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  • SYDNEY/ SINGAPORE, July 3- The dollar held firm above a recent eight-week low on Thursday, supported by hopes for a healthy rise in nonfarm payrolls, while the Aussie fell after Australia's central bank chief warned that markets are underestimating the risk of a sharp fall in the currency.

  • July 2- U.S. strip mall vacancies fell slightly in the second quarter, while retail mall vacancies remained unchanged, real estate research firm Reis Inc said in a report.

  • WASHINGTON, July 2- President Barack Obama said on Wednesday he wants additional financial reforms to make sure banks are not tempted to make risky bets that can pay off handsomely for a few if they succeed but can cause widely felt disruptions if they flop.

  • TOKYO, July 3- Japanese government bonds prices were modestly lower on Thursday, as investors positioned for this session's 10- year sale. The Ministry of Finance set the coupon of the new issue at 0.6 percent for the ninth straight month, re-opening the current issue for the regular settlement date.

  • *Libya deal with rebels may make 500,000 bpd available for exports. SINGAPORE, July 3- Brent futures dipped below $111 a barrel on Thursday as supply fears eased after Libya declared an end to an oil crisis that has cut exports from the OPEC member to a trickle, although declines will be capped by concerns over Iraq.

  • China's second biggest hydro plant completed Wednesday, 2 Jul 2014 | 10:31 PM ET

    BEIJING, July 3- China's Xiluodu hydropower station, the country's second largest in terms of capacity, went into full operation this week after its 18th and final generating unit was completed, the project operator said in a notice on Wednesday.

  • BEIJING, July 3- Activity in China's services sector expanded at its fastest pace in 15 months in June, a private survey showed on Thursday, reinforcing signs that the broader economy is stabilising.

  • *Toshiba soars after Nikkei reports Westinghouse in talks to win nuclear deal. TOKYO, July 3- Japanese stocks were flat in a choppy early session on Thursday as investors took time out ahead of the U.S. jobs data later in the day, while Toshiba Corp soared on a report that its U.S. subsidiary is expected to win a deal in Bulgaria.

  • SYDNEY, July 3- London copper marked its highest in over four months and LME zinc touched a three-year peak on Thursday, with second-half fund allocations pouring into the sector as the demand outlook brightens.

  • China June HSBC services PMI hits 15-month high of 53.1 Wednesday, 2 Jul 2014 | 9:48 PM ET

    BEIJING, July 3- China's service sector activity expanded at the fastest pace in 15 months in June, a private survey showed on Thursday, reinforcing signs that the broader economy is stabilising.

  • BEIJING, July 3- Growth in China's services sector remained strong in June but edged down from a six-month high, with the purchasing manufacturing index for the industry slipping to 55, government data showed on Thursday. That compares with a reading of 55.5 in May, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

  • BOGOTA, July 2- Colombia coffee production for June was up 3 percent, to 944,000 60- kg bags, from the same month a year earlier, the national growers' federation said on Wednesday.

  • SAN FRANCISCO, July 2- NRG Energy vowed on Wednesday to press ahead with a proposal to build a power plant in coastal Southern California even after a city council expressed opposition, citing fears it could be inundated by rising sea water.

  • BEIJING, July 3- Growth in China's services sector edged down from a six-month high in June, with the purchasing manufacturing index for the industry slipping to 55, government data showed on Thursday. That compares with a reading of 55.5 in May, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

  • Earlier Standard General had loaned its American Apparel shares to Charney, according to regulatory documents, allowing him to boost his stake in the company from about 27 percent to 43 percent. Charney had hoped to gain majority control, but American Apparel countered with an anti-takeover plan that prompted him to change his strategy.

  • SINGAPORE, July 3- U.S. crude futures slipped towards $104 a barrel in early Asian trade on Thursday as supply fears eased after Libya declared an end to an oil crisis which had reduced exports from the OPEC member to a trickle. U.S. crude extended the previous session's losses to fall to a three-week low, down 45 cents at $104.03 a barrel by 0030 GMT.

  • NEW YORK, July 2- Goldman Sachs Group Inc on Wednesday said Google Inc has blocked access to an email containing confidential client data that a contractor sent to a stranger's Gmail account by mistake, an error that the bank said threatened a "needless and massive" breach of privacy.

  • SINGAPORE, July 3- Gold was little changed below a three-month high on Thursday as investors awaited a string of key data releases later in the day to gauge the strength of the global economy and the fate of stimulus measures by central banks. *Spot gold was flat at $1,326.10 an ounce by 0033 GMT, not too far from a 3- month high of $1,332.10 hit earlier in the week.

  • OTTAWA, July 2- Australia, this year's G20 chair, sees little consensus among the Group of 20 leading economies to take major new steps on climate change, senior official Heather Scott said on Wednesday.

  • TOKYO, July 3- Asian stocks hovered at a three-year high and the dollar rose early on Thursday after robust jobs data fuelled hopes that the U.S. nonfarm payrolls report would point to momentum building in the economy.