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HONG KONG, Jan 17- Hong Kong shares slipped to a third-straight loss on Thursday as investors took profits on growth-sensitive counters ahead of a slew of Chinese economic data due on Friday. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong ended down 0.4 percent.
*Boeing continues 787 production despite FAA grounding. SEATTLE, Jan 16- At the giant plant north of Seattle where most 787 Dreamliners are made, Boeing Co mechanics and engineers darted back and forth quickly and quietly on Wednesday, readying aircraft for delivery even as U.S. authorities grounded them.
*Algeria attack lifts prices as Islamist militants take hostages. SINGAPORE, Jan 17- Brent futures steadied near $110 per barrel on Thursday after Islamist militants attacked an Algerian gas field and took Western hostages, although concerns about a weak global economic outlook and demand worries weighed.
TOKYO/ SEATTLE, Jan 17- Airlines scrambled on Thursday to rearrange flights as Europe, Japan and India joined the United States in grounding Boeing Co's 787 Dreamliner passenger jets while battery-related problems are investigated.
TOKYO, Jan 17- Japanese government bonds rose on Thursday as the stock market weakened for most of the session, with the benchmark yield skidding to a one-month low. Rising expectations of Bank of Japan policy easing steps next week also continued to bolster the market.
*Focus on BOJ policy meeting on Jan. 21-22. SINGAPORE, Jan 17- The dollar edged higher against the yen on Thursday after a media report quoted Japan's economics minister as saying that his recent comments on the yen had been misinterpreted.
HONG KONG, Jan 17- Mainland Chinese shares posted a second straight day of losses, slipping further from Tuesday's 7-1/ 2- month high, with growth-sensitive counters leading the slide ahead of a slew of major Chinese economic data due on Friday. The CSI300 of the top Shanghai and Shenzhen listings closed down 0.9 percent at 2,552.8 on Thursday.
TOKYO, Jan 17- The Nikkei average reversed losses to close up on Thursday after a media report quoted Japan's economic minister as saying his remark on the yen early this week was misinterpreted, lifting exporters' shares before the closing bell. The report also curbed the yen's rebound.
SHANGHAI, Jan 17- Just weeks after Chinese authorities cleared Yum Brands Inc and McDonald's Corp of charges they had served chicken laced with excessive chemicals, local media are again attacking the iconic American firms, while barely reporting on the chances of Chinese restaurants selling similar meat.
*The MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan skidded 0.4 percent in afternoon trading, building on two sessions of losses. * "Some bargain hunters come out whenever yields rise, because of the event risk tied to the question of raising the U.S. debt ceiling," said a fixed-income fund manager at a Japanese asset management firm in Tokyo.
*President issues 23 actions sidestepping Congress. WASHINGTON, Jan 17- During the past two years as his frustration with a "dysfunctional" Congress has grown, President Barack Obama has resorted to bypassing the legislative branch as he did on Wednesday to implement tighter gun control laws.
Orlando, Florida- based SeaWorld, controlled by private equity firm Blackstone Group LP, filed for an initial public offering in December but is also in talks with potential buyers in what is known as a "dual track" process, Reuters reported previously.
*Coming Up: U.S. Housing starts Dec; 1330 GMT. SINGAPORE, Jan 17- Brent futures slipped on Thursday as concerns about a weakening global economic outlook revived demand worries, but the contract stayed above $109 a barrel on supply concerns after Islamist militants attacked an Algerian gas field.
*Vietnam December coffee shipments exceed expectations. NEW YORK/ LONDON, Jan 17- Robusta coffee futures on Liffe set a 2-1/ 2 month high on Thursday, boosted by strong roaster demand which has helped absorb higher-than-expected shipments from Vietnam, while the nearby cocoa contract shifted to a premium on supply concerns.
With over 1 billion tonnes of reserves in the ground- more than enough to supply the global steel industry for a year with coking coal- the miner plans to spend $1.3 billion to raise output sixfold in the next seven years, Andrei Churin said.
COLOMBO/ LONDON, Jan 17- An Iranian-flagged cargo ship has fled Sri Lanka's waters after weeks of detention by its navy, acting on a court order obtained by Germany's DVB Bank, officials and a lawyer acting for the bank said on Thursday.
*S&P 500 hits highest level in five years. The S&P 500 hit levels not seen since late December of 2007 as reports showed new claims for U.S. unemployment benefits tumbled to a five-year low last week and housing starts surged last month. " There are some good positive vibes out there, "said Harry Clark, chief executive of Clark Capital Management Group in Philadelphia.
WASHINGTON, Jan 17- The White House said on Thursday it believed Americans were among the hostages held by militants at an Algerian gas plant, was concerned about reports of loss of life in an operation by Algerian forces and was seeking clarification from the Algerian government.
WASHINGTON, Jan 17- The European Central Bank should keep monetary policy easy and perhaps try to lower borrowing costs further to help the euro zone's struggling economy, the head of the International Monetary Fund said on Thursday.
*EBay gains after results beat expectations. *Bank of America, Citigroup results weigh on financials. NEW YORK, Jan 17- Wall Street rose on Thursday, with the S&P 500 hitting a five-year intraday high, on improved housing and jobs data as well as better-than-expected results from online marketplace eBay.