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  • *Saudi Arabia's petchems, banks retreat. DUBAI, Jan 29- Saudi Arabia's stock market pulled back on Thursday after gaining strongly earlier in the week, while disappointing dividends and earnings weighed on other Gulf markets. Petrochemicals major Saudi Basic Industries dropped 2.6 percent and Samba Financial Group lost 1.0 percent.

  • *Jobless claims at lowest level since April 2000. WASHINGTON, Jan 29- The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits tumbled last week to its lowest level in nearly 15 years, adding to bullish signals on the labor market. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 43,000 to a seasonally adjusted 265,000 for the week ended Jan. 24,...

  • ATHENS, Jan 29- Greek bank deposits fell in December for the third straight month as savers stepped up withdrawals amid rising political tensions and the prospect of a stand-off with the country's international creditors, and bankers expect the trend will have accelerated in January. Corporate and household deposit balances in December fell 2.4 percent...

  • Jan 29- Data storage equipment maker EMC Corp, which has been under pressure from activist investor Elliott Management Corp, forecast a lower-than-expected profit for the year and said it would cut jobs. EMC, which owns 80 percent of VMWare Inc, also said it expected to buy back up to $3 billion in shares this year. EMC comprises four main businesses- its core...

  • BERLIN, Jan 29- Annual inflation in Germany turned negative in January for the first time since the height of the global financial crisis in 2009, suggesting the euro zone rate could drop further and possibly vindicating the ECB's bond-buying programme. Preliminary data on Thursday showed consumer prices in Europe's largest economy, harmonised to compare...

  • Jan 29- Soup and snacks maker Campbell Soup Co said it plans to reorganize its business on the lines of product categories instead of geographies or brands. Campbell will manage its business in three divisions, Americas simple meals and beverages, global biscuits and snacks and packaged fresh, the company said. Campbell on Thursday also appointed three...

  • *France sees mediation role between Athens, EU. PARIS, Jan 29- Greece could be given more time to pay off its debt if it keeps its budget in balance and maintains promised reforms, French officials said on Thursday. But careful: all that depends on the commitments to reform that Greece will make, "he added.

  • UPDATE 1-Blackstone 4th-quarter earnings drop 6 percent Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 | 8:43 AM ET

    Jan 29- Blackstone Group LP, the world's largest alternative asset manager, reported a 6 percent decline in fourth-quarter profit on Thursday as its real estate funds appreciated less than they did a year ago. Economic net income, a metric of profitability that takes into account the mark-to-market valuation of its portfolio, fell to $1.45 billion in the...

  • Jan 29- U.S. weapons maker Raytheon Co on Thursday forecast 2015 revenue largely below average analyst expectations as orders fell for the first time in four quarters, but said it expected a return to modest revenue growth in 2016.. Raytheon Chief Financial Officer Dave Wajsgras told Reuters he expected low single-digit revenue growth in 2016, with...

  • *Greece concerns weigh on Europe, Athens stocks up. LONDON, Jan 29- European stocks slipped and the dollar strengthened on Thursday after the Federal Reserve took an upbeat view of the world's largest economy and signalled it was on track to raise interest rates this year. Greece, where an anti-austerity prime minister took over on Monday, also kept investors...

  • U.S. jobless claims approach 15-year low Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 | 8:30 AM ET

    WASHINGTON, Jan 29- The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits tumbled last week to its lowest level in nearly 15 years, adding to bullish signals on the labor market. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 43,000 to a seasonally adjusted 265,000 for the week ended Jan. 24, the lowest since April 2000, the Labor Department...

  • Royal Caribbean's quarterly revenue falls 2 pct Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 | 8:23 AM ET

    Jan 29- Cruise operator Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd's quarterly revenue fell 2 percent due to weak pricing in Caribbean, its biggest market. Royal Caribbean has been battling intense competition in the Caribbean from smaller rivals such as Europe- based MSC Cruises, who offer cheaper packages. Royal Caribbean's net income rose to $109.8 million, or 49 cents per...

  • Jan 29- JetBlue Airways Corp reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit as it benefitted from lower fuel prices and flew more passengers. JetBlue, whose shares were up 4.6 percent in premarket trading, said average fuel cost per gallon fell to $2.70 in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31 from $3.10 a year earlier. JetBlue's net profit increased to $88 million,...

  • Refiner Phillips 66 profit jumps 39 pct Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 | 8:20 AM ET

    Jan 29- U.S. refiner Phillips 66 reported a 39 percent jump in quarterly profit, helped by a gain from asset dispositions and strong margins in its marketing and specialties business. Earnings rose to $1.15 billion, or $2.05 per share, for the fourth-quarter ended Dec. 31 from $826 million, or $1.37 per share, a year earlier. Excluding items, the company earned $913...

  • OSLO, Jan 29- Norway's offshore energy sector may be repeating the mistakes of the last big oil slump, removing too much capacity too soon and leaving the industry unprepared for any eventual rebound, senior sector insiders said. As oil prices dropped to $10 per barrel in 1998 and 1999, Norway's oil firms removed capacity and rebuilding took so long and was so...

  • Harman revenue rises on strong car audio sales Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 | 8:18 AM ET

    Jan 29- Harman International Industries Inc, maker of JBL and Harman Kardon audio systems, reported an 18.8 percent rise in quarterly revenue as increasing auto sales led to strong demand for the company's car infotainment products. Net income attributable to Harman rose to $166.2 million, or $1.65 per share, in the second quarter ended Dec. 31, from $71.6 million,...

  • PARIS/ DUBAI, Jan 29- Total became the first oil major to renew a 40- year onshore concession in Abu Dhabi, putting its peers under pressure to improve terms after the local partner said the French firm made the best offer. The state-run Abu Dhabi National Oil Company signed an agreement on Thursday with Total giving the firm a 10 percent stake in the new concession...

  • *Gazprom third quarter profit down 60 pct. *Gazprom hit by weaker rouble, provisions for Ukraine's gas debt. MOSCOW, Jan 29- Russian state gas producer Gazprom suffered a 60 percent slump in third quarter net profit on Thursday, hurt by the weaker rouble and after exports were halted to Ukraine over a pricing dispute.

  • PARIS, Jan 29- France and Germany must work more closely together to boost growth in Europe, French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday, warning of the twin risk of Germany's budget "fetishism" and French inertia. He said it should include joint European debt, an idea long supported by France but rejected by Germany. "The risk in France is inertia,...

  • DETROIT, Jan 29- Ford Motor Co on Thursday said it would keep relying on North America for its profit this year as the No. 2 U.S. automaker signaled that losses in Europe would be more than previously forecast. Ford had previously estimated losses from Europe at about $250 million in 2015. On Thursday, however, it backed away from that forecast, saying the loss would...