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  • WASHINGTON, Dec 22- The Pentagon's internal watchdog on Monday questioned whether the U.S. government is paying United Technologies Corp too much to maintain the F117 engines that power Boeing Co's C-17 cargo plane, and it urged greater oversight. The Pentagon's inspector general faulted the Air Force for buying $1.54 billion worth of maintenance and repair...

  • SEOUL, Dec 23- U.S. crude futures edged up on Tuesday on expectations that a recent slump in prices could prompt demand, but gains were capped as Saudi Arabia urged its fellow OPEC members not to cut oil output at any price. *Saudi Arabia convinced its fellow OPEC members that it is not in the group's interest to cut oil output however far prices may fall, the kingdom's...

  • SYDNEY, Dec 23- London copper futures posted modest gains on Tuesday after retreating in the previous session and traders said the metal remained vulnerable to concerns of global oversupply. *The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange dipped 0.46 percent to 45,550 yuan a tonne. *Goldman Sachs Group Inc has sold its controversial metals...

  • BUENOS AIRES, Dec 22- Argentina's central government and oil producing provinces have agreed to cut the fixed price of crude oil produced and sold in the South American country by 7 percent to $78 per barrel, the head of an influential oil union said on Monday. Guillermo Pereyra, secretary general of the Private Oil and Gas Union of Rio Negro, Neuquen and La Pampa,...

  • HONG KONG, Dec 23- Announced M&A volume in Asia-Pacific jumped 48 percent in 2014 from a year ago to $802.2 billion, preliminary data from Thomson Reuters shows, the highest volume on record. Goldman Sachs 125,542 Morgan Stanley 120,547 Citigroup 88,409 JPMorgan 80,651 CITIC 79,850 Bank of America Corp 76,853 Deutsche Bank 63,815 Somerley Ltd 62,122 UBS...

  • *China reforms, Australia state sales to drive 2015 growth. Non-state companies from China, including Fosun International and Haitong Securities, have sealed a series of outbound deals this year, a marked change from past years when state-owned enterprises dominated China's mergers and acquisitions. "What we are seeing is companies that haven't been on the...

  • RPT-SIDEBAR-The Great Wall of Jakarta Monday, 22 Dec 2014 | 8:00 PM ET

    JAKARTA, Dec 22- Two weeks after his narrow win in Indonesia's presidential election in July, Joko Widodo, though still months away from taking office, jump-started an effort to save Jakarta from drowning. Minutes of a July 25 meeting with city officials and ministers from the outgoing administration show that Widodo endorsed the most ambitious feature of a...

  • SINGAPORE, Dec 23- Gold struggled to get past overnight losses, trading near its lowest in three weeks on Tuesday, as a slump in oil prices and strength in global equities and the dollar hurt the metal's appeal. *Spot gold was little changed at $1,174.85 an ounce by 0043 GMT. Oil prices resumed their downward march on Monday, after Saudi Arabia's powerful oil minister...

  • LOS ANGELES, Dec 22- Shipping lines and terminal operators at 29 U.S. West Coast ports requested federal mediation on Monday in their contract talks with the union for 20,000 dockworkers, saying the two sides remain far from a deal after seven months of negotiations. The International Longshore and Warehouse Union has so far resisted previous calls by the...

  • HAVANA/ MIAMI, Dec 22- International rivals have a clear head start in Cuba but U.S. companies could catch up quickly if the economic embargo that has kept them away is dismantled in a new era of cooperation between Washington and Havana. "We've found it to be quite a stable and good place to do business and have had a lot of success there," said David Pathe, the chief...

  • The International Longshore and Warehouse Union has so far resisted previous calls by the National Retail Federation and others for President Barack Obama to intervene in the talks through mediation, saying the parties were making slow but steady progress.

  • DIARY- Top Economic Events to Jan 4 Monday, 22 Dec 2014 | 7:01 PM ET

    TOKYO- Bank of Japan to release the minutes of November policy-setting meeting- 2350 GMT. TOKYO- Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda speaks at the meeting of Councillors of Japan Business Federation. BOSTON- Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Narayana Kocherlakota speaks on "Rules vs.

  • WEST COAST PORTS SEEK FEDERAL MEDIATION IN 7- MONTH-OLD CONTRACT TALKS WITH UNION REPRESENTING 20,000 DOCKWORKERS- PACIFIC MARITIME ASSOCIATION.

  • *Alibaba helps U.S. market hit IPO numbers not seen since 2000. Tuesday's data showed the U.S. market was among the most successful for new issues, thanks in part to the record-breaking listing of Chinese online retailer Alibaba in September, the largest to date. After the bumper Alibaba sale, Saudi Arabia led the listings with National Commercial Bank's $6...

  • Dec 22- Bank Leumi Le Israel BM, Israel's second largest bank, will pay $400 million to settle two separate investigations into whether it helped its U.S. clients evade taxes. Bank Leumi had been negotiating for months with the U.S. Department of Justice and New York state to settle an investigation of possible tax evasion. Bank Leumi Luxembourg and Leumi Private...

  • MONTEVIDEO, Dec 22- A media bill that prohibits foreign ownership and is designed to prevent Uruguayan radio and television stations from becoming concentrated among a few powerful commercial interests was approved by lawmakers on Monday. The bill was endorsed by 50 votes to 25 and will be enacted when the South American country's president-elect, Tabare...

  • MANAGUA, Dec 22- Nicaragua on Monday announced the start of work on a $50 billion shipping canal, an infrastructure project backed by China that aims to rival Panama's waterway and revitalize the economy of the second-poorest country in the Americas. The canal could also give China a foothold in Central America, long dominated by the United States, which...

  • Dec 22- The U.S. Justice Department has filed a complaint against Omnicare Inc, alleging that the largest U.S. provider of pharmacy services to the elderly received millions of dollars in kickbacks from Abbott Laboratories. Omnicare received the kickbacks for recommending Abbott's prescription drug, Depakote, for epilepsy in dementia patients in nursing...

  • *Asian markets thin early as Tokyo on holiday. SYDNEY, Dec 23- Asian markets should be well underpinned on Tuesday after Wall Street closed at historic highs while oil prices suffered a vicious setback after Saudi Arabia quashed all thought of cutting supply. "Overall, we see this as a shot in the arm for the global economy," Olivier Blanchard, chief economist at the...

  • WASHINGTON/ BEIJING, Dec 22- North Korea, at the center of a confrontation with the United States over the hacking of Sony pictures, itself experienced Internet outages on Monday, a U.S. company that monitors Internet infrastructure said. The United States also asked China to identify any North Korea hackers operating in China and, if found, send them back to North...