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  • *Property tax rises also cool demand for central London property. From Russian oligarchs and Middle Eastern oil barons to newly-minted Chinese entrepreneurs, foreign buyers have driven a spending spree on London property over the past two decades, snapping up everything from opulent homes to iconic commercial property. The scale of this wealth destruction...

  • The move is part of the company's attempt to reduce exposure to unregulated markets in the United States and internationally, and follows its $4.9 billion purchase of natural gas distributor Piedmont Natural Gas Co.. Duke's international business- which spans Brazil, Argentina and Chile- had earned only half of what the company had expected through...

  • LONDON, Feb 4- The dollar was back on the defensive in morning trade in Europe after a collapse in expectations of a further rise in U.S. interest rates this year drove its biggest daily fall in over two months on Wednesday. The triggers then were a weak batch of U.S. sentiment data and New York Fed President William Dudley's warning that a weakening outlook for the...

  • PARIS/ SYDNEY, Feb 4- U.S. corn and soybeans edged higher on Thursday with support from a falling dollar, but favourable weather for South American crops helped keep prices shy of six-week highs hit this week. Trading was also subdued as investors awaited direction from weekly U.S. export sales and estimates of grain stocks in Canada, another leading grain...

  • SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 4- IBM's efforts to bolster its cloud offerings could get a boost from new developer tools it is unveiling on Thursday. The tools are aimed at helping IBM stake out more of a claim to an area key to its growth: the network of computers known as the cloud, where its customers are increasingly stashing more of their data and computing work.

  • LONDON, Feb 4- All of the Bank of England's interest rate setters believe the next move for British interest rates is likely to be up rather than down, BoE Governor Mark Carney said on Thursday. Asked if he stood by previous comments that the next move was likely to be up, Carney told reporters: "Absolutely, the whole MPC stands by that." Ian McCafferty, the lone...

  • Feb 4- Movie and TV studio Lions Gate Entertainment Corp said on Thursday it would explore a combination with media mogul John Malone's premium cable TV network Starz. Los Angeles Times, citing sources, reported in October that Lions Gate was in advanced talks to merge with Starz. Starz's rival movie channel Epix, which Lions Gate co-owns with Viacom Inc and MGM,...

  • *Lowers 2016 budget to $6.4 bln from $7.7 bln. *Cuts operating cost forecast to $7 bln from $7.7 bln. *Slashes quarterly dividend to $0.25/ share from $0.74.

  • Feb 4- Occidental Petroleum Corp said its 2016 capital budget was expected to be not more than $3 billion, nearly half its 2015 levels, and reported a bigger-than-expected loss for the fourth quarter. Total operating costs declined by nearly $2 per barrel to $11.57 in 2015, Occidental said. Occidental's net loss widened to $5.18 billion, or $6.78 per share, in the...

  • LONDON, Feb 4- The number of people employed in oil and gas extraction and support activities across the United States has fallen by around 100,000 since October 2014. Between October 2014 and November 2015, the number of people on the payroll of oil and gas extraction firms and support services fell by almost 87,000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor...

  • LONDON, Feb 4- The Bank of England cut its economic growth forecasts on Thursday due to a darker global outlook, and the lone policymaker who had backed a rate rise in recent months unexpectedly abandoned this position. The central bank said its Monetary Policy Committee had voted 9-0 this week to keep rates on hold at a record-low 0.5 percent, where they have been...

  • *China needs top notch waste management technology. FRANKFURT, Feb 4- Beijing Enterprise is buying German waste management company Energy from Waste for 1.4 billion euros as China sets about tackling its pollution and waste recycling problems. China set a target to spend about $16 billion between 2013 and 2016 to improve sewage disposal and garbage treatment...

  • AUTO SUPPLIER CONTINENTAL AUTOMOTIVE SYSTEMS IS RECALLING 5 MLN U.S.

  • ConocoPhillips on Thursday lowered its 2016 capital expenditure target by 17 percent to $6.4 billion, and its operating cost forecast by 9 percent to $7 billion. ConocoPhillips also slashed its quarterly dividend to 25 cents per share from 74 cents per share. The company's net loss widened to $3.5 billion, or $2.78 per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec.31,...

  • Feb 4- Perfume maker Coty Inc reported better-than-expected quarterly sales, helped by demand for Sally Hansen nail polishes and Rimmel cosmetics. The company's sales in the color cosmetics business rose 10 percent to $374.8 million in the three months ended Dec. 31, marking the third straight quarterly increase. Net income attributable to the company fell to...

  • *Oil prices held on to most of their previous day's gains of 7 percent as the dollar weakened and Venezuela appeared to be gaining support from more members of OPEC and other producers for a meeting. *Fed policymaker William Dudley said in an interview published on Wednesday that monetary conditions had tightened since the Fed raised rates and that...

  • *4th- qtr U.S. Dunkin' Donuts comp sales fall 0.8 pct. Feb 4- Dunkin' Brands Group Inc reported a surprise drop in sales at established U.S. Dunkin' Donuts restaurants as price increases and intensifying competition reduced customer visits. Nearly all of the company's more than 11,700 Dunkin' Donuts and 7,600 Baskin-Robbins restaurants are owned and operated by...

  • Feb 4- Duke Energy Corp, the largest U.S. power company by generation capacity, said it was looking to sell a whole or part of its international energy unit.

  • Feb 4- Occidental Petroleum Corp said its 2016 capital budget is expected to be not more than $3 billion, nearly half its 2015 levels, and reported a bigger loss for the fourth quarter. The company expects to grow oil and gas production by 2-4 percent this year from ongoing operations. Occidental's net loss widened to $5.18 billion, or $6.78 per share, in the quarter...

  • The company said it would cut its quarterly dividend to 25 cents per share, from 74 cents per share. It also lowered its 2016 capital expenditure target to $6.4 billion from $7.7 billion. The company's net loss widened to $3.5 billion, or $2.78 per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec.31, from $39 million, or 3 cents per share, a year earlier.