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  • BOSTON, March 4- Mutual fund companies, including No. 2 Fidelity Investments, have slashed fees on their most popular funds by shifting billions of dollars into collective trusts not regulated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. "CITs are more opaque to the outside world because reporting requirements are not as stringent," said Michael Rawson,...

  • WASHINGTON, March 4- The U.S. Supreme Court will consider on Wednesday a second major legal attack on President Barack Obama's healthcare law, with conservative challengers taking aim at a pivotal part of the statute that authorizes tax subsidies to help people afford insurance. If the court rules against the Obama administration, up to 7.5 million people in at...

  • U.S. lawmakers gear up for Supreme Court Obamacare fray Wednesday, 4 Mar 2015 | 1:00 AM ET

    WASHINGTON, March 4- War rooms of lawmakers and their aides in the U.S. Congress are working furiously to try to influence the Supreme Court's nine justices who will hear arguments on Wednesday on the future of President Barack Obama's landmark healthcare law. Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming, a member of the Republican leadership, is spearheading his party's...

  • TOKYO, March 4- Japanese government bond prices were lower across the board on Wednesday in response to overnight weakness in U.S. Treasuries, although strong results in the Bank of Japan's debt buying operation helped trim losses. The BOJ bought one- to 10- year debt and the firm operation results released later in the session calmed sentiment bruised by...

  • BEIJING, March 4- China's defence budget this year will rise about 10 percent compared with 2014, a top government official said on Wednesday, outpacing the slowing economy as the country ramps up investment in high-tech equipment such as submarines and stealth jets. "Compared with great powers, the road of China's defence modernisation is more difficult.

  • *Saudi Arabia raises monthly prices for crude sales to U.S., Asia. SINGAPORE, March 4- Brent dipped on Wednesday but held above $60 a barrel, supported by a rise in Saudi crude prices and air strikes on oil facilities in Libya. In a move widely seen as showing Saudi Arabia's confidence about a recovery in demand, the OPEC kingpin raised the official selling prices for...

  • SHANGHAI, March 4- China's central bank has cut the interest rate on its short-term lending facility for its local branches and nearly tripled the funds available under the programme, in its latest bid to bring down financing costs, sources told Reuters on Wednesday. The overall SLF quota will be increased by 220 billion yuan to 340 billion yuan, the sources added.

  • MUMBAI, March 4- India's central bank lowered its policy repo rate by 25 basis points to 7.5 percent on Wednesday, its second inter-meeting cut this year on the back of easing inflation and what it said was the "weak state" of parts of the economy. Although markets had broadly expected the Reserve Bank of India to cut rates again after its surprise January easing, few...

  • DIARY-Top Economic Events to March 17 Wednesday, 4 Mar 2015 | 12:01 AM ET

    LAKE FOREST, United States- Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans speaks on current economic conditions and monetary policy before the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Rotary Club 2015 Economic Breakfast- 1400 GMT. KANSAS CITY, United States- Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City President Esther George speaks on the U.S. economy at an event hosted by...

  • SHANGHAI, March 4- China stocks ended lower on Wednesday morning, as early gains following a private survey showing growth in the service sector were erased by continuing worries about the economy. Investors are seeking fresh policy cues from this week's meeting of China's legislature, the National People's Congress. Stocks in the pharmaceutical, media and...

  • JPMorgan Treasurer Craig Delany to step down - WSJ Tuesday, 3 Mar 2015 | 11:41 PM ET

    March 3- JPMorgan Chase& Co Treasurer Craig Delany, who also oversees the bank's Chief Investment Office, is leaving but will stay on until a successor is on board, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing an internal memo. Delany, who is in his mid-40s, was appointed global chief investment officer following the "London Whale" episode, in which the bank lost about $6...

  • TOKYO, March 4- The dollar held firm near an 11- year high versus a basket of major currencies on Wednesday, as investors awaited U.S. economic data and a European Central Bank meeting later this week for fresh clues on policy direction. On Tuesday it had touched a high of 95.570, its strongest level since September 2003. Against the yen, the dollar held steady at...

  • SINGAPORE, March 4- Gold snapped a two-day losing streak on Wednesday as a dip in the dollar supported the metal, although caution prevailed ahead of major U.S. economic data and a European Central Bank meeting. Spot gold rose 0.3 percent to $1,206.34 an ounce by 0401 GMT. Gold is likely to trade in a $1,200- $1,220 range leading into the jobs data, according to MKS...

  • BEIJING, March 4- China's defense budget this year will rise about 10 percent compared with 2014, the spokeswoman for the country's parliament said on Wednesday, outpacing the slowing Chinese economy as the country ramps up investment in high-tech equipment. National People's Congress spokeswoman Fu Ying told a news conference that the actual figure would...

  • "Clearly the bulls have capitulated," said strategist Daniel Hynes of ANZ in Sydney, adding that there appeared to be no sign of nickel ore being replaced with nickel in China. Macquarie, however, said nickel demand in China should get a boost from a central government order to close some nickel pig iron factories to curb pollution, citing China research house...

  • SHANGHAI, March 4- U.S. companies in China have a less rosy outlook for business conditions over the next five years due to a slowing economy, an "opaque" regulatory environment and rising domestic competition, a U.S. business lobby survey showed on Wednesday. The annual report by the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai- the self-dubbed voice of American...

  • SEOUL/ LOS ANGELES, March 4- Asiana Airlines Inc settled with 72 passengers of its flight that crashed at the San Francisco airport in 2013, a spokesman of the South Korean carrier said on Wednesday. Frank Pitre, a lawyer for the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, told the Associated Press this was the first settlement in connection with the crash, the Associated Press...

  • BEIJING, March 4- China's defence budget this year will rise about 10 percent compared with 2014, the spokeswoman for the country's parliament said on Wednesday. Spokeswoman Fu Ying told a news conference that the actual figure would be released on Thursday, when the annual session of China's largely rubber-stamp parliament opens. Last year, defence spending...

  • HONG KONG, March 4- China's yuan edged higher on Wednesday after a private survey showed activity in China's services sector grew modestly in February, though the underlying currency trend remained weak. Late on Saturday, the People's Bank of China cut interest rates, its third major easing since late November. On Wednesday, the People's Bank of China set the...

  • *Bank of Canada seen holding policy steady. TOKYO, March 4- Asian shares and the dollar eased on Wednesday as investors grew cautious before upcoming central bank meetings and U.S. jobs data, while India's central bank surprised with its second inter-meeting rate cut this year. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down about 0.2...