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CNBC Utilities Page Latest Business News Wires - Business Headlines

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  • *Experts say Kenya needs bigger, irrigated plantations. MUMIAS, Kenya, March 18- In the sugar cane fields of western Kenya, farmers complain that falling prices mean they can barely make ends meet. With much of the production coming from small rain-fed plots rather than large irrigated plantations, costs are much higher than Kenya's competitors.

  • US STOCKS-Futures slip ahead of Fed statement Wednesday, 18 Mar 2015 | 7:44 AM ET

    NEW YORK, March 18- U.S. stock index futures fell on Wednesday ahead of a highly anticipated statement and news conference by the Federal Reserve later in the session, with the Fed expected to give clearer clues on how soon it plans to tighten monetary policy. *A Fed statement is due at 2:00 p.m. EDT, with a press conference by Chair Janet Yellen half an hour later.

  • LONDON, March 18- The British government is still considering Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman's acquisition of North Sea gas fields, but has made clear it has the power to require him to sell the assets, Prime Minister David Cameron's spokesman said on Wednesday. Fridman, whose fund LetterOne bought 11 UK gas fields as part of a 5 billion euro takeover of...

  • MOSCOW, March 18- Russia may postpone completion of a huge pipeline to bring gas from two new fields to China, three sources with direct knowledge of the plans of export firm Gazprom said, delaying one of President Vladimir Putin's signature projects. The sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the "Power of Siberia" project may be put off until Moscow...

  • NEW DELHI, March 18- India plans to strip the Reserve Bank of India of its powers to regulate government bonds, but leave the central bank in charge of other money market instruments, three government sources with direct knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday. The move is part of a major overhaul of the financial system that aims to deepen bond markets by...

  • HONG KONG/ BEIJING, March 18- Tencent Holdings Ltd, China's biggest social network and online entertainment firm, saw its slowest revenue growth in seven years in the fourth quarter as net income missed forecasts and sharing and content costs ate into sales. Online gaming sales accounted for over half of Tencent's total revenues. Tencent has long depended on...

  • *Netanyahu's Likud wins surprise victory in Israel election. JERUSALEM, March 18- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won a come-from-behind victory in Israel's election after tacking hard to the right in the final days of campaigning, including abandoning a commitment to negotiate a Palestinian state. With 99.5 percent of votes counted on Wednesday, Likud...

  • General Mills sales drop for sixth straight quarter Wednesday, 18 Mar 2015 | 7:23 AM ET

    March 18- General Mills Inc, the maker of Bisquick and Betty Crocker cake mixes, reported lower sales for the sixth straight quarter, hurt by a stronger dollar. General Mills said in January that it would close plants in Midland, Ontario, Canada and New Albany, Indiana, cutting about 500 jobs. Net income attributable to General Mills fell to $343.2 million, or 56 cents...

  • *China pauses build-up of strategic reserves. LONDON, March 18- Brent oil prices fell below $53 a barrel on Wednesday on oversupply concerns as industry data indicated U.S. crude stocks had hit a new record high. Brent for May delivery was down 62 cents at $52.89 per barrel by 1058 GMT after ending the previous session up 7 cents.

  • LONDON, March 18- The London Metal Exchange dropped something of a bombshell on its users last Monday when it warned it may have to suspend warranting activity at its Malaysian warehouses. The problem is Malaysia's introduction of a new Goods and Service Tax from April 1, 2015 and specifically whether it applies to LME-registered metal. Since a prerequisite...

  • Saudi crude exports up in January to 7.47 mln bpd - data Wednesday, 18 Mar 2015 | 7:02 AM ET

    DUBAI, March 18- Crude oil exports from Saudi Arabia rose in January to their highest level since April last year, while volumes used by domestic refineries remained high, official data showed on Wednesday. Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi has said oil demand was growing and expected oil prices, which hit a near six-year low in January, to stabilize.

  • BIS warns of consequences of negative bond yields Wednesday, 18 Mar 2015 | 7:00 AM ET

    LONDON, March 18- The Bank for International Settlements warned on Wednesday that negative bond yields could have damaging consequences, not only for financial markets but also for the public at large. The Switzerland- based BIS, known as central bankers' central bank, said the world's financial markets had entered uncharted waters with this year's global...

  • New York, March 18- Arne M. Sorenson crisscrosses the world many times a year as president and chief executive officer of Marriott International Inc.. "I live in Washington, and it's so Washingtonian to really love Berlin," Sorenson says. Sorenson has an eclectic cheat sheet for a memorable- and productive- business stay in Berlin:.

  • U.S. mortgage applications fall in latest week -MBA Wednesday, 18 Mar 2015 | 7:00 AM ET

    NEW YORK, March 18- Applications for U.S. home mortgages fell last week as both purchase and refinancing applications decreased, an industry group said on Wednesday. The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand, fell 3.9 percent in the week...

  • China says to make flexible use of monetary policy tools Wednesday, 18 Mar 2015 | 6:49 AM ET

    BEIJING, March 18- China will make "flexible" use of its monetary policy tools to support the economy and employment, the Chinese cabinet said on Wednesday after a regular weekly meeting.

  • By John O'Donnell and Frank Siebelt. FRANKFURT, March 18- Anti-capitalist protesters clashed with riot police near the new headquarters of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt on Wednesday and set fire to barricades and cars, casting a pall over the ceremonial opening of the billion-euro skyscraper. Dark smoke billowed in front of the ECB towers and across...

  • PARIS/ ZURICH, March 18- Cement makers Holcim and Lafarge, seeking to save their troubled merger, are discussing a new CEO appointment to the combined group that would see current Lafarge boss Bruno Lafont in a different role, sources said on Wednesday. Lafarge and Holcim declined to comment. Lafont had been expected to be the CEO of the combined group but he his...

  • MOSCOW, March 18- Russia's Finance Ministry said it sold 2.4 billion roubles of OFZ treasury bonds at auction on Wednesday at an average yield of 16.28 percent. The ministry offered 5 billion roubles of OFZs maturing in January 2025 and saw bids of 4.2 billion roubles. The Finance Ministry has seen better demand for its OFZ auctions in recent weeks after...

  • However, South Africa's rand, Turkey's lira and the Brazilian real all eased against the greenback ahead of the Fed's policy statement, widely anticipated to lay the ground for the first U.S. interest rate hike in nearly a decade later in the year. In Moscow, both dollar and rouble-denominated shares gained ground while in Israel shares rose 0.6 percent after...

  • JAKARTA, March 18- Indonesia's central bank should cut its benchmark interest rate by up to 100 basis points, to 6.5 percent, by the end of this year, to help revive Southeast Asia's largest economy, the country's vice president told Reuters on Wednesday. The central bank has to also factor in the risk posed to Indonesia, along with some other emerging markets, once...