France has a special responsibility as a euro zone heavyweight to take deficit cuts seriously, even though its budget deficit is above target, Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann said in an interview published Sunday.» Read More
*Fed expected to announce $45 bln/ month of Treasury buying. NEW YORK, Dec 12- U.S.
NEW YORK, Dec 12- Nisource on Wednesday was investigating the cause of a natural gas pipeline explosion on its Columbia Gas Transmission line that rocked a small community near Charleston, West Virginia, a day earlier, the company said. The cause of the blast, which occurred around 1 p.m. EST and set several nearby buildings on fire, remained unknown, Nisource said.
NEW YORK, Dec 12- Unpaid bloggers have lost their bid to get an appeals court to restore a lawsuit contending AOL Inc owes them a cut of the $315 million it spent last year to buy The Huffington Post.
*Berkshire Hathaway up after stock-buyback announcement. *Dow up 0.1 pct; S&P 500 up 0.2 pct; Nasdaq off 0.1 pct. The S&P 500 was up for a sixth straight day, its longest winning streak since August, although gains have been less than 0.5 percent per day, on average, in part due to uncertainty over the "fiscal cliff" negotiations.
GENEVA, Dec 12- Panama filed a dispute against Argentina at the World Trade Organization on Wednesday, alleging the government of Cristina Fernandez had broken WTO rules by discriminating against imports of goods and services.
GUAYAQUIL, Ecuador, Dec 12- Ecuador's leftist government has provided little more than a "fast-food menu" of predictable socialist policies that need to be replaced with lower taxes and help for private companies, top opposition presidential candidate Guillermo Lasso said in an interview.
*US natgas would help Europe, Turkey diversify supplies-Lugar. Lugar, the veteran top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said his bill would advance U.S. interests by helping allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization reduce their dependence on natural gas from Russia, and also would help Turkey wean itself from Iranian supplies.
WASHINGTON, Dec 12- Revising a 19th- century U.S. law that governs the mining of gold and other precious metals could add billions of dollars to federal coffers at a time of tight budgets, according to some Democratic lawmakers and a government study released on Wednesday.
*Fed set to keep buying $85 billion per month in assets. WASHINGTON, Dec 12- The U.S. "The economic environment seems ripe for those at the Fed who support continued accommodation," said Victor Li, professor at the Villanova School of Business and a former St.
Dec 12- Nasdaq OMX Group Inc said on Wednesday it agreed to buy Thomson Reuters Corp's investor relations, public relations and multimedia services units for $390 million, as the exchange operator builds businesses that do not depend on trading.
NEW YORK, Dec 11- A large portion of American consumers now know about the "fiscal cliff" and a sizeable number of them expect the debate over it to curb their holiday spending, according to the chief executive of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.. Wal-Mart, the largest retailer in the United States and the world, polls its shoppers regularly.
--Clyde Russell is a Reuters market analyst. The views expressed are his own.--. LAUNCESTON, Australia, Dec 12- "Apparent" is the key word in assessing news that China's oil demand grew at the fastest pace in two years in November and went above 10 million barrels per day for the first time.
TOKYO, Dec 12- Suntory Holdings Ltd plans to raise up to $6 billion in an initial public offering of its food and non-alcoholic beverage unit, sources with knowledge of the matter said, as the Japanese group aims to expand overseas.
*MSCI Asia ex- Japan at 16- month peak, Nikkei at 7-1/ 2- mth high. TOKYO, Dec 12- Asian shares rose on Wednesday buoyed by strength in global equities markets, firmer economic sentiment in Germany and hopes of a deal from U.S. budget talks, while the dollar came under pressure ahead of the Federal Reserve's policy decision.
*HSBC CEO apologizes, admits to breakdown of controls. *$881 mln in drug traffic proceeds laundered through HSBC.
*OPEC cuts output in November, closer to quota. SINGAPORE, Dec 12- Brent crude held above $108 a barrel on Wednesday as OPEC reduced oil supply, although rising output from the United States and uncertainty about its budget for next year limited price gains.
*USDA ups U.S. wheat stockpile estimate by 50 mln bushels. SINGAPORE, Dec 12- Chicago wheat futures edged higher on Wednesday after steep losses of more than 3 percent in the previous session, but the modest gains suggest prices will remain under pressure given projections for hefty global stockpiles.
SHANGHAI, Dec 12- BYD Co Ltd, the Chinese carmaker backed by billionaire investor Warren Buffett, said on Wednesday that it would launch a joint venture in Bulgaria to produce electric buses, marking its first assembly plant overseas.
*PetroChina buys into Australia's Browse LNG project. SYDNEY, Dec 12- China's PetroChina Co Ltd has agreed to pay $1.63 billion for a minority stake in a controversial Australian liquefied natural gas project, as it steps up efforts to source more of its energy in foreign countries.
BEIJING, Dec 12- China's exports are likely to grow 8 percent in 2013 from the previous year while imports could rise 7.8 percent, leading government think tank the State Information Centre said in a research report published on Wednesday.