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  • HAVANA, Feb 23- Cuban cigar-maker Habanos S.A. envisions gaining 25 percent to 30 percent of the U.S. premium cigar market if the United States lifts its trade embargo on Cuba, potentially selling 70 million to 90 million cigars per year, the company said on Monday. The prospect of the United States lifting its 53- year-old embargo improved after the United States...

  • NEW YORK, Feb 23- U.S. stocks were down slightly in midday trading Monday as lower oil prices dragged down energy shares, pulling the Dow and S&P 500 off recent record levels. Oil prices fell, with WTI crude off $1.30 at $49.50 a barrel on oversupply concerns and a stronger dollar, pushing the S&P energy index down 0.6 percent. Investors were also reluctant to make big...

  • Feb 23- Congestion at the U.S. West Coast ports could take as much as two months to unwind, according to port and trade group officials, with retailers and other companies bracing for further shipment delays after the apparent resolution of a months-long labor dispute. "It's not going to be fast," Jon Slangerup, chief executive officer of the Port of Long Beach, told...

  • ATHENS, Feb 23- Greece will submit a list of reforms to the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers on Tuesday morning, a Greek government official said on Monday. The Eurogroup had set a Monday deadline for Athens to supply the list, which is a condition for securing a four-month extension to the country's bailout programme. The list would include measures to...

  • NEW YORK, Feb 23- Oil prices were down on Monday on worries of oversupply and a strong dollar, but bets the market had hit bottom after a seven-month selloff limited the downside, traders said. The largest U.S. refinery strike in 35 years, involving workers at 12 refineries that account for one-fifth of the national production capacity, has also been a negative for...

  • *Britain's FTSE lags after HSBC profit falls. Britain's FTSE 100 index was the only major index to close lower, albeit only slightly, after HSBC reported a 17 percent drop in annual profit. "We have cleared the first hurdle but Greece has to come up with a serious set of measures now," Peter Dixon, equity strategist at Commerzbank, said.

  • Feb 23- Rare disease drugmaker PTC Therapeutics Inc is exploring a potential sale amid takeover interest from several pharmaceutical companies, including Shire Plc and BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc, according to people familiar with the matter. The stock of PTC Therapeutics, which has a market valuation of roughly $2 billion, rose as much as 25 percent to...

  • WASHINGTON, Feb 23- Novartis AG has won U.S. antitrust approval to buy GlaxoSmithKline's oncology drugs, with conditions, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said on Monday. The deal is one of three related transactions announced in April 2014 in which GlaxoSmithKline would buy Novartis' global vaccine business, except for flu vaccines, Novartis would buy Glaxo's...

  • TORONTO, Feb 23- Canadian National Railway Co and the union representing 4,800 of its mechanical, clerical and trucking staff will resume contract talks on Monday, just hours before a deadline set by Canada's No. 1 railway to lock out the workers. CN Rail operates freight and some passenger trains on tracks across Canada and the United States.

  • Chicago pension reform lawsuits put on hold Monday, 23 Feb 2015 | 12:06 PM ET

    CHICAGO, Feb 23- Lawsuits seeking to void a law aimed at shoring up the finances of two Chicago pension funds have been put on hold pending a ruling by the Illinois Supreme Court on a law affecting state public retirement funds, participants in the litigation said on Monday. That triggered a motion by plaintiffs to stay the Chicago proceedings that was approved on...

  • WASHINGTON, Feb 23- The United States' top trade official urged lawmakers on Monday to update legislation streamlining the passage of trade deals through Congress to reflect the new global economy. Bipartisan negotiations are continuing on the final form of a bill which will restrict Congress to a yes-or-no vote on trade deals in exchange for setting...

  • Feb 23- Eli Lilly and Co said it would postpone by at least two years the marketing application for its once-daily diabetes treatment to evaluate liver concerns, a delay some analysts said could doom the experimental drug. In the meantime, Lilly continues to develop a cheaper, rival "biosimilar" form of Sanofi's blockbuster once-daily Lantus insulin that...

  • NEW YORK, Feb 23- U.S. stocks edged lower in morning trading Monday amid weakness in oil prices, after a conditional agreement by euro zone finance ministers to extend Greece's bailout sent the Dow and S&P to record levels last week. Investors were also reluctant to make big bets before Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's semiannual testimony on the economy and...

  • NEW YORK, Feb 23- U.S. stocks slipped from all-time highs on Monday, pulled lower by a sharp drop in crude oil prices, while European shares rallied on the conditional financial rescue for Greece hammered out at the end of last week. Yields on low-rated euro zone government bonds fell as the agreement reached late Friday eased concerns that Greece would leave the...

  • The hryvnia's decline came amid growing concern a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine will not hold. The average hryvnia rate slid 10 percent on Monday to a fresh-record low of 30.55 to the dollar as of 1400 GMT, after Ukraine's military said ongoing rebel attacks were preventing it from withdrawing its heavy weapons from the front line in eastern Ukraine.

  • TORONTO, Feb 23- Canadian National Railway Co and the union representing 4,800 of its mechanical, clerical and trucking staff will resume contract talks on Monday, just hours before a deadline set by Canada's No. 1 railway to lock out the workers. CN Rail operates freight and some passenger trains on tracks across Canada and the United States.

  • *Euro slips on lingering Greece worries, business data miss. *Greece to submit list of planned reforms later in day. "The Greece debt deal has been mildly positive, but it's difficult to determine what is the next move yet before Yellen's testimony tomorrow," said Lane Newman, director of foreign exchange at ING Capital Markets in New York.

  • BRASILIA, Feb 23- Brazilian states and cities are scrambling to raise taxes and cut spending after years of excesses, nudging an already weak national economy closer to recession. While a return to fiscal rigor in states and cities may help Brazil keep its coveted investment grade credit rating, it could seriously hamper investment crucial for Latin America's...

  • NEW YORK, Feb 23- U.S. Yellen will testify before Congress on Tuesday in a semiannual address on the economy and monetary policy before the Senate Banking Committee. "They don't have to hike in June, they don't have to hike in September, they hike when they need to hike," said George Goncalves, head of U.S. rates strategy at Nomura Securities International in New York, in...

  • NEW YORK, Feb 23- A cleanup was continuing in the Kanawha River in West Virginia on Sunday after an oil spill last week following the derailment of a CSX Corp train, though drinking water was not affected, the company and federal officials said. Twenty seven of the train's 109 cars carrying 3.1 million gallons of crude oil from North Dakota to Virginia came off the...