Group of Seven nations finance ministers agreed to tackle the issue of how to deal with failing banks and gave gave a green light to Japan's efforts to galvanize its economy.» Read More
*Vietnam December coffee shipments exceed expectations. NEW YORK/ LONDON, Jan 17- Robusta coffee futures on LIFFE rose to their priciest in 2-1/ 2 months on Thursday, boosted by strong roaster demand which has helped absorb greater-than-expected shipments from Vietnam.
LONDON, Jan 17- Algeria's In Amenas field, where Islamist fighters seized dozens of foreign workers this week, is at the heart of an oil and gas region that has attracted international firms in recent years partly because of its military-style security.
*Sun Life, Malaysia state investor to pay $597 million. *Deal to Insurer targeting southeast Asia.
LONDON, Jan 17- Prime Minister David Cameron postponed on Thursday a much-anticipated speech on Britain's future role in the European Union because of the hostage crisis at an Algerian gas plant where Britons are believed to be among those held.
*Gunmen demand end to French war in Mali. In the first official word from Algeria after hours of fast-moving events, government spokesman Mohamed Said was quoted on Thursday evening as saying the operation to free the hostages was still going on and many "terrorists" had been killed.
NEW YORK, Jan 17- Platinum jumped to a three-month high on Thursday, passing the price of gold for the second session in a row after upbeat U.S. economic data boosted optimism about demand for industrial commodities such as platinum, a vital material for automakers.
*Google buys London site to build 1 mln sq ft HQ. LONDON, Jan 17- Google Inc. is developing a new UK headquarters which could be worth as much as 1 billion pounds when finished, the latest overseas property deal for the cash-rich U.S.
WASHINGTON, Jan 17- The White House said on Thursday it believed Americans were among the hostages taken by militants at an Algerian gas plant, was concerned about reports of deaths in an operation by Algerian forces and was seeking more information.
LONDON, Jan 17- Top shareholders in crisis-hit Rio Tinto have identified an unusual scapegoat for the hapless takeovers that triggered the company's eye-watering $14 billion writedown- each other.
*Spain sells 4.5 bln euros, Portugal readies market return. Spain hit the top end of its 4.5 billion euro target range at a sale of short- and long-term bonds, which took its fundraising for the year to nearly 9 percent of its target.
LONDON, Jan 17- European sales closed higher on Thursday as encouraging sales figures from retailers Carrefour and Associated British Foods helped offset losses in the mining sector.
*Vietnam Dec coffee shipments exceed expectations. LONDON, Jan 17- Robusta coffee futures on Liffe set a 2-1/ 2 month high on Thursday, boosted by strong roaster demand which has helped absorb higher-than-expected shipments from Vietnam.
LONDON, Jan 17- Britain was not given prior notice of the Algerian government operation to release hostages at the remote gas plant where they are being held and would have preferred to have been informed, Prime Minister David Cameron's spokesman said on Thursday. Cameron had called his Algerian counterpart Abdelmalek Sellal at around 1130 GMT on Thursday.
LONDON/ NEW YORK, Jan 17- Soaring U.S. exports of liquefied petroleum gas, a side product of the shale boom, are giving energy markets a taste of the tectonic changes they could see if and when the United States passes the milestone of exporting natural gas. It is a taste of things to come, very much so, "said Seth Kleinman, head of energy strategy at Citi Group in London.
*Cameron to deliver speech 0900 GMT on Friday in Amsterdam. LONDON, Jan 17- When British Prime Minister David Cameron delivers an eagerly awaited speech in Amsterdam on Friday that could determine Britain's future in Europe, the message will be his own, but the text a collective effort.
*South Africa supply concerns underpin platinum group metals. Supply concerns from major producer South Africa also continued to drive prices higher, after miner Anglo American Platinum announced an overhaul that it said could cost it 400,000 ounces of platinum production a year.
*China Q4 GDP, December industrial output, retail sales due Friday. LONDON, Jan 17- Copper rose more than 1 percent on Thursday, after encouraging housing and labour market data from the United States boosted optimism about the pace of recovery in the world's largest economy and bolstered the outlook for metals demand.
*Gunmen demand end to French war in Mali. ALGIERS, Jan 17- Twenty-five foreign hostages escaped and six were killed on Thursday when Algerian forces launched an operation to free them at a remote desert gas plant, Algerian sources said, as one of the biggest internatonal hostage crises in decades unfolded.
LONDON, Jan 17- Brent oil futures rose above $110 per barrel on Thursday as the Algerian gas field hostage crisis fuelled concern over security of supply from the region. Brent futures rose $1.03 cents to $110.71 a barrel by 1432 GMT, after hitting a high of $110.89 a barrel.
In its latest annual outlook, published on Wednesday, BP predicts China will be the most successful country outside North America in developing shale gas by 2030. Given the country's enormous shale resources and large prospective market, coupled with its ready availability of capital and proven engineering expertise, it is hard to argue with that assessment.