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  • *Market optimistic Portugal will regain investment status. *Fitch to review Portugal credit rating after Europe close. "We could see Portugal moved up to investment grade later today and that could produce a bit of forced buying from index trackers or some accounts may have to up their Portugal exposure.

  • NEW YORK/ LONDON, March 26- Gold pared gains after hitting a 3-1/ 2- week high on Thursday, after a knee-jerk reaction to escalating tensions in the Middle East knocked stocks and drove investors into assets viewed as lower-risk, such as bullion and German bonds. Stock markets worldwide were knocked lower and oil prices jumped after Saudi Arabia and its allies...

  • LONDON, March 26- Investors took refuge in German bonds on Thursday after Saudi Arabia launched air strikes in Yemen but analysts said a further fall in yields was capped by the prospect of an inflation-boosting oil price rise. Saudi Arabia and Gulf region allies launched military operations in Yemen on Thursday, officials said, to counter Iran- allied forces...

  • WASHINGTON, March 25- The U.S. Justice Department said on Wednesday that a subsidiary of Schlumberger Oilfield Holdings had pleaded guilty to violating U.S. sanctions related to Iran and Sudan and would pay a $237.2 million fine. "For years, in a variety of ways, this foreign company facilitated trade with Iran and Sudan from Sugar Land, Texas," U.S.

  • ZURICH, March 25- Swiss bank Vontobel said it had the firepower for more deals, after agreeing to buy a majority stake in Britain's TwentyFour Asset Management and announcing takeover talks for a German-based asset manager. Zurich- based Vontobel has been restrained in acquisitions since buying Commerzbank's Swiss arm in 2009, despite stressing it has the...

  • LONDON, March 25- The euro climbed towards $1.10 against the dollar on Wednesday and gained against most major currencies, helped by a robust survey of German business morale that added to signs that an economic recovery in the euro zone is strengthening. The euro was up 0.5 percent at $1.0993, having witnessed huge swings in the past week and still well clear of a...

  • FOREX-Euro rises, bolstered by robust German IFO survey Wednesday, 25 Mar 2015 | 5:26 AM ET

    LONDON, March 25- The euro climbed towards $1.10 against the dollar on Wednesday, encouraged by a robust German business morale survey that added to expectations that an economic recovery in the euro zone is strengthening. The euro was up 0.3 percent at $1.0955, having witnessed huge swings in the past week and still well clear of a 12- year trough of $1.0457 set on...

  • LONDON/ NEW YORK, March 24- Euro zone businesses ramped up activity this month as the European Central Bank started printing money to spur economic growth, while a slowdown among Chinese factories fueled expectations of more monetary stimulus. The Eurozone Composite Flash Purchasing Managers' Index from data vendor Markit, based on surveys of thousands of...

  • *China factory activity contracts- HSBC/ Markit. LONDON, March 24- Brent crude oil fell towards $55 a barrel in choppy trading on Tuesday after the dollar firmed, adding pressure to a market grappling with signs of slowing Chinese growth and Saudi Arabian oil production close to an all-time high. Brent futures for May delivery were down 49 cents at $55.43 by 1414 GMT,...

  • *China factory activity contracts- HSBC/ Markit. LONDON, March 24- Brent crude oil held below $56 a barrel on Tuesday, as signs of slowing growth in China and Saudi Arabian oil production close to an all-time high overshadowed a weaker dollar. Brent futures for May delivery were trading down 16 cents at $55.76 by 1311 GMT, while U.S. crude rose 50 cents to $47.95 a barrel.

  • *China factory activity contracts- HSBC/ Markit. LONDON, March 24- Brent crude reversed early losses to rise above $56 a barrel on Tuesday, as a weaker dollar overshadowed signs of slowing growth in China and Saudi Arabian oil production close to an all-time high. Brent futures for May delivery were trading up 12 cents at $56.04 by 1154 GMT, while U.S. crude rose 30...

  • LONDON, March 24- Copper retreated from a 2-1/ 2 month high on concerns about Chinese demand after weak factory data in the top metals consumer and following a rise in inventories, but a weak dollar supported prices. "The general trend is up and this is supported by the weaker U.S. dollar, however, the weak China data this morning is putting the brakes on the upward...

  • LONDON, March 24- Euro zone businesses ramped up activity this month, just as the European Central Bank starts printing money to spur growth and inflation, while a slowdown among Chinese factories has fuelled calls for more stimulus there. The ECB has only been buying for a couple of weeks and QE takes a long time to have any impact- if at all, "said Peter Dixon at...

  • *China factory activity contracts- HSBC/ Markit. LONDON, March 24- Brent crude reversed early losses to trade back towards $57 a barrel on Tuesday, as a weaker dollar overshadowed signs of slowing growth in China and Saudi Arabian oil production close to an all-time high. Brent futures for May delivery were trading up 64 cents at $56.56 by 1020 GMT, while U.S. crude...

  • *Schlumberger sees higher oil prices in second half of 2015. LONDON, March 23- Oil prices rose close to $56 a barrel on Monday as a weaker dollar offset concerns over global oversupply after Saudi Arabia said it was pumping around 10 million barrels per day, near a record high. Saudi Arabia has stood firm on its decision to maintain production levels, saying it would...

  • *Efforts on OPEC, Iran deal weigh on supply outlook. The leaders of Greece and Germany struck a conciliatory note over efforts to keep Greece in the euro zone, boosting the region's currency and making oil more attractive. Brent for May delivery was up 75 cents at $55.18 a barrel by 1407 GMT, after earlier hitting a session low of $53.55.

  • *Kuwait says OPEC must keep output steady. LONDON, March 20- Brent crude oil fell towards $54 a barrel on Friday and was on track for its third straight weekly loss, hurt by oversupply worries after Kuwait said OPEC had no choice but to maintain output levels. "Oil has been under pressure following remarks by Kuwait's oil minister and the very slim chance of an...

  • *Italy, Spain yields drop over 10 bps. LONDON, March 19- German bond yields fell to record lows on Thursday after the United States signalled it was in no rush to push up interest rates, while borrowing costs in Athens spiralled ahead of debt talks with its creditors. "When you get periods of stress as we have had in Greece, it focuses the mind on whether peripheral debt is...

  • "The down shift in the Fed's macro and median rate expectations and Yellen giving little signs that the Fed is turning impatient anytime soon come as a big relief," said Commerzbank's Rainer Guntermann. Even yields on lower-rated debt, shaken by concern about a cash crunch in Greece, forged lower. All other euro zone bond yields, apart from Greece, were down 1 to 6 bps.

  • GRAINS-U.S. corn, soy dive on export woes, wheat weak Tuesday, 17 Mar 2015 | 3:14 PM ET

    *Corn drops 2.1 percent to six-week low. CHICAGO, March 17- U.S. soybean futures sagged 1.5 percent to their lowest in almost five months on Tuesday, with export demand for U.S. supplies fading amid the expanding harvest in Argentina and Brazil, traders said. Corn and wheat futures also notched sharp declines.