TOKYO, May 22- The Bank of Japan kept policy steady on Wednesday despite concerns over recent volatility in bond market, saying growth is starting to pick up even as risks loomed from an uncertain global outlook. BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda will hold a news conference from 0630 GMT with his comments expected to come out any time after 0715 GMT.» Read More
The runaway oil rig that ran aground in Alaska on New Year's Eve dragged two vessels trying to control it more than 10 miles toward shore before the crews cut it loose to save themselves in "near hurricane" conditions.
*China service sector accelerates in December. LONDON, Jan 3- Copper fell slightly on Thursday as the dollar firmed on worries about new budget battles over spending cuts in the United States, though promising data from top metals consumer China helped to cap losses.
LONDON, Jan 3- Banks will get more time to build up cash buffers to protect against market shocks under a rule change that could help free up credit for struggling economies, a European regulatory source said.
A late surge in both orders and deliveries by the European firm was not enough to prevent Boeing regaining aviation's top spot in both sales and deliveries for 2012, but will likely put EADS unit Airbus ahead of its own targets. Airbus and Boeing compete fiercely for control of the $100 billion jetliner market.
NEW YORK, Jan 3- U.S. stocks edged up on Thursday, adding to Wall Street's biggest single-day rally in a year on Wednesday after a deal in Washington to avert the "fiscal cliff." We don't know how they're going to pan out, but in all likelihood there's not going to be a calamity, "said Jeff Meyerson, head of trading at Sunrise Securities in New York.
MILAN, Jan 3- Italian biopharmaceutical company Philogen has signed a worldwide licence agreement with drug firm Pfizer for the development of Dekavil, an experimental treatment for autoimmune diseases. Under the deal, Pfizer will retain exclusive rights to market any products developed during the collaboration, Philogen said in a statement on Thursday.
NEW YORK/ LONDON, Jan 3- Raw sugar futures on ICE Futures U.S. fell more than 3 percent on Thursday, while arabica coffee turned lower after hitting a seven-week high, as commodities came under pressure with the dollar rising on concerns about looming U.S. political battles over the budget.
BRASILIA, Jan 2- Five countries have banned imports of Brazilian beef after a case of atypical mad cow disease was confirmed last month, Brazil's foreign trade secretary Tatiana Prazeres said on Wednesday.
Chrysler Canada, wholly owned by Chrysler Group LLC, sold 14,756 vehicles last month. In 2011, Chrysler was No. 3, and General Motors Co was No. 2.. Chrysler Group is controlled by Italy's Fiat SpA.
SINGAPORE, Jan 3- Brent crude pared earlier losses to stay above $112 a barrel on Thursday as positive data reinforced hopes of an economic recovery in China, but the prospect of more budget battles in the United States and rising oil supply weighed on prices.
RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan 3- An offshore oil prospect owned by Brazil's Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Barra Energia, QGEP Participacoes SA and Portugal's Galp Energia SGPS SA will have significant flows when it starts output later this decade, a project partner told investors on Thursday.
The earlier scheduled story "Asian credit to extend rally after US fiscal cliff averted" has been postponed to Friday.
NEW YORK, Jan 3- Wegelin& Co, the oldest Swiss private bank, pleaded guilty on Thursday to a criminal charge of conspiracy for helping wealthy Americans to evade taxes on at least $1.2 billion hidden in offshore bank accounts.
*HSI +0.1 pct, H-shares +0.4 pct, China shut. HONG KONG, Jan 3- Hong Kong shares crept to another 19- month high, with last year's growth-sensitive laggards leading gains on Thursday after further positive China data affirmed the recovery trend in the world's second-largest economy.
*Euro retraces gains after failure to rise above $1.33. NEW YORK, Jan 3- The euro fell against the dollar on Thursday as optimism over a U.S. budget deal quickly faded and investors awaited a closely watched U.S. government jobs report due on Friday.
OTTAWA, Jan 3- Proponents of the planned Northern Gateway pipeline from Alberta's oil sands to Canada's West Coast can still carry the day even though the project has generated a wave of opposition, the country's natural resources minister said.
Jan 3- Major bullion bank HSBC Holdings Plc cut its 2013 average gold price after factoring in a 2012 year-end price of $1,675 an ounce. It kept its 2014 gold forecast at $1,775 and introduced a 2015 forecast of $1,675 an ounce.
HONOLULU, Jan 2- President Barack Obama signed on Wednesday "fiscal cliff" legislation that raises tax rates for top earners and extends tax cuts for the middle class, the White House said.
*Investors focus on congressional- White House battles ahead. NEW YORK, Jan 3- U.S. stocks took a breather on Thursday a day after celebrating Washington's deal to avert the "fiscal cliff" with the biggest one-day rally in a year.