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  • LONDON, June 13- The world's biggest would-be drugs merger hit a wall last month but speculation about smart ways that Pfizer could yet seal a deal with AstraZeneca remains intense. Even as talks fell apart last month, some in Pfizer's camp remained optimistic the transaction could be revived- and certain AstraZeneca advisers have not ruled out renewed talks.

  • U.S. producer prices unexpectedly fall in May Friday, 13 Jun 2014 | 8:31 AM ET

    WASHINGTON, June 13- U.S. producer prices unexpectedly fell in May as costs declined broadly, indicating inflation pressures remained benign. The Labor Department said on Friday its producer price index for final demand slipped 0.2 percent, braking sharply from April's 0.6 percent increase, which was the largest gain in 1-1/ 2 years.

  • LONDON, June 13- Palladium fell to a one-month low on Friday, adding to the previous session's sharp fall, as investors awaited confirmation that South Africa's longest ever mining strike would end soon. Platinum, however, inched higher as its near 3 percent loss on Thursday- its biggest daily drop since June 2013- was sufficient spur some buying, traders said.

  • NEW DELHI, June 13- Wal-Mart Stores Inc will launch its business-to-business e-commerce platform in the Indian cities of Lucknow and Hyderabad in the first week of July, the world's largest retailer's India boss said on Friday. Iyer said Wal-Mart would look at rolling out this service to other cities, but not for another six months at least.

  • Priceline to buy OpenTable for $2.6 bln Friday, 13 Jun 2014 | 8:07 AM ET

    June 13- Travel website owner Priceline Group Inc said it would buy restaurant reservation website operator OpenTable Inc for $2.6 billion in an all-cash deal.

  • *Iraq's most senior cleric urges followers to fight. BAGHDAD, June 13- Iraq's most senior Shi'ite cleric urged his followers to take up arms to defend themselves against a relentless advance by Sunni militants, in a sharp escalation of a conflict which is threatening civil war and the potential break-up of the country.

  • *Japan's corporate tax among highest in the world. TOKYO, June 13- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe unveiled a plan on Friday to cut the corporate tax rate below 30 percent in stages to help pull the economy out of two decades of sluggish growth and deflation.

  • PARIS, June 13- French bank BNP Paribas was warned in 2006 by a high-ranking U.S. The French newspaper's report, written as talks accelerate towards a possible $10 billion fine and other penalties, said Stuart Levey, then the U.S. President George Bush had called Iran part of an "Axis of Evil" and wanted European banks to stop working there.

  • LONDON, June 13- For decades many of Italy's top companies have been in the grip of shareholder pacts, often stifling reform, but its largest telecoms operator, Telecom Italia, could soon break free, letting in activist investors who sense an opportunity for profitable change.

  • UPDATE 5-Oil edges higher on Iraq insurgency Friday, 13 Jun 2014 | 7:48 AM ET

    *IEA plays down risk of sudden Iraq export hit. LONDON, June 13- Brent crude oil pared gains but remained above $113 a barrel on Friday on easing concerns that an insurgency in Iraq would trigger a sudden and significant halt in its oil exports. "The market in general is trying to assess the risks on Iraq.

  • *Cyprus says may issue bonds as soon as this month. LONDON, June 13- Cyprus is preparing to sell bonds to yield-starved investors in the next few weeks, making a return to markets that looked very distant just a year ago when it was bailing-in bank depositors and imposing capital controls.

  • *Intel rallies in premarket, lifts revenue outlook. *While both the Dow and S&P hit a series of record highs this week, Wall Street has lately been pressured by concerns of slowing global growth and ongoing violence in Iraq, which has taken oil prices to their highest since September.

  • Iraq crisis, chance of early UK rate hike hit sentiment. LONDON, June 13- Europe's top share index headed for a weekly drop after gaining for eight straight weeks, with escalating conflict in Iraq hitting travel stocks and the prospect of an early rate hike in the United Kingdom hurting property shares on Friday.

  • *China launches anti-dumping probe into dialysis kit makers. SHANGHAI, June 13- China on Friday launched an anti-dumping investigation into makers of blood dialysis equipment in the European Union and Japan, including market leader Fresenius Medical Care AG& Co KGaA, challenging the international firms who currently dominate the global and Chinese markets.

  • A spokeswoman for Airbus declined to comment. Qatar Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker told Reuters he had asked Airbus to address "issues with the interior of the cabin", after a pre-delivery customer inspection. Airbus sales chief John Leahy said on Wednesday that Qatar would receive its first A380 "in the next couple of weeks".

  • June 13- William Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management said it had filed a lawsuit seeking confirmation that a requested special shareholder meeting of Allergan Inc's shareholders would not trigger Allergan's poison pill takeover defense.

  • *ISIL taking arms seized from Iraqi army into Syria- monitors. *Gaining freedom of movement blurring Iraq, Syria borders. BAGHDAD, June 13- Islamist rebel fighters captured two more Iraqi towns overnight in a relentless sweep south towards the capital Baghdad in a campaign to recreate a mediaeval caliphate carved out of fragmenting Iraq and Syria.

  • LONDON, June 13- Palladium edged lower and platinum inched higher on Friday following the previous session's sharp fall as investors awaited confirmation that the longest ever strike at South Africa's mines would end soon.

  • *Trade deficit seen at Y1.17 trln, Japan has posted monthly deficits for nearly 2 years. TOKYO, June 13- Japan's exports likely fell for the first time in 15 months in May due to stagnant demand overseas, and with imports expected to rise the trade balance will probably remain in deficit, where it has been for nearly two years, a Reuters poll showed.

  • BUENOS AIRES, June 13- When he became Argentina's economy minister late last year, many in the business community feared Axel Kicillof, who was once described by a critic as a "flaming Red Marxist," might plunge Latin America's No. 3 economy deeper into isolation in the name of ideology.