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  • May 27- Hercules Offshore Inc said it planned to file for prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy, just six months after the rig contractor emerged from bankruptcy protection. The company said it had entered into a restructuring support agreement with some lenders, which will eventually allow it to place all its unsold assets into a wind-down vehicle until they can...

  • *China zinc output down 2.5 pct in April. *Coming up: speech by Fed's Janet Yellen at 1715 GMT. "We've seen some more short covering and book squaring, I think that's been the main driver ahead of the long weekend and the options declaration," said Robin Bhar, head of metals research at Societe Generale in London.

  • WASHINGTON— The U.S. economy's slowdown in growth at the beginning of the year wasn't quite as bad as first thought, thanks to a bigger boost from housing and less drag from business investment and trade. The gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic output, grew at an annual rate of 0.8 percent in the first quarter, the Commerce Department said...

  • US DOLLAR INDEX FALLS SLIGHTLY AFTER GDP, DROPS TO 95.300.

  • WASHINGTON, May 27- U.S. economic growth slowed in the first quarter although not as sharply as initially thought, amid a surge in spending on home building and a steady increase in inventory investment by businesses. Gross domestic product rose at a 0.8 percent annual rate as opposed to the 0.5 percent pace reported last month, the Commerce Department said in its...

  • WASHINGTON— US economy grew at revised 0.8 percent rate in Q1, with less drag from trade and investment.

  • PARIS— Union activists disrupted the Marseille airport Friday and halted activity at half of the country's oil refineries in protests over changes to France's labor system, but nationwide gasoline shortages eased slightly after government intervention. The heart of their dispute is a labor bill that would loosen rules on France's 35- hour work week and...

  • WARRI, Nigeria— Community leaders and activists in Nigeria's oil-producing Niger Delta voiced support for a new group of violent militants, saying their demands for a greater share of oil wealth match the aspirations of local people. At a stakeholders' meeting held Thursday in the southern town of Warri, community leaders accused the Nigerian government of a...

  • Nasser also told Reuters that the state-owned group was pressing on with preparations for its partial privatization via a stock market listing, which he said lay at the heart of Riyadh's "Vision 2030," a long-term economic plan headed by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Riyadh has been the driving force behind OPEC's decision in November 2014 to refuse...

  • May 27- An advisory panel to the European drug regulator recommended an approval for Gilead Sciences Inc's new drug combination to treat hepatitis C. The European Medicines Agency said on Friday that the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use backed Gilead's combination of velpatasvir and sofosbuvir. Sofosbuvir is at the centre of a patent battle...

  • LONDON, May 27- The world's biggest hedge funds lost market share to smaller rivals over the last year as a result of underperformance, data tracker Preqin said on Friday. Total assets held by hedge funds with more than $1 billion dropped to 88 percent in the year to end-March 2016 from 92 percent in the year-earlier period, it said in an annual report.

  • BRUSSELS— The European Union is launching an effort to contain the so-called "grey economy" of undeclared and untaxed work. EU Social Affairs Commissioner Marianne Thyssen said Friday: "For us it is clear: there is no place for unfair working conditions and social dumping in our European Union." The evasion of taxes on labor, meanwhile, undermines Europe's efforts...

  • May 27- Facebook Inc said its customers' ads would now be visible on third-party apps and websites to everyone who has ever visited its website, and not just to users logged into its social networking service. However, people can opt out of seeing ads on apps and websites not offered by Facebook, based on their ad preferences, the company said late on Thursday.

  • May 27- U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Friday as cautious investors braced for a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and the second reading of gross domestic product data for the first quarter. *Yellen is due to speak at an event hosted by Harvard University at 1:15 p.m. ET. *The Fed next meets on June 14-15.

  • SHANGHAI, May 27- Growing uncertainty over China's monetary policy and economic health is keeping investors from making bets in the country's stock and money markets, sending volumes plunging. Stocks slumped earlier this month after the People's Daily quoted an "authoritative person" as saying China may suffer a financial crisis if the government relies too...

  • *China wants to be recognised as a "market economy". BRUSSELS, May 27- The European Commission and China may be near a deal to avoid a dispute at the World Trade Organization and a wider trade war, diplomats say, but must convince EU lawmakers angry over record Chinese steel output. Chinese envoys have signalled they could live with the dual approach, which is designed...

  • May 27- Gilead Sciences Inc's new hepatitis C drug combination, which shares an active ingredient with blockbuster Sovaldi, was recommended for marketing approval by the European Medicines Agency. The EMA's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use said it recommended approval of the combination of sofosbuvir and velpatasvir. Sovaldi generated...

  • *China zinc output down 2.5 pct in April. *Coming up: speech by Fed's Janet Yellen at 1715 GMT. "We've seen some more short covering and book squaring, I think that's been the main driver ahead of the long weekend and the options declaration," said Robin Bhar, head of metals research at Societe Generale in London.

  • WASHINGTON— More than 3 million spill-proof cups for children between 4 and 12 months old are being recalled by Mayborn USA because of the risk of mold that could cause sickness. Ingestion of the mold can cause gastrointestinal symptoms and infections in those with compromised immune systems. Mayborn has received more than 3,000 reports of mold in the...

  • SHANGHAI _ JA Solar Holdings Co. on Friday reported first-quarter earnings of $24.3 million. JA Solar shares have declined 16 percent since the beginning of the year. Keywords: JA Solar, Earnings Report.