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  • MEXICO CITY, April 1- At least four people died after a fire broke out on a Pemex oil processing platform in the Gulf of Mexico early on Wednesday, leading to the evacuation of 302 workers, the Mexican state-run oil company said. The fire, which burned throughout the day, erupted overnight on the Abkatun Permanente platform in the oil-rich Bay of Campeche.

  • HONG KONG, April 2- A Hong Kong court adjourned on Thursday the trial of a British banker, accused of murdering two women found in his luxury high rise apartment in November, for another five weeks. Jutting was not required to enter a plea and the case will resume on May 8. Hong Kong media have described the two victims as prostitutes from Indonesia.

  • April 1- Canada's largest oil and gas company Suncor Energy Inc said on Wednesday that it expected to largely implement operating budget cuts of C $600 million to C $800 million in 2015, ahead of the previously projected two-year period. The company had said in January that it would also cut about 1,000 jobs, freeze hiring and slash C $1 billion in capital...

  • *Olympus dives to near 1- month low after Sony halves stake. TOKYO, April 2- Japan's Nikkei share average rose more than 1.5 percent on Thursday morning, rebounding from Wednesday's three-week low, helped by short-covering and hopes that the central bank is buying stocks. "Hedge funds are seen covering their short positions as the Nikkei fell sharply this week,"...

  • Iron ore plunge stokes pressure for Australia rate cut Wednesday, 1 Apr 2015 | 9:56 PM ET

    SYDNEY, April 2- Pressure is mounting for a cut in Australian interest rates as soon as next week as plunging prices for iron ore, the country's single most valuable export earner, punish both mining profits and government tax revenue. The Reserve Bank of Australia holds its monthly policy meeting on April 7 and markets are wagering heavily it will follow up a...

  • *U.S. military supports Australia buying Japanese submarines. *Other competitors in the project are from Germany and France. ADELAIDE, Australia, April 2- Washington's strategic ambitions in Asia are looming large over Australia's multi-billion dollar tender for new submarines, giving Japan a possible edge over competitors from Germany and France, defence...

  • PHILLIPS, Calif., April 1- California Governor Jerry Brown, in his most sweeping action to combat a devastating multi-year drought, ordered residents and businesses on Wednesday to cut water use by 25 percent in the first mandatory statewide reduction in California history. The move comes as California's snowpack, which generally provides about a third of the...

  • Bradken says proposal does not represent fair value. SYDNEY, April 2- Koch Industries Inc and Pacific Equity Partners have made a takeover approach to Bradken Ltd valuing the Australian mining products firm at A $430 million. Bradken shares jumped 21 percent on Thursday as rumors of a fresh bid circulated before Bradken requested a trading halt in mid-session.

  • *Consumer prices still seen up 1.4 pct a year from now. TOKYO, April 2- Japanese companies' inflation expectations in the Bank of Japan's March tankan survey were largely unchanged from the previous survey, a sign that inflationary pressure may not be increasing as quickly as the central bank expects. "The economy has not deteriorated to the point where more...

  • METALS-London copper drifts ahead of Easter break Wednesday, 1 Apr 2015 | 8:34 PM ET

    MELBOURNE, April 2- London copper drifted towards two-week lows on Thursday as traders showed little urgency to lock-in stocks given sluggish demand growth in top consumer China, instead squaring positions ahead of a four-day Easter weekend in some countries. *Companies struggled in China and much of the rest of Asia in March, suggesting central banks may have...

  • Senator Robert Menendez said on Wednesday he will temporarily step aside as ranking member, or top Democrat, on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in the wake of his indictment on corruption charges. "I believe it is in the best interests of the committee, my colleagues, and the Senate, which is why I have chosen to do so," he said in a letter to Senate Democratic...

  • TOKYO, April 2- Asian shares edged up in early trade on Thursday, but gains were tempered by weak U.S. private sector employment and manufacturing data that raised concerns ahead of Friday's key employment figures. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up about 0.2 percent in cautious trade, shrugging off modest overnight losses on...

  • SEATTLE, April 1- Seattle's new minimum wage law took effect on Wednesday amid mixed reaction from businesses, giving some workers a bump in compensation on the way to a $15 hourly wage, among the highest big-city pay floors in the United States. Seattle became the first major U.S. city to commit to such a high basic wage when Mayor Ed Murray proposed the plan last May.

  • MEXICO CITY, April 1- At least four people died after a fire broke out on an oil processing platform in the Gulf of Mexico early on Wednesday, leading to the evacuation of 302 workers, Mexican state-run oil company Pemex said. The fire, which burned throughout the day, erupted overnight on the Abkatun Permanente platform in the oil-rich Bay of Campeche.

  • April 1- A U.S. judge on Wednesday issued an order temporarily blocking Allegiant Air pilots from striking after they announced a Thursday walkout. Allegiant sued the pilots union in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas on Monday, saying it had violated the Railway Labor Act by moving to strike before the parties had exerted every effort to settle their disputes.

  • SINGAPORE, April 2- Gold hovered above $1,200 an ounce on Thursday, clinging to gains from the prior session when it rose the most in two months, after weak U.S. private jobs data suggested that a more comprehensive employment report could disappoint. *Spot gold was flat at $1,203.70 an ounce by 2324 GMT, after climbing 1.8 percent on Wednesday.

  • NYMEX-Crude pares strong gains as Iran talks drag on Wednesday, 1 Apr 2015 | 7:27 PM ET

    TOKYO, April 2- U.S. crude futures pared a 5 percent jump in the previous session in early Asian trade on Thursday, amid speculation that ongoing talks over Iran's nuclear program could reach a deal and add more crude to a global oil glut. *In Switzerland, Iran and six world powers were closer to a preliminary accord on Tehran's nuclear program as marathon talks were...

  • MEDIA-EU LAYS GROUNDWORK FOR ANTITRUST CHARGES AGAINST GOOGLE.

  • SYDNEY, April 2- The dollar nursed modest losses early on Thursday, having suffered a setback on fresh signs that the U.S. economy slowed significantly in the first quarter. It fell as far as 119.42 yen, from levels above 120.00, before steadying at 119.66 early in Asia. The euro climbed to $1.0800, from one-week lows of $1.0713.

  • *Oxfam says hard to track development impact. WASHINGTON, April 1- The World Bank's private sector arm may be doing more harm than good when it invests in private equity firms, banks and other financial intermediaries, global development group Oxfam said in a report on Wednesday. "By channeling funds through third parties, the IFC loses control of how the money is...