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  • WASHINGTON, June 5- For the first time in six years, the share of people who either have a job or are looking for one is on the rise in a majority of U.S. states, a sign one of the deepest scars of the economic crisis could be healing.

  • *China coal sector falls on continued downward price pressure. HONG KONG, June 5- China shares were flat on Thursday, as investors remained cautious and unable to see catalysts for share movement. Shanghai midday turnover was the weakest since May 23, and about 30 percent below its average in the last 20 sessions.

  • June 4- An internal probe of General Motors Co's delay in recalling cars with defective ignition switches linked to at least 13 deaths is expected to conclude there was no concerted coverup and clear senior management of blame, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

  • SHANGHAI, June 5- The Chinese yuan softened slightly on Thursday following a weaker official guidance rate from the central bank. The spot rate opened at 6.2530 per dollar and e remained in a narrow range thereafter, changing hands at 6.2533 at midday.

  • JGBs steady, focus turns to ECB meeting Thursday, 5 Jun 2014 | 12:13 AM ET

    TOKYO, June 5- Japanese government bond prices were little changed on Thursday as investors adopted a wait-and-see approach ahead of a closely watched review of the European Central Bank's policy meeting later in day. The Bank of Japan did not conduct a regular bond buying operation and this weighed slightly on JGBs, players said.

  • *John Kim named new head of M&A for Asia ex- Japan. HONG KONG, June 5- Goldman Sachs has named John Kim as its new head of mergers and acquisitions for Asia ex- Japan and will relocate Christos Tomaras from London to join that team, amid surging deal volumes in the region. Hong Kong, where Goldman Sachs is reinforcing its M&A team, has been particularly busy.

  • OITA, Japan, June 5- The euro area may face a prolonged period of disinflation that risks harming long-term price expectations, a Bank of Japan policymaker said, warning that the region should not take lightly the potential danger of slipping into a Japan-style deflationary period.

  • SYDNEY/ SINGAPORE, June 5- The euro languished near four-month lows on Thursday with investors firmly sidelined as they waited to see what measures the European Central Bank would implement to tackle the threat of deflation.

  • India's Modi to meet Obama in Washington in Sept - papers Wednesday, 4 Jun 2014 | 11:43 PM ET

    NEW DELHI, June 5- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Washington to meet President Barack Obama in September, two Indian newspapers reported on Thursday, signaling a new start in ties with a leader once denied a visa by the United States.

  • June 4- An internal probe of General Motors Co's delay in recalling defective cars is expected to conclude there was no concerted coverup, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

  • TOKYO, June 5- Japan's SoftBank Corp is developing human-like robots which it will use to staff its cellphone stores, two people with knowledge of the matter said, in a move aimed at expanding the mobile phone and Internet conglomerate's technological reach.

  • PREVIEW-China May data to show economy still wobbly Wednesday, 4 Jun 2014 | 11:00 PM ET

    BEIJING, June 5- Stronger foreign and domestic demand probably helped to stabilize China's economy in May, boosting growth in exports, factory production and retail sales, a Reuters poll showed.

  • Brent hits 3-wk low as Ukraine tensions cool Wednesday, 4 Jun 2014 | 10:48 PM ET

    SINGAPORE, June 5- Brent crude slipped to a three-week low at $108 on Thursday on ample supply in the United States and as tensions over Ukraine cooled. Brent crude fell for a fifth session, matching a similar losing run in January, and was down 10 cents at $108.30 a barrel by 0220 GMT. It earlier hit $108, its lowest since May 12.

  • MEXICO CITY, June 4- Mexico's upper house on Wednesday pushed back discussions on the final touches to the country's landmark energy reform, which seeks to lure new investment into the sector and boost growth in Latin America's second-largest economy.

  • The benchmark has risen nearly 7 percent in the past two and half weeks, supported by improving manufacturing data in China and an extended rally in U.S. stocks thanks to optimistic signs for the world's biggest economy. Early Thursday, however, investors were greeted by a weak services sector survey in China.

  • Last month, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Christopher Klein said he would venture into largely untrodden territory to determine whether the country's largest pension fund, the California Public Employees' Retirement System, could be forced to take a loss as other creditors do in municipal bankruptcies.

  • SYDNEY, June 5- Asian share markets grudgingly gave ground on Thursday while the euro flatlined at $1.3600, hostage to great expectations that the European Central Bank will finally end months of dithering by easing policy further.

  • SYDNEY, June 5- London copper was steady on Thursday, underpinned by robust U.S. economic data and comments from China suggesting it had warded off a slowdown in growth. *Price cuts by euro zone firms failed to prevent business growth from losing momentum in May, all but sealing the case for looser monetary policy a day before the European Central Bank meets.

  • BEIJING, June 5- Growth in China's services sector retreated to a four-month low in May, a private survey showed, contrasting with other data which had raised hopes that the world's second-largest economy may have steadied last month.

  • NEW YORK, June 4- Sprint Corp has agreed to pay about $40 per share to buy T-Mobile US Inc, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday, signaling progress in a long-contemplated deal to merge the third- and fourth-largest U.S. wireless carriers.