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  • IRAN OPEC OFFICIAL SAYS IRAN- SAUDI ARABIA DIPLOMATIC TENSION'S IMPACT ON OIL MARKET IS SHORT TERM, OVERSUPPLY IS "BIGGEST THREAT"- SHANA.

  • LONDON, Jan 6- European stocks fell on Wednesday, hit by weakness in the commodity sector as concerns over the Chinese economy resurfaced after it allowed the yuan to weaken further. Miners came under pressure after the People's Bank of China set a weaker midpoint for the yuan, prompting concerns that the economy of the world's largest metals consumer could be...

  • HONG KONG, Jan 6- A record number of Hong Kong firms shut up shop last year as China, the mainstay of the city's economy, trundled to its slowest economic growth in a quarter of a century and spending by mainland visitors dried up. The numbers show just how tightly Hong Kong's business prospects remain tied to mainland China, despite its aspirations as a global...

  • The Hang Seng index fell 1.0 percent, to 20,980.81, the lowest level since Sept 30. The market was little helped by a strong rebound in mainland shares, as Hong Kong authorities issued a holiday health alert after a woman in nearby Shenzhen died after being infected with the highly contagious H5N6 bird flu virus. Oliver Barron, analyst at China- focused investment...

  • *Saudi-Iran split dashes chance of OPEC deal to curb oil glut. SINGAPORE, Jan 6- Brent crude oil prices gave back earlier gains on Wednesday, retreating almost 1 percent and close to 11- year lows as concerns over growing supply and rising stock levels outweighed tensions between key Middle East producers. A rift between Saudi Arabia and Iran over the Saudi...

  • *Copper prices to test $4,000 on ample supply-INTL FC Stone. MELBOURNE, Jan 6- London copper prices fell on Wednesday as sentiment remained shaky after data showed slower service sector growth in top consumer China, following on from a contraction in factory activity and a steep share market selloff this week. "Base metals may still perform poorly on softer...

  • *Announces new partnership with Israeli firm Mobileye. Jan 5- The head of Volkswagen AG's top-selling brand said on Tuesday he is confident the German automaker will reach agreement with U.S regulators to bring nearly 500,000 diesel vehicles into compliance with U.S. emissions laws. "We are confident we will find an acceptable solution," VW brand chief Herbert...

  • LONDON, Jan 6- John Lewis Partnership, owner of Britain's biggest department store chain and upmarket grocer Waitrose, maintained its full-year profit guidance after reporting relatively strong Christmas trading. It blamed Britain's unusually warm weather in November and December for a slowdown in sales growth. The Partnership has outperformed rivals...

  • SHANGHAI, Jan 6- China stocks bounced on Wednesday, led by a surge in resources shares, on hopes that regulators will extend a ban on share sales by major stakeholders as Beijing scrambled to avert a potential repeat of last summer's market crash. The CSI300 index of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen rose 1.8 percent, to 3,539.81, while the...

  • TOKYO, Jan 6- Japanese government bonds edged up on Wednesday, with the five- and 10- year yields hitting a one-year low, as soft economic news from China and North Korea's nuclear test prompted investors to rush to low-risk assets. China's central bank set the yuan at a much weaker level than Tuesday's close, a move that sparked fresh speculation that Beijing wants...

  • News of the execution sparked some unrest among Shi'ite communities in Saudi Arabia's oil-rich Eastern Province and in neighbouring Bahrain as well as in southern Iraq. Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province lies at the dangerous intersection of great power rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia, sectarian conflict between Sunni and Shi'ite, social and economic...

  • *China's services sector growth slows to weakest in 17 months. SHANGHAI, Jan 6- China's blue chip shares were sharply higher on Wednesday after state media said a selling ban on major shareholders brought in to help arrest a market crash last summer would remain in place until the government publishes new rules on such disposals. Shen Weizheng, fund manager at...

  • *Saudi-Iran split dashes chance of OPEC deal to curb oil glut. SINGAPORE, Jan 6- Brent crude oil prices gave back earlier gains on Wednesday, retreating close to 11- year lows as concerns over growing supply and rising stock levels outweighed tensions between key Middle East producers. A rift between Saudi Arabia and Iran over the Saudi execution of a Shi'ite...

  • TOKYO, Jan 6- Japanese stocks fell on Wednesday after a private survey stoked fears that China's economy may be losing steam while North Korea's claims that it tested a hydrogen bomb introduced fresh geopolitical uncertainty that blunted risk appetite. "Whether or not it's mere saber-rattling on North Korea's part the timing isn't great considering the...

  • SEOUL, Jan 6- South Korea expects little lasting impact on its markets and economy from North Korea's nuclear test on Wednesday, as has been the case during similar events in the past, the deputy head of the country's financial regulator said. Jeong Chan- woo, vice chairman of the Financial Services Commission, also said the government would still maintain a 24-...

  • *Strong sales in China and Western Europe. HONG KONG, Jan 6- Huawei Technologies Co has become the first Chinese handset vendor to ship more than 100 million smartphones annually, defying a market slowdown to challenge leaders such as Samsung Electronics Co and Apple Inc.. The Shenzhen- based company said on Wednesday its smartphone shipments rose 44 percent...

  • *Dec activity in China's services sector remains weak. SHANGHAI, Jan 6- China stocks edged up on Wednesday on hopes that regulators would extend a ban on share sales by major stakeholders as Beijing scrambled to avert a potential repeat of last summer's market crash. The reports were the latest damage-control measures announced after China's major benchmark...

  • *Firm expected to guide for $5.5 bln in Q4 operating profit. SEOUL, Jan 6- Tech giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd may be due for another profit drop in 2016, as slowing demand for consumer electronics saps momentum for the less-glamourous components businesses that offset last year's smartphone struggles. But slower growth in China and the persistent weakness...

  • SINGAPORE, Jan 6- Gold retained gains from a two-day rally on Wednesday, paring earlier losses as investors sought safety in the metal amid escalating tensions in the Korean peninsula and the Middle East, and worries over the Chinese economy. Gold has gained 1.6 percent in the last two sessions, after touching a four-week high of $1,083.30 on Monday.