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  • WASHINGTON, Jan 15- A sharp drop in oil prices and a stronger U.S. economy will probably not be enough to brighten the outlook for global economic growth this year, the head of the International Monetary Fund said on Thursday. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said while cheaper oil would help consumers in much of the world, the United States would likely be...

  • LONDON, Jan 15- Sterling hit a seven-year high against a battered euro on Thursday after the Swiss National Bank's shock decision to scrap its three-year-old cap on the franc's value against the euro left currency investors reeling. "A large buyer of the euro is now not buying any more," said Alvin Tan, a currency strategist at Societe Generale.

  • MOSCOW, Jan 15- The Russian Central Bank's First Deputy Governor Alexei Simanovsky said on Thursday it would be advisable to consider creating a bank that would buy bad loans from banks with significant non-performing assets. "As a whole, it is advisable to start. Not because I see any traumatic consequences in the near term, but because it is rational, "Simanovsky...

  • FACTBOX-Why scrapping the Swiss currency cap matters Thursday, 15 Jan 2015 | 11:35 AM ET

    *Switzerland more expensive for tourists, Davos elite. TOURISM- The cost of a holiday in Switzerland, already one of Europe's most expensive ski destinations, just went through the roof in the middle of the busy winter sport season. Even before the franc's surge, four Swiss cities- Zurich, Geneva, Basel and Bern- were among the 10 most expensive places in the world for...

  • NEW YORK, Jan 15- U.S. The Swiss National Bank lowered its policy rates by 50 basis points, pushing them further into negative territory to -0.75 percent in an effort to help its exporters by easing upward pressure on its currency. "It's a shock and investors feel,' Let's just own Treasuries and be safe,"' said David Keeble, global head of interest rates strategy at Credit...

  • *Italy launches new 30- year bond to tap yield hunt. LONDON, Jan 15- French and Belgian bonds underperformed their euro zone peers on Thursday after the Swiss National Bank unexpectedly dropped its limit on the franc's exchange rate against the euro, meaning it will buy less euro-denominated debt. Analysts ruled out a more pronounced selloff, saying the SNB move...

  • WASHINGTON, Jan 15- U.S. pension regulators said Thursday they have some concerns that Credit Suisse may lack a company-wide culture of compliance, and vowed to investigate further if they ultimately decide to let the bank continue managing U.S. retirement plans. Top Department of Labor officials made their comments during a public hearing, in which Credit...

  • WASHINGTON, Jan 15- A sharp drop in oil prices and a stronger U.S. economy probably won't be enough to brighten the prospects for global economic growth this year, the head of the International Monetary Fund said on Thursday. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said cheaper oil would help consumption across much of the world, but that the United States would...

  • RUSSIA'S FIRST DEPUTY CENTRAL BANK HEAD SAYS WOULD BE USEFUL TO CONSIDER CREATING BAD LOANS BANK.

  • MOSCOW, Jan 15- Forecasts for a more than 24 percent drop in car sales in Russia this year are "optimistic," automakers said on Thursday, suggesting the rouble slump could mean further price rises or the end of foreign imports. Joerg Schreiber, chairman of the AEB Automobile Manufacturers Committee, expected 1.89 million new passenger cars and light commercial...

  • WASHINGTON, Jan 15- The World Trade Organization on Thursday rejected Argentina's bid to overturn a ruling in favor of the United States, European Union and Japan against the South American country's licensing rules used to restrict imports. The WTO's appellate body upheld a WTO panel report that Argentina's import licensing requirement and other import...

  • US STOCKS-Wall St flat in volatile trade after Swiss move Thursday, 15 Jan 2015 | 11:03 AM ET

    *Bank of America, Citi down after results. NEW YORK, Jan 15- U.S. stocks were little changed in choppy trading on Thursday, as investors wrestled with the ramifications with a move by the Swiss National Bank to scrap its three-year euro cap on the franc. Swiss stocks traded in the U.S. moved higher, Credit Suisse, up 0.7 percent at $22.98 and Novartis, up 1.9 percent to...

  • Jan 15- Lennar Corp, the second-largest U.S. homebuilder by the number of homes sold, reported its first fall in quarterly margins in three years and forecast a further drop in 2015 as costs rise. The warning overshadowed a 50 percent jump in quarterly profit and pushed Lennar's shares down as much as 4.3 percent in morning trading on Thursday.

  • LONDON, Jan 15- All Swiss government bill rates and bond yields out to nine- year maturities traded below zero on Thursday, after the Swiss National Bank stunned markets by scrapping its exchange rate cap on the franc and lowered interest rates to -0.75 percent. "The indicative yield on the June 2024 bond did briefly go below zero today," a spokeswoman for Tradeweb...

  • INTERVIEW-Digital Ally considers push into action cameras Thursday, 15 Jan 2015 | 10:55 AM ET

    *Action camera could compete with GoPro, Polaroid products. Jan 15- Digital Ally Inc, a maker of wearable video cameras and other security products for police forces, is considering launching action cameras aimed at consumers this year, putting it into direct competition with GoPro Inc.. Chief Executive Stanton Ross said Digital Ally might have such a camera...

  • UPDATE 2-U.S. rolls out new Cuba rules on trade, travel Thursday, 15 Jan 2015 | 10:42 AM ET

    WASHINGTON, Jan 15- The United States rolled out a sweeping set of measures on Thursday to significantly ease the half-century-old embargo against Cuba, opening up the country to expanded travel, trade and financial activities. The Treasury and Commerce Departments issued a package of new rules that will allow U.S. exports of telecommunications,...

  • OTTAWA, Jan 15- Canada has quietly postponed a summit with the leaders of the United States and Mexico amid tensions over the construction of TransCanada Corp's Keystone XL pipeline and other issues, sources indicated on Thursday. If Obama did come to Canada he would no doubt face a raft of pointed questions about the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would...

  • UPDATE 2-In surprise move, Target to pull out of Canada Thursday, 15 Jan 2015 | 10:23 AM ET

    TORONTO, Jan 15- Target Corp will abandon its ill-fated expansion into Canada less than two years after its launch, the U.S. discount retailer said on Thursday in a surprise full retreat that will put more than 17,000 employees out of work and cost the company billions in writedowns. Target's shares rose 3 percent in midmorning trading after the company said it...

  • MOSCOW- POLAND'S BELKA SAYS "SLIGHLTY WORRIED BUT NOT DESPERATE" ABOUT DEFLATION IN POLAND.

  • BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Jan 15- Show business satire "Birdman" and colorful caper " The Grand Budapest Hotel" led the Academy Award nominees on Thursday with nine nods apiece, including best picture, in the quest for Hollywood's top film prize. British World War Two biopic "The Imitation Game" garnered eight nominations, including best actor for Benedict Cumberbatch,...