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  • BERLIN, March 6- Germany's lower house of parliament passed legislation on Friday requiring major companies to allot 30 percent of seats on non-executive boards to women, as a new survey found females remain grossly under-represented in business life. Although Germany has been led by a woman, Angela Merkel, since 2005, there is not a single female chief...

  • Staples quarterly sales fall 3.7 percent Friday, 6 Mar 2015 | 6:19 AM ET

    March 6- Office supply retailer Staples Inc reported a 3.7 percent fall in quarterly sales, hurt by a strong dollar and weak demand for computers and related accessories. Staples posted a net loss attributable to the company of $260.4 million, or 41 cents per share, including a pre-tax charge of $410 million for the impairment of goodwill in its international...

  • BEIJING, March 6- China will reduce coal consumption and boost energy efficiency as part of efforts to lessen air pollution, according to an action plan released by the government on Friday. The coal-dominated energy mix in China has been identified as a major cause of the hazardous smog that frequently shrouds cities such as Beijing and Shanghai as well as a...

  • LONDON, March 6- The gender pay gap in the European Union narrowed during the financial crisis, possibly because the jobs of many women are more protected than those of men. Data released by the EU's statistic agency Eurostat ahead of International Women's Day on Sunday also showed the pay gap between men and women tended to be wider in Europe's richest economies,...

  • LONDON, March 6- Gold dropped below $1,200 an ounce on Friday and was headed for a fifth weekly decline in six, as the dollar rose towards 11- year highs ahead of U.S. jobs data that could provide hints about the timing of a rate increase. The U.S. currency was helped by weakness in the euro, which stayed under pressure after the European Central Bank said it would start...

  • *China nickel premiums jump as country shuts old NPI plants. LONDON, March 6- Copper headed for a weekly loss on Friday as the dollar rallied ahead of the monthly U.S. jobs report and signs of lacklustre demand in top consumer China. In China meanwhile, equities fell as investors digested comments by top officials that highlighted growth and debt challenges the...

  • Emerging Europe drew some support from the European Central Bank's announcement that it would start printing money from next week. While MSCI's main emerging equity index edged up, snapping a six-day losing streak, Chinese stocks fell, closing the week more than 2 percent lower. Turkey's still-large current account deficit makes it vulnerable to any fall in...

  • *Growth, investment in Africa remains lopsided, localised. Sub-Saharan Africa has achieved annual growth of more than 5 percent over the last decade, and foreign investment has more than quadrupled over the same period, feeding the popular catch phrase that Africa is' rising'. "'Africa Rising' served a purpose because it alerted people who weren't interested in...

  • MOSCOW, March 6- Russia's rouble moved sharply higher on Friday, hitting its strongest against the dollar and euro this year as investor risk appetite was bolstered by stable oil prices and the European Central Bank's trillion euro stimulus plan. At 0945 GMT, the rouble was around 1.9 percent stronger against the dollar at 59.66 and gained 2.3 percent to trade at...

  • *Japan Display confirms new plant, source says for Apple. TOKYO, March 6- Loss-making Sharp Corp has asked a domestic corporate turnaround fund to invest up to $250 million in capital- aid which would come on top of plans to tap its two main lenders for a second major bailout, a source said on Friday. Weak sales of smartphone screens in China, aggravated by an unexpected...

  • COLOMBO, March 5- Sri Lanka suspended a $1.5 billion Chinese luxury real estate project in Colombo on Thursday until it obtains required government approvals, a move that risks a diplomatic row with its biggest foreign investor. China's Foreign Ministry said Sri Lanka had informed China of its decision, "stressing that the move was a suspension and not...

  • LONDON, March 6- Sterling hit a more than seven-year high against the struggling euro on Friday, as interest rate differentials moved in favour of the British pound with the European Central Bank gearing up to launch its 1- trillion euro bond buying programme. Sterling was down 0.2 percent against the dollar $1.5208, not far from a four-week low of $1.5194 struck...

  • LONDON, March 6- The dollar hit a new 11- year high against major currencies on Friday as investors bet the monthly U.S. jobs report would add to the chance of rate hikes, even as the European Central Bank embarks on a 1 trillion euro campaign of bond-buying. The euro broke below $1.0980 for the first time since September 2003 as it continued its steady march lower.

  • *Bureau veritas down after Wendel sells shares. LONDON, March 6- European shares steadied near seven-year highs on Friday with investors focussed on whether U.S. jobs figures would be strong enough to prompt the Federal Reserve to hike interest rates sooner than expected. The index rose 0.8 percent to a new seven-year high on Thursday after European Central...

  • *Bundesbank chief: failure to fine Paris a "political bazaar". *Berlin, Brussels fear bolstering Hollande's anti-EU rivals. BRUSSELS, March 6- France, Germany and the European Commission believe leaving Paris unpunished for persistently failing to curb its budget deficit was a wise compromise that bolsters the euro.

  • BEIJING, March 6- China will slash coal consumption by more than 80 million tonnes by 2017 as part of efforts to reduce air pollution, according to an action plan released by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology on Friday.

  • *Nuclear talks between Iran and big powers continuing. SINGAPORE, March 6- Brent crude oil rose to around $61 a barrel on Friday as fighting in Libya and Iraq stoked output worries, while traders kept a close eye on Iran nuclear talks that could eventually bring more supply to world markets. Worries about oil supplies from the Middle East helped widen the premium...

  • *China keeping an eye on heavily-indebted local governments. BEIJING, March 6- China will pursue an expansionary fiscal policy this year to prevent its economy from stalling, Finance Minister Lou Jiwei said on Friday as he assured investors that authorities are keeping an eye on heavily-indebted local governments. China had announced on Thursday a planned...

  • March 6- Hong Kong shares edged lower on Friday in the wake of sobering comments top officials made to the National People's Congress on the economic outlook. For the week, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was down 2.7 percent, largely in line with mainland bourses. "Hong Kong investors are focusing on the China plate recently," said Castor Pang, head of research at Core...

  • LONDON, March 6- European equities steadied in early trading on Friday after recent sharp gains, with investors seen reluctant to place strong bets before a U.S. jobs report that could provide hints about the timing of a U.S. rate hike. A Reuters survey of economists forecast a 240,000 increase in non-farm payrolls after a 257,000 gain in January.