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  • SEOUL, April 24- South Korean steelmaker POSCO on Thursday cut forecast for sales and investment for this year after its first quarter profit missed estimates as China's slowing economy curbed demand for steel. POSCO cut its sales forecast for this year by around 2 percent to 30.3 trillion won from the previous 31 trillion won, it said in an earnings statement.

  • PARIS/ NEW YORK, April 24- Alstom said on Thursday it was not informed of any potential public tender offer for its shares, which opened 17 percent higher after Bloomberg reported that General Electric was in talks to buy the French turbine and train maker for about $13 billion.

  • European shares bounce; Alstom jumps on M&A talk Thursday, 24 Apr 2014 | 3:10 AM ET

    PARIS, April 24- European shares rose in early trade on Thursday, recouping most of the previous session's losses, with Alstom surging on merger and acquisition talk. Shares in the French firm jumped 16 percent following a report saying General Electric was in talks to buy the French turbine and train maker.

  • LONDON, April 24- Consumer goods maker Unilever reported higher-than-expected first-quarter underlying sales on Thursday, despite a later Easter holiday and a slowing in some emerging markets. "It may lead to a disposal but it doesn't necessarily have to," Chief Financial Officer Jean Marc Huet said.

  • LONDON, April 24- AstraZeneca highlighted progress with new cancer drugs that may revive its fortunes as it posted a 17 percent fall in core earnings per share on Thursday, reflecting patent losses on profitable older medicines.

  • *Gold to rebound to $1,298- technicals. SINGAPORE, April 24- Gold edged up on Thursday but held near a more than two-month low with a rally in equities dimming its appeal as an alternative investment, while demand from jewellers was also muted as they waited for prices to drop further. Gold rose $1.46 to $1,284.75 an ounce on short covering.

  • POSCO Q1 profit falls 11 pct as steel demand stagnates Thursday, 24 Apr 2014 | 2:43 AM ET

    SEOUL, April 24- South Korean steelmaker POSCO reported an 11 percent drop in quarterly operating profit on Thursday, missing estimates, as China's slowing economy curbed demand for steel.

  • TOKYO, April 24- Canon Inc raised its full-year operating profit target by a slight 1.4 percent after strong sales of office copiers and printers in the first quarter.

  • LAUNCESTON, Australia, April 24- Some tentative signs are emerging that the worst may be behind for natural rubber prices in Asia. Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures slumped to 196.7 yen a kilogram earlier this week, the lowest since September 2009, before recovering to 204 yen in Thursday trade.

  • TOKYO, April 24- Tokyo stocks fell Thursday on news that a U.S.- Japan trade pact was not yet finalised after a meeting between the two countries' leaders and on investor caution before a series of Japanese corporate earnings reports.

  • *Russia says it will respond if its Ukraine interests attacked. SINGAPORE, April 24- Brent crude futures rose on Thursday, holding above $109 per barrel for a fifth straight session, as a vow by top oil producer Russia to respond if its interests in Ukraine came under attack stoked supply worries.

  • *China is world's No. 1 user of refined copper. HONG KONG, April 24- China, the world's top consumer of metals, could become a net exporter of refined copper in one to two years, said an executive at Minmetals Non-Ferrous Metals Holding Limited.

  • SEOUL, April 24- SK Hynix Inc., the world's second-largest memory chipmaker, expects a strong pickup in memory chip shipments for the second quarter as the launch of new smartphones by manufacturers like Apple Inc. boosts demand.

  • *Guangdong shares rise on Pearl River Delta FTZ plans. BEIJING, April 24- China shares were mixed on Thursday as free trade zone development plans dominated trading, while Hong Kong stocks found support from earnings and a rebound in China Unicom.

  • *China Supreme Court says Mitsui pays about $29 mln. Mitsui paid about 2.92 billion yen in leasing fees, including interest and damages, China's Supreme Court said, in a statement on its official microblog.

  • *Yuan may fall below 6.25/ dollar support soon. SHANGHAI, April 24- China's yuan weakened on Thursday on increased corporate dollar demand, as sentiment towards the Chinese currency turned bearish due to lingering weakness since mid-January, traders said.

  • BRASILIA, April 24- Brazil's Supreme Court upheld late on Wednesday an opposition request for a congressional inquiry into alleged corruption at state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, a ruling that could upset President Dilma Rousseff's re-election plans.

  • TOKYO, April 24- Tokyo stocks slipped to one-week lows on Thursday, extending losses into the afternoon session as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that a trade pact with the United States hasn't been finalised yet. President Barack Obama who is on a state visit to Japan.

  • First foray for Transurban into Queensland assets. SYDNEY, April 24- A consortium led by Transurban Group, Australia's biggest toll road owner, has won a bid to buy toll firm Queensland Motorways Ltd for $6.6 billion in its first foray into the country's third most populous state.

  • *Physical copper premiums in China rising sharply. SINGAPORE, April 24- London copper futures rose to near two-week highs on Thursday, underpinned by strong seasonal demand in top consumer China that has lifted domestic premiums, while worries over tight supply pushed nickel to a fresh peak in more than 14 months.