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  • RPT-FED DROPS PLEDGE TO BE "PATIENT" IN DECIDING WHEN TO BEGIN RAISING INTEREST RATES.

  • RPT-FED SAYS NEW LANGUAGE CONSISTENT WITH PRIOR STATEMENT, MAKING A RATE HIKE AT APRIL MEETING "UNLIKELY".

  • RPT-FED SAYS WILL RAISE RATES AFTER FURTHER IMPROVEMENT IN LABOR MARKET AND WHEN IT IS "REASONABLY CONFIDENT" INFLATION WILL MOVE BACK TO THE 2 PERCENT TARGET.

  • LONDON, March 18- Britain's government bond market risks becoming more volatile due to reduced liquidity and increased uncertainty over U.S. monetary policy, the head of the country's debt issuance agency said on Wednesday. Robert Stheeman, chief executive of the UK Debt Management Office, said banks were becoming less willing to trade gilts due to a mix of...

  • SANTIAGO/ WINNIPEG, March 18- Shares in Chilean fertilizer group SQM plunged on Wednesday after three board representatives from Canada's Potash Corp resigned in protest at its handling of an illicit payments scandal that has shaken the Chilean establishment. SQM Vice Chairman Wayne Brownlee, who is also chief financial officer of Potash Corp, and two...

  • BRASILIA/ ZURICH, March 18- Swiss prosecutors have uncovered over 300 accounts at more than 30 Swiss banks that they suspect are linked to the massive corruption and money-laundering scandal at Brazil's state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA. Switzerland has frozen roughly $400 million in Swiss accounts in the investigation and has begun to return an...

  • LONDON, March 18- Developing countries facing potentially pricey legal challenges from big tobacco firms are to get help from a new $4 million fund created by the philanthropists Bill Gates and Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg and Gates, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft, cited examples such as Uruguay, which since 2010 has been fighting a legal challenge...

  • RIO DE JANEIRO, March 18- Brazil's securities regulator said on Wednesday that former billionaire Eike Batista failed to provide investors with timely information about a takeover and on the delisting of a company as his EBX energy, mining, port and shipbuilding empire collapsed starting in 2013.. The regulator fined Batista 300,000 reais because responses...

  • WASHINGTON, March 18- U.S. lawmakers will have easier access to the text of a proposed free trade agreement with 11 Pacific trading partners under new transparency measures announced on Wednesday. Trade Representative Michael Froman said in a statement. An administration official said the TPP text would be available for members of Congress to review in the...

  • *Prices for new homes in China fell at record pace in Feb. LONDON, March 18- Copper took its biggest fall since late January on Wednesday, weighed down by economic weakness in top consumer China and expectations the Federal Reserve will prepare the ground for an increase in U.S. interest rates. In China there was more evidence of economic weakness after prices for...

  • UPDATE 1-Microsoft must face Xbox 360 class action claims Wednesday, 18 Mar 2015 | 1:36 PM ET

    March 18- Microsoft Corp must face class action claims by Xbox 360 owners who say the video game console has a design defect that causes game discs to be gouged, a federal appeals court ruled on Wednesday. Microsoft has sold tens of millions of Xbox 360 consoles since their Nov. 2005 launch. Microsoft countered that class certification was improper because just...

  • UNITED NATIONS, March 18- The United Nations said on Wednesday it expects Israel to continue with the Middle East peace process to negotiate a Palestinian state after Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu was re-elected on a pledge to abandon that commitment. "It is incumbent on the new Israeli Government, once formed, to create the conditions for a...

  • FRANKFURT, March 18- A German court on Wednesday banned Uber from running services using unlicensed cab drivers and set stiff fines for any violations of local transport laws by the pioneering online taxi firm. Born out of the frustration of two Silicon Valley entreprenuers trying to catch a cab in Paris, Uber's popular mobile phone taxi-hailing services have...

  • BRASILIA, March 18- Brazil's economy shed jobs for a third straight month in February, government data showed on Wednesday, in another setback for President Dilma Rousseff as the nation's once-booming job market rapidly loses steam. Factories, farms and services companies in Brazil shed a net 2,415 jobs in February, the labor ministry said, missing a Reuters...

  • BUENOS AIRES/ NEW YORK, March 18- Argentina will not allow Citigroup Inc. to exit its local custody business, a senior source in the government said on Wednesday, setting up a possible showdown between the leftist government and the banking giant over sovereign debt payments. The bank has found itself at the center of a bitter court battle between Argentina and a...

  • MGM also said it would consider the investment manager's plan to nominate four candidates to its board, including founder Jonathan Litt. MGM operates destination resorts such as the Bellagio, MGM Grand and the Mirage. Land and Buildings', which owns a 0.8 percent stake in MGM, said it expected MGM's net asset value to rise to $55 per share from $33 after the...

  • NEW YORK, March 18- Stocks on Wall Street slipped and shares in Europe rose on Wednesday, reflecting diverging policies between the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank, while oil prices fell as data showed U.S. crude inventories hit a record high. The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares rose 0.33 percent to close at a provisional 1,589.07,...

  • March 18- Ocwen Financial Corp said it was selling residential mortgage servicing rights worth $9.6 billion to a subsidiary of Walter Investment Management Corp. Ocwen, which delayed filing its full-year results, also said it was reviewing the ability of its affiliate, Home Loan Servicing Solutions Ltd, to meet obligations to fund new servicing advances.

  • BOGOTA, March 18- Colombia expects income from the oil sector to fall 60 percent this year because of the sharp drop in crude prices, while the industry believes an alarming slowdown in exploration jeopardizes the sector's future, officials said on Wednesday. While Colombia is not a major oil producer, crude is its largest export and generates about 20 percent of...

  • MEXICO CITY, March 18- Mexican Finance Minister Luis Videgaray said on Wednesday he does not expect the recent plunge in oil prices to be temporary and that Mexico's public finances will face major difficulties next year as a result. Mexico is a major oil exporter and the drop in crude prices has pushed its peso currency to record lows, leading it to slow the pace of...