SINGAPORE, Dec 26- Brent crude oil futures gave up most of its early gains on Friday as a building supply glut and weak Japanese import data weighed on the market, but contracts held above $60 a barrel supported by U.S. economic data published over Christmas. However, in Japan, crude imports in November dropped 17.3 percent from a year earlier to 14.68 million...» Read More
July 18- Allegiant Travel Co, the parent of Allegiant Air, a low-cost carrier that serves leisure destinations, said on Friday that it is working to resolve a computer system outage that is slowing its customer check-in and causing delays.
"People are starting to increase inventory to build for a better economy and a better outlook in quarters three and four," Richard Davis, chief executive of U.S. Bancorp, said after the bank reported earnings on Wednesday. U.S. Bancorp reported a 12.4 percent rise in commercial loans by volume for the quarter.
WASHINGTON, July 18- The U.S. Treasury asked big Wall Street brokerages on Friday if Washington should start borrowing money over extremely long periods, a move that would potentially help the government capitalize on current low interest rates.
NEW YORK, July 18- Brent and U.S. crude eased at midday on Friday after sharp gains sparked by heightened geopolitical risk from the downing of a Malaysian jetliner over eastern Ukraine and as Israeli ground troops advanced into Gaza.
July 18- Forbes magazine's publisher has agreed to sell a majority stake of its media business to a Hong Kong- based group of investors for an undisclosed sum, Forbes Media said on Friday, capping an eight-month hunt for a buyer for the company.
Hedge funds piled into what seemed a one-way bet in early June, grabbing up oil contracts as the rapid advance of Islamist insurgents in northern Iraq threatened supplies from OPEC's second-largest producer at the same time that peak summer demand was approaching.
July 18- NQ Mobile Inc, a Chinese mobile security software maker facing allegations of fraud from short-seller Muddy Waters Research Group, said it dismissed PricewaterhouseCoopers Zhong Tian LLP as its independent auditor. NQ Mobile shares fell as much as 21 percent in early trading before reversing course to trade up almost 15 percent by midday.
*Angola admits "bad" loans in local unit's credit portfolio. LISBON/ JOHANNESBURG, July 18- Angola has broken its silence over its connection to Portugal's troubled Banco Espirito Santo, but its admission of bad loans in the local subsidiary focuses attention on a generous state guarantee covering most of this flawed loan portfolio.
*Shares in Aeroflot, Bashneft down 5-6 pct. The downward pressure on shares reflected concerns over new sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine crisis. Both Russia and Ukraine have denied involvement in the incident.
*Angola central bank says BES's Angola unit needs capital increase. LISBON, July 18- Financial problems at Portugal's Espirito Santo business empire spilled further across national borders on Friday, with Angola's central bank saying the local division of Banco Espirito Santo would need a capital increase to deal with bad loans.
JOHANNESBURG, July 18- South African pension manager Alexander Forbes priced its stock market listing in the middle of its marketed range on Friday, raising 3.7 billion rand in Africa's second-largest initial public offering this year. The pricing points to fairly strong demand when the company lists on the Johannesburg bourse next Thursday, a trader said.
JAKARTA, July 18- Indonesia has resumed some exports of metal ore concentrates after two firms gained permits to ship iron ore, zinc and lead, a mining ministry official said, the first shipments of their kind since the country changed its export rules in January.
*GE, IBM shares drop after earnings. Market participants will keep a close eye on geopolitical tensions, as the United States said Friday it could not rule out that Russia may have assisted separatists in firing a missile that likely downed a Malaysian airliner Thursday at the Ukraine- Russia border, killing nearly 300 people.
July 18- The Vatican has become enmeshed in a struggle between Hewlett-Packard Co and Michael Lynch, the former CEO of the UK software company Autonomy Corp bought by HP in 2011 in a deal that led to a big loss for the U.S. technology giant.
Treasuries held steady on Friday, taking in stride a weaker-than-expected U.S. consumer sentiment survey and holding onto the safe-haven flows stemming from the escalation of tensions in Ukraine and Israel in the last 24 hours.
SAO PAULO, July 18- Brazil's government approved the use of pesticides with the active ingredient cyantraniliprole to fight the coffee borer beetle, a note published in the country's Official Gazette said on Friday.
July 18- Valeant Pharmaceuticals Inc moved on Friday to blunt a key criticism by takeover target Allergan Inc of its Bausch+ Lomb business by releasing data showing strong sales growth.
The SEC was seeking to overturn a lower court's decision from 2012, in which a federal judge rejected a request by the agency to force the Securities Investor Protection Corp to start court proceedings for the fraud victims, some of whom lost millions of dollars.
UNITED NATIONS, July 18- Russia's U.N. ambassador warned the U.N. Security Council on Friday against any attempts to pressure an investigation into the downing of a Malaysian airliner with 298 people on board over Ukraine. "There is a need for impartial, open investigation of what happened.
NEW YORK, July 18- U.S. crude futures turned lower in late morning New York trade as investors took some profits from the previous day's gains even as tensions between Russia and the West remained high, traders said. U.S. crude was down 4 cents at $103.15 per barrel at 11:21 a.m.. Brent for September pared gains, rising 7 cents to $107.96.