CARACAS, Venezuela— President Nicolas Maduro is ordering a cut in government spending as Venezuela grapples with a plunge in world oil prices that threatens to bring more hardship for the petroleum-dependent economy. Speaking on television Friday, Maduro said that under no circumstances will social programs be affected by the belt tightening.» Read More
*Qualcomm has already placed orders with Samsung- newspapers. TAIPEI, July 17- Shares of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd fell as much as 6 percent on Thursday after an analyst and Taiwanese media reported the likely loss of orders for next-generation chips from Apple Inc and Qualcomm Inc..
JAKARTA, July 17- Indonesia stepped up pressure on Newmont Mining over a six-month old dispute that has halted copper exports, warning it could hand the U.S. miner's licence to a state-owned firm if it does not resume shipments.
SHANGHAI, July 17- China's yuan stayed flat against the dollar on Thursday as dollar supply and demand was roughly balanced out by sales from industrial companies on the one hand and massive purchases by several large Chinese banks on the other, traders said.
DETROIT, July 17- General Motors Co last month recalled millions of vehicles with three different designs of ignition switches that could accidentally turn off the engine and disable air bags in a crash.
WASHINGTON, July 17- Two more major figures in General Motors Co's safety debacle will appear on Thursday for the first time before U.S. lawmakers investigating why it took the automaker more than 10 years to recall millions of vehicles with a deadly ignition switch flaw.
*Wall Street lags central bank's rate-rise expectations. SAN FRANCISCO/ NEW YORK, July 17- Investors may be ignoring subtle warnings from the Federal Reserve that a rate rise may come sooner than they think, setting the stage for another painful market contraction much like last year's "taper tantrum."
July 17- Standard General, a little-known hedge fund that has taken the reins of American Apparel, has mapped out a recovery plan for the retailer with or without its ousted Chief Executive Officer Dov Charney.
JAKARTA, July 17- Indonesia's government may offer Newmont Mining Corp's copper contract to state-owned Aneka Tambang if the U.S. company does not quickly resume production, a government official said on Thursday.
*Sands China down to 3- week low as Q2 earnings disappoint. *PetroChina drops after report on detention of two executives. HONG KONG, July 17- China shares slid on Thursday, pulling down Hong Kong markets, as investors moved from blue-chips to some beaten-down growth stocks and keep money aside for new initial public offerings.
July 17- Casablanca Capital LP said two independent proxy firms have recommended that shareholders of Cliffs Natural Resources Inc vote in favor of the hedge fund's board nominees. Cliffs is locked in a proxy battle with New York- based hedge fund Casablanca, which owns 5.2 percent of Cliffs stock and accuses the company of destroying shareholder value.
TOKYO, July 17- Benchmark Japanese government bond prices were steady on Thursday, while purchases by the Bank of Japan under its asset-buying easing programme lifted the superlong tenor. The BOJ offered to buy 30 billion yen of 25- year to 40- year JGBs, 100 billion yen of 10- year to 25- year JGBs and 400 billion of 5- year to 10- year JGBs.
SINGAPORE July 17- Brent futures held above $107 a barrel on Thursday as a sharp drop in U.S. crude stockpiles and promising economic growth data from China indicated an improving outlook for demand in the world's top two oil consumers. Continued worries about the geopolitical situation in North Africa, the Middle East and Ukraine also underpinned oil prices.
WASHINGTON, July 17- U.S. housing finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are making riskier deals as they increasingly purchase mortgages from smaller lenders, a federal watchdog said on Thursday.
Expanding middle classes in Asia and emerging markets such as Latin America have boosted travel demand and helped airlines bounce back from losses since the 2008-2009 downturn.
WASHINGTON, July 17- Foreclosure activity in the United States dropped last month to the lowest level since July 2006, before the housing bubble burst, and likely will continue to drop through the first half of next year, an industry group said on Thursday.
SEATTLE, July 17- Microsoft Corp is set to cut more than 6,000 jobs in an announcement expected early Thursday, according to sources familiar with the matter, as it trims its newly acquired Nokia phone business and reshapes itself as a cloud-computing and mobile-friendly software company.
NEW YORK, July 17- President Barack Obama aimed a direct blow at Russia's economic heart on Wednesday with sanctions on Rosneft, the flagship oil giant that generates more than 4 percent of the world's crude and over 8 percent of the country's GDP.
*China builder warns it may default on bond. "Yesterday's data was positive for metals demand," said Joel Crane of Morgan Stanley in Melbourne. The most-traded September copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange slid 1 percent to 50,050 yuan a tonne by 0240 GMT, having slipped to 49,930 yuan earlier- its weakest since July 2.
SYDNEY/ TOKYO, July 17- The euro wallowed at five-month lows against the yen on Thursday and held near a two-year trough on sterling, having weakened broadly overnight in a move that should provide some comfort to the European Central Bank. Traders said recent upbeat UK data had prompted investors to switch into sterling from the euro.
*Gold inches up but still near four-week low. SINGAPORE, July 17- Gold ticked higher on Thursday to trade just above $1,300 an ounce as buyers emerged after a recent sharp drop in prices, but it was still near a four-week low as investors weighed the possibility of a sooner-than-expected hike in U.S. interest rates.