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  • SINGAPORE, May 27- Gold was little changed on Tuesday as investors await U.S. economic data for directional cues, while platinum group metals rose for a second day as labour strikes dragged on in key producer South Africa.

  • TOKYO, May 27- U.S. crude futures held above $104 a barrel on Tuesday, following market holidays the previous day, as geopolitical tensions in Ukraine and uncertainty over OPEC producer's Libya production continued.

  • TOKYO, May 27- Asian stocks got off to a firm start on Tuesday, and the euro steadied but remained vulnerable after overnight comments from the European Central Bank chief heightened expectations of easing steps in the euro zone.

  • TOKYO, May 27- Japan's net external assets rose to a record 325 trillion yen as of the end of last year as a weak yen boosted the value of overseas holdings, making the country the world's biggest creditor nation for 23 years in a row, the finance ministry said.

  • *Another quiet session expected with no major data in Asia. SYDNEY, May 27- The euro struggled to gain any momentum early in Asia on Tuesday after drifting off a three-month low against the dollar with public holidays in the United States and Britain all but ensuring an anaemic session overnight.

  • AstraZeneca free for now as May 26 deadline passes. LONDON, May 27- On a sunny day in San Francisco last January, AstraZeneca Chief Executive Pascal Soriot was on his way to the Westin St. Francis hotel on Union Square to give investors some unexpectedly good news.

  • That didn't take long: Japan eyes stimulus exit Monday, 26 May 2014 | 6:01 PM ET
    Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe.

    The Bank of Japan has begun shifting its focus from supporting growth to ways of phasing out its massive stimulus.

  • OTTAWA, May 26- Canada is probing two fatal crashes in General Motors Co vehicles which were subject to a recall to fix faulty switches and has received nine further complaints from drivers, the country's top transportation official told Reuters on Monday.

  • *China wants to have bigger say in gold pricing. SINGAPORE, May 27- China has approached foreign banks and gold producers to participate in a global gold exchange in Shanghai, people familiar with the matter said, as the world's top producer and importer of the metal seeks greater influence over pricing.

  • *Indonesia, Philippines at greatest El Nino risk- FAO. Malaysia and the Philippines are working to manage water supplies and India has bolstered its food stockpiles. They are aiming to reduce the impact of the so-called El Nino, a weather pattern that can bring drought to Australia, Southeast Asia and India.

  • TOKYO, May 27- The Bank of Japan has begun shifting its focus from supporting growth to ways of phasing out its massive stimulus, taking first tentative steps towards a potentially momentous move for the world economy.

  • In Japan, Pigeon's quest for the perfect nipple Monday, 26 May 2014 | 5:00 PM ET

    TOKYO, May 27- In a quiet side-room at Pigeon Corp's spacious R&D facility north of Tokyo, researchers are on a high-tech quest- to perfect a baby's bottle teat that replicates a breastfeeding mother's nipple.

  • BERLIN, May 26- Europe's Energy Commissioner said on Monday Ukraine and Russia had made further progress in a dispute over gas prices and his proposal that Ukraine to pay $2 billion of back debt by Thursday could pave the way for further talks on Friday.

  • OTTAWA, May 26- If Canadian crude cannot be transported to the United States because of delays in building pipelines, it will go by rail, Canadian Transport Minister Lisa Raitt said on Monday.

  • LOS ANGELES, May 26- Mutant superhero movie "X-Men: Days of Future Past" powered to $302 million in worldwide ticket sales through the U.S. Memorial Day holiday on Monday, capping a weekend in which it surpassed "Avatar" as the biggest global debut for film studio 20th Century Fox.

  • *Funding scandal adds pressure on Sarkozy party. PARIS, May 26- A senior official in France's UMP party acknowledged on Monday that "anomalies" had occured to cover the costs of Nicolas Sarkozy's failed 2012 election campaign, in a scandal that threatens to damage the party.

  • *New Commission head to be named after parliament election. BRUSSELS, May 26- Draped down the side of the European Commission's headquarters, a 13- storey-tall banner urged citizens to vote in the European Parliament elections, proclaiming in English, French and Dutch: "This time it's different."

  • *EU leaders to discuss Ukraine election on Tuesday. *Ukraine election billed as successful. BRUSSELS, May 26- Sunday's election in Ukraine, deemed a success by the European Union, is likely to ease pressure for far-reaching sanctions against Russia as Europe worries about how punitive steps might hurt its own economy.

  • "You had the Ukraine elections, and Russia said it will respect it... so there is no escalation," said Olivier Jakob at the Petromatrix consultancy in Zug, Switzerland. Last week, fighting in Ukraine as well as production cuts in Libya and South Sudan had helped drive up Brent, but tensions eased after Russia said it would respect Ukraine's election results.

  • Siemens ready to make play in Alstom sweepstakes Monday, 26 May 2014 | 1:26 PM ET
    A worker assists in moving a disc of a gas turbine at the Siemens gas turbine plant in Berlin, Germany.

    The offer would transfer Siemens' rail activities and less than 7 billion euros in cash to its French rival in exchange for its power assets.