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  • NEW YORK, Aug 20- U.S. Looks like we are continuing that move ahead of the Fed minutes today, "said Ellis Phifer, market strategist at Raymond James in Memphis, Tennessee. Some of the Fed's counterparts at the Bank of England voted unexpectedly to raise interest rates this month, according to minutes of the BOE's policy meeting of Aug. 6-7.

  • *Lowe's pares losses, Target rebounds, after dim forecasts. NEW YORK, Aug 20- U.S. stocks were little changed Wednesday after two days of gains, ahead of the release of minutes from the most recent Federal Reserve meeting, as investors shrugged off bleak earnings forecasts from some retailers like Lowe's and Target.

  • LONDON, Aug 20- Gold prices steadied after a two-day losing streak on Wednesday, as equity markets dropped but remained well below the $1,300 mark as the dollar hit its highest in nearly a year against a currency basket on growing optimism over the U.S. economy.

  • *Lowe's, Target fall in premarket after results, forecasts. *Hertz tumbles after withdrawing forecast. NEW YORK, Aug 20- U.S. stocks were set for a slight dip at the open on Wednesday after weak earnings forecasts from retailers Lowe's and Target, ahead of the release of minutes from the most recent meeting of the Federal Reserve.

  • LONDON, Aug 20- World stocks fell on Wednesday as investors braced for the possibility that a major central bank could raise interest rates this year after Bank of England minutes showed two of the bank's nine rate-setters voted for a hike earlier this month.

  • LONDON, Aug 20- China's economy is slowing. Japan's sank in the second quarter. In a world preoccupied by geopolitical crises- from Ukraine, Iraq and Gaza to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa- the global economy has taken something of a back seat.

  • US STOCKS-Futures little changed with Fed minutes on tap Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 | 7:47 AM ET

    *Lowe's Cos falls in premarket after cutting outlook. *Hertz tumbles after withdrawing forecast. *Lowe's Companies lost 3.1 percent to $49.91 before the opening bell after the world's No. 2 home improvement products retailer posted better-than-expected second quarter results but cut its full-year sales forecast.

  • 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.

  • China manufacturing drags on Asian stock markets Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 | 3:55 AM ET

    NEW YORK— The stock market rose for a third straight day Wednesday despite a report from the Federal Reserve that showed a growing chorus of central bank officials willing to raise interest rates sooner rather than later. In the bond market, prices fell and yields rose as investors prepared themselves for higher interest rates.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Brent holds near 14-month low on plentiful supply Tuesday, 19 Aug 2014 | 11:32 PM ET

    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.

  • TOKYO, Aug 20- Asian stocks were steady on Wednesday after strong U.S. housing data lifted Wall Street shares, helping nudge Treasury yields higher and keeping the dollar well bid against the euro and yen. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was flat.

  • TOKYO, Aug 20- Japan's Nikkei share average rose for an eighth day on Wednesday morning as the yen weakened, but gains were subdued as many investors stuck to the sidelines ahead of the U.S.

  • SINGAPORE, Aug 20- Gold was stuck firmly below $1,300 an ounce on Wednesday and looked likely to extend losses to a fourth session as strong U.S. economic data bolstered stock markets, dimming bullion's appeal as a safe haven. *Spot gold had slipped about 70 cents to $1,294.60 an ounce by 0026 GMT, after dropping 1.3 percent in the last three sessions.