NEW YORK, May 24- The S&P 500 declined for a third day on Friday, with the three major U.S. stock indexes posting their first negative week since mid-April on lingering concern that the U.S. central bank may scale back its stimulus measures to support the economy.» Read More
India and China jostling for influence in South Asia. BANGALORE, Feb 6- China's role in operating a strategically important port in Pakistan is a matter of concern for India, its defence minister said on Wednesday, as New Delhi and Beijing jostle for influence in the region.
LONDON, Feb 6- Gold retreated below $1,670 an ounce on Wednesday as caution ahead of a European Central Bank meeting pressured the euro versus the dollar, and as a recent brighter tone to economic data boosted the appeal of other assets, such as stocks.
British Prime Minister David Cameron hopes to enlist the support of Germany and other rich north European countries in his fight to freeze EU spending at budget talks this week and is prepared to block a deal unless more savings are found.
LONDON, Feb 6- Royal Bank of Scotland will be hit with fines of almost 400 million pounds on Wednesday for its role in a global interest-rate rigging scandal, sources familiar with the situation said.
*Strong PMI numbers from U.S., Europe boost economy outlook. *Iran nuclear talks in focus, set for Feb. 26. LONDON, Feb 6- Brent crude oil futures fell on Wednesday, pressured by ample supply, although positive economic data from the United States and Europe which boosted confidence in the global economy kept prices near four-month highs.
DUBLIN, Feb 6- Irish drugmaker Elan is raising more than $3.25 billion by selling its interests in its main drug and will splash out most of the proceeds on acquisitions, effectively reinventing itself as a company.
LONDON, Feb 6- HSBC's structure was "not fit for purpose" two years ago but Europe's biggest bank is not too big or complex after a far-reaching restructuring and series of disposals, its chief executive said.
*Cholet Dupont strategist recommends buying on dips. PARIS, Feb 6- European stocks rose in early trade on Wednesday, extending the previous session's recovery with an upbeat outlook from ArcelorMittal reassuring investors.
*Strong PMI numbers from U.S., Europe boost economy outlook. *Iran nuclear talks in focus, set for Feb. 26. LONDON, Feb 6- Brent crude oil futures held above $116 a barrel on Wednesday, supported by positive economic data from the United States and Europe which helped boost confidence in demand outlook.
ABU DHABI, Feb 6- Banks in the United Arab Emirates have proposed amendments to rules capping mortgage lending which aim to prevent bubbles from forming in the real estate sector, a banking industry body said on Wednesday.
*Japan expected to install new BOJ chief quickly. LONDON, Feb 6- The yen dropped to a 33- month low versus the dollar and a 34- month low against the euro on Wednesday on expectations Japan will soon install a new central bank chief to speed up aggressive monetary easing.
*Taiwan launches offshore yuan trading, no impact on onshore yuan. The launch of offshore yuan trading in Taiwan on Wednesday had no impact on onshore spot yuan, traders said, although analysts were optimistic over the prospect of Taiwan's yuan market.
ISTANBUL, Feb 6- Turkish banks, which doubled their foreign borrowing last year, may issue billions of lira worth of lira-denominated Eurobonds in months ahead after a debut issue from Akbank sparked huge interest from foreign investors.
LONDON, Feb 6- Bunds edged up on Wednesday before a sale of five-year German debt that is expected to find strong demand after a recent rise in yields and worries about political stability in Spain and Italy.
LONDON, Feb 6- The yen fell close to a three-year low on Wednesday on expectations that a new Bank of Japan governor could ease policy, while the euro was steady and European shares edged up ahead of a central bank meeting.
PARIS, Feb 6- European stocks reversed an early dip and rose on Wednesday morning, extending the previous session's recovery, with ArcelorMittal's outlook reassuring investors. Shares in the world's largest steelmaker surged 2.7 percent, bouncing back from a recent 10 percent fall, after the company forecast improved demand and earnings in 2013..
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 6- Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak could call national elections anytime between now and April. The ruling coalition, in power since the country became independent from Britain in 1957, is expected to win a tight race but the opposition is well placed to build on its gains in 2008 and undermine Najib's standing.
HONG KONG, Feb 6- Hong Kong shares regained some of the ground lost in Tuesday's tumble to a one-month low, thanks to strength in China Mobile and other defensive counters that showed investors remain cautious.
LONDON, Feb 6- Royal Bank of Scotland will be punished for its role in the global interest-rate rigging scandal with fines of around 400 million pounds, sources familiar with the situation said.
*Tsunami hits Solomon Islands, reports of five dead. Feb 6- A powerful 8.0 magnitude earthquake set off a tsunami that killed at least five people in a remote part of the Solomon Islands on Wednesday and triggered evacuations across the South Pacific as island nations issued tsunami alerts.