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  • TOKYO, Jan 30- Japan's Honda Motor Co on Friday cut its annual operating profit forecast by 6.5 percent as it set aside more cash to cover an expanded recall of cars to replace potentially faulty air bags made by supplier Takata Corp. Honda also said it now expects to sell a total of 4.45 million cars this fiscal year, down from the 4.62 million it previously forecast,...

  • TOKYO, Jan 30- Japan's Nikkei share average rose on Friday as strong company earnings led by Nomura Holdings and Advantest Corp buoyed sentiment, but a sell-off in index-heavyweight SoftBank Corp limited the gains. SoftBank Corp fell 3.4 percent and contributed a hefty 28.74 negative points to the Nikkei after Alibaba Group Holding Ltd reported...

  • *Average price seen at 2,400 ringgit vs 2,384 ringgit in 2014. *Expected to rise to 2,525 ringgit/ T in 2016. But the poll generated forecasts ranging from 2,000 ringgit to 2,650 ringgit, indicating mixed views on the outlook for the global economy and over the impact of bad weather on harvests in top growers Malaysia and Indonesia.

  • *Asia buyers raise Iran imports to 1.12 mln bpd in 2014. Imports by Iran's four biggest buyers- China, India, Japan and South Korea- averaged 1.12 million barrels per day in 2014, government and tanker-tracking data showed, the highest since the region took more than 1.5 million bpd in 2011. Soaring imports last year by China and India after the partial easing of...

  • Russia's biggest miner faces Arctic prices challenge Friday, 30 Jan 2015 | 1:00 AM ET

    NORILSK, Russia, Jan 30- Russia's financial crisis is posing a stark challenge to the country's largest mining company. The slump in the rouble and a resulting rise in inflation could have an outsize effect in Norilsk, a town 300 km inside the Arctic Circle where more than a quarter of the 220,000 population work for the company, and it's hard to shop around.

  • WASHINGTON, Jan 30- The U.S. economy likely grew at a brisk clip in the fourth quarter as lower gasoline prices buoyed consumer spending, in a show of resilience despite a darkening global outlook. "The consumer did the heavy lifting and I don't think there is any reason to expect that to change in the first half of this year because of the enormous tailwind from lower...

  • China's new tech rules play to local firms' strengths Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 | 11:59 PM ET

    BEIJING/ SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 30- Draft Chinese government regulation would force technology vendors to meet stringent security tests before they can sell to China's banks, an acceleration of efforts to curb the country's reliance on foreign technology that has drawn a sharp response from U.S. business groups. Western companies say the rules have not yet been...

  • SHANGHAI, Jan 30- China's yuan weakened slightly on Friday, trading within a hair's breadth of lower limit of the official daily trading band, as central bank has limited the yuan's decline against a dollar that has gained sharply against other major currencies. The People's Bank of China set the midpoint rate at 6.137 per dollar prior to market open, weaker than...

  • SINGAPORE, Jan 30- Oil prices dipped on Friday following slight gains in the previous session and analysts said the outlook remained weak, with production high and producers reducing operating costs to adjust to lower export revenues. Benchmark Brent crude oil futures opened Friday's trading little changed at $49.15 a barrel and had slipped to $49.03 by 0433...

  • China stocks fall on margin trading probe, Hong Kong flat Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 | 11:39 PM ET

    SHANGHAI, Jan 30- China stocks resumed their decline on Friday morning, with investment sentiment dampened by fresh investigations into stock margin trading while Hong Kong shares were subdued. "Sectors like finance, banking and insurance which benefited from an increase in margin trading have been particularly affected by the recent inspection," said Wang...

  • TOKYO, Jan 30- The Bank of Japan has put monetary policy on hold and found backing for its wait-and-see stance from advisors to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who worry more easing could send the yen to damagingly low levels, according to officials in the administration and central bank. This newfound caution from some of the same Abe advisors who urged the BOJ to...

  • SYDNEY/ TOKYO, Jan 30- Commodity currencies nursed hefty losses on Friday, as investors sent the Australian dollar to 5 1/ 2 year lows as they bet on the Australian central bank reducing interest rates when it meets next week. While currencies from energy and resource producing countries, such as Canada and Australia, struggled under the weight of falling energy...

  • TOKYO, Jan 30- Asian shares edged up on Friday, talking heart from a late earnings-led surge on Wall Street even as continuing concerns about global growth tempered gains. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up about 0.1 percent on the day, but up more than 1 percent for the month. On Thursday, major U.S. indexes surged almost 1 percent or...

  • Jan 29- Bankrupt drugmaker Dendreon Corp has reached a stalking-horse deal with Canada's Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc to sell the worldwide rights to its cancer vaccine, Provenge, and certain assets for $296 million. The deal is subject to higher and better bids and extended the bid deadline to Feb. 10 for interested parties to participate in an...

  • *China funds committed to short view, continue selling- trader. Copper's price weakness has been wrapped up in broader macroeconomic uncertainty, exacerbated by the slide in oil, rather than because of copper's own fundamentals, said Joel Crane, of Morgan Stanley in Melbourne. "Copper failed to break the double bottom at $5,350 last night so that spurred a bit of...

  • TOKYO, Jan 30- Japan's core inflation slowed for a fifth month in December and is seen pressured further by collapsing oil, putting more distance to the central bank's 2 percent price target even as other data point to a steady recovery for the recession-hit economy. The big question for policymakers is whether Japan can skirt the faltering economies in Asia and...

  • *Gold up over 6 pct in Jan despite worst week since Nov. SINGAPORE, Jan 30- Gold edged up on Friday after falling more than 2 percent to a two-week low overnight on concerns over a looming increase in U.S. interest rates, with bullion still on track for its biggest weekly drop in two months. Gold's 2.2- percent drop overnight was its steepest since mid-December.

  • JGBs dip on rise in U.S. yields, share prices Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 | 9:45 PM ET

    TOKYO, Jan 30- Japanese government bond prices dipped on Friday as stock prices and U.S. bond yields rose and ahead of two long-dated bond auctions next week. The 10- year JGB yield rose a half basis point to 0.290 percent while the 20- year yield ticked up 1.0 basis point to 1.055 percent. Still, the market was supported by expectations of buying by the Bank of Japan,...

  • SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 29- Google Inc plans to keep making ambitious and costly bets on futuristic products, even if it means shelving some of its most beloved projects. The comments by Chief Financial Officer Patrick Pichette during Thursday's quarterly results conference call struck a decidedly different tone from Google's talk earlier this month of Glass "...

  • Valeant to buy worldwide rights to Dendreon's Provenge Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 | 9:29 PM ET

    Jan 29- Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc said it would buy the worldwide rights of Dendreon Corp's Provenge drug and certain other assets through a "stalking horse" deal for $296 million. Seattle- based Dendreon filed for bankruptcy protection in November, after sales of its cancer vaccine fell short of expectations and left the company deep in debt.