*RBNZ governor says New Zealand dollar overvalued. NEW YORK, Feb 20- The dollar edged higher against the yen on Wednesday, helped by data showing an overall improvement in the U.S. housing market.
The U.S. government and Gulf Coast states are considering offering BP Plc a deal under which it pays $16 billion to settle civil suits stemming from the deadly 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.
The storm was expected to pelt New England' s coastal areas from northern Connecticut to southern Maine.
*Vote was to be held at Apple's annual meeting on Feb. 27. NEW YORK, Feb 22- A U.S. judge handed outspoken hedge fund manager David Einhorn a victory in his battle with Apple Inc on Friday, blocking the iPhone maker from moving forward with a shareholder vote on a controversial proposal to limit the company's ability to issue preferred stock.
*Experts say crucial Senate race too close to predict. ROME, Feb 22- Italy's election campaign drew to a close on Friday with the weak performance of outgoing premier Mario Monti key to a deeply uncertain and potentially unstable result.
RIYADH, Feb 23- Saudi Arabia has published a roadmap for its renewable energy programme, aimed at reducing the amount of oil it burns in power stations, and targets issuing final bids for the first plants within three months.
Feb 22- Cybersecurity company Mandiant Corp won plaudits from its peers and made front-page news around the world this week when it published a report that purportedly traced a series of cyberattacks on U.S. companies to a Shanghai- based unit of the Chinese army.
*Hewlett-Packard rallies after results, lifts tech shares. NEW YORK, Feb 22- U.S. stocks rose on Friday as Dow component Hewlett-Packard surged on strong results and comments from Fed officials allayed fears that the central bank would curtail its stimulus measures.
*Coming up: Chicago, Dallas manufacturing indexes Monday. NEW YORK, Feb 22- Gold edged up on Friday, but notched a second consecutive weekly loss, as a better U.S. economic outlook and indications the Federal Reserve may end its stimulus program prompted investors to buy riskier assets such as equities.
The $23 billion buyout of H.J. Heinz by Warren Buffett and private equity put food executives on notice: start showing better results or risk being left behind. Campbell Soup has long been seen as a good candidate, though roughly half of its stock is controlled by heirs of John Dorrance, who invented condensed soup.
LONDON, Feb 21- Sterling fell to a fresh two-and-a-half year low against the dollar on Thursday and was likely to remain vulnerable after Bank of England minutes showed policymakers edging closer towards looser monetary policy.
*Central banks in Japan, UK reinforce global easing trend. Indeed, the Bank of Japan and the Bank of England are staking out a much bolder stance, brushing aside warnings from some that they might be stoking currency wars by depreciating their currencies or sowing the seeds of asset bubbles and inflation.
*2012 net profit $4.04 bln vs forecast $3.73 bln. The Danish group, a bellwether for global trade as its vessels make up 14 percent of world container shipping capacity, said on Friday its net profit rose 20 percent to $4.04 billion last year, after it successfully raised freight prices.
NEW YORK, Feb 22- Moody's Investors Service on Friday cut the United Kingdom's credit rating to Aa1 from Aaa, citing weakness in the nation's medium-term growth outlook that it now expects to extend for a number of years.
LONDON, Feb 20- Top oil trader Vitol is building a global grains desk and has taken advantage of Glencore's takeover of Canadian grains giant Viterra to hire a team of its traders, trading sources said on Wednesday.
BEIRUT, Feb 12- Syrian rebels are launching a major operation to take control of the strategic eastern city of Deir al-Zor after pushing out government forces from oil-producing areas around it, a rebel commander said.
LONDON, Feb 22- Gold steadied near $1,575 an ounce on Friday, paring earlier gains in line with the euro and stock markets, and stayed on track for a second straight weekly loss after a drop to seven-month lows dented investment interest in the metal.
*Pretax distributable earnings down 24 pct to $188 mln. Feb 21- Carlyle Group LP, an asset manager, said on Thursday fourth-quarter earnings fell 28 percent after its private equity funds made less money from selling companies and its performance fee income fell.
*Novo Nordisk sinks on U.S. drug approval delay. LONDON, Feb 11- European equities eased on Monday, pursuing the previous week's retreat from multi-month peaks and dragged down by Novo Nordisk after a regulatory set-back for a new drug.
NEW YORK, Feb 22- A judge handed hedge fund star David Einhorn a victory in his court battle with Apple Inc on Friday, blocking the iPhone maker from moving forward with a shareholder vote on a controversial proposal to limit the company's ability to issue preferred stock.