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  • UPDATE 1-S&P cuts Russia's foreign currency ratings Friday, 25 Apr 2014 | 2:42 AM ET

    MOSCOW, April 25- Credit agency Standard& Poor's cut Russia's foreign currency sovereign ratings on Friday, in a move that underscores risks from President Vladimir Putin's policy of intervention in Ukraine.

  • TOKYO, April 25- Mazda Motor Corp forecast an 18 percent rise in net profit for the year to next March, aiming for a second year in a row of record earnings as a weaker yen bolsters the export-oriented automaker's business.

  • SHANGHAI/ BEIJING, April 25- China's yuan hit a 16- month low for the third straight day on Friday, shrugging off a stronger fixing by the central bank to weaken firmly below a key psychological support level on strong corporate dollar demand.

  • WPP thumps forecasts with strong Q1 organic growth Friday, 25 Apr 2014 | 2:11 AM ET

    LONDON, April 25- WPP, the world's largest advertising group, reported first quarter like-for-like revenue growth of 7 percent, much better than expected, and said it had seen a surge in new business wins due to changes in the industry.

  • TOKYO, April 25- Tokyo's Nikkei edged up on Friday, helped by a slightly lower-than-expected inflation print for April which reinforced some hopes for further monetary easing by the Bank of Japan. The Nikkei's gains were limited by weakness in other Asian bourses, notably Chinese shares, and as investors cut positions ahead of the weekend.

  • April 25- Bank of America Corp's former finance chief, Joe Price, has agreed to pay $7.5 million to settle a lawsuit that accused the bank and its former executives of misleading investors during the lender's acquisition of Merrill Lynch, the Wall Street Journal reported.

  • TOKYO, April 25- Japan's Dai-ichi Life won't buy domestic bonds if their yields stay at current low levels and it instead plans to allocate more funds on foreign bonds in the year to March, a senior company official said on Friday.

  • MILAN, April 25- Fitch Ratings on Friday affirmed Italy's sovereign rating at' BBB+' but raised its outlook to stable, saying a deep recession in the country had ended and funding conditions had improved markedly. Fitch said this and Italy's weak growth prospects were among key factors behind the current rating level.

  • PARIS, April 25- Standard& Poor's on Friday affirmed France's long-term credit rating at AA and its short-term credit rating at A-1+ with a stable outlook, citing the government's efforts to improve the economy's competitiveness and reduce the public deficit.

  • *Ukraine forces kill up to five rebels; Russia starts drill near border. SINGAPORE, April 25- Brent futures held near seven-week highs above $110 a barrel on Friday as escalating tensions over Ukraine between top oil producer Russia and the West worsened supply disruption fears.

  • *Tokyo core CPI up 2.7 pct in April yr/yr, hits 22- yr high. TOKYO, April 25- Tokyo's inflation jumped to a 22- year high in April by a key measure, an early sign that companies are making progress in passing on a new tax increase to customers as policy makers seek to pull Japan out of years of deflation.

  • *Turkey cuts gold holdings by 14.3 T, Russia by 1.2 T. NEW YORK, April 24- Turkey and Russia both cut their gold holdings in March after increases the month before, data from the International Monetary Fund showed on Thursday. The country is the world's 13th- largest holder of gold, according to the World Gold Council.

  • BEIJING, April 25- Hong Kong shares fell on Friday as concerns about the state of China's economy and the health of the banking sector clouded positive earnings from several H-share listings. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong was down 1.2 percent by the lunch break.

  • "Although the economy grew at a slower pace, the increase of each percentage point of GDP actually produces more jobs than before due to an improving economic structure," Li Zhong, the spokesman of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, told reporters at a media briefing.

  • While all major Wall Street banks are regulated by the Fed, the OCC oversees only those with national bank charters, which allow a bank to build a nationwide branch network.

  • SYDNEY, April 25- The search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 is likely to drag on for years, a senior U.S. defence official told Reuters on Friday, as an underwater search for any trace of the plane's wreckage off west Australia appeared to have failed.

  • TOKYO/ SINGAPORE, April 25- The dollar held steady near a one-week low versus the yen on Friday, struggling to gain traction as rising tension in Ukraine undermined optimism about U.S. economic growth. The dollar last stood at 102.35 yen, not very far from a one-week low of 102.085 set on Thursday, when rising tensions in Ukraine helped keep risk appetite in check.

  • SINGAPORE, April 25- Gold slipped on Friday and held near its weakest level in more than two months on muted demand from jewellers as they waiting for a further drop in prices, although tensions in the Crimean peninsula could underpin the metal's safe-haven appeal.

  • *Ukraine forces kill up to five rebels; Russia starts drill near border. SINGAPORE, April 25- Brent futures held near seven-week highs above $110 a barrel on Friday as escalating tensions over Ukraine between top oil producer Russia and the West worsened supply disruption fears.

  • SYDNEY, April 25- The search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 is likely to drag on for years, a senior U.S. defence official told Reuters on Friday, as an underwater search appeared to have failed in finding any trace of the plane's wreckage.