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  • WASHINGTON, Jan 6- The U.S. trade deficit narrowed in November likely as efforts by businesses to reduce an inventory overhang pushed imports of goods to their lowest level in nearly five years, outpacing a drop in exports. The Commerce Department said on Wednesday the trade gap fell 5.0 percent to $42.4 billion. October's trade deficit was revised up to $44.6...

  • Jan 6- Monsanto Co, the world's largest seed company, said it expects 2016 earnings to be in the lower half of its previous forecast but reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss as soybean sales rose in Brazil. Monsanto has come under renewed pressure to pursue a merger with Swiss agrochemical maker Syngenta after the ongoing merger between DuPont and...

  • NEW YORK, Jan 6- U.S. private employers added 257,000 jobs in December, well above economists' expectations, a report by a payrolls processor showed on Wednesday. Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast the ADP National Employment Report would show a gain of 192,000 jobs, with estimates ranging from 150,000 to 230,000. The increase was the largest since...

  • Jan 6- ChemoCentryx Inc said its lead drug was found as effective as standard-of-care high-dose steroids to treat a rare autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the blood vessels. ChemoCentryx said it is developing CCX168 to assess whether the drug can help reduce or replace the use of steroids in the treatment of Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic...

  • LONDON, Jan 6- Growing signs of weakness in the U.S. economy are helping keep oil prices under pressure even as tensions escalate across North Africa and the Middle East. U.S. manufacturers reported business activity contracted for the second month running in December, according to the Institute of Supply Management. The ISM's composite manufacturing index...

  • Jan 6- T-Mobile US Inc added more postpaid subscribers in 2015 than it had projected as its lower-priced plans helped attract monthly users away from competitors. For the year ended Dec. 31, T-Mobile on a net basis added 4.5 million branded postpaid customers, beating its forecast of 3.8-4.2 million. The No. 3 U.S. wireless carrier said it added 2.1 million...

  • Jan 6- The euro zone economy finished 2015 on solid footing, with business growth in Germany and Italy accelerating to multi-year highs, although inflation pressures remained weak despite months of lavish European Central Bank stimulus. Survey compiler Markit said a rise in the composite PMI to 54.3-- compared with a flash estimate of 54.0 and November's...

  • A Seattle artist has settled her lawsuit against pet products maker Hartz Mountain in which she claimed she was cheated out of millions of dollars.

  • Jan 6- Monsanto Co, the world's largest seed company, reported a quarterly loss, compared with a profit a year earlier, hurt by lower corn prices and a strong dollar. Net loss attributable to the company was $253 million, or 56 cents per share, in the first quarter ended Nov. 30, compared with a profit of $243 million, or 50 cents per share, a year earlier.

  • *Weaker yuan, soft China survey sour risk sentiment. LONDON, Jan 6- World stocks fell for a fifth day on Wednesday as China fuelled fears about its economy by allowing the yuan to weaken further and a nuclear test by North Korea added to a growing list of geopolitical worries. European markets followed Asia into the red, with Britain's FTSE, Germany's DAX and France's...

  • Jan 6- Recro Pharma Inc said its lead painkiller reduced pain in post-operative orthopedic surgery patients and was safe and well tolerated, in a mid-stage trial. Recro bought the rights for the drug from Alkermes Plc in March last year. An oral version of the drug is marketed by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc..

  • Jan 6- United Technologies Corp said its Pratt& Whitney unit, which makes aircraft engines, would record a pretax charge of about $870 million in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31. UTC, the U.S. aerospace and building systems conglomerate, said Pratt& Whitney Canada will make four annual payments to the Canadian agencies in the form of royalties, commencing this month,...

  • In a letter to Yahoo's board, Starboard said the Internet company should separate its Asia assets- its stakes in Alibaba and Yahoo Japan Corp- through either a sale or spin-off of the core search and advertising business. Yahoo's Alibaba stake, worth more than $30 billion, accounts for the bulk of Yahoo's current market value, while its 35 percent stake in Yahoo...

  • *UK importers' experience jars with yuan's emergence. *IMF has admitted yuan to its benchmark currency basket. BASILDON, England, Jan 6- British businessman Tony Brown is ready to pay in Chinese yuan for the cuddly toys and other funfair stall prizes he buys from a handful of Chinese factories.

  • PARIS, Jan 6- France's economy minister urged his own left-wing government on Wednesday to do far more to liberalize the economy, arguing that President Francois Hollande's Socialists had failed to reform fast enough and bring down stubbornly high unemployment. Speaking out at a moment when his government is focusing on security in the wake of the deadly...

  • JOHANNESBURG, Jan 6- South Africa may need to import as much as 5 million tonnes of maize this year, roughly half of its requirements, because of its worst drought in three decades, the country's largest producer group said on Wednesday. That would raise practical problems of who can supply the required commodity and whether South Africa is able to handle such a...

  • Jan 6- Coal and gas producer Consol Energy Inc cut its 2016 capital expenditure budget for its oil and gas division by 41 percent due to weak commodity prices. The company said it now plans to spend $205- $325 million on oil and gas drilling, down from its previous estimate of $400- $500 million. Separately, CNX Coal Resources LP, which was spun off from Consol and mines...

  • TAIPEI, Jan 6- Foxconn, assembler of most of Apple Inc's latest iPhones, will cut working hours over the week-long Lunar New Year holiday, a person familiar with the matter said, in a rare move that analysts interpreted as a sign of softening demand. But this year Foxconn will have a normal break, "the person said, referring to the Lunar New Year which falls on Feb. 8.

  • Jan 6- United Technologies Corp said its Pratt& Whitney unit, which makes aircraft engines, recorded a pre-tax charge of about $870 million in the fourth quarter of 2015..

  • NAIROBI, Jan 6- Kenya hopes to start direct commercial flights to the United States by May after it met most of the requirements set by an international aviation authority, its transport minister said on Wednesday. Macharia said several airlines were keen to offer direct flights between Kenya and the United States. Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Kenya's...