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  • GRAPHIC: Brent-WTI spread: http://link.reuters.com/tes24w SINGAPORE, Feb 27- U.S. shale oil is deepening the discount of U.S. crude prices to global benchmarks, with the price gap turning into the de facto indicator of the health of American shale supply, a shale spread of sorts. The surging U.S. production and inventories point to an "oversupplied market which is...

  • SINGAPORE, Feb 27- Singapore Exchange Ltd may have just begun its search for a new CEO but investors and brokers already know what change they want to see: the bourse stripped of its regulatory powers and a rebuilding of its stock market business. Unlike other major financial markets, Singapore does not have a dedicated securities watchdog.

  • *China's implied oil demand set to grow 3 percent this year. *Statoil shuts Statfjord C platform in North Sea. At 0955 GMT, Brent crude futures were up $1.50 at $61.54 a barrel, while U.S. crude was up $1.23 at $49.40 a barrel.

  • LONDON, Feb 27- British publisher Pearson forecast a return to earnings growth after two years of restructuring, helped by improved fortunes in North America where falls in college enrolments have started to ease. Pearson, the 171- year-old company which also owns the Financial Times newspaper, reported adjusted earnings per share of 66.7 pence in 2014. That...

  • SINGAPORE, Feb 27- Singapore Exchange Ltd may have just begun its search for a new CEO but investors and brokers already know what change they want to see: the bourse stripped of its regulatory powers and a rebuilding of its stock market business. Unlike other major financial markets, Singapore does not have a dedicated securities watchdog.

  • LONDON, Feb 27- Electronic cigarette firms in Italy say a new levy that doubles the price of e-liquid refills unfairly helps tobacco giants like Philip Morris International and will hurt their industry. The controversy centres on the fact that the lower rate is applied to both electronic cigarettes and to tobacco products such as Marlboro HeatSticks, which...

  • LONDON, Feb 27- Sterling dipped back below $1.54 on Friday, more than a cent below 8- week highs hit a day earlier, with a growing focus on political risks ahead of May elections helping cool the past month's stronger mood towards Britain. The pound was also 0.3 percent weaker against the euro after breaking below 73 pence per euro to a more than seven-year high on...

  • MUMBAI, Feb 27- Some staff at Indian conglomerate Sahara say they haven't been paid for several months, as the company tries to raise $1.6 billion to bail its boss Subrata Roy out of jail. Reuters interviewed 11 employees independently contacted in separate units in Delhi, Mumbai and Lucknow this week, and found workers at what was once one of India's highest...

  • LONDON, Feb 27- European shares rose to fresh seven-year highs on Friday, extending a two-month rally fuelled by the European Central Bank's money printing programme which starts in the coming weeks. About two-thirds of the way into Europe's earnings season, 55 percent of companies have met or beaten profit forecasts. Overall, fourth-quarter earnings are...

  • LONDON, Feb 27- British Airways-owner International Airlines Group increased its 2015 profit forecast by more than 20 percent, outperforming weaker continental rivals and sending its shares to an all-time high. IAG, which is trying to acquire Ireland's Aer Lingus, said on Friday that the profit increase would be driven by cost control across the group and...

  • ISTANBUL, Feb 27- Turkey's main priority in its long-range missile defence system project is to obtain technology transfer and building national capabilities, the undersecretary for defence industries said on Friday. "We would like this system to equip us with a certain capability. We would want the system we have the most advanced in 10-15 years time, " Ismail...

  • *Airbus surges after posting sharp rise in operating profits. PARIS, Feb 27- European shares dipped on Friday morning, pausing after their best start to the year since regional benchmarks began in late 1986, while Airbus rallied after posting a sharp rise in operating earnings. Shares in Airbus were up 6.1 percent, representing a gain in market value of 2.5...

  • *Dollar index eases from previous day's 1- month high. LONDON, Feb 27- The dollar index slipped on Friday, pegged back by month-end selling, but was still on track for its eighth straight month of gains on better data and comments from Federal Reserve officials that bolstered bets for a rate rise this year. The index had rallied 1.1 percent on Thursday, bringing it...

  • BERLIN, Feb 27- German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble urged parliament on Friday to take what he acknowledged was a difficult decision and approve an extension of Greece's bailout, assuring them Athens would not be allowed to "blackmail" its euro zone partners. The 72- year-old minister, who has repeatedly voiced his own doubts about whether the new...

  • UPDATE 1-Russian assets tread water after rally Friday, 27 Feb 2015 | 4:03 AM ET

    MOSCOW, Feb 27- The rouble and Russian shares were little changed on Friday, as markets took a breather after a strong rally the previous day and as oil markets remained volatile. He said in addition to the volatile oil price, investors were also confused by reports about the implementation of a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine. However, analysts at Sberbank...

  • *GM to stop car manufacturing in Indonesia. GM Indonesia to shutter assembly plant, axe 500 jobs. Feb 27- A day after announcing it is to stop making GM-branded cars in Indonesia, General Motors said on Friday it would cease production of its Chevrolet Sonic in Thailand by the middle of this year.

  • TURKEY'S DEFENCE INDUSTRIES UNDERSECRETARY SAYS THE MAIN PRIORITY IN MISSILE DEFENSE PROJECT IS TO OBTAIN TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER.

  • LONDON, Feb 27- Nikon, the 98- year-old Japanese company best known for its cameras, has agreed to buy British retinal imaging firm Optos for 259.3 million pounds as it moves into the medical sector. Nikon has previously said it intended to enter the medical sector to leverage its optical technologies and the Japanese group sees buying Optos as an important step...

  • Asian imports of Iranian crude fall nearly 22 pct Friday, 27 Feb 2015 | 3:47 AM ET

    *Iran sales to Asia below 1 mln bpd in Jan, first time since Oct. *Cautious optimism on Iran's nuclear deal with West. Imports by Iran's four biggest buyers- China, India, Japan and South Korea- averaged 982,525 bpd last month, the first time the level had dropped below the 1 million bpd mark since October last year, government and trade data showed.

  • BANGKOK, Feb 27- Thai factory output fell for a 22nd straight month in January, providing further evidence that the economy continues to struggle. Nine months after the army seized power to end political unrest, the military government has been unable to get Thailand's two major growth engines- exports and domestic demand- into higher gear.