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  • *Copper on track to post biggest weekly gain this year. *China markets reopen from week-long holiday. LONDON, Feb 7- Copper rose on Friday, on track to post its largest weekly rise for the year, boosted by hopes of a pickup in demand after the Chinese New Year and by limited short-term availability of the metal in the physical market.

  • BRUSSELS, Feb 7- ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steelmaker, forecast higher profits this year, driven by higher steel sales and margins, and an increase in iron ore production as Europe ended two years of decline.

  • *Skanska drags after orders lag. But peer SSAB fell 1.7 percent after reporting its sixth straight quarterly loss with slowing growth in China, though it said the hard-hit European steel market had bottomed out.

  • LONDON, Feb 7- European shares edged up on Friday as heavyweight steelmaker ArcelorMittal unveiled upbeat forecasts and investors anticipated further encouraging economic data from the United States. Shares in the firm were up 3.8 percent at 0803 GMT.

  • TOKYO, Feb 7- A trade union has demanded Japan's largest steelmaker, Nippon Steel& Sumitomo Metal Corp, hike basic wages for the first time in 14 years and share the profits generated by the government's "Abenomics" stimulus policies.

  • NEW YORK/ LONDON, Feb 7- Swiss industrial conglomerate ABB Ltd is seeking to divest several units whose sale could raise more than $1 billion in total proceeds, according to people familiar with the matter, joining a list of large companies looking to shed non-core businesses.

  • *China's services sector grows at slowest pace in almost 2-1/ 2 years in Jan. SYDNEY, Feb 7- London copper was set on Friday to post its largest weekly rise this year after encouraging signs in the U.S. labour market boosted optimism about global growth, while Shanghai copper rose in its first session back from China's week-long break.

  • NEW YORK, Feb 6- Nickel prices jumped, nearing a one-week high after Indonesia upheld a shipment ban on the ore of the metal used in coin- and stainless steel-making, and arabica coffee slumped 5 percent to reverse the previous day's rally on profit-taking.

  • NEW YORK, Feb 6- Carlyle Group LP has agreed to buy Illinois Tool Works Inc's industrial packaging unit for $3.2 billion, the private equity firm's latest acquisition of a large unit being carved out of conglomerates.

  • Carlyle nears $3B deal for Illinois Tool unit Thursday, 6 Feb 2014 | 5:02 PM ET
    A sign for the Carlyle Group, a private equity firm, in Washington, DC.

    Carlyle Group is close to reaching an agreement to buy Illinois Tool Works Inc's industrial packaging unit for more than $3 billion, sources said.

  • NEW YORK, Feb 6- nPrivate equity firm Carlyle Group LP is close to reaching an agreement to buy Illinois Tool Works Inc's industrial packaging unit for more than $3 billion, and could announce the deal as soon as Thursday, people familiar with the matter said.

  • CARLYLE GROUP LP NEARS $3 BILLION- PLUS DEAL TO ACQUIRE ILLINOIS TOOL WORKS INC'S INDUSTRIAL PACKAGING UNIT-SOURCES.

  • BISHKEK, Feb 6- Kyrgyzstan's parliament on Thursday gave the government up to four months to finalize a draft deal with Canada's Centerra Gold on forming a 50-50 joint venture to run the country's Kumtor gold mine.

  • NEW YORK, Feb 6- Illinois Tool Works Inc is nearing a deal to sell its industrial packaging unit for more than $3 billion, with buyout firms Carlyle Group LP and Onex Corp competing in the final stretch of the auction, people familiar with the matter said. It could not be learned, however, if Illinois Tool Works has granted exclusivity to either bidder.

  • NEW YORK, Feb 5- A U.S. judge on Wednesday ordered Citgo Petroleum Corp to pay more than $2 million for violations of U.S. environmental laws over toxic emissions at the company's refinery in Corpus Christi, Texas, from 1994 to 2003.. Clean Air Act, said the U.S. Department of Justice.

  • *FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.1 percent. LONDON, Feb 5- European stocks inched up on Wednesday after a steep two-week sell-off, but concerns about global growth and emerging market currencies kept investors on edge.

  • METALS-Copper gives up gains, down on Chinese worries Wednesday, 5 Feb 2014 | 11:34 AM ET

    *Copper stocks in LME warehouses drop further to 311,225 T. LONDON, Feb 5- Copper prices dipped on Wednesday, resuming a downtrend after a brief bounce, as investors worried about weak demand in China and about the adjustment of the Chinese market to a drop in London prices when it reopens on Friday.

  • LONDON, Feb 5- European stocks inched up on Wednesday after a steep two-week sell-off, but concerns about global growth and emerging market currencies kept investors on edge. The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.2 percent at 1,272.81 points by 1534 GMT, taking a breather after a 6 percent slide over the past two weeks.

  • European Union seeks to stem use of conflict minerals Wednesday, 5 Feb 2014 | 8:56 AM ET

    BRUSSELS, Feb 5- The EU's trade chief will present a voluntary scheme in March aimed at stemming the import of minerals from conflict zones and prevent mining them from financing war and strife, EU officials said on Wednesday.

  • CAPE TOWN, Feb 5- South Africa hosts the annual Africa mining conference but the country is a hard sell at its own party. Outside investors are increasingly wary of South Africa's mining sector and extra salt is being rubbed into its reputational wound as the conference coincides with a massive strike in its platinum shafts.

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