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  • A separate PMI published by HSBC/ Markit also rose to 51.7, its best performance in 18 months. Now that looser monetary policy is having its intended effect, some analysts questioned the need for more economic stimulus in China, at least in the near term.

  • SYDNEY, Aug 1- London copper was underpinned on Friday by expanding factory activity in China that heralded a rosier outlook for demand, soothing nerves after an overnight rout on Wall Street.

  • SEOUL, Aug 1- South Korean exports in July grew at their fastest annual clip in seven months, but relatively subdued inflation and weakness in shipments to China kept alive the prospect of an interest rate cut at this month's central bank policy review.

  • SYDNEY/ GENEVA Aug 1- Several member states of the World Trade Organization voiced frustration after India's demands for concessions on agricultural stockpiling led to the collapse of the first major global trade reform pact in two decades.

  • The HSBC/ Markit China manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index climbed to 51.7 last month, up from June's 50.7 but slightly below a preliminary reading of 52.. Growth in new export orders accelerated at the second-fastest pace in 44 months, HSBC/ Markit said.

  • China's final HSBC PMI hits 18-month peak in July Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 | 9:48 PM ET

    BEIJING, Aug 1- China's vast factory sector posted its strongest growth in 18 months in July as new orders surged to multi-month highs, a private survey showed on Friday, adding to signs the economy is regaining momentum after a flurry of government stimulus measures.

  • SYDNEY, Aug 1- Asian shares pared losses on Friday as data showing a surprisingly strong pick up in Chinese manufacturing helped take some of the sting out of a slump on Wall Street.

  • *July official PMI at 51.7, highest since April 2012. BEIJING, Aug 1- Activity in China's vast factory sector expanded at the fastest pace in 27 months in July on stronger demand, a government survey showed, adding to evidence that the economy is regaining momentum after a burst of government stimulus measures.

  • TOKYO, Aug 1- Japan's Nikkei share average dropped on Friday morning after U.S. shares languished on concerns that interest rates could rise sooner than expected, but strong earnings from Sony Corp and Panasonic Corp limited the losses.

  • BUENOS AIRES, July 31- Argentina may have defaulted on its debt for the second time in 12 years on Thursday, but the packed elegant cafes in Buenos Aires show little sign of distress and shoppers rather than protestors fill the streets.

  • WASHINGTON, July 31- The U.S. Senate on Thursday approved a $10.9 billion funding extension for highway and transit construction projects through May 2015, averting a potential cutback in federal payments to states that was due to start on Friday.

  • China July official PMI rises to 51.7 from 51 in June Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 | 9:06 PM ET

    CHINA JULY OFFICIAL PMI RISES TO 51.7 FROM 51 IN JUNE@. BEIJING, Aug 1- Activity in China's factory sector quickened to a 27- month high in July, a government survey showed on Friday, adding to signs that the economy is regaining momentum after a bust of government stimulus measures.

  • SEOUL, Aug 1- South Korean exports to China fell 7.0 percent in July from a year earlier, a third consecutive monthly drop, while shipments to the European Union rebounded from a fall in June to post a strong 11.5 percent rise, data showed on Friday.

  • METALS-Copper edges down ahead of China factory gauge Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 | 8:57 PM ET

    SYDNEY, Aug 1- London copper eased on Friday after a rout on Wall Street over Argentinian default soured risk appetite and ahead of a deluge of economic indicators out later in the session, including an assessment of activity in China's vast manufacturing sector.

  • SHANGHAI, Aug 1- China will on Friday lift air traffic control measures imposed to allow military drills and which have caused major delays and cancellations of flights, raising concerns over airline earnings.

  • *July HSBC/ Markit mfg, export orders PMIs both miss 50. South Korea's exports in July grew 5.7 percent from a year earlier to $48.42 billion and imports rose 5.8 percent to $45.90 billion, the trade ministry data showed.

  • SINGAPORE, Aug 1- Gold was stuck near a six-week low on Friday and headed for a third straight weekly loss, as U.S. economic optimism offset any safe-haven demand from geopolitical tensions and lower equities. *Gold was on track for a 2 percent fall for the week, after posting its sharpest monthly drop of the year in July.

  • *Gold melts to a 6- week low, oil hits 4- month trough. SYDNEY, Aug 1- Asian shares stumbled on Friday after a month-end swoon on Wall Street, though some were hoping China would offer better news on manufacturing and help steady investor sentiment. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dropped 0.5 percent.

  • *CVR Refining said on Thursday that its 115,000- barrel-per-day Coffeyville, Kansas, refinery, which is a major consumer of West Texas Intermediate crude, could be down four weeks after a July 29 fire in the facility's isomerization unit.

  • The SEC's Office of Inspector General started the investigation after Reuters published information about the regulator's decision, taken in a closed-door meeting on Sept. 12, 2013, to settle its probe into JPMorgan Chase& Co's massive London Whale trading loss. The SEC made its decision public on Sept. 19, 2013.