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  • TOKYO, May 20- Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party will urge cutting the corporate tax rate while expanding the tax base in a bid to make the nation's companies more internationally competitive, according to draft proposals seen by Reuters on Tuesday.

  • TOKYO, May 20- The Bank of Japan's next policy move should be to consider tapering its asset purchases rather than expanding monetary stimulus further, the bank's former top economist said, warning that the costs of boosting bond purchases outweigh the benefits.

  • LONDON, May 20- European shares and peripheral bonds buckled for a second day running on Tuesday, as political angst outset optimism over fresh support from the ECB. Coupled with recent disappointing growth data, the worry is that strong showings by Eurosceptic parties from Greece to France could derail domestic reforms.

  • May 20- Home Depot Inc, the world's largest home improvement chain, reported lower-than-expected quarterly sales as its spring selling season got off to a slow start after a severe winter in many parts of the United States. Spring is also an important time for Home Depot as households prepare their gardens and get set for the barbecue season.

  • *Credit Suisse will not hand over client data to U.S. WASHINGTON/ NEW YORK/ ZURICH, May 20- Credit Suisse has agreed to pay a $2.5 billion fine to authorities in the United States for helping Americans evade taxes after becoming the largest bank in 20 years to plead guilty to a U.S. criminal charge.

  • Peripheral bond yields rise on EU election nervousness Tuesday, 20 May 2014 | 6:43 AM ET

    *Italy vs Spain emerges as key pre-election trade. LONDON, May 20- Yields on the euro zone's lower-rated bonds rose on Tuesday, as investors grew increasingly nervous about the outcome of this week's EU elections, which could derail domestic economic reforms.

  • *Platinum awaits court ruling on mining company actions. *WGC report shows India, China demand in Q1 dropped. LONDON, May 20- Platinum prices rose back towards two-month highs on Tuesday as the longest and costliest miners' strike in South African history ground on, while gold steadied as gains in the dollar held it near key chart support.

  • *China may miss trade target for third straight year. Copper dipped as persistent concerns about Chinese growth outweighed a tight physical market. Nickel, which is up more than 40 percent this year after top producer Indonesia banned unprocessed ore exports, pared its losses to trade at $19,650 by 1012 GMT, down 2.2 percent.

  • Renegade ex-general steps into Libya's militia fray Tuesday, 20 May 2014 | 6:31 AM ET

    *Western governments fear chaos in Libya could spread to neighbors. ALGIERS/ TRIPOLI, May 20- When a dispute erupted over dissolving Libya's parliament last February, a former general dressed in full army uniform made a surprise television broadcast calling on the military to "rescue" the country.

  • LONDON, May 20- Smokers trying to quit are 60 percent more likely to report success if they switch to e-cigarettes than if they use nicotine products like patches or gum, or just willpower, scientists said on Wednesday.

  • LONDON, May 20- Mining and commodity trading company Glencore Xstrata will appoint a female director to its board by the end of this year, chairman Tony Hayward said during the company's annual general meeting with shareholders.

  • May 20- Office supply retailer Staples Inc reported a 44 percent fall in quarterly profit, hurt by a stronger U.S. dollar and store closures. The company's net income fell to $96 million, or 15 cents per share, in the first quarter ended May 3 from $170 million, or 26 cents per share, a year earlier.

  • Home Depot's first-quarter sales rise 2.9 pct Tuesday, 20 May 2014 | 6:12 AM ET

    May 20- Home Depot Inc, the world's largest home improvement chain, reported a 2.9 percent rise in quarterly sales as its spring selling season got off to a slow start. Home Depot's net income rose to $1.38 billion, or $1.00 per share, in the first quarter ended May 4 from $1.23 billion, or 83 cents per share, a year earlier.

  • BEIJING, May 20- China summoned the U.S. ambassador the United States accused five Chinese military officers of hacking into American companies to steal trade secrets, warning Washington it could take further action, the foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

  • *Vodafone, Apple, BHP Billiton screen as reliable payers. LONDON, May 20- Global investors are hunting for reliable dividend payouts as they grapple with jittery equity markets and meager bond yields, marking the revival of an investment style that has been shunned for the past two years.

  • LONDON, May 20- British repair and insurance company Homeserve plans to double the size of its U.S. sales force in its new financial year, after strong growth there and in Spain helped to lift annual revenues by 4 percent.

  • LONDON, May 20- Britain's Vodafone said next year's earnings would be hit by vital investment in its network, as it reported a 6.6 billion-pound dent to its 2014 results from writing down the value of European operations struggling in a tough market.

  • JOHANNESBURG, May 20- South African platinum miner Lonmin has dismissed 235 essential services workers who were on an unsanctioned strike and defied a court order to return to their jobs, it said on Tuesday.

  • SHANGHAI, May 20- A tense stand-off between the United States and China over state-backed cyber espionage has dragged China's secretive hacking unit "61398" back into focus, after the military group was pinpointed last year for mounting cyber attacks on Western commercial targets.

  • MUMBAI, May 20- Even as money floods into India, its central bank is bracing for the worst, building up currency reserves and drafting a game plan to protect the rupee against the sort of rout that alarmed policymakers and investors last year. Reserve Bank of India Gov.