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  • General Mills sales drop for sixth straight quarter Wednesday, 18 Mar 2015 | 7:23 AM ET

    March 18- General Mills Inc, the maker of Bisquick and Betty Crocker cake mixes, reported lower sales for the sixth straight quarter, hurt by a stronger dollar. General Mills said in January that it would close plants in Midland, Ontario, Canada and New Albany, Indiana, cutting about 500 jobs. Net income attributable to General Mills fell to $343.2 million, or 56 cents...

  • *China pauses build-up of strategic reserves. LONDON, March 18- Brent oil prices fell below $53 a barrel on Wednesday on oversupply concerns as industry data indicated U.S. crude stocks had hit a new record high. Brent for May delivery was down 62 cents at $52.89 per barrel by 1058 GMT after ending the previous session up 7 cents.

  • LONDON, March 18- The London Metal Exchange dropped something of a bombshell on its users last Monday when it warned it may have to suspend warranting activity at its Malaysian warehouses. The problem is Malaysia's introduction of a new Goods and Service Tax from April 1, 2015 and specifically whether it applies to LME-registered metal. Since a prerequisite...

  • Saudi crude exports up in January to 7.47 mln bpd - data Wednesday, 18 Mar 2015 | 7:02 AM ET

    DUBAI, March 18- Crude oil exports from Saudi Arabia rose in January to their highest level since April last year, while volumes used by domestic refineries remained high, official data showed on Wednesday. Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi has said oil demand was growing and expected oil prices, which hit a near six-year low in January, to stabilize.

  • BIS warns of consequences of negative bond yields Wednesday, 18 Mar 2015 | 7:00 AM ET

    LONDON, March 18- The Bank for International Settlements warned on Wednesday that negative bond yields could have damaging consequences, not only for financial markets but also for the public at large. The Switzerland- based BIS, known as central bankers' central bank, said the world's financial markets had entered uncharted waters with this year's global...

  • New York, March 18- Arne M. Sorenson crisscrosses the world many times a year as president and chief executive officer of Marriott International Inc.. "I live in Washington, and it's so Washingtonian to really love Berlin," Sorenson says. Sorenson has an eclectic cheat sheet for a memorable- and productive- business stay in Berlin:.

  • U.S. mortgage applications fall in latest week -MBA Wednesday, 18 Mar 2015 | 7:00 AM ET

    NEW YORK, March 18- Applications for U.S. home mortgages fell last week as both purchase and refinancing applications decreased, an industry group said on Wednesday. The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand, fell 3.9 percent in the week...

  • China says to make flexible use of monetary policy tools Wednesday, 18 Mar 2015 | 6:49 AM ET

    BEIJING, March 18- China will make "flexible" use of its monetary policy tools to support the economy and employment, the Chinese cabinet said on Wednesday after a regular weekly meeting.

  • By John O'Donnell and Frank Siebelt. FRANKFURT, March 18- Anti-capitalist protesters clashed with riot police near the new headquarters of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt on Wednesday and set fire to barricades and cars, casting a pall over the ceremonial opening of the billion-euro skyscraper. Dark smoke billowed in front of the ECB towers and across...

  • PARIS/ ZURICH, March 18- Cement makers Holcim and Lafarge, seeking to save their troubled merger, are discussing a new CEO appointment to the combined group that would see current Lafarge boss Bruno Lafont in a different role, sources said on Wednesday. Lafarge and Holcim declined to comment. Lafont had been expected to be the CEO of the combined group but he his...

  • MOSCOW, March 18- Russia's Finance Ministry said it sold 2.4 billion roubles of OFZ treasury bonds at auction on Wednesday at an average yield of 16.28 percent. The ministry offered 5 billion roubles of OFZs maturing in January 2025 and saw bids of 4.2 billion roubles. The Finance Ministry has seen better demand for its OFZ auctions in recent weeks after...

  • However, South Africa's rand, Turkey's lira and the Brazilian real all eased against the greenback ahead of the Fed's policy statement, widely anticipated to lay the ground for the first U.S. interest rate hike in nearly a decade later in the year. In Moscow, both dollar and rouble-denominated shares gained ground while in Israel shares rose 0.6 percent after...

  • JAKARTA, March 18- Indonesia's central bank should cut its benchmark interest rate by up to 100 basis points, to 6.5 percent, by the end of this year, to help revive Southeast Asia's largest economy, the country's vice president told Reuters on Wednesday. The central bank has to also factor in the risk posed to Indonesia, along with some other emerging markets, once...

  • COPENHAGEN, March 18- Denmark's central bank will allow commercial banks to hold more money in its current account, it said on Wednesday, aiming to help lenders who are having to pay to park cash in its deposit account due to negative interest rates. The central bank has slashed its deposit rate deeper into negative territory since January as it battled to keep the...

  • JERUSALEM, March 18- As the dust settles on a dramatic election, the immediate questions are how Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu managed to stage such a fierce comeback, why the opposition fell short and what it means for Israel, the Palestinians and the world. Four days before the vote, Netanyahu looked all but out for the count, with the last opinion polls giving...

  • LONDON, March 18- Brent prices fell on Wednesday on oversupply concerns as industry data indicated U.S. crude stocks had hit a new record high. U.S. crude inventories rose by 10.5 million barrels to 450 million in the week to March 13, American Petroleum Institute data showed on Tuesday. Brent for May delivery was down 47 cents to $53.04 per barrel by 0956 GMT after...

  • HONG KONG, March 18- Mainland Chinese account for over 80 percent of people awaiting visas that bestow U.S. citizenship in return for investment, showed findings by real estate services firm Savills Studley, who said the trend is pushing up demand for commercial property. A rising number of Chinese are applying for EB-5 visas, where non-citizens put at least...

  • March 18- American Express Co said it will team up with seven U.S. companies, including Macy's Inc, AT&T Inc and Exxon Mobil Corp, to launch a cross-brand loyalty program for the first time in the United States. AmEx issues cards co-branded with individual U.S. companies such as Delta Airlines Inc, Starwood Hotels& Resorts Worldwide Inc and Cathay Pacific Airways...

  • HONG KONG/ BEIJING, March 18- Tencent Holdings Ltd, China's biggest social network and online entertainment firm, posted a 51 percent gain in fourth-quarter net income, missing estimates, as sharing and content costs took a bite out of healthy revenue growth. Online gaming sales accounted for over half of Tencent's total revenues. Tencent has long depended on...

  • *India, euro zone and Japan forecasts significantly higher. In a regular overview of the world economy, it confirmed its forecast of 3.1 percent growth in the U.S. economy this year and 3.0 percent next, with forecasts for India, the euro zone and Japan raised the most. "India is now expected to be the fastest-growing major economy in 2015-16, overtaking China," said...