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  • SINGAPORE, Jan 16- Brent crude oil futures rose above $49 a barrel on Friday as the IEA said the tide of recent price slumps may turn, although analysts said a strong rebound anytime soon was unlikely as global output continues to outweigh demand. Oil prices have dropped by more than half since last June as production around the world has soared while demand slows,...

  • HOUSTON/ LONDON, Jan 16- BP Plc will face a maximum fine of $13.7 billion under the Clean Water Act for its Gulf of Mexico oil spill, several billion dollars less than feared, after a judge ruled that it was smaller than the U.S. government claimed. BP's stock rose 2.4 percent in London by 0920 GMT on Friday, outperforming the broader energy index, as investors worried...

  • JOHANNESBURG, Jan 16- South Africa's Northam Platinum suspended operations on Friday at its strike-hit Zondereinde mine due to what it called rising levels of intimidation related to a wildcat stoppage. About 5,000 members of the National Union of Mineworkers downed tools on Tuesday night demanding the removal of chief executive Paul Dunne over what they...

  • LONDON, Jan 16- The euro regained more than 3 percent of its losses against the Swiss franc on Friday but was still near an 11- year low against the dollar, as investors took the Swiss move to scrap its currency cap as a sign the ECB would begin quantitative easing. Dealers speculated the Swiss had moved because they knew the European Central Bank would take the...

  • UPDATE 1-European car sales return to growth in 2014 Friday, 16 Jan 2015 | 4:19 AM ET

    FRANKFURT, Jan 16- European Union passenger car registrations rose 5.7 percent in 2014, thanks to government incentives, tax breaks and a consumer shift to cheaper brands like Dacia and Skoda that helped the market to return to growth after six consecutive years of declining sales. An 18 percent rise in demand in Spain and a 9.3 percent increase in...

  • LONDON, Jan 16- Oil prices may have further to fall and a rebound could take some time, despite increasing signs that the downtrend will end, possibly in the second half of this year as North American supply growth slows, the West's energy watchdog said on Friday. Crude oil prices have fallen almost 60 percent over the last six months with both of the world's crude oil...

  • IEA says oil price recovery "may not be imminent" Friday, 16 Jan 2015 | 4:00 AM ET

    LONDON, Jan 16- Oil prices may have further to fall and a rebound could take some time, despite increasing signs that the downtrend will end, possibly in the second half of this year as North American supply growth slows, the West's energy watchdog said on Friday. Oil prices have fallen almost 60 percent over the last six months with both of the world's crude oil...

  • LONDON, Jan 16- European shares fell on Friday, led by a fresh slide in Swiss stocks, as investors digested the impact of a leap in the franc after the shock lifting of a central-bank currency cap on the previous day. Watch maker Swatch and private bank Julius Baer led a 3.5 percent slide in Zurich's SMI index as analysts and traders warned of a hit to Swiss exporters'...

  • SINGAPORE, Jan 16- Brent crude oil futures edged higher on Friday, holding above $48 a barrel as analysts said prices were well supported around current levels, although few expect a strong rebound anytime soon as global output continues to outweigh demand. Benchmark Brent crude futures were trading at $48.38 per barrel at 0802 GMT, up 11 cents since their last...

  • Jan 16- Hong Kong shares drifted downward on Friday as losses on Wall Street spread to Asia. Among the most actively traded stocks on Hong Kong's main board were China National Culture Group, down 11.1 percent to HK $0.12 Bank Of China, down 0.7 percent to HK $4.44 and Semiconductor Manufacturing International, down 2.8 percent to HK $0.70. Chinese investment...

  • HONG KONG, Jan 16- Standard Chartered's abrupt move to shut its global equities business last week could be a prelude to the lender selling off stakes in a number of Asian banks as it looks to boost capital, people familiar with the lender's thinking said. The most likely potential sale is Standard Chartered's $621 million holding in Agricultural Bank of China...

  • TOKYO, Jan 16- Foreign investors' net selling of Japanese stocks during the last week was the biggest in five months as their risk appetite was dampened by concerns about weak oil prices and the global economy, exchange data showed on Friday. Foreigners' net selling of Japanese cash stocks was 434.90 billion yen during Jan. 5-9, according to data released by the...

  • TOKYO, Jan 16- Japanese government bond prices rose on Friday, with the 10- year yield hitting a new record low, after Switzerland's central bank unexpectedly scrapped its currency cap and jolted global financial markets. As Basel's move prompted investors to sell shares worldwide to offset losses on the franc, JGBs attracted flight-to-quality bids.

  • *India lawsuit has no effect on operations- Barra. BEIJING, Jan 16- China's Xiaomi Inc plans to invest in Indian tech start-ups and overseas media content, as the world's No.3 smartphone maker looks to dominate homes with its own TVs and appliances. "One area that we are also looking to make some investments in is start-ups in India.

  • *Budget faces $46 billion shortfall at $50 oil price. MOSCOW, Jan 15- President Vladimir Putin's insistence on huge defense spending makes it hard to see how a government plan to make deep budget cuts will see Russia through a deepening economic crisis. Finance Minister Anton Siluanov called on Wednesday for a 10 percent cut in planned expenditures, warning that...

  • S&P warned in late December that it could deprive Russia of its investment grade rating as soon as mid-January, following a deterioration in the country's monetary flexibility and a weakening economy. Some in the market have said the agency may postpone its Russia rating review until later in the month. S&P declined to comment, telling Reuters only that it...

  • BEIJING, Jan 16- China will push its big nuclear firms to improve their competitiveness and boost their presence overseas as it bids to become one of the world's dominant nuclear energy powers, the country's premier Li Keqiang said. "To continue the struggle to become a strong nuclear energy power, China must comprehensively raise the industry's competitive...

  • BEIJING, Jan 16- China stocks climbed higher on Friday as gains on Shenzhen's ChiNext Composite, focused on small cap and tech stocks, outstripped blue chip heavy Shanghai. The CSI300 index of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen rose 0.9 percent, to 3,635.15, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 1.2 percent, to 3,376.50 points.

  • Austrian banks count cost of eastern troubles Friday, 16 Jan 2015 | 2:00 AM ET

    UniCredit Bank Austria, the Austrian bank with the biggest exposure to CEE, booked a 1.6 billion euro loss in 2013 after big goodwill impairments for exposure in the East, where it is trying to sell its Ukraine business after ending an ill-fated foray into Kazakhstan. Raiffeisen ratcheted higher estimates for bad loan provisions due to increasing violence in...

  • RUSSIAN CENBANK CONDUCTS 2.5 BLN ROUBLES WORTH OF FOREX MARKET INTERVENTIONS ON JAN 14.