TOKYO— Hello Kitty, whom many learned last week is a girl and not a cat, may be the queen of Japan's cute characters, but she's hardly the only one. Characters are not just for kids in Japan, but a part of business and social life.» Read More
*Fed buys $970 million in bonds due 2040-2043. NEW YORK, May 16- U.S. That's causing the sell-off, "said Michael Chang, an interest rate strategist at Credit Suisse in New York.
BEIJING, May 16- China Southern Airlines Co Ltd on Friday said it has ordered 80 aircraft from Airbus Group NV worth at least $7.3 billion. China Southern will also sell 6 Embraer SA E145 jets and components to Airbus before year-end, reducing capacity by 0.02 percent, the Guangzhou- based carrier said in a statement on its website.
BERLIN, May 16- The German government has tightened tender rules for sensitive public IT contracts in the wake of reports about mass surveillance by the U.S. National Security Agency, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry said on Friday.
May 16- Adobe Systems Inc said on Friday that access to its Creative Cloud was restored following an outage that disrupted the Web-based, subscription service to top-selling software programs including Photoshop, Illustrator and Flash for about a day.
*Industry lobby still hopes to sway Merkel on Russia stance. BERLIN, May 16- German industry is ramping up efforts to dissuade Chancellor Angela Merkel from imposing tough new economic sanctions on Russia over Ukraine, warning of lasting damage to domestic firms and the broader economy if Moscow is hit hard.
BRUSSELS, May 16- Hutchison Whampoa is set to gain regulatory clearance for its $1 billion bid for Telefonica's Irish business as soon as it signs a separate deal aimed at creating a fourth mobile operator in Ireland, two people with knowledge of the matter said on Friday.
NEW YORK, May 16- Dow Jones& Co has won a court order to stop the London- based service Ransquawk from broadcasting its news content within seconds of publication, without permission, to traders and other subscribers. District Judge Jesse Furman in Manhattan will be enforced.
NEW YORK, May 16- A week after concluding a controversial settlement with Chevron Corp, law and lobbying firm Patton Boggs is seeking to close the biggest law firm merger so far this year by as early as next week, according to four sources familiar with the matter.
NEW YORK, May 16- A federal appeals court in New York on Friday upheld Ross Mandell's conviction and 12- year prison term for running an alleged $140 million trans-Atlantic boiler room fraud, rejecting his claim that he could not be prosecuted under U.S. securities laws because much of the case was foreign.
NEW DELHI, May 16- If prime minister-elect Narendra Modi can revive a faltering economy, as his people clearly believe he can, India may finally be able to deal with overseas allies, foes and rivals from a position of strength. Dating back to the Cold War, India has tended to avoid close alliances.
*J.C. Penney, Nordstrom soar a day after results. NEW YORK, May 16- U.S. stocks slipped on Friday, trimming some of their earlier declines after some positive earnings, though investors remained wary of lingering weakness in small-cap names.
*GM $35 mln fine is most allowed under U.S. transport agency. WASHINGTON, May 16- General Motors Co was slapped on Friday with a $35 million U.S. fine for its delayed response to an ignition switch defect in millions of vehicles. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced the fine, which is the maximum the agency can impose.
*Sees 2015 capital spend $5.5- $6.0 bln, higher than 2014 forecast. May 16- Chesapeake Energy Corp said it expects to sell more than $4 billion in assets this year and will spin off its oilfield services division as the second-largest U.S. natural gas producer focuses on drilling more profitable wells and improving returns.
*Euro STOXX 50 rises 0.3 pct to 3,172.72 points. LONDON, May 16- Corporate takeover activity propped up European equities on Friday, allowing key indexes to recover after a sell-off in the previous session caused by weak economic data in Portugal and Italy. The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index also rose 0.3 percent, to 3,172.72 points.
ATHENS, May 16- Foreign holders of Greek bonds will not be liable for capital gains tax for 2012-13, two finance ministry sources said on Friday, as Athens sought to soothe investor uncertainty about tax changes effective from this year.
NEW YORK, May 16- Michael Steinberg, a portfolio manager at Steven A. Cohen's SAC Capital Advisors hedge fund, was sentenced on Friday to 3-1/ 2 years in prison for insider trading.
*Russia offers Ukraine natgas discount. *Washington warns Russia of further sanctions over Ukraine. NEW YORK, May 16- Global oil prices rose on Friday as investors worried about Libya after a recovery in the OPEC country's oil supply proved short-lived and government forces clashed with Islamist militias.
CHICAGO, May 16- U.S. wheat futures fell for the eighth straight session on Friday, on track for their longest losing streak since June, due to poor demand for U.S. offerings on the export market despite the streak of declines. "There is not a lot of business being done," said Mark Schultz, analyst at Northstar Commodity in Minneapolis.
WASHINGTON, May 16- U.S. housing starts jumped in April and building permits hit their highest level in nearly six years, offering hope the troubled housing market could be stabilizing. Groundbreaking for homes surged 13.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 1.07 million units, the highest since November 2013, the Commerce Department said.
PARIS, May 16- The European Union is considering raising the pressure on the United States in the world's largest trade dispute by challenging tax breaks that encouraged planemaker Boeing to keep production of its latest jet in Washington state, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.