NEW YORK, April 24- U.S. stocks ended mostly higher in a choppy session on Thursday, powered by a rally in Apple shares a day after the iPad maker's strong results, though tensions in Ukraine limited gains. Based on the latest available data, the Dow Jones industrial average was unchanged to end unofficially at 16,501.65.» Read More
*Severe weather cuts oil production in Europe, United States. SINGAPORE, Dec 6- Brent futures edged above $111 a barrel on Friday, on course to end the week more than 1 percent higher, as traders awaited a U.S. jobs report later in the day and severe weather cut oil production in Europe and the United States.
SYDNEY/ SINGAPORE, Dec 6- The dollar hovered near a five-week low versus a basket of currencies on Friday, with its near-term fortunes riding on whether key U.S. jobs data will bolster the case for the Federal Reserve to start scaling back its monetary stimulus.
*Gold on track for 2 percent weekly decline. SINGAPORE, Dec 6- Gold steadied on Friday after choppy trading in the previous session and was headed for a weekly decline as improving U.S. economic data raised fears of an early end to monetary stimulus.
TOKYO, Dec 6- JGB prices dropped on Friday, with the 10- year yield rising to seven-week highs, after expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve could soon pare its bond-buying programme lifted U.S. and European bond yields. Investor demand for these new bonds is strong, as the Bank of Japan's massive bond buying is leading to a shortage of bonds, market players said.
HONG KONG, Dec 6- The world's most valuable jewellery retailer Chow Tai Fook, which counts Cartier and Tiffany& Co as competitors, is on a quest to conquer the hearts of China's future big spenders.
The spokesman, Bi Meijia, said at a press briefing on Friday that the strain, Syngenta's insect-resistant MIR162, was still being evaluated after U.S.-based Syngenta provided additional information about the product in November. Bi said that although Syngenta had applied for approval as early as 2010, the testing data for MIR162 was not yet complete.
*Airline expects H1 loss of A $250 million- A $300 million. SYDNEY, Dec 6- Embattled Qantas Airways Ltd was relegated to junk status by credit rating agency Standard& Poor's on Friday, a day after the Australian carrier issued a shock loss warning that sent its shares to a 16- month low.
*Market cautious before U.S. payroll report. TOKYO, Dec 6- Japanese stocks got some respite from two days of sharp falls on Friday morning, as investors bought index heavyweights such as SoftBank Corp and futures although trading was subdued ahead of the looming U.S. jobs data.
NEW YORK, Dec 5- Private equity firm Thoma Bravo LLC is exploring a sale of two of its portfolio companies, Hyland Software Inc and LANDesk Software Inc, which could collectively be worth more than $2 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.
SINGAPORE, Dec 6- London copper was little changed on Friday, recovering from two-week lows touched earlier this week, but trading was light ahead of a key U.S. labour report that could shed fresh light on when the Federal Reserve will trim its commodity-friendly stimulus.
*Japan says wants to boost stocks in case future shipments delayed. TOKYO, Dec 6- Japan's Ministry of Agriculture has issued a surprise tender to purchase a total of 162,011 tonnes of Canadian Western Red Spring wheat as it looks to negate the impact of possible future shipping delays, a government official said on Friday.
SYDNEY, Dec 6- Asian markets steadied on Friday as Japanese shares recouped early losses, though investors were pensive ahead of jobs data that could make or break the case for an imminent scaling back in U.S. stimulus.
SYDNEY, Dec 6- Ratings agency Standard& Poor's has cut Qantas Airways Ltd's credit ratings to junk grade with a negative outlook after the Australian carrier shocked investors on Thursday with a loss warning.
NEW YORK, Dec 5- Investors in U.S.-based funds poured about $31 billion into money market funds in the week ended Dec. 4 amid uncertainty over the U.S. stock market's direction, data from Thomson Reuters' Lipper service showed on Thursday.
SINGAPORE, Dec 6- Gold steadied on Friday after choppy trading in the previous session, though was still headed for a weekly decline as improving U.S. economic data raised fears of an early end to monetary stimulus. *Spot gold was up 0.2 percent to $1,226.50 an ounce by 0021 GMT.
LAS VEGAS, Dec 5- The London Metal Exchange asked a panel of U.S. judges on Thursday to assign a federal court in Manhattan to handle a series of antitrust lawsuits that allege the world's largest metal exchange, two of Wall Street's biggest banks and big commodity merchants conspired to raise the price of aluminum.
*U.S. crude for January delivery was up 9 cents at $97.47 a barrel by 0011 GMT- on course for a gain of more than 5 percent for the week, the most since the week to July 5. *Seaborne oil exports from OPEC, excluding Angola and Ecuador, will rise by 710,000 barrels per day in the four weeks to Dec. 21, an analyst who estimates future shipments said on Thursday.
BUENOS AIRES, Dec 5- Argentina is not on the verge of cutting its soybean export tax despite market rumors to the contrary and pressure on the government to stimulate international sales, a well-placed source at the agriculture ministry said on Thursday.
WASHINGTON, Dec 5- President Barack Obama said on Thursday he intends to propose National Security Agency reforms to reassure Americans that their privacy is not being violated by the agency.
LONDON, Dec 6- Mike Lynch, who sold software firm Autonomy to Hewlett-Packard for $11 billion, is backing a start-up focused on augmented reality- the ability to overlay information on a real-world background which some see as the next big digital craze.