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  • TOKYO, July 25- Japan's Nikkei share average rose 1.1 percent on Friday to close at its highest level in six months, buoyed by fresh record highs for the S&P and as index heavyweight Fanuc Corp jumped after reporting strong profits. The Nikkei ended up nearly 174 points at 15,457.87, its highest closing level since Jan. 23.

  • BSkyB to pay $8 billion to create Sky Europe Friday, 25 Jul 2014 | 2:11 AM ET

    LONDON, July 25- Britain's BSkyB has agreed to pay around 4.9 billion pounds to buy Rupert Murdoch's pay-TV assets in Germany and Italy, responding to the slowing growth at home with a deal to create a European powerhouse.

  • FOX LAKE, Ill., July 25- The news about deadly crashes linked to a faulty ignition switch, followed by wave upon wave of recalls, did not bode well for General Motors dealers earlier this year. It conjured visions of worried, frustrated drivers pouring onto lots like Raymond Chevrolet, outside of Chicago.

  • July 25- U.S. companies are reporting sluggish financial results in Latin America, showing the risks they face in relying on Brazil and other emerging markets in the region for growth. Several companies reported tepid performance in Brazil, the biggest economy in Latin America, where some economists fear the country is on the verge of a recession.

  • *New China Life Insurance drops after report says Temasek sold shares. HONG KONG, July 25- China shares are headed for their best weekly gain in 3-1/ 2 months on Friday, powered by continued strength in blue chips including bank stocks that is helping mainland markets outperform Hong Kong.

  • *Libya oil production rises to 500,000 barrels per day. SINGAPORE, July 25- Brent crude held steady above $107 a barrel on Friday, on track to end the week flat as tensions in oil producing regions supported prices against weak demand and plentiful supplies.

  • SYDNEY, July 25- London copper edged down on Friday but was still set to log its fifth weekly advance in six, with investors more bullish on metals on expectations the global economy is on a firmer footing and on a brighter outlook for top consumer China.

  • BEIJING, July 25- China Telecom Corp Ltd will start selling Microsoft Corp's Xbox One gaming console in China from September through an exclusive contract, the country's third-largest telecommunications company said in a statement on Friday.

  • HONG KONG, July 25- China's yuan snapped a three-day firming streak on Friday, after the central bank set a weaker midpoint for the third consecutive day in line with global strength in the dollar. The People's Bank of China fixed the official midpoint at 6.1597, down 0.03 percent from the previous day's 6.1579.

  • TOKYO, July 25- Asian shares pulled away from this week's three-year highs 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.

  • JGBs edge down on weaker Treasuries, firmer Nikkei Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 | 11:05 PM ET

    TOKYO, July 25- Japanese government bond prices slipped on Friday, weighed down by higher Tokyo shares and an overnight retreat in U.S. The benchmark 10- year JGB yield rose 0.5 basis point to 0.525 percent. The JGB market showed little reaction to a rise in Japan's June core CPI, as the rise of 3.3 percent from the previous month was in line with forecasts.

  • FOREX-Dollar, euro propped up by better economic data Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 | 10:42 PM ET

    *Japan CPI as expected, muted reaction from dollar/yen. 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.

  • SHANGHAI, July 25- Shanghai Husi Food, the U.S.-owned Chinese food supplier at the center of a meat safety scandal, won a court case earlier this year against a former quality control officer whose claims included that he was made to forge meat production dates. He said Shanghai Husi, which is owned by privately-held Illinois- based OSI Group, ignored his pleas.

  • WILMINGTON, Del., July 24- Nortel Networks Inc, the U.S. unit of defunct Canadian telecom company Nortel Networks Corp, has agreed to pay up to about $1 billion in interest that has accrued on the $3.9 billion it owes to its U.S. bondholders, a court filing showed.

  • SAN FRANCISCO, July 24- Amazon.com Inc's new "Fire" smartphone contains chips from Qualcomm Inc, NXP Semiconductors NV, and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, according to repair and teardown specialists iFixit, which pried one open on Thursday.

  • *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.