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Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Friday militants who attacked the United States and its citizens will hunted down, in the first comments by a senior U.S. official on a hostage attack by Islamist militants in Algeria. He said the U.S. government was working around the clock to ensure the safe return of its citizens caught up in the Algeria crisis.
LONDON, Jan 18- British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Friday that hostage takers in Algeria still posed a threat in one part of the gas complex there and said he was disappointed he wasn't told in advance of an Algerian government rescue attempt.
LONDON, Jan 18- Major European equity indexes consolidated near multi-month peaks on Friday, with miners supported by strong Chinese data but concerns ahead of the corporate earnings season prompting some investors to lock in profits. The index was broadly steady at 2,720.06 at 1114 GMT on Friday, in sight of last week's 18- month high of 2,735.36 points.
PARIS, Jan 18- French authorities are in contact with two French hostages who have left the desert gas facility in Algeria where they were being held by Islamist militants, France's Interior Minister Manuel Valls said on Friday.
LONDON, Jan 18- New Bank of England policymaker Ian McCafferty raised doubts on Friday about whether sterling was at the right level to ensure economic rebalancing, and said the central bank should be open to new policies.
LONDON, Jan 18- Fewer than 30 Britons are at risk in Algeria after a hostage attack by Islamist militants on a desert gas complex and the subsequent rescue attempt by Algerian government forces, British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Friday.
ALGIERS, Jan 18- At least 22 foreign hostages were unaccounted for on Friday and their al-Qaeda- linked captors threatened to attack other energy installations after Algerian forces stormed a desert gas complex to free hundreds of captives, resulting in dozens of deaths.
LONDON, Jan 18- British retail sales dashed hopes on Friday of a Christmas boost for a struggling economy, falling on the month in December and growing the least on the year since April. The Office for National Statistics said sales volumes including automotive fuel fell 0.1 percent on the month to give an annual rise of 0.3 percent.
*U.N. nuclear inspectors says talks with Iran have failed. LONDON, Jan 18- Oil prices slipped below $111 a barrel on Friday but retained the bulk of the previous session's gains, supported by stronger economic growth in China and ongoing supply concerns after U.N. talks with Iran failed and Algeria's hostage crisis continued.
SYDNEY, Jan 18- As Rio Tinto was edging closer to gaining majority control of little-known Mozambique coal explorer Riversdale Mining, the Anglo-Australian mining giant's chief executive Tom Albanese was convinced the $4 billion move was a sound one.
LONDON/ DUBLIN, Jan 18- Land in Ireland earmarked for homes and offices is being sold at knockdown prices to farmers, sometimes the same farmers who made fortunes selling it in the boom years, as swathes of the country return to its agricultural roots.
LONDON, Jan 18- The yen hit a fresh 2-1/ 2 year low on Friday and was vulnerable to more losses on bets the Bank of Japan will ease monetary policy aggressively at a meeting early next week. The dollar broke above reported options barriers at 90 yen to reach 90.21 yen on the EBS trading platform.
LONDON, Jan 18- World oil markets are tightening as Chinese fuel demand increases and OPEC supplies fall, draining inventories, the West's main energy agency said on Friday, in a trend that could put extra pressure on prices.
*Algeria says at least 11 militants dead, only 2 Algerian. Fourteen Japanese were among those still unaccounted for by the early hours of Friday, their Japanese employer said, while Norwegian energy company Statoil, which runs the Tigantourine gas field with Britain's BP and Algeria's national oil company, said eight Norwegian employees were still missing.
*French minister says no news on two other hostages. PARIS, Jan 18- French authorities are in contact with two French hostages who have left the desert gas facility in Algeria where they were being held by Islamist militants, France's Interior Minister Manuel Valls said on Friday.
*MSCI world share index at highest since May 2011. LONDON, Jan 18- World shares hit a 20- month high on Friday as encouraging data from the United States and China boosted prospects for the global economy, while the yen hit new lows ahead of next week's Bank of Japan meeting.
*Algeria says at least 11 militants dead, only 2 Algerian. Western leaders whose compatriots were being held did little to disguise their irritation at being kept in the dark by Algeria before the raid- and over its bloody outcome.
LONDON, Jan 18- Britain has not received word from Algeria that the hostage crisis in Algeria has ended, a diplomatic source said on Friday. "The situation is still really fluid on the ground. We have no information from the Algerian authorities that it's over, "the source said.
LONDON, Jan 18- European shares edged higher on Friday, closing in on multi-month highs after stronger-than-expected Chinese data boosted confidence of a revival in the global economy. "We've got good numbers out of China, we had some good number out of U.S. yesterday... The general sentiment is pretty good, "said Neil Marsh, strategist at Newedge.
NEW YORK/ LONDON, Jan 18- Global prices for liquefied natural gas are rising toward record highs this year as increasing demand runs up against stuttering supply, threatening to drive up fuel costs in some of the world's biggest economies.