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  • AMSTERDAM, April 16- ASML, the world's biggest manufacturer of tools for semiconductor chip makers, altered its sales forecast for the first half, saying it now expects to sell 3 billion euros worth of products including extreme ultraviolet systems.

  • *Softbank, Yahoo reap the benefits of Alibaba holdings. SYDNEY, April 16- Asian share markets made broad gains on Wednesday after China reported economic growth a touch above forecasts, a relief for investors who had feared a much weaker outcome. "This is likely to be the low point for this year," said Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy at AMP Capital in Sydney.

  • Yuan steady, seen rangebound in near term Wednesday, 16 Apr 2014 | 1:52 AM ET

    HONG KONG, April 16- China's yuan held steady against the dollar and traded narrowly on Wednesday, shrugging off the impact of a midpoint at seven-month lows and sluggish economic growth in the first quarter.

  • China defaults mount among inter-company loans Wednesday, 16 Apr 2014 | 1:52 AM ET

    Shipbuilder Sainty Marine Corp Ltd on Tuesday became the latest listed firm to report that it had failed to receive principal and interest repayments on a 900 million yuan loan to a property developer. The same day, Qiaqia Food Co Ltd announced that it would launch a lawsuit against another food producer for failing to pay interest on a 40 million yuan loan.

  • SEOUL, April 16- Samsung Electronics Co Ltd's new Galaxy S5 smartphone should outsell its predecessor and defy predictions that the South Korean titan's latest model will struggle in a tough market for high-end handsets, a top executive said.

  • SYDNEY, April 16- The premier of Australia's New South Wales state, Barry O'Farrell, resigned from his position on Wednesday after it was revealed that he had misled a corruption inquiry about accepting a A $3,000 bottle of wine as a gift. New South Wales, on Australia's east coast, is the state with the largest economy and home to its major financial centre, Sydney.

  • April 16- Goldman Sachs is planning to jump-start its stock-trading business after top clients such as Fidelity Investments and BlackRock Inc voiced concerns about the way Goldman and other firms trade stocks, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

  • SYDNEY, April 16- Australian miners are racing ahead with plans to expand iron ore production to capture more of the Chinese market for the steelmaking ingredient, amid strong competition from the world's biggest supplier Vale of Brazil.

  • BEIJING, April 16- Chinese and Hong Kong investors shrugged off China's first quarter growth that was the slowest in 18 months, leaving all major indices in positive territory on Wednesday.

  • NEW YORK/ CHICAGO, April 16- Just over a week ago, CME Group Inc suffered the worst-ever trading outage on the world's most important agricultural markets, plunging electronic screens into darkness and sending dozens of traders scrambling for Chicago's famous but now often deserted trading "pits".

  • NEW YORK, April 16- Predicting when the bear market in biotech stocks will hit bottom is a hazardous prospect, but one gauge that factors in the rapid profit growth estimates for many of these companies suggests several are starting to look attractive.

  • HONG KONG, April 16- Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is expected to file the prospectus for its U.S. initial public offering next week, sources said on Wednesday, moving closer to what could be the biggest-ever listing by a technology firm.

  • FOREX-Aussie off lows after China GDP; yen edges down Wednesday, 16 Apr 2014 | 12:42 AM ET

    *Tokyo shares extend gains on Japan finmin comments on GPIF. SINGAPORE, April 16- The Australian dollar pared losses on Wednesday after China's first-quarter economic growth slightly exceeded expectations and helped underpin risk sentiment.

  • --Clyde Russell is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own.--. LAUNCESTON, Australia, April 16- China's economic growth data contains a short-term positive and longer-term negative for commodity demand in the world's largest user of raw materials.

  • WASHINGTON, April 16- A U.S. government watchdog on Wednesday warned that big banks have dramatically boosted their borrowing from a federal housing finance program, a move that could pose risks to the government-sponsored system if a big borrower defaulted.

  • Brent edges lower towards $109 after mixed China data Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 | 11:42 PM ET

    *China Q1 GDP growth slows to 7.4 percent. *Ukraine sends troops east to fight separatist militia. SINGAPORE, April 16- Brent crude edged towards $109 a barrel on Wednesday, coming off a six-week high as mixed Chinese data and a gradual resumption of Libyan oil exports offset support from the Ukraine crisis.

  • *Copper ticks up after Tuesday's near 2 pct fall. SINGAPORE, April 16- London copper rose around half a percent on Wednesday to recoup some of last session's deep losses, but gains were capped by slowing growth in top metals consumer China.

  • SYDNEY, April 16- The premier of Australia's New South Wales state, Barry O'Farrell, resigned from his position on Wednesday after it was revealed that he had lied about accepting a A $3,000 bottle of wine as a gift.

  • TOKYO, April 16- Benchmark Japanese government bond prices edged down on Wednesday, against the backdrop of firmer equities, with JGB market moves limited by caution ahead of Thursday's sale of 20- year bonds.

  • BEIJING, April 16- China's economy grew at its slowest pace in 18 months in the first quarter of 2014, official data showed on Wednesday, with signs of waning momentum already prompting limited government action to steady the world's second-largest economy. It was China's slowest annual growth since the third quarter of 2012, when growth was also 7.4 percent.