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  • ATHENS, Feb 25- A prominent Greek minister defied his government's pledge to press on with some state asset sales, revealing the first open dissent within Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras's coalition and highlighting the tightrope that the leftist premier must walk. After weeks of euphoric declarations that Greece's bailout and accompanying austerity were "...

  • ZURICH, Feb 25- Six weeks after a fateful decision that blasted its currency skywards, Switzerland's central bank is coming under intense scrutiny, with critics calling for changes to its insular policy practices and century-old ownership structure. The shock of the Jan. 15 move by the Swiss National Bank to abandon the franc's three-year-old cap against the...

  • CRUDE FUTURES EXTEND LOSSES AFTER EIA DATA SHOWS LARGE CRUDE STOCKS BUILD.

  • Feb 25- Cablevision Systems Corp reported a drop in the number of video subscribers for the tenth quarter in a row, sending the cable TV provider's shares down more than 5 percent in early trading. Cablevision, which is controlled by New York's Dolan family, said the number of video customers fell 4.7 percent to 2.68 million in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31.

  • US Army secretary optimistic on relief from budget caps Wednesday, 25 Feb 2015 | 10:26 AM ET

    McHugh said that if the budget caps, known as sequestration, remained in place, U.S. lawmakers would have to make tough decisions about which missions it wanted to Army to abandon. If sequestration cuts take effect, he said, the Army would try to protect two big weapons programs for new ground vehicles: a Humvee replacement contract due to be awarded this year, and a...

  • LONDON, Feb 25- British Prime Minister David Cameron could hardly have asked for a better run of economic numbers ahead of May's tight election. Britain's FTSE 100 blue-chip share price index has hit a record high. Finance minister George Osborne has even been showered with praise by Angel Gurria, head of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and...

  • *Ukraine says Gazprom delivers less than already paid. NOVO-OGARYOVO, Russia, Feb 25- President Vladimir Putin warned on Wednesday that Russia would halt gas supplies to Ukraine if it did not receive advance payment, raising the possibility of onward deliveries to Europe being disrupted for the fourth time in a decade. Kiev and Moscow have argued over gas...

  • WASHINGTON, Feb 25- The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that a North Carolina state dental board does not have the authority to regulate teeth-whitening services, accepting the federal government's claim that the system is anticompetitive because dentists sit on the panel. The court, on a 6-3 vote, ruled for the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which had decided...

  • LONDON, Feb 25- Twenty years after Nick Leeson brought down Britain's oldest investment bank, the rogue trader immortalised in book and film says little has changed in an industry that continues to throw up one scandal after another. Leeson, whose $1.4 billion loss as a Singapore- based junior derivatives trader led to the 1995 collapse of Barings Bank and earned...

  • UPDATE 1-French PM wants new labour reform law by summer Wednesday, 25 Feb 2015 | 10:14 AM ET

    PARIS, Feb 25- The French government wants to see new labour rules adopted in parliament by the summer, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said in France's latest effort to boost growth and prove to EU peers it is serious about reform. Less than an hour before the European Commission was due to make known its ruling on France's budget, Valls announced his new reform plan to...

  • Feb 25- Dollar Tree Inc posted better-than-expected quarterly sales on Wednesday and said it expected to reach an agreement with the U.S. antitrust regulator by early March on store divestitures to get approval for its acquisition of larger rival Family Dollar Stores Inc.. Dollar Tree said it remained confident it would not have to divest more than 300 stores...

  • Feb 25- Auto parts maker Magna International Inc reported stronger than expected quarterly earnings on Wednesday while announcing a higher dividend and a stock split, sparking a rally in its shares. Canaccord Genuity analyst David Tyerman said both Magna's sales and margins came in ahead of his forecasts. Magna cut its 2015 forecast for total production...

  • Rota do Oeste, the company that runs the main highway in Brazil's leading soybean state of Mato Grosso where the trucker protest started on Feb. 18, said trucks continue parked along the shoulders in several cities of the state on Wednesday. Brazil's attorney general said on Monday it would begin issuing fines of 100,000 reais to truckers or logistics companies...

  • PARIS/ FRANKFURT, Feb 25- U.S. and British spies are likely to have hacked into SIM card maker Gemalto in an attempt to steal codes that protect the privacy of billions of mobile phone users, the company said, as it sought to downplay the impact and ruled out legal action. "The facts are hard to prove from a legal perspective and... the history of going after a state shows it...

  • TBILISI, Feb 25- Georgia plans a reform drive including privatisations, budget cuts and restructuring of foreign currency bank loans to contain the country's economic crisis, officials said on Wednesday. The former Soviet republic's economy has been battered by a plunge in the Russian rouble and the conflict in Ukraine. Central bank chief Georgy Kadagidze...

  • Looks and exterior design are still the top reasons why people avoid buying a certain model, J.D. Power said. The annual J.D. Power study is one of several that taken together show that certain brands-- Lexus, Toyota and of late, General Motors' Buick and Chevrolet brands-- are getting consistently high marks, while others consistently struggle to get above average...

  • French PM wants new labour reform law by summer Wednesday, 25 Feb 2015 | 10:00 AM ET

    PARIS, Feb 25- The French government wants to see new labour rules adopted in parliament by the summer, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said in France's latest effort to boost growth and prove to EU peers it is serious about reform. Under pressure to avoid EU sanctions for its budget slippages, the Socialist government wants to overhaul worker representation rules...

  • U.S. new home sales dip, but remain near multi-year highs Wednesday, 25 Feb 2015 | 10:00 AM ET

    WASHINGTON, Feb 25- New U.S. single-family home sales in January fell less than expected and supply rose to its highest level since 2010, hopeful signs for the sluggish housing market. The Commerce Department said on Wednesday that sales dipped 0.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 481,000 units. December's sales pace was revised up to 482,000...

  • PARIS, Feb 25- The head of Dubai's Emirates has hit back at U.S. airlines in an increasingly bitter subsidy spat and urged Washington to block their calls to renegotiate Open Skies agreements. He was responding to allegations of trade-distorting Gulf subsidies made by the three largest U.S. airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and United Airlines.

  • CRUDE FUTURES TURN LOWER AHEAD OF EIA DATA AS CRUDE INVENTORY RISE IN API DATA WEIGHS.