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  • *OPEC oil output rises in July from June- Reuters survey. NEW YORK, July 31- U.S. crude oil tumbled more than $2 on Thursday, going below $98 a barrel, hitting the lowest level since March on news of a potentially lengthy shutdown at a Kansas oil refinery, while Brent also slipped amid signs of robust OPEC oil production.

  • NEW YORK, July 31- Famed oil trader Andy Hall's more than $3 billion hedge fund was up nearly 20 percent at the half-year mark, sharply outpacing its rivals in one of the best performances of its seven-year history, data obtained by Reuters showed on Thursday.

  • *Corn, soy, wheat all post monthly losses. "The beans firmed up due to some speculators taking advantage of the weakness earlier in light of the very strong demand we are seeing," said Terry Reilly, an analyst at Futures International in Chicago. Chicago Board of Trade soybeans for August delivery settled up 4 cents at $12.24-1/ 2 a bushel.

  • *OPEC oil output rises in July from June- Reuters survey. NEW YORK, July 31- U.S. crude oil tumbled more than $2 on Thursday, going below $98 a barrel, hitting the lowest level since March on news of a potentially lengthy shutdown at a Kansas oil refinery, while Brent also slipped amid signs of robust OPEC oil production.

  • NEW YORK, July 31- Famed oil trader Andy Hall's more than $3 billion hedge fund was up nearly 20 percent at the half-year mark, sharply outpacing its rivals in one of the best performances of its seven-year history, data obtained by Reuters showed on Thursday.

  • *OPEC oil output rises in July from June- Reuters survey. NEW YORK, July 31- U.S. crude oil tumbled to a more than four-month low under $100 a barrel on Thursday on news of a potentially lengthy shutdown at a key oil refinery in Kansas, while Brent also slipped amid signs of robust OPEC oil production.

  • NEW YORK, July 31- U.S. crude oil futures plunged by nearly $2 and Brent crude oil futures fell by more than $1 per barrel on news that the 115,000- barrel-per-day Coffeyville, Kansas, refinery could be down for four weeks following a July 29 fire.

  • U.S. hospitals get lift from surge in Medicaid sign-ups Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 | 12:40 PM ET

    CHICAGO, July 31- U.S. hospitals are getting a stronger-than-expected benefit from a new influx of low-income patients whose bills are paid by the government's Medicaid program, raising their profit forecasts as a result.

  • *Shares touch low of $22.60, below IPO price of $23. July 31- General Electric Co's credit card unit, Synchrony Financial, made a muted debut on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday as investors remained ambivalent about the chances of a consumer-led U.S. economic recovery.

  • *Wheat flat in consolidation trading. *Corn, soy, wheat all on track for monthly losses. "The beans firmed up due to some speculators taking advantage of the weakness earlier in light of the very strong demand we are seeing," said Terry Reilly, an analyst with Futures International in Chicago.

  • New Paris hotel joins race to pamper the super rich Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 | 12:19 PM ET

    *Hotel helps Paris compete against others luxury capitals. It is part of a battle to attract Asia's new class of super-rich that not only pits the world's top hotel groups against each other but also cities such as Paris, New York and London.

  • Grain mostly higher, beef and pork lower Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 | 10:59 AM ET

    CHICAGO— Grain futures were mostly higher Thursday on the Chicago Board of Trade. Wheat for Sept delivery was 3 cents higher at $5.3025 a bushel; Sept corn was 4.75 cents lower at 3.57 a bushel; Dec oats were. 75 cent higher at $3.3050 a bushel; while Nov soybeans rose. 75 cent to $10.82 a bushel.

  • July 31- Bunge Ltd, one of the world's largest agricultural trading houses, on Thursday reported higher-than-expected second-quarter earnings as strong demand and record large soybean crops in the Southern Hemisphere bolstered oilseed processing margins.

  • As US job market strengthens, many don't feel it Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 | 9:01 AM ET

    Though the U.S. unemployment rate has plunged since the start of last year to a five-year low of 6.1 percent, the Gallup Organization has found that consumers' view of the economy is the glummest it's been in seven months. At 53, Hunter now works three days a week for $9.25 an hour, mopping floors and fixing fryers at two McDonald's restaurants in Chicago.

  • CHICAGO, July 31- CME Group Inc, the world's largest futures market operator, reported lower-than-expected second-quarter earnings on Thursday, blaming low levels of volatility for weak trading volumes.

  • AP NewsAlert Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 | 8:27 AM ET

    CHICAGO— Chicago police:' Demoted' worker shoots,' gravely wounds' CEO before killing self in high-rise.

  • Trial set for Greenpeace activists in P&G protest Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 | 3:03 AM ET

    CINCINNATI— With only one of nine Greenpeace activists willing to accept a plea deal, a judge on Thursday set a trial date for the other eight on felony charges in an eye-catching protest at Procter& Gamble's headquarters in downtown Cincinnati.

  • Boeing will handle final assembly of 787-10 in SC Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 | 3:30 PM ET

    NEW YORK— Boeing said final assembly of its 787-10 plane, a planned larger version of its "Dreamliner" aircraft, will take place in South Carolina. The company says the work will be done in North Charleston, South Carolina, because the plane is too large to efficiently transport it from North Charleston to a facility in Washington state.

  • *U.S crude stocks down 3.7 mln barrels, Cushing down- EIA. NEW YORK, July 30- Oil prices fell on Wednesday, with Brent leading the decline weakened by excess supplies in Europe and Asia, while U.S. crude pared gains despite a larger-than-expected drop in nationwide stockpiles.

  • UPDATE 1-CME to buy GFI Group for energy and FX units Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 | 10:51 AM ET

    July 30- CME Group Inc, the world's largest futures exchange operator, said on Wednesday it would buy derivatives broker GFI Group Inc to expand its reach in the European energy and global foreign exchange markets.