July 30- MetLife Inc reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit as the largest U.S. life insurer paid out more in claims, sending its shares down nearly 2 percent.» Read More
NEW YORK, March 5- Exxon Mobil Corp, the world's largest publicly traded oil company, expects oil and natural gas production to be flat this year as overall spending falls 6 percent to about $39.8 billion. Shares of Exxon fell more than 2 percent to $94.52 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
BANGALORE, March 5- The dollar will easily outperform other major currencies in the coming year, according to foreign exchange strategists polled by Reuters, driven by demand for U.S. assets prompted by a shift in Federal Reserve policy.
*Central bank holds benchmark rate steady at 1.0 pct. *Repeats that rates could go up or down, depending on data. OTTAWA, March 5- The Bank of Canada continued to express concerns about weak inflation on Wednesday, even after consumer prices picked up markedly in January, and it repeated that its next move on interest rates could be either up or down.
ROME, March 5- Italy's new Prime Minister Matteo Renzi pledged on Wednesday to introduce a series of "very important reforms" next week to help create jobs, make housing more affordable and remodel crumbling school buildings.
WASHINGTON, March 5- The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled for British company BG Group Plc in its effort to reinstate a $185.3 million arbitration award against Argentina that a U.S. appeals court threw out. Argentina had said that BG, a natural gas exploration and distribution company, should have sued in Argentina's courts first.
LONDON, March 5- Sugar should account for less than 5.0 percent of what people eat each day if they are to avoid health risks such as weight gain and tooth decay linked to excessively sugary diets, the World Health Organisation said on Wednesday.
NEW YORK, March 5- Growth in the U.S. services sector slowed in February, coming in below forecasts as the employment index fell into contractionary territory for the first time in more than two years, an industry report showed on Wednesday.
LONDON, March 5- Iraq is reclaiming its rank as the world's fastest-growing oil exporter, cushioning consumers from Libyan supply outages for now and, perhaps, reviving OPEC market share rivalries down the road.
DEFENSE SECRETARY HAGEL SAYS AIMS TO SPEAK WITH HIS UKRAINIAN COUNTERPART ON WEDNESDAY.
MILITARY OFFICER, GENERAL DEMPSEY, SPOKE WITH RUSSIAN COUNTERPART ON WEDNESDAY- HAGEL SAYS.
*Yen extends broad slide, focus shifts to data. NEW YORK, March 5- The dollar rallied on Wednesday, shrugging off a softer-than-expected U.S. private-sector payrolls report for February that may have been affected by severe winter conditions.
*Private employers add 139,000 jobs in February. WASHINGTON, March 5- U.S. private employers added fewer workers than expected in February and services sector growth slowed, the latest signs that severe weather continues to be a drag on the economy.
MILITARY AUGMENTING PARTICIPATION IN NATO'S AIR POLICING MISSION ON BALTIC PENINSULA- HAGEL.
PENTAGON PURSUING MEASURES TO SUPPORT ALLIES DURING UKRAINE CRISIS- DEFENSE SECRETARY HAGEL SAYS IN PREPARED REMARKS TO CONGRESS.
DEFENSE DEPARTMENT STEPPING UP JOINT TRAINING THROUGH AVIATION DETACHMENT IN POLAND- HAGEL SAYS.
*EU leaders meet on Thursday to discuss next steps on Russia. BRUSSELS, March 5- European leaders are under pressure to match the United States in imposing sanctions on Russia over Ukraine. But splits in the European Union, with many countries either close to Russia or reliant on its energy, means EU-U.S. unity is unlikely.
*Societe Generale says lawsuit's claims unsubstantiated. In the filing with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan dated March 3, New York resident Kevin Maher, who says he bought and sold gold and gold futures and options, alleged the banks overseeing the benchmark- Societe Generale, Deutsche Bank, Barclays, Bank of Nova Scotia and HSBC- colluded to manipulate it.
NEW YORK, March 5- U.S. stocks opened little changed on Wednesday after two days of sharp swings as investors shrugged off a softer-than-expected reading on the labor market and ahead of the release of the ISM services report.
JOHANNESBURG, March 5- Wage talks between the world's top platinum producers and South Africa's Association of Mineworkers and Construction workers Union collapsed on Wednesday, dashing hopes for an early end to a crippling six-week strike.
LONDON, March 5- The crisis in Ukraine has ended one of the biggest short positions in recent European natural gas trading as the threat of a Russian supply cut forced speculative dealers to close positions they had profitably held throughout winter.