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  • COLUMN-Bakken oil prices not far from 2008-09 lows: Kemp Wednesday, 7 Jan 2015 | 10:19 AM ET

    LONDON, Jan 7- Prices received by oil producers in North Dakota's Williston Basin have averaged less than $34 per barrel so far this month, according to the list of posted prices issued by Plains Marketing. News reports in recent days have been full of stories about WTI and Brent futures prices falling down through $50 but many U.S. physical crude producers are...

  • Jan 7- When Teacher Retirement System of Texas' investment chief learned that his son got an entry-level job at Blackstone Group LP, he checked with his employer about whether he should stay away from the public pension fund's investments in the world's largest alternative asset manager. The pension fund's board decided Britt Harris, 56, should remain...

  • U.S. uninsured healthcare rate fell in 4th qtr - Gallup Wednesday, 7 Jan 2015 | 10:18 AM ET

    Jan 7- The percentage of Americans without health insurance fell 4.2 percentage points to an average of 12.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014 due to the expansion of coverage through the U.S. The Affordable Care Act expanded Medicaid coverage to more people in about half the U.S. states and also introduced new coverage nationwide that is available to all...

  • UPDATE 3-Monsanto reports steep drop in quarterly profit Wednesday, 7 Jan 2015 | 10:04 AM ET

    Jan 7- Monsanto Co on Wednesday reported a 34 percent drop in quarterly profit, in part because of lower planted corn acreage in South America and a shift in timing of some sales, but the decline was less steep than analysts expected. Shares of Monsanto were up 1.5 percent at $117.52 in morning trading. The company's early order book and prepayments for spring...

  • UPDATE 1-Wet Seal lays off 3,700 as it closes 338 stores Wednesday, 7 Jan 2015 | 10:04 AM ET

    Jan 7- Struggling apparel retailer Wet Seal Inc said it laid off about 3,700 full- and part-time employees on Wednesday as it went ahead with the closure of 338 stores. The closed stores accounted for almost half of Wet Seal's net sales of about $317 million in the nine months to Nov. 1. The closures will result in pre-tax charges of $5.4 million- $6.4 million, Wet Seal...

  • ZURICH, Jan 7- A U.S. criminal investigation into how Swiss banks helped wealthy Americans hide their money has had an unexpected side effect: shaking out scores of tax cheats among the Swiss themselves. Secrecy laws in Switzerland, the world's largest offshore financial center with trillions in assets, have been under siege in recent years from massive...

  • SAO PAULO, Jan 7- Workers at a Mercedes Benz truck factory outside of Sao Paulo voted on Wednesday to stop work for 24 hours in a protest over fired colleagues, the second such strike in as many days as automakers cut payrolls in anticipation of a third straight year of slumping sales. The local metalworkers union said Mercedes Benz, a unit of of Germany's Daimler AG,...

  • Qatar Airways to cut surcharge following oil price drop Wednesday, 7 Jan 2015 | 9:34 AM ET

    DOHA, Jan 7- Qatar Airways, the gulf state's national carrier, will cut its fuel surcharge following the plunge in crude oil prices, the company's chief executive told reporters on Wednesday. "As far as the fuel price reduction is concerned, there will be no reduction in the ticket fare, but there will be a reduction in the fuel surcharge that we were charging," Akbar Al...

  • NEW YORK, Jan 7- U.S. stocks rose at the open on Wednesday following data that showed the U.S. private sector created more jobs than expected in December and as deflation concerns in the euro zone were seen pushing the bloc's central bank into action.

  • Wet Seal lays off 3,700 as it closes 338 stores Wednesday, 7 Jan 2015 | 9:26 AM ET

    Jan 7- Struggling apparel retailer Wet Seal Inc said it laid off about 3,700 full- and part-time employees on Wednesday as it closed 338 retail stores. The closures followed Wet Seal's failure to successfully re-negotiate meaningful concessions from landlords, the company said. The closed stores accounted for almost half of Wet Seal's net sales for the nine...

  • *Canadian dollar seen at C $1.18 in 12 months. *Looming Fed hike, seen ahead of Bank of Canada, key driver. Currency strategists polled by Reuters have slashed their forecasts from a month ago after a rocky start to 2015, with heavy selling that has already knocked down the loonie nearly 2 percent to its weakest since early 2009. They now predict the Canadian dollar...

  • REUTERS POLL-C$ SEEN AT C $1.16 VS US$ IN 3 MONTHS, C $1.17 IN 6 MONTHS, C $1.18 IN 12 MONTHS.

  • *Poll details: reuters:// realtime/verb= Open/url= cpurl:// apps.cp./ Apps/fx-polls. BRASILIA, Jan 7- Emerging market currencies will stay under pressure in 2015, a Reuters poll found, though they may not fall as much as last year as lower commodity prices and tighter monetary policy in the United States could be largely priced in already. "The dichotomy between the...

  • BRUSSELS, Jan 7- The European Union made public on Wednesday confidential papers being used to negotiate a free trade deal with the United States, an unprecedented step to deflect criticism from anti-globalisation campaigners that Brussels is drawing up the world's largest trade deal in secret. But their release marks the most significant step by the...

  • US STOCKS-Wall St to rise at open after 5-day slide Wednesday, 7 Jan 2015 | 9:09 AM ET

    *J.C. Penney climbs in premarket after sales results. NEW YORK, Jan 7- U.S. stocks were set to rise at the open on Wednesday following data that showed the U.S. private sector created more jobs than expected in December and as deflation concerns in the euro zone were seen pushing the bloc's central bank into action. "Speculation that that is finally going to cause the...

  • *Kuwait's Al Qurain Holding plunges ahead of delisting. DUBAI, Jan 7- Most Gulf stock markets rebounded on Wednesday after suffering sharp losses earlier in the week because of the renewed slide in oil prices. Saudi Arabia's main index rose 0.9 percent with most stocks in the black, including petrochemical producers such as Saudi Basic Industries, the kingdom's...

  • WASHINGTON, Jan 7- The U.S. trade deficit fell to an 11- month low in November as declining crude oil prices curbed the import bill, eclipsing a drop in exports that could be related to a labor dispute at one of the nation's key ports. The Commerce Department said the trade gap narrowed 7.7 percent to $39 billion, the smallest since December 2013.

  • NEW YORK, Jan 7- U.S. private employers added 241,000 jobs in December, beating the median forecasts of analysts and bringing their annual hiring to 2.5 million for 2014, a report by a payrolls processor showed on Wednesday. "That's a good sign that not dependent on any one industry," said Ahu Yildirmaz, head of ADP Research Institute on a conference call with...

  • Jan 7- Eli Lilly and Co, which has been battered in the past three years by competition from generics, forecast 2015 earnings and revenue just shy of Wall Street expectations. Lilly, which is betting on its rejuvenated pipeline of drugs, particularly for diabetes, oncology and animal health, forecast adjusted 2015 earnings of $3.10 to $3.20 per share.