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  • LAUNCESTON, Australia, Dec 15- China's decision to keep its cotton import quota unchanged at 894,000 tonnes has been taken by the market as a bearish signal that will put further downward pressure on global prices. Chinese cotton futures on the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange have also fallen by, dropping 32 percent from the start of the year to the close of 13,070...

  • TOKYO, Dec 15- Investors are snapping up Japanese stocks in the retail and transportation sectors, thanks to a weaker yen that has lured a record number of foreign visitors in one of the few bright spots for the economy. The yen has tumbled to seven-year lows making Japan cheaper for tourists and helping companies that cater to tourists such as railway operators...

  • Volvo to launch online car sales in marketing shift Monday, 15 Dec 2014 | 12:00 AM ET

    PARIS, Dec 15- Volvo Car Corp said it will start selling vehicles online as it rolls out new models to compete with German luxury rivals such as BMW. "The plan is to have all our car lines in all our markets offered digitally," Volvo sales chief Alain Visser said in an interview. But Volvo has assured its 2,000 global dealerships, half of which are in Europe, that it has no...

  • SINGAPORE, Dec 15- Brent crude gave up some of its gains and dropped towards $62 a barrel on Monday in volatile trading, which saw prices fall to a 5-1/ 2 year low after the IEA cut its outlook and then rise more than a dollar on hopes of improving manufacturing data. Brent for January delivery was at $62.05 a barrel at 0425 GMT, up 20 cents from its Friday's settlement but...

  • BEIJING, Dec 15- China stocks fell on Monday as retail investors stopped ploughing money into blue chips and backed off from margin trading, two major factors behind a huge market rally in recent weeks. "The aggressive stocks and margin financing actually go together, it's margin financing's facilitator," said Xue Caofeng, head of research at Huaxi securities.

  • SYDNEY, Dec 15- Australia's government forecast its budget deficit would balloon to A $40.4 billion in the year to June as falling prices for key resource exports and sluggish wage growth blew a gaping hole in tax revenues. The deficit for 2014/ 15 had been forecasted at A $29.8 billion in the May budget, while the 2015/ 16 shortfall was now put at A $31.2 billion,...

  • The New York Times, The Hollywood Reporter and Variety published stories reporting that they had each received a letter from David Boies, an attorney for Sony, demanding that the outlets stop reporting information contained in the documents and immediately destroy them. A Sony spokesman had no comment on the reports. Disclosures from the internal documents...

  • SINGAPORE, Dec 15- Oil prices bounced back more than a dollar on Monday, after hitting 5-1/ 2- year lows of $60.28 earlier in the session, as traders began pricing in expectations of improving manufacturing data to be published later this week. Brent fell as much as 2.5 percent after the International Energy Agency forecast further price falls and OPEC's chief...

  • China's yuan slips despite 10-month high midpoint Sunday, 14 Dec 2014 | 10:45 PM ET

    HONG KONG, Dec 15- China's yuan edged down against the dollar on Monday despite the central bank setting a 10- month high midpoint as more soft economic data reinforced expectations that new stimulus measures could be forthcoming. The People's Bank of China set the yuan's midpoint at 6.1152 per dollar, up 0.05 percent from Friday's 6.1184.

  • TOKYO, Dec 15- Japanese government bonds rose on Monday, taking their cue from weaker Japanese shares and stronger U.S. They were further underpinned by purchases by the Bank of Japan. The BOJ offered to buy 240 billion yen of JGBs in the 10- year to 25- year zone, and $160 billion of JGBs maturing in more than 25 years under its massive JGB purchase program.

  • TOKYO, Dec 15- Japanese business confidence barely improved in the fourth quarter and is seen worsening, giving premier Shinzo Abe a grim reminder of the challenges he faces in reviving a recession-hit economy a day after his big win in Sunday's vote. While corporate capital spending was strong, the Bank of Japan's quarterly "tankan" survey on Monday also...

  • TOKYO, Dec 15- Asian shares slipped to nine-month lows on Monday as oil prices sank to fresh 5-1/ 2 year lows on concerns about a supply glut and slower global growth, hitting stocks of energy and commodity producers and exporters. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1.1 percent to its lowest level since March. Japan's Nikkei share...

  • Xiaomi made $56 mln profit in 2013: filing Sunday, 14 Dec 2014 | 10:16 PM ET

    BEIJING, Dec 15- China's Xiaomi Technology Ltd Co made a profit of 347.48 million yuan on 26.58 billion yuan in revenue in 2013, Chinese securities filings dated Monday show. The financial results were included in disclosures made to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange after Xiaomi purchased a 1.3 percent stake in Midea Group Co Ltd, a publicly traded electrical...

  • PRECIOUS-Gold slips as U.S. rate hike woes surface Sunday, 14 Dec 2014 | 9:53 PM ET

    *Gold's drop came after best week since October. SINGAPORE, Dec 15- Gold retreated on Monday, after posting its biggest weekly gain in two months, amid expectations the U.S. The latest upbeat evidence came on Friday when the Thomson Reuters/ University of Michigan index of consumer sentiment jumped to a near eight-year high in December.

  • *BOJ tankan highlights uneven progress of Japan stimulus. TOKYO, Dec 15- The dollar quivered in choppy trading against the yen on Monday as oil prices continued to sink on a weak outlook for global demand, while risk aversion pressured U.S. It remained above a two-week low of 117.44 yen touched last Thursday, and a considerable distance away from a seven-year high...

  • *Nikkei down as oil slump hits global risk appetite. TOKYO, Dec 15- Japanese stocks fell on Monday after slumping oil prices toppled Wall Street shares, while investors drew little comfort from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's landslide win in a snap election over the weekend. Last week, U.S. stocks suffered their worst weekly drop for 2-1/ 2 years, as free-falling oil...

  • SYDNEY, Dec 15- London copper was steady on Monday, holding up despite a steep drop in crude oil, on expectations that China could move to shore up its economy. *The most-traded February copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange trimmed gains from Friday's overnight session to 46,470 yuan a tonne, up 0.2 percent. *The U.S. Congress has cleared the way for global...

  • TOKYO, Dec 15- Confidence among Japanese manufacturers worsened slightly in the fourth quarter and firms expect conditions to deteriorate more, highlighting the challenges premier Shinzo Abe faces in reviving the economy a day after his big win in Sunday's snap election. The headline index measuring big manufacturers' sentiment stood at plus 12, down 1...

  • TOKYO, Dec 15- Oil prices fell sank more than two percent to 5 1/ 2- year lows early on Monday on concerns about supply glut and slower global growth, feeding fears for energy and commodities producers and exporters. U.S. crude futures fell more than 2.5 percent at one point to as low as $56.25 per barrel in quiet early Monday Asian trade, showing no sign of life even...

  • FOREX-Yen gains as Nikkei sags after Japan election Sunday, 14 Dec 2014 | 7:16 PM ET

    *BOJ tankan highlights uneven progress of Japan stimulus. TOKYO, Dec 15- The yen gained early on Monday after stocks sagged following a big victory for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's coalition in an election on Sunday, while oil prices continued to sink on a weak outlook for global demand. On Friday, the Paris- based International Energy Agency cut its...