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  • *Index heavy Fanuc contributes 27 points, or more than a quarter of Nikkei gains. TOKYO, July 25- Japan's Nikkei share average rose on Friday after the S&P 500 set another record closing high and as index heavyweight Fanuc Corp jumped after reporting strong profits.

  • July 24- Underground stores of water in the southwestern United States have receded dramatically amid ongoing drought that has parched states from Oklahoma to the Pacific Coast and is costing California billions in lost crops and jobs, a new study shows.

  • LONDON, July 25- The probability of a solar storm striking Earth in the next decade with enough force to do serious damage to electricity networks could be as high as 12 percent, according to solar scientists. One such storm erupted from the surface of the Sun two years ago, on July 23, 2012.

  • *Hamas sticks to demand embargo on enclave be lifted. *One killed in West Bank march is support of Gaza. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon expressed horror at the Thursday attack on the school at Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza strip.

  • HONG KONG, July 25- McDonald's Corp has suspended sales of chicken nuggets and other items in Hong Kong after it said it had imported products from Shanghai Husi Food, the U.S.-owned company at the center of a food safety scare in China.

  • NEW YORK, July 24- Less than a week before Argentina could default on its sovereign bonds, the government and holdout creditors have yet to meet face-to-face despite an urgent plea from the U.S. court-appointed mediator on Thursday that they start direct talks.

  • SYDNEY, July 25- London copper edged down on Friday but was still set to log its fifth weekly advance in six, as investors grow more positive towards metals given encouraging signs of economic revival and a brighter outlook for China in particular.

  • *U.S. crude for September delivery was down 6 cents at $102.01 a barrel by 0024 GMT, after settling $1.05 lower. *The European Union would target state-owned Russian banks vital to financing Moscow's faltering economy in the most serious sanctions so far over the Ukraine crisis under proposals considered by EU governments on Thursday.

  • GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares inch down from recent highs Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 | 8:46 PM ET

    TOKYO, July 25- An index of Asian shares pulled away from a three-year high on Friday after a mostly flat day on Wall Street, though a fresh S&P closing record and upbeat U.S. employment data underpinned sentiment.

  • SINGAPORE, July 25- Gold held near a five-week low on Friday and was headed for a second straight week of losses, as strong global economic data and higher equities offset the metal's appeal as a safe-haven.

  • HONG KONG, July 25- McDonald's Corp said it has suspended sales of its chicken nuggets and other items in Hong Kong after it acknowledged it had imported products from Shanghai Husi Food, the company at the centre of a food safety scare in China.

  • BUENOS AIRES, July 24- Argentina said on Thursday that it needed financial protection against challenges it could face from holders of its restructured debt if it is to negotiate with holdout investors suing it, or a stay to the court ruling forcing payment.

  • TOKYO, July 25- The dollar held gains versus the yen on Friday and the euro stood steady after rebounding from an eight-month low against the greenback as data painted a brighter picture of the U.S. and eurozone economies.

  • TOKYO, July 25- Japan's core consumer inflation eased slightly in the year to June as an increase in import costs from a weak yen faded, highlighting the challenges the central bank faces in meeting its 2 percent inflation target sometime next year.

  • Japan June core CPI up 3.3 pct year/year Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 | 7:33 PM ET

    TOKYO, July 25- Japan's core consumer prices rose 3.3 percent in June from a year earlier as an increase in the national sales tax continued to boost prices, data from the internal affairs ministry showed on Friday.

  • July 24- A Chicago federal judge has refused to overturn the conviction of Eric Bloom, the former chief executive of money management firm Sentinel Management Group Inc, for defrauding customers out of more than $500 million. District Judge Ronald Guzmán said the jury "clearly" had enough evidence to find that Bloom intended to cheat customers.

  • SAO PAULO, July 24- General Motors Co wants to put nearly a fifth of its workers at a factory in Brazil on paid leave, an auto workers union said on Thursday, amid falling output in Latin America's largest economy. General Motors put 940 workers at the same factory on paid leave in 2012, and the union said 598 of them were later fired.

  • U.S. Senate panel to consider 'too big to fail' report Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 | 7:08 PM ET

    WASHINGTON, July 24- A U.S. Senate panel will meet next Thursday to discuss results of a much anticipated government study that looked at whether the biggest banks can borrow at lower interest rates because investors think they would be bailed out in a crisis.

  • The FCC's Media Bureau said Sinclair will divest the TV station in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and give up the licenses of Allbritton stations in Birmingham, Alabama, and Charleston, South Carolina, delivering programming there through so-called multi-casting on the signal of stations Sinclair already owns.

  • WASHINGTON, July 24- Jade and rubies from Myanmar will remain banned from the United States unless the Asian nation moves to end a provision in its constitution that bars opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi from running for president, a senior U.S. senator said on Thursday.