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  • TOKYO, Dec 19- Japanese stocks jumped on Friday after Wall Street enjoyed its best two days since late 2011, with sentiment boosted by the Federal Reserve's pledge of patience in its approach to raising interest rates. Toyota Motor Corp rose 2.0 percent, also helped by a Nikkei business daily report that it is to consolidate its seat-making operations in 2016. 1/...

  • SYDNEY, Dec 19- London copper futures inched up in early trade on Friday as oil prices climbed, while Shanghai futures dipped on gloomy Chinese housing data. *The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange slipped 0.44 percent to 4,5340 yuan a tonne. *China's top refined lead producer Henan Yuguang Lead and Gold Ltd has cut its output by up to 30...

  • EU leaders ready long confrontation with Russia Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 8:54 PM ET

    *EU leaders lay ground for long-term common front toward Moscow. BRUSSELS, Dec 19- European Union leaders warned Moscow they were ready exercise their combined muscle over the long haul in a confrontation with an economically wounded Russia if President Vladimir Putin refused to pull back from Ukraine. "It is obvious we will not find a long-term perspective for...

  • SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 18- Uber argued Thursday that it should not have to turn over ride data in a California regulatory standoff that shows how the transportation service is falling afoul of officials who could threaten its expansion. The issue, which is being heard in a California administrative court and whose outcome will not be known until next year, pits Uber...

  • Unilever drops mayonnaise suit against Just Mayo maker Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 8:33 PM ET

    Dec 18- Unilever Plc's U.S. division said it has withdrawn its lawsuit against food startup Hampton Creek over false advertising and unfair competition related to its Just Mayo product. Unilever, famous for its mayonnaise brand Hellmann's, had filed a suit against Hampton Creek earlier this year accusing the company of advertising Just Mayo, an eggless spread,...

  • SAO PAULO, Dec 18- Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, dogged by a multibillion-dollar corruption scandal at state-run oil company Petrobras, vowed on Thursday to stamp out graft at the flagship firm and place it under strict corporate governance. In a speech in the capital, Brasilia, Rousseff urged Brazilians not to lose faith in the vital oil producer,...

  • *Asia shares buoyed as Wall St surges for second day. SYDNEY, Dec 19- Japanese stocks led Asian markets higher on Friday, after Wall Street boasted its biggest two-day advance since late 2011 amid relief the Federal Reserve was in no rush to start hiking interest rates. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei climbed 1.9 percent to erase much of it's recent losses, while Australia's...

  • *White House not in position to confirm North Korea responsible. WASHINGTON/ LOS ANGELES, Dec 18- Washington made the woes of cyberattack victim Sony Pictures its own on Thursday as the White House acknowledged that the devastating strike against the big Hollywood studio was a matter of national security that would be met by a forceful government response.

  • The Federal Communications Commission's annual review of mobile industry competition found the two largest carriers, Verizon Communications Inc and AT&T Inc, together controlled around 70 percent of both the nationwide market share based on service revenues and the most-prized type of radio airwaves. The FCC did not draw conclusions on whether the...

  • SINGAPORE, Dec 19- Gold steadied below $1,200 an ounce on Friday and was set to end a two-week rally as the dollar gained on expectations that the U.S. * "Gold prices are currently capped by a stronger dollar and ongoing weak oil prices. Despite this, gold keeps challenging the $1,200/ oz level, " HSBC analysts said in a note.

  • CHICAGO, Dec 18- China agreed to allow U.S. medicines and medical devices into local markets more quickly and open up its anti-trust procedures, U.S. U.S. and Chinese officials said they made progress on a range of issues at three-day Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade meetings, which aims to smooth out snags in a trade relationship worth more than $600 billion...

  • Sony's capitulation could mean that more businesses will be targeted for cyberwarfare and extortion, they said. The crisis at Sony Corp's movie studio is prompting executives to think more broadly and to use data encryption software for internal data. Sony on Wednesday dropped the comedy that features the assassination of North Korea's leader after...

  • EBay parts ways with controversial political group ALEC Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 7:29 PM ET

    SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 18- Ebay Inc said on Thursday that it will end its association with the American Legislative Exchange Council, a political group that other tech companies dropped earlier this year due to its views on climate change. "After our annual review of eBay Inc's memberships in trade associations and third party organizations we've decided not to...

  • *Xerox to sell information technology outsourcing business to Atos for $1.05 billion. *Xerox says deal with Atos also includes additional consideration of $50 million; deal expected to close in the first half of 2015. *Xerox says now expects full-year 2014 gaap earnings per share from continuing operations of $0.87- $0.89.

  • SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 18- Uber argued Thursday that it should not have to turn over ride data in a California regulatory standoff that shows how the transportation service is falling afoul of officials who could threaten its expansion. The issue, which is being heard in a California administrative court and whose outcome will not be known until next year, pits Uber...

  • U.S. crude rises almost 2 percent to above $55 Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 7:13 PM ET

    TOKYO, Dec 19- U.S. crude futures jumped 2 percent in early trading on Thursday to above $55, recouping about half the losses in the previous session when oil fell to near five and a half year lows. U.S. crude for January delivery, which expires after Friday's settlement, was up 77 cents or 1.42 percent, at $55.88 at 0001 GMT, after rising to as high as $55.50 in earlier...

  • Dec 18- Unifor, Canada's largest private sector workers' union, said it was unable to reach agreement with Canadian National Railway Co after months of negotiations. Unifor, which has five collective agreements with CN Rail, had opened talks in September on contracts for about 5,000 workers across the country. "CN remains optimistic that it can reach an agreement...

  • -Lipper@ NEW YORK, Dec 18- Investors in U.S.-based funds pulled $831 million out of emerging market stock funds through the week ended Dec. 17, the third straight week of ouflows, data from Thomson Reuters' Lipper service showed on Thursday. In addition, the same collapse in oil prices that has pressured Russia has also affected other emerging markets.

  • TOKYO, Dec 19- The safe-haven yen was on the back foot on Friday, as risk assets staged a broad recovery and investors awaited the outcome of a Bank of Japan meeting. The dollar added 0.2 percent against the yen to buy 119.06 yen, while the euro tacked on 0.2 percent to 146.21 yen. BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda will likely repeat calls for firms to increase wages at his...

  • CHICAGO, Dec 18- China agreed to cut red tape for imports of U.S. medicines and medical devices and open up its anti-trust procedures, U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker said on Thursday after three days of bilateral talks. China agreed to publish the results of administrative proceedings conducted under its anti-monopoly law, which has been criticized for...