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The slowdown in euro zone factory activity deepened in December as new orders tumbled, a business survey showed on Wednesday, suggesting the economy may have slipped further into recession in the last quarter of 2012.
*U.S. Congress passes bill to avert' fiscal cliff'. LONDON, Jan 2- Brent crude oil hit a one-month high above $112 per barrel on Wednesday after the U.S. Congress approved a deal to avert a fiscal crisis, while promising data from top energy consumer China also supported prices.
LONDON, Jan 2- The slowdown in euro zone factory activity deepened in December as new orders tumbled, a business survey showed on Wednesday, suggesting the economy may have slipped further into recession in the last quarter of 2012..
London's FTSE, Frankfurt's DAX and CAC 40 in Paris opened between 1.4-1.9 percent higher, pushing the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 up 1.3 percent and the MSCI world index 0.8 percent. "This is great news for global growth and explains why shares and other growth-related assets are up strongly today," said Shane Oliver, strategist at AMP Capital.
SINGAPORE, Jan 2- London copper rose more than 2 percent on Wednesday, headed for its biggest daily rise since mid-November, as the U.S. Congress struck a deal to avert a fiscal disaster and upbeat China data indicating steady improvement in the world's top copper consumer also boosted prices.
Spreadbetters expect London's FTSE 100 to open around 57 points higher, or up 1 percent, Frankfurt's DAX to open 35 points higher, or up 0.5 percent, and Paris' CAC 40 to open 44 points higher, or up 1.2 percent.
*U.S. House of Representatives approaches final vote on fiscal deal. SINGAPORE, Jan 2- London copper hit a two-week high on Wednesday on hopes a U.S. deal to avert a fiscal crisis was just hours away, while upbeat China data indicating steady improvement in the world's top copper consumer also boosted prices.
SINGAPORE, Jan 2- London copper rose to a two-week high on Wednesday on upbeat Chinese data, extending a 4.4- percent rise in 2012, while investors waited to see if U.S. lawmakers would strike a last-minute deal to avert devastating tax hikes and spending cuts.
*FDA says pipeline for new drugs strong. *Major approvals for Pfizer, Bristol Myers-Squibb.
NEW YORK, Dec 31- Gold jumped on the last trading day of 2012 to finish up 6 percent on the year on news of a possible U.S. fiscal deal, which lifted a market that had rallied earlier in the year on low interest rates, euro zone worries and central bank demand for bullion.
LONDON, Dec 31- Many European banks are likely to limit the cash portion of this year's staff bonuses as rocky markets, tighter capital rules and costly scandals take their toll. Britain's Barclays already capped cash awards at 65,000 pounds for 2011 payouts, and those types of limits will feature again at several firms, bankers and headhunters said.
*Brent crude oil heads for record annual average over $111/ bbl. *U.S. Congress continues budget/fiscal negotiations. Negotiations involving Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell appeared to offer the last hope for avoiding across-the-board tax increases and federal budget cuts triggered at the start of 2013..
LONDON/ SHANGHAI, Dec 31- Iron ore jumped to a 8- month high on Monday, posting its biggest monthly increase on record, in December, as falling inventories and renewed confidence about China's economic outlook prompted traders and steel mills to restock.
LONDON, Dec 31- European shares ended slightly higher in the final truncated trading session of 2012, but investors were unwilling to take on much risk given the U.S. budget crisis and after strong year-to-date gains.
LONDON, Dec 31- European shares ended mixed in the final truncated trading session of 2012, with investors unwilling to take on much risk with the U.S. nearing its "fiscal cliff" and after strong year-to-date gains.
The euro was down 0.2 percent on the day at $1.3187, with near-term support seen around $1.3144, the Dec. 17 low. The U.S. Congress is scheduled to meet on Monday in a last- minute attempt to avert the "fiscal cliff"-- $600 billion worth of tax hikes and spending cuts due to kick in from Jan. 1, that could gradually tip the world's largest economy into recession.
*Highly infectious virus makes millions sick each year. LONDON, Dec 31- Poor Larry isn't looking too good. "Norovirus is one of the most infectious viruses of man," said Ian Goodfellow, a professor of virology at the department of pathology at Britain's University of Cambridge, who has been studying noroviruses for 10 years.
NEW YORK, Dec 31- U.S. stock index futures rose on Monday, setting up Wall Street to snap a five-session losing streak as talks continued in Washington over resolving the "fiscal cliff". *The Senate reconvenes on Monday after the open of equity trading with only hours to find some sort of stop-gap deal that would also have to be passed by the House of Representatives.
Gold was up $10.50 or 0.63 percent at $1,665.4 per ounce at 1052 GMT, having earlier risen almost 1 percent to a session high of $1,668.70. After adjourning for the day, the Senate will reconvene at 1600 GMT on Monday.
LONDON/ SINGAPORE, Dec 31- Copper rose on Monday on upbeat manufacturing data from China, staying on track to end the year up 5 percent although uncertainty over whether U.S. lawmakers will reach a deal to avert a fiscal crisis kept the near term outlook cloudy.