France has a special responsibility as a euro zone heavyweight to take deficit cuts seriously, even though its budget deficit is above target, Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann said in an interview published Sunday.» Read More
TOKYO, Dec 18- Japan's Nikkei average neared the 10,000- mark, hitting an 8-1/ 2- month high for a second day on Tuesday, lifted by expectations of aggressive monetary easing after the conservative Liberal Democratic Party swept back to power.
HONG KONG, Dec 18- Onshore China shares ended marginally higher to post a third-straight gain on Tuesday, with the financial sector strong as retail investors chased large cap counters on hopes that the current rally runs through into the new year. The CSI300 of the top Shanghai and Shenzhen listings closed up 0.1 percent at 2,162.5.
ZURICH, Dec 18- Actelion, Europe's biggest biotechnology company, said its drug for patients suffering from the skin disease psoriasis met its main goal in a mid-stage clinical trial. Patients receiving ponesimod continued to show improvement after the initial 16 weeks, Actelion added.
TOKYO, Dec 18- Japanese government bond prices sagged on Tuesday with the benchmark 10- year yield hitting a one-month high on concerns of more debt issues following political pledges of large-scale stimulus to boost the economy.
SINGAPORE, Dec 18- Brent crude rose above $108 a barrel on Tuesday as the outlook for oil demand improved on signs of progress in U.S. talks to resolve a budget crisis that threatens to dip the world's top oil consumer into recession again.
JAKARTA/ TAIPEI, Dec 18- Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, the main contract manufacturer for Apple Inc, has confirmed plans for a handset factory in Indonesia that local officials revealed over the summer but have since said were delayed.
MUMBAI, Dec 18- India's central bank left its key interest rates unchanged as expected on Tuesday but said policy focus was shifting towards growth, reiterating its October guidance of further easing in the first quarter of 2013 as inflation was seen cooling.
TOKYO, Dec 18- Japan's Nikkei average hit an 8-1/ 2- month high for a second day on Tuesday, buoyed by a landslide election win for the conservative Liberal Democratic Party, although investors took profit on power companies. The Nikkei rose 1.0 percent to 9,923.01 after advancing to as high as 9,967.24, edging closer to the 10,000- mark.
*MSCI Asia ex- Japan up 0.2 pct, Nikkei at 8-1/ 2- mth peak. The move, which the source stressed was not Obama's final offer, was welcomed by a spokesman for Republican House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, potentially advancing negotiations towards a deal by the end-year deadline.
*China bankers see policy easing ahead in PBOC survey. BEIJING, Dec 18- China's burgeoning economic recovery may need central bank easing to spur it along next year, as foreign investors scale back spending commitments in the face of a gloomy external outlook that clouds prospects for the world's biggest exporter.
WASHINGTON, Dec 18- A deal to avert a "fiscal cliff" of U.S. tax hikes and spending cuts looked closer on Tuesday after House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner kept the support of his Republican colleagues for compromises in talks with President Barack Obama.
NEW YORK, Dec 18- Gold fell more than 1 percent on Tuesday, hitting a 1-1/ 2 month low as growing hopes that Washington was moving much closer to a deal to avert the "fiscal cliff" triggered a sell-off in safe-haven assets.
NEW YORK, Dec 18- U.S. stocks extended gains on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 Index up more than 1 percent to a two-month high as "fiscal cliff" negotiations appeared to advance in Congress. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 122.32 points, or 0.92 percent, to 13,357.71. The S&P 500 gained 16.58 points, or 1.16 percent, to 1,446.94.
CALGARY, Alberta, Dec 18- Royal Dutch Shell Plc has scrapped plans for a coalbed methane gas project near Canada's Pacific Coast in the face of local opposition and weak natural gas prices, ending an eight-year battle over development, the company and the British Columbia government said on Tuesday.
WASHINGTON, Dec 18- The Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. consumer protection agency, has asked nine companies that specialize in collecting and selling consumer data to provide information about their business practices.
ISTANBUL, Dec 18- Budget carrier Pegasus Airlines turned its back on Boeing and placed its first order for Airbus jetliners on Tuesday in a $7.5 billion deal hailed as Turkey's largest single plane order. Pegasus currently operates aircraft built by Airbus's arch-rival Boeing.
NEW YORK, Dec 18- Rating agency Standard& Poor's on Tuesday raised Greece's sovereign credit rating to B-minus with a stable outlook from selective default, citing its European partners' efforts to keep the country part of the euro.
HONG KONG, Dec 18- China shares advanced over the morning on Tuesday, lifting the Hong Kong market, with the financial sector strong as retail investors chased large cap counters on hopes that the current rally runs through into the new year.
That prompted a rally in equities globally and the desire to secure investment returns pushed some back towards the euro zone's lower-rated peripheral bonds as the effects of last week's political shock in Italy subsided. Certainly one thing that's clear is that news in the U.S. is getting better and better, " DZ Bank strategist Christian Lenk said."
*Record sugar output for Brazil 2013 crop expected. *Brazil farmers withhold coffee, hoping for higher prices. NEW YORK/ LONDON, Dec 18- Raw sugar on ICE slipped Tuesday on surplus supplies following two sessions of gains that lifted the market from the lowest level in more than two years.