NEW YORK-- Forest Laboratories Inc. said Thursday that longtime executive Howard Solomon will retire as president and CEO at the end of 2013..» Read More
*Middle East tensions fuel supply worries. LONDON, Feb 4- Brent crude oil consolidated around $116 per barrel on Monday, slipping from 4-1/ 2- month highs after three weeks of gains powered by signs of improving global economic growth and concern over geopolitical tension in the Middle East.
SAO PAULO, Feb 4- In three years as a correspondent in Brazil, I've charmed my way past drunk border guards, survived a four-hour traffic jam, and even outran a mugger who chased me up a flight of stairs downtown.
GPIF chairman doesn't think Japan's equity market is overheated. TOKYO, Feb 4- Japan's Government Pension Investment Fund, the world's biggest public pension fund with invesments mostly held in Japanese government bonds, plans to sell 1.7 trillion yen fewer assets to pay pensions in 2013/ 14 than it sells this fiscal year.
In Spain, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was facing calls to resign over a corruption scandal in which he denies any wrongdoing. "It's that worry of political instability in both Spain and Italy," a trader said. "
Feb 4- Humana Inc reported lower fourth-quarter earnings that still exceeded its own and analysts' expectations as the health insurer kept control of rising costs.
Spot gold eased 0.1 percent to $1,664.55 an ounce by 1059 GMT, while U.S. gold futures for April delivery were down 0.3 percent to $1,665.50 an ounce. In Japan, benchmark gold on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange hit a record high on the back of a weak yen on expectations the Bank of Japan will continue loosening monetary policy.
*China a battleground as Samsung, Apple dominate globally. TAIPEI, Feb 4- Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC Corp will shift its focus more towards emerging markets and offer lower priced phones in China this year as it grapples with slumping revenue in the shadow of Apple's iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy series.
London, Feb 4- Stronger U.S. and Chinese economic data supported world equity markets on Monday, while the euro dipped and Spanish bond yields rose as growing political uncertainty in southern Europe worried investors.
Feb 4- Health insurer Humana Inc said on Monday that fourth-quarter earnings had fallen as a rise in operating expenses outpaced its increase in revenue. The company reported net income of $192 million, or $1.19 a share, down from $199 million, or $1.20 per share, a year earlier.
LONDON, Feb 4- British banks that fail to guard their day-to-day banking from risky investment activities will face being dismantled, finance minister George Osborne will say on Monday.
*Worries about supply, Spain jobless knock copper off peaks. LONDON, Feb 4- Copper rose to four-month peaks on Monday thanks to signs of a credible U.S. recovery and improved factory activity across the globe, though gains were limited by rising supply and by debt worries centered on Spain.
PARIS, Feb 4- The European Union's farm budget, of which France is the biggest beneficiary, is set to be trimmed when EU leaders meet in Brussels on Thursday to hammer out the bloc's overall budget for the next seven years. *France is the EU's largest farm producer with a 19 percent share of EU agricultural output in 2011, followed by Germany, Italy and Spain.
*France facing farm aid cut in Feb. 7-8 EU budget talks. PARIS, Feb 4- France's President Francois Hollande faces the awkward prospect of walking away from this week's European Union summit having accepted a cut in the bloc's agricultural spending for the next seven years.
TOKYO, Feb 4- Japan's Government Pension Investment Fund, the world's biggest public pension fund. The fund plans to raise about 4.7 trillion yen for pension payouts for the next financial year starting in April, down from the planned 6.4 trillion yen during the current year, he said.
LONDON, Feb 4- The euro retreated from multi-month highs against the yen and dollar on Monday as speculators took profit on the common currency's rally, with the market cautious before a European Central Bank meeting on Thursday.
*Industrial producer prices fall 0.2 pct in Dec vs Nov. *December's decrease follows 0.2 pct fall in Nov. BRUSSELS, Feb 4- Euro zone factory prices fell for the second month in a row in December, mirroring the trend in consumer inflation and leaving room for a possible European Central Bank interest rate cut to revive the weak economy.
SHANGHAI, Feb 4- The yuan closed at its weakest level in more than five weeks on Monday, giving up all its gains year-to-date, as Asian currency markets continued to digest the effects of widespread monetary easing.
*Middle East tensions fuel supply worries. LONDON, Feb 4- Brent crude oil consolidated above $116 per barrel on Monday, not far off 4-1/ 2 month highs, on signs of improving economic growth in the United States and China and concern over geopolitical tension in the Middle East.
*Sales of Sweden's Minecraft game hit 20 million. STOCKHOLM, Feb 4- A pool table, a pinball machine, board games and Lego dot the offices of Mojang, the small Swedish company behind the wildly popular Minecraft video game, and one of its founders is wearing a tuxedo and purple tie on a recent "formal Friday".
*China insurers slide after HSBC's Ping An stake sale approval. HONG KONG, Feb 4- Hong Kong shares reversed early gains to end lower in choppy Monday trade, as investors took profit on the Chinese insurance sector after mainland regulators approved HSBC's sale of its remaining stake in Ping An Insurance.