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  • *Nikkei +0.1 pct, Topix +0.1 pct. TOKYO, Feb 24- Japan's Nikkei share average climbed to a three-week high in choppy trade on Monday morning as speculators jumped on a slight weakening in the yen to cover their short positions. The benchmark Nikkei gained as much as 0.8 percent to 14,982.53- its highest level since Jan. 31- after rising 2.9 percent on Friday.

  • PRECIOUS-Gold edges lower after 3rd week of gains Sunday, 23 Feb 2014 | 10:12 PM ET

    *Gold still targets $1,307.46- technicals. SINGAPORE, Feb 24- Gold inched lower on Monday after posting a third straight week of gains, but the precious metal may get support from worries over the pace of the U.S. economic recovery and China's growth.

  • *G20 in Sydney aspires to faster global growth goal. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan shed 0.6 percent, while Japan's Nikkei stock average added 0.1 percent, paring earlier gains.

  • TOKYO, Feb 24- The euro held steady against the dollar on Monday, retaining its gains made late last week as political unrest in Ukraine showed signs of settling down for the time being.

  • SYDNEY, Feb 24- London copper fell sharply on Monday to its lowest in more than two weeks as worries about tightening monetary policy in the United States and fragile growth in China hurt the demand outlook for metals. *The most-traded April copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange slid 1.33 percent to 49,870 yuan a tonne.

  • *U.S. crude futures for April delivery rose 41 cents to $102.61 a barrel by 0033 GMT, after finishing 55 cents lower on Friday. *The average price for a gallon of gasoline in the United States rose almost 12 cents over the past two weeks as violent crises in three areas of the world heightened concerns in the oil market.

  • SINGAPORE, Feb 24- Gold barely moved in early trade on Monday, supported by concerns over the pace of U.S. economic recovery and an increase in holdings on the bullion-backed exchange traded funds. *Gold eased 0.06 percent to $1,324.45 an ounce by 0033 GMT, having notched a third straight week of gains.

  • TOKYO, Feb 24- The euro held steady against the dollar on Monday, retaining its gains made late last week as political unrest in Ukraine showed signs of settling down for the time being.

  • *G20 in Sydney aspires to faster global growth goal. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was struggling to turn positive, while Australian shares shed about 0.1 percent.

  • *HSBC releases 2013 results at 0815 GMT on Monday. LONDON, Feb 23- HSBC's profits are expected to rise by almost a fifth to $24 billion for 2013 as it benefits from a cost-cutting drive that spans managing its documents more efficiently to telling staff to use business class air travel less.

  • Feb 23- Private equity firm Cinven Ltd has agreed to acquire pharmaceutical contract research organization Medpace Inc from buyout firm CCMP Capital Advisors LLC for a little over $900 million, two people familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

  • UPDATE 2-Netflix to pay Comcast for faster speeds Sunday, 23 Feb 2014 | 5:45 PM ET

    Feb 23- Netflix has agreed to pay one of the largest broadband providers in the United States Comcast Corp for faster speeds, throwing open the possibility that more content companies will have to shell out for better service.

  • KIEV, Feb 24- Ukraine's interim leadership pledged to put the country back on course for European integration now Moscow- backed Viktor Yanukovich had been ousted from the presidency, while the United States warned Russia against sending in its forces.

  • BARCELONA, Spain, Feb 23- China's Huawei Technologies believes it can take advantage of recent changes in how operators in the United States sell phones to get a foothold in the all-important market, an executive with its consumer division said on Sunday.

  • NEW YORK, Feb 23- For U.S. stock investors, the main event will be Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's return trip this week to Capitol Hill. Wall Street will hang on her every word about the weather, of all things, when she goes before the Senate Banking Committee to complete her semi-annual testimony about monetary policy.

  • *Copper producers Freeport and Newmont in dispute with govt. The tax ratchets up sharply before an outright export ban from 2017 and Freeport and Newmont Mining Corp, which produce 97 percent of Indonesia's copper, have halted all exports and are locked in talks with the government because they say the tax breaches their contracts.

  • SEOUL, Feb 24- LG Electronics Inc aims to broaden its range of smartphones so sales this year grow at double the rate of the market, as the South Korean company seeks to retake the position of world's third-biggest maker.

  • MUMBAI, Feb 24- It's got four wheels and seatbelts, but Bajaj Auto, the creator of India's first quadricycle, would rather you didn't call it a car. Bajaj Auto is marketing the RE60 as a more stable and comfortable alternative to the three-wheeled autorickshaws ubiquitous on India's roads even though it looks like a small hatchback car and is expected to cost less.

  • BOCA RATON, Fla., Feb 23- Investors are growing impatient with the makers of global brands like Cadbury chocolate, Campbell Soup and Tide laundry detergent, as these stalwart consumer products companies try to boost profits through cost cuts and brand makeovers while smaller rivals take risks and grab market share.

  • SYDNEY, Feb 23- The world's top economies have embraced a goal of generating more than $2 trillion in additional output over five years while creating tens of million of new jobs, signalling optimism that the worst of crisis-era austerity was behind them.