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  • Allianz is lead reinsurer to missing AirAsia plane Monday, 29 Dec 2014 | 12:10 AM ET

    HONG KONG, Dec 29- German insurer Allianz is the lead re-insurer, through one of its divisions, to the AirAsia plane that went missing on Sunday and is presumed to have crashed off the Indonesian coast with 162 people on board, the company said on Monday. "We can confirm that Allianz Global Corporate& Specialty UK is the lead reinsurer for AirAsia, for aviation hull and...

  • *Japan's FSA conducting stress tests- two sources. TOKYO, Dec 29- Japan's financial regulator is running stress tests to see if too much cash in the system is stifling smaller banks' ability to earn, unlike regulatory tests elsewhere that have been designed to see whether lenders had enough capital to cope with financial shocks. The action highlights one of the...

  • TOKYO, Dec 29- Japan's Nikkei gave up early gains on Monday after the health ministry announced a suspected case of the deadly Ebola virus, dampening investor risk appetite but boosting health-related shares. A man in his thirties who returned from Sierra Leone on Dec. 23 was suspected on contracting the disease, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said.

  • BEIJING, Dec 29- Growth in China's manufacturing sector likely slowed to a 18- month low in December, a Reuters poll showed, adding to signs of a protracted slowdown in the world's second-largest economy that may prompt authorities to roll out more stimulus measures. "We expect the manufacturing sector to remain sluggish in December, in line with a continued...

  • China stocks climb, led by insurers and FTZ shares Sunday, 28 Dec 2014 | 11:33 PM ET

    SHANGHAI, Dec 29- China stocks rose on Monday led by insurance and property heavyweights, while companies connected with the Shanghai Free Trade Zone also leapt on plans for a major expansion of the zone unveiled last week. All four listed insurance companies rose, with China's biggest insurance firm China Life Insurance Co soaring by its 10 percent daily limit.

  • Yuan weakens in line with c.bank midpoint Sunday, 28 Dec 2014 | 11:13 PM ET

    SHANGHAI, Dec 29- China's yuan weakened on Monday, changing hands at 6.2227 per dollar at midday, after the central bank set a weaker official midpoint. The People's Bank of China set the midpoint rate at 6.1205 per dollar prior to market open, weaker than the previous fix 6.1186. The spot market opened at 6.2148 per dollar and was changing hands at 6.2227 at midday,...

  • SHANGHAI, Dec 29- Copper futures were flat on Monday in thin trading but weak demand from top consumer China and a strong U.S. dollar could put downward pressure on prices, analysts said. Growth in China's economy is expected to slow to 7 percent next year from a forecast 7.3 percent this year, in part due to weakness in global economies, a top Chinese government think...

  • JGBs edge down as BOJ refrains from purchases Sunday, 28 Dec 2014 | 11:03 PM ET

    TOKYO, Dec 29- Japanese government prices mostly edged slightly lower on Monday as the Bank of Japan refrained from making any purchases under its massive asset-buying program. Market participants now widely expect the BOJ to buy 450 billion yen of JGBs in the 1- year to 3- year zone, 450 billion yen in the 3- year to 5- year zone, and 400 billion yen in the 5- year to...

  • BANGKOK, Dec 29- Thai factory output fell more than expected in November, the latest evidence that the country's economy is still struggling more than six months after the army took power to end prolonged political unrest. Thailand is grappling with poor exports and still-subdued domestic demand. On Monday, the Industry Ministry said factory output in...

  • Ukraine's parliament approves 2015 budget Sunday, 28 Dec 2014 | 10:49 PM ET

    KIEV, Dec 29- Ukraine's parliament backed a budget for 2015 on Monday that it had been under pressure to approve to secure the next tranche of financial aid under a $17 billion International Monetary Fund loan package, the Interfax news agency reported. Before the budget vote in the early hours of the morning, deputies approved a series of austerity laws,...

  • HONG KONG, Dec 29- The additional spread that investors demand for credit risk over AAA-rated corporate borrowers in China is at the highest in nearly 15 months as the world's second-largest economy cools and authorities ask banks to curb bad debts. The spread gap between the one-year yield on AAA-rated bonds and those rated AA has widened to 112.4 basis points,...

  • *Brent climbs towards $60; U.S. crude rises above $55. SINGAPORE, Dec 29- Oil prices rose on Monday, after dropping for the past two sessions, as escalating clashes in Libya stoked worries about supply from the OPEC member. "Libya, and all the other problems, warrants some kind of risk premium," said Jonathan Barratt, chief investment officer at Sydney's Ayers Alliance.

  • Dec 29- Japan's financial regulator has begun stress tests on regional banks to determine how much their earnings would suffer if long-term interest rates remain near record lows under the Bank of Japan's loose money policy, according to two people with direct knowledge of the process. Regional lenders have typically extended loans to smaller businesses,...

  • SHANGHAI, Dec 29- Shares in companies related to the Shanghai free trade zone rose sharply on Monday after an announcement late on Friday that the scope of the zone would be expanded dramatically. Shares in Shanghai Zhangjiang Hi-tech Park Development Co and Shanghai Jinqiao Export Processing Zone Development Co rose to close to their 10 percent upward daily...

  • *Market heavy Fast Retailing, KDDI, Softbank rise. TOKYO, Dec 29- Japanese stocks advanced on Monday as further gains on Wall Street boosted appetite for riskier assets and buoyed investors' confidence in the outlook for equities in 2015. The Nikkei benchmark gained 0.4 percent to 17,892.82 points by 0130 GMT. And with Japan's Economics Minister Akira Amari...

  • SAN FRANCISCO/ BEIJING, Dec 29- The settlement of China's anti-trust probe into Qualcomm Inc is likely to intensify global scrutiny of the firm's highly profitable patent licensing business, and may even call into question its worldwide contracts with smartphone makers such as Apple and Samsung. Any deal is likely to include a record-breaking fine, as well as...

  • Dec 28- Sony Pictures said "The Interview" has earned more than $15 million in online sales and another $2.8 million in theaters, an impressive return made possible by the publicity surrounding the cyberattack blamed on North Korea. The film that triggered the devastating cyberattack on the studio last month, which the United States says was launched by North...

  • Dec 28- The board of American Apparel Inc has received a letter from British buyout firm Lion Capital, pushing it to explore strategic options include a sale, a source familiar with the situation said on Sunday. Lion Capital, a former lender to the retailer, has the right to nominate two of American Apparel's nine board seats. Representatives for American Apparel...

  • SINGAPORE, Dec 29- Gold was trading near its highest in nearly a week on Monday, retaining sharp short-covering gains from the previous session, but the metal could be susceptible to losses given weak investor sentiment and a strong dollar. *Spot gold had eased 0.2 percent to $1,192.25 an ounce as of 0046 GMT, largely retaining Friday's 1.8 percent gain.

  • SINGAPORE Dec 29- U.S. crude rose more than $1 in early Asian trade on Monday, reversing a fall in the previous session as escalating clashes in Libya threatened oil exports and supply disruptions from the OPEC member. Forces loyal to Libya's recognised government launched air strikes on the western city of Misrata on Sunday in apparent retaliation against a...