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  • MOSCOW, Jan 6- The rouble fell more than 4 percent on Tuesday in thin, volatile holiday trading as oil prices hit a new 5-1/ 2- year low. By 1003 GMT, the rouble was down 4.5 percent against the dollar at 63.55 roubles and 3.9 percent weaker against the euro at 75.52. "USD/RUB in the current circumstances is in a most dangerous position, especially since the majority of...

  • *Saudi Arabia cuts official selling prices to Europe. Brent crude fell by 3 percent to below $52 a barrel as cuts to monthly oil selling prices for European buyers by top OPEC producer Saudi Arabia heightened worries about oversupply. While Saudi Arabia increased its selling price to Asia, some analysts said the cuts to Europe reflect the kingdom's deepening...

  • Jan 6- U.S. small businesses reduced borrowing in November, sending the Thomson Reuters/ PayNet Small Business Lending Index to its lowest level in eight months, according to data released on Tuesday. The index was set at 100 at its January 2005 launch, and peaked two years later at 131.7 before plummeting to about half that level around the time of the Great...

  • LONDON, Jan 6- Vectura Group, a respiratory drugs specialist, will work with Janssen Biotech to develop treatments for asthma and lung disease COPD, it said on Tuesday. Janssen, a unit of Johnson& Johnson, will then use Vectura's dry powder inhaler technologies in the development of inhaled therapeutics for airways-related diseases such as asthma, a market worth...

  • LONDON, Jan 6- European shares sank for a third day on Tuesday as a slide in oil prices showed no sign of easing off, supporting traditional safe-haven assets such as top-rated government bonds, the Japanese yen and the Swiss franc. Asian shares had slumped overnight after another day of drama on oil markets that drove U.S. crude to less than $50 a barrel for the first...

  • The Markit/ CIPS UK Services Purchasing Managers' Index suffered its biggest decline in more than three years in December, falling to 55.8 from 58.6 in November to touch its lowest level since May 2013. Survey compiler Markit said the PMI signalled Britain's economy grew by 0.5 percent in the last three months of 2014, slowing from 0.7 percent in the third...

  • Brent crude held below $53 a barrel as monthly oil selling price cuts for European buyers from top OPEC producer Saudi Arabia heightened worries about oversupply. "Saudi Arabia is showing no signs of pulling back," said Bjarne Schieldrop, chief commodity analyst with SEB in Oslo. While Saudi Arabia increased its selling price to Asia, some analysts said the cuts...

  • FOREX-Yen in vogue as oil rout sparks risk aversion Tuesday, 6 Jan 2015 | 4:13 AM ET

    LONDON, Jan 6- The safe-haven yen rose on Tuesday as investor risk aversion mounted following a sharp drop in crude oil and stocks that has rekindled concerns about the strength of the global economy. Growing fears of deflation in the euro zone have pushed the euro to near nine-year lows and raised pressure on the European Central Bank to ease monetary policy...

  • JAKARTA/ SINGAPORE, Jan 6- Insurers have begun processing claims in the crash of an Indonesia AirAsia aircraft last month and hope to identify the beneficiaries by the end of January, an official from Indonesia's financial regulator said on Tuesday. Speculation about insurance payments surfaced after Indonesia's transport ministry said the airline only...

  • *Athens market closed on Tuesday but Greece still a concern. LONDON, Jan 6- European shares resumed their sell-off on Tuesday after a slump in the previous session caused by worries over Greece, with energy stocks declining as the oil price hit new lows. Greece also remains under pressure from Germany-- the euro zone's biggest economy-- to abide by the terms of its...

  • Euro zone economy ended 2014 in poor shape -PMI Tuesday, 6 Jan 2015 | 4:00 AM ET

    Also of concern to policymakers, the surveys highlighted an ongoing downturn in France and Italy and only a stuttering performance in Germany, Europe's largest economy. "The weakness of the PMI in December will add to calls for more aggressive central bank stimulus, including full-scale quantitative easing, to be undertaken as soon as possible," said Chris...

  • Tesco's most lucrative non- UK assets are its businesses in South Korea and Thailand, which could be sold outright or made separate businesses with local management teams and listed locally. The South Korea business is seen as worth around 4 billion pounds, and Thailand worth up to 5 billion pounds. Tesco has businesses in Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and...

  • LONDON, Jan 6- European shares steadied on Tuesday after a slump in the previous session, buoyed by healthcare stocks, although traders said worries over Greece were still weighing on markets. However, British industrial equipment hiring company Ashtead fell 8 percent after shares in its U.S. rival United Rentals also slumped overnight following a broker...

  • BEIJING/ SINGAPORE, Jan 6- Chinese wheat buyers are likely to step up imports of higher quality grains to meet a domestic shortfall even though total overseas purchases are forecast to tumble this year due to bumper production at home, analysts and traders said. More demand for high-protein wheat could bolster prices for spring wheat traded on the Minneapolis...

  • Shih Wenbien, analyst at Yuanta Securities in Shanghai, said it would take time for investor sentiment in Hong Kong to recover as oil prices keep dropping and U.S. markets posted big losses overnight. The index measuring price differences between dual-listed companies in Shanghai and Hong Kong stood at 131.83, the highest level since October 2011.

  • *Initial Phase I clinical study starts at Oxford University. *Further tests planned for United States and Africa. LONDON, Jan 6- Johnson& Johnson has started clinical trials of its experimental Ebola vaccine, which uses a booster from Denmark's Bavarian Nordic, making it the third such shot to enter human testing.

  • Worries about surplus oil supplies were fueled by data showing output in Russia hit a post-Soviet-era high in 2014 and exports from Iraq, OPEC's second-largest producer, were the highest since 1980. Jitters over political uncertainty in Greece drove investors out of risk assets globally to safe-haven bonds. "It's building on the recent bearish...

  • *Shanghai copper lower on supply concerns. SYDNEY, Jan 6- Copper futures were mixed on Tuesday, with London contracts rebounding but Shanghai metal under pressure because of a policy shift by Beijing that could lift Chinese output and add to global supply. "Copper may have been oversold in London and that's being reflected in today's turnaround," said a metals...

  • MOSCOW, Jan 6- The rouble slipped in early trade on Tuesday in thin, volatile holiday trading and under pressure from weak oil prices. By 0703 GMT, the rouble was down 0.3 percent against the dollar at 61.05 roubles and 0.4 percent weaker against the euro at 73.00. "USD/RUB in the current circumstances is in a most dangerous position, especially since the majority of...

  • *Plunge in Tokyo shares lifts safe-haven yen against dollar. TOKYO/ SYDNEY, Jan 6- The dollar slipped against the safe-haven yen on Tuesday as investor risk aversion mounted on the back of a sharp drop in equities. Persistent weakness in oil prices and uncertainly over the Greek political situation have spooked investors, sending Wall Street to its biggest...