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  • TOKYO, Feb 20- Japanese government bond prices rose on Thursday with the 10- year benchmark yield hitting a three-month low, after soft Chinese manufacturing data reinforced concerns over a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy.

  • HONG KONG, Feb 20- Hong Kong shares posted their biggest loss in more than two weeks on Thursday, led by Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings on fears of greater competition after Facebook announced its purchase of mobile messaging startup WhatsApp. The Hang Seng Index finished down 1.2 percent at 22,394.1 points in its largest single day loss since Feb. 4.

  • KIEV, Feb 20- Ukrainian anti-government protesters on Thursday seized back control of Kiev's Independence Square, television pictures showed, after fresh clashes broke out there with riot police. TV pictures showed protesters surging forward into areas that were on Wednesday occupied by riot police after a day of violence.

  • SYDNEY, Feb 20- London copper dropped to a one-week low on Thursday after a preliminary survey of China's manufacturing sector showed it contracted in February, although analysts said the Lunar New Year break was partly responsible for the bleak reading.

  • *Gold to hover above $1,307- technicals. SINGAPORE, Feb 20- Gold edged up in choppy trade on Thursday as the U.S. dollar gave up gains, while demand from the physical sector also underpinned prices. Gold hit a low of $1,308.34 an ounce on a firmer dollar before rising as high as $1,314.70 as the U.S. currency changed course.

  • *China Feb manufacturing activity slowest in 7 mths- HSBC. SINGAPORE, Feb 20- Brent crude slid below $110 a barrel on Thursday, dragged down by a survey that pointed to slower growth in China, the world's second largest oil consumer.

  • MOSCOW, Feb 20- Eurasia Drilling Company, Russia's largest provider of onshore drilling services, will buy back global depository receipts worth up to $200 million in the six months starting from April 2, it said on Thursday. The company did not give a reason for the move. Since then, Eurasia's GDRs have lost a quarter of their value to trade at $28.30 on Thursday.

  • DUBAI, Feb 20- Hollywood has missed out since Saudi Arabia banned cinemas in the 1970 s, but residents may soon get to see movies at home on the same day as their release elsewhere in the Gulf in a new service promised by Saudi Telecom Co.

  • SEOUL, Feb 20- South Korea has stepped up disinfection of citizens returning from North Korea after an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in pigs in the communist state.

  • *Government supporters plan rally for Sunday. BANGKOK, Feb 20- Protesters campaigning for months to oust Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra turned their anger on businesses linked to her wealthy family on Thursday, rallying outside the offices of a property developer whose shares fell 5 percent.

  • Shanghai shares slip from 2-month high, Sinopec surges Thursday, 20 Feb 2014 | 2:04 AM ET

    HONG KONG, Feb 20- Shanghai shares slipped from a two-month high on Thursday, as a weak private survey of February manufacturing activity outweighed robust gains for Sinopec Corp stemming from the first signs of reform at a state-owned enterprise. The CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings shed 0.9 percent.

  • *Shin group, AIS, Thaicom shares also fall for second day. BANGKOK, Feb 20- Shares in companies linked to the family of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra fell on Thursday after anti-government protesters launched online campaigns to boycott goods and services connected to these firms.

  • YOUR MONEY: Luxury travel digs without the hotel Thursday, 20 Feb 2014 | 2:00 AM ET

    Consider a five-bedroom 12,000- square-foot home in the Turks and Caicos in the Caribbean. For a starting price of $3,750 a night, Luxury Retreats could get you this beachfront mansion, which comes with a staff that includes a chef, butler and housekeeper. Or how about a nearly 2,700- square-foot one-bedroom duplex with a view of the Eiffel Tower?

  • TOKYO, Feb 20- Asian stocks tumbled on Thursday and the yen firmed as a survey painted a grim picture of China's manufacturing sector, heightening uncertainty about the outlook for the region's economic powerhouse.

  • *Monthly trade deficit hits record 2.8 trillion yen. TOKYO/ WAKAYAMA, JAPAN Feb 20- Japan suffered a record trade deficit in January as growth in exports spurred by a weak yen was far outstripped by a surge in import costs, raising fresh doubts about Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's strategy to spark an economic revival.

  • Thai protesters target businesses linked to PM Yingluck Thursday, 20 Feb 2014 | 1:31 AM ET

    BANGKOK, Feb 20- Protesters campaigning for months to oust Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra turned their anger on businesses linked to her wealthy family on Thursday, rallying outside the offices of a property developer whose shares fell 5 percent.

  • LAUNCESTON, Australia, Feb 20- Gold bulls have been tempted out of hiding by bullion's strong start to the year, but the basis for optimism looks unsteady and largely hostage to what happens in China and India.

  • It has rolled over 15 times and increased in value after each drawing since then, said Carolyn Hapeman, Powerball spokeswoman in New York.

  • Feb 20- Private equity firm Blackstone Group LP and Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC are in advanced talks to acquire a minority stake in Kronos Inc that could value the resources management software firm at around $4.5 billion, two people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

  • *China banks hit by new liquidity regulations. *Tencent sinks after Facebook's WhatsApp deal. HONG KONG, Feb 20- Hong Kong shares fell from a four-week high early on Thursday, and losses accelerated after a preliminary private survey showed manufacturing activity in China slowed to a seven-month low, stoking fears of a more severe slowdown.