Security and his GM pension, is among millions of Americans who could re-enter the U.S. labor force if the economy improves.

  • Canada's Encana Corp invested $2 million to refrack two wells in Louisiana's Haynesville shale formation earlier this year, after seeing its production in the area dip 27 percent from 2012 levels. "There were a significant number of wells that we considered unstimulated," said David Martinez, Encana's senior manager for Haynesville development.

  • NEW YORK, Aug 20- As the first U.S. oil condensate exports head to Asia from the Gulf Coast, crude producers and refiners are exploring ways to get around a century-old law that makes it three times more expensive to ship by water between U.S. ports than to sail to a foreign port.

  • Aug 20- Departures and primary losses for 28 Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives have created opportunities for a new wave of conservative and Tea Party- backed candidates. The Republican nominee to replace him is Gary Palmer, a fund raiser for a conservative think tank in Alabama who is backed by the anti-tax group Club for Growth.

  • TOKYO/ SINGAPORE, Aug 20- The dollar touched an 11- month high against a basket of major currencies on Wednesday after positive U.S. housing data the previous day fed hopes that the world's biggest economy is strengthening.

  • Metropolitan Opera reaches deal with stagehands Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 | 12:28 AM ET

    NEW YORK— New York City's Metropolitan Opera reached a deal early Wednesday with its stagehands and said it expects to avert a lockout by reaching agreements with the remaining unions. The opera company said rehearsals will continue and the season will open as scheduled Sept. 22 with a new production of Mozart' s "Le Nozze di Figaro."

  • China fines 12 Japanese firms in auto price probe Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 | 12:16 AM ET

    BEIJING— China announced Wednesday it will fine 12 Japanese auto parts suppliers a total of $202 million for colluding to raise prices in an unfolding anti-monopoly probe of the country's auto industry. Officials said earlier that Mercedes Benz, Audi and Chrysler also violated the law.