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  • METALS-LME copper eases in step with oil Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 2:44 AM ET

    *Shanghai copper gets lift via upbeat China economic survey. SYDNEY, Dec 18- London copper was lower on Thursday, shedding modest overnight gains in step with weaker oil, while Shanghai copper futures ended flat, stabilised by a positive economic survey of Chinese companies. Sales, profits, and employment in China improved "a bit" during the second half of the year,...

  • Carrefour confirms deal with Brazilian tycoon Diniz Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 2:35 AM ET

    PARIS, Dec 18- French supermarkets group Carrefour on Thursday announced that Brazilian billionaire Abilio Diniz had bought a 10 percent stake in its Brazil division through his investment company Peninsula for about 1.8 billion reais. The anouncement confirms information provided on Wednesday by a source with direct knowledge of the situation.

  • Hackers who said they were incensed by the film attacked Sony Corp last month, leaking documents that drew global headlines and distributing unreleased films on the Internet. "Sony has no further release plans for the film," a Sony spokeswoman said on Wednesday when asked whether the movie would be released later in theaters or as video on demand.

  • MOSCOW, Dec 18- The Russian government proposed providing up to 1 trillion roubles in additional capital to support the banking sector, a draft law posted on the lower house of parliament's web site showed on Thursday.

  • MOSCOW, Dec 18- Shares in Russian business conglomerate Sistema surged around 35 percent in early trading on Thursday after the company's chairman was freed from house arrest after the market closed on Wednesday. Interfax reported that Vladimir Yevtushenkov was freed on Wednesday, citing his lawyer. Yevtushenkov's arrest and the seizure by the state of one...

  • SEOUL, Dec 18- Iconic Swedish furniture retailer IKEA built its biggest store in the world to serve South Korea's shrinking households, targeting millions of people living alone with Korea- only items like super-sized single beds and in-store kimchi rice. The store opened on Thursday in Gwangmyeong, less than an hour's drive or 14 minutes by train from central...

  • MOSCOW, Dec 18- Russia's central bank said on Thursday it had conducted no interventions on the foreign exchange market on Dec. 16, when the rouble suffered its largest intraday loss since 1998..

  • RUSSIAN GOVT SUBMITS DRAFT LAW ON PROVIDING ADDITIONAL CAPITAL TO BANKING SECTOR FOR UP TO 1 TRLN RBLS- RIA.

  • Russian rouble firms before Putin news conference Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 2:14 AM ET

    MOSCOW, Dec 18- The Russian rouble firmed at opening on Thursday before President Vladimir Putin's end-of-year news conference, expected to be dominated by the currency's dramatic decline this year. At 0705 GMT, the rouble was 2.8 percent firmer against the dollar at 58.00 after opening more than 1 percent higher. Market participants have been encouraged by a...

  • The CSI300 index of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen fell 0.4 percent, to 3,345.93, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.1 percent, to 3,057.52 points. Among the most active stocks in Shanghai were Minsheng Bank, up 1.3 percent to 9.59 yuan; China Shipbuilding Industry, up 8.9 percent to 9.30 yuan and China State Construction...

  • YOUR MONEY-The best place to retire? You get to pick Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 2:00 AM ET

    NEW YORK, Dec 18- There are plenty of lists proclaiming "The Best Places to Retire." Designed by real estate information company Zillow.com for Reuters, it incorporates reams of data on more than 15,000 locales across the United States. For instance, if you find all of the screening categories to be very important, and you are looking for a reasonably-priced home,...

  • RUSSIAN ROUBLE OPENS UP MORE THAN 1 PCT AGAINST DOLLAR ON THURSDAY AHEAD OF PUTIN'S ANNUAL PRESS CONFERENCE.

  • MOSCOW, Dec 18- Western sanctions over Russia's role in the Ukraine crisis are likely to last "for a very long time," possibly decades, Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev told Vedomosti newspaper. Russia's economy is heading for recession, dragged lower by sanctions imposed by the West over Ukraine and weak oil prices, a cornerstone of state revenues.

  • TOKYO, Dec 18- The head of Japan's auto lobby on Thursday said a "sense of crisis" hung over the industry, with unexpectedly weak domestic sales revealing the failure of government stimulus policies and currency turmoil hitting key export markets. Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association Chairman Fumihiko Ike said an April sales tax hike was only partly to...

  • TOKYO, Dec 18- Two vacancies opening up in the Bank of Japan next year give premier Shinzo Abe a chance to tip the board's balance in favor of further monetary stimulus, removing a headache for his hand-picked central bank head. The board's composition has taken on greater significance after Governor Haruhiko Kuroda won a tight 5-4 vote in October's surprise...

  • SNCF mulls buyout of UK govt's Eurostar stake-report Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 1:43 AM ET

    PARIS, Dec 18- French rail operator SNCF is considering using its pre-emption purchase rights on the Eurostar train service to block certain bidders for the stake put up for sale by its partner, the British government, according to Les Echos newspaper. The paper said the British government was about to name a shortlist of bidders for its 40 percent holding in the...

  • TOKYO, Dec 18- Japanese stocks enjoyed their best day in 6-1/ 2 weeks on Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve expressed confidence in the U.S. economy and promised a "patient" approach to raising interest rates, boosting Wall Street shares. Exporters Toyota Motor Co and Canon Inc climbed 1.5 percent and 1.7 percent respectively, benefitting from a weaker yen.

  • Fed eyes audit push as key political challenge in 2015 Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 1:00 AM ET

    Federal Reserve is lobbying to stem a rising threat to its independence as the "Audit the Fed" movement, once seen as usual background noise, looks set to gain momentum in 2015 when Republicans gain control of both houses of Congress. Fed officials are making their case for independence across Capitol Hill, reminding politicians of the damage that can come from...

  • Dec 18- Chinese government approval for imports of a controversial type of Syngenta AG biotech corn increases the likelihood the seed maker will pay settlements to more than 100 U.S. farmers and exporters suing for damages from grain shipments rejected by Beijing, lawyers said. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who cited talks with Chinese Vice Premier Wang...

  • "If people think this is just to raise the flag, it's not going to last long," said Christopher Flensborg, Head of Sustainable Products and Product Development for Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB, the Swedish bank that's the world's largest underwriter of green bonds. Green bonds used to come exclusively from AAA-rated organizations like the World Bank; the...