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  • TOKYO, April 8- The dollar took a step back on Wednesday but retained a bulk of its overnight gains after currency bulls scooped up the greenback following the tumble induced by weak U.S. non-farm payrolls late last week. Market reaction was mostly muted to the Bank of Japan's decision to stand pat on monetary policy. "The dollar dipped a little but the reaction was a...

  • BEIJING, April 8- China has reduced the target price its cotton subsidy scheme is based on in the major growing region of Xinjiang by 3.5 percent, with analysts saying the step would have little impact on output in one of the world's top growers. The 2015 target price for cotton in Xinjiang was set at 19,100 yuan per tonne, down from 19,800 yuan last year, the National...

  • TOKYO, April 8- The Bank of Japan kept monetary policy steady on Wednesday, suggesting that policymakers remain unfazed by slowing inflation and recent signs of weakness in the economy. Board member Takahide Kiuchi, who has expressed concerns that massive money printing could sow the seeds of a future bubble, called for the BOJ to cut back its asset buying.

  • *Dollar holds broad gains, weighs on Wall Street. SYDNEY, April 8- Japanese shares scaled 15- year peaks on Wednesday while Hong Kong's market leapt to seven-year highs amid speculation of more stimulus from China and Japan, as well as a delayed start to any tightening by the U.S. Shanghai scored seven-year peaks and MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares...

  • SHANGHAI, April 8- China's yuan weakened against the dollar on Wednesday as the central bank fixed a weaker midpoint, while traders said demand for dollars was lifted by individuals paying credit card charges after travelling on a long weekend holiday. The People's Bank of China set the midpoint rate at 6.1345 per dollar prior to market open on Wednesday, 0.07...

  • *Singtel moving beyond being a pure-play telco. The deal comes as Singtel is moving away from being a pure-play telecoms company and pursues expansion in areas such as "digital life", which includes mobile video and digital advertising, and cyber security through partnerships with FireEye Inc and Akamai, among others. Singtel, which owns stakes in regional...

  • TOKYO, April 8- The Bank of Japan maintained its massive stimulus and its optimistic view of the economy on Wednesday, unfazed by recent signs of weakness in consumer spending and factory output. Board member Takahide Kiuchi made a change in his lone proposal against the stimulus programme. BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda will hold a news conference at 3:30 p.m....

  • *Dollar holds broad gains, weighs on Wall Street. SYDNEY, April 8- Japanese shares probed 15- year peaks on Wednesday as Asian stocks benefited from speculation of more stimulus from China and Japan, as well as a delayed start to any tightening by the U.S. Milestones littered the region with Chinese shares just off seven-year peaks and MSCI's broadest index of...

  • SINGAPORE, April 7- Oil prices fell more than a percent on Wednesday as industry data showed a larger-than-expected weekly build in U.S. stockpiles and as Saudi Arabia reported record output in March. "We're going to need to see a very big uptick in demand to offset that supply," Ben Le Brun, analyst at OptionsXpress in Sydney said. Brent May crude was down 61 cents at...

  • TOKYO, April 8- Tokyo's benchmark index edged up to near 15- year highs on Wednesday after Japanese retail investors ploughed a sizable amount of cash into new stock mutual funds. Further underpinning the mood was talk the Bank of Japan could step up its asset purchase programme as part of its efforts to drive up inflation towards its 2 percent target, although...

  • MELBOURNE, April 8- Shanghai nickel slid more than 3 percent on Wednesday, echoing losses in London, on concerns that China's struggling construction sector would corrode demand. *The most-traded nickel contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange had dropped 3 percent to 93,880 yuan a tonne by 0145 GMT, following similar losses in London. *The most-traded June...

  • *Carter urges China to exercise restraint in South China Sea. Carter's visit coincides with the first update in U.S.- Japan defense cooperation guidelines since 1997, a revision that will expand the scope for interaction between the two allies in line with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's push to ease the constraints of Japan's pacifist constitution on the...

  • *Shell in talks to buy BG Group in first mega-merger in a decade. SINGAPORE, April 7- Crude prices dropped on Wednesday after Saudi Arabia reported record production of 10.3 million barrels per day in March, a figure the country's oil minister said was unlikely to fall by much. Brent May crude was down 73 cents from its last settlement at $58.37 a barrel by 0100 GMT,...

  • Such expanded training and joint missions might extend through the South China Sea- where China, Vietnam, the Philippines and other nations have rival claims- to the Indian Ocean. Neither Tokyo nor Washington have territorial claims in the South China Sea, but the U.S. Washington has welcomed a broader regional military role for Japan, as the United States pushes...

  • April 7- Private equity firms Blackstone Group LP and Corsair Capital are in talks to acquire a major stake in First Eagle Investment Management, valuing the company at around $4 billion, including debt, according to people familiar with the matter. The negotiations with First Eagle's owner, buyout firm TA Associates, are expected to continue for weeks and a deal...

  • April 7- Royal Dutch Shell Plc said it has filed a complaint in federal court in Alaska seeking an order to remove Greenpeace activists who climbed aboard an oil rig in the Pacific Ocean bound for the Arctic on Monday in a protest against Arctic drilling. "We're here to highlight that in less than 100 days Shell is going to the Arctic to drill for oil," 32- year-old...

  • "We look for companies that have solid employee rankings and want to buy companies that have improvements in employee opinions," said Paul Ebner, a portfolio manager and member of BlackRock's scientific active equity group, a team of quantitative managers. At BlackRock, which has more than $4.65 trillion in assets, the company's 77- member quantitative team...

  • SINGAPORE, April 8- Gold hovered above $1,200 an ounce on Wednesday, trading not far below a seven-week high, as expectations that the Federal Reserve could delay an anticipated rate increase this year increase. *Spot gold was steady at $1,209.21 an ounce by 0026 GMT. Bullion climbed to $1,224.10 on Monday, its highest since Feb. 17, after last week's dismal U.S....

  • TOKYO, April 8- The dollar stood tall on Wednesday after rallying overnight on bargain-hunting by currency bulls who scooped up the greenback following the tumble induced by weak U.S. non-farm payrolls late last week. The dollar was steady at 120.325 yen after jumping 0.6 percent the previous day, when currency markets returned to full strength following the...

  • MEXICO CITY, April 7- Mexican cement maker Grupo Cementos de Chihuahua expects sales growth to decline this year after record revenue last year as low oil prices constrict demand in the United States, the company's top market. GCC Treasurer Luis Carlos Arias said in an interview that after a nearly 20- percent sales spike in 2014, the company projects only...