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  • SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 19- Shipping executives and union leaders for dockworkers at 29 West Coast ports ended a third day of contract talks late on Thursday without reaching a settlement but planned to meet again on Friday, a source close to the situation told Reuters. Labor Secretary Tom Perez was presiding over the talks in San Francisco, having joined them on...

  • *CPI data due 2330 GMT Feb 26, factory output due 2350 GMT. TOKYO, Feb 20- Japan's core inflation is seen slowing for a sixth month in January while factory output is expected to rise, underlining the policy challenge facing the Bank of Japan as it strives to speed up economic growth and achieve its 2 percent price target. The Bank of Japan is counting on exports to help...

  • TOKYO, Feb 20- Most Japanese government bond prices were steady on Friday as solid results from the Bank of Japan's bond-buying operations countered headwinds from falls in U.S. The yield on the 10- year cash JGB was flat at 0.390 percent while the five-year yield was also unchanged at 0.115 percent. The BOJ bought a total of 1.18 trillion yen of JGBs from the one- to...

  • DUBAI, Feb 20- Yemen's foreign exchange reserves have stabilised after a steep fall due to its political turmoil, but ballooning government debt issuance indicates the country may be moving closer to a fiscal crunch, central bank data showed on Friday. Tribal conflicts and al Qaeda insurgency are also disrupting Yemen's oil and gas exports and other parts of...

  • TOKYO, Feb 20- Japanese stocks rose for a third day to hit a fresh 15- year high on Friday, with market sentiment getting a boost from upbeat U.S. data, but banking shares fell after investors booked profits from recent gains. The Nikkei share average ended 0.4 percent higher to 18,332.30, the highest closing level since May 2000. The broader Topix rose 0.4 percent to...

  • WEST COAST PORTS DISPUTE BREAK FOR NIGHT WITHOUT SETTLEMENT, NEGOTIATIONS TO RESUME FRIDAY- SOURCE.

  • WASHINGTON, Feb 20- The U.S. Supreme Court case that could shatter President Barack Obama's healthcare law this year was launched as a backup plan by a libertarian group and a powerful Washington lawyer frustrated by the slow progress of their original lawsuit. Oral arguments are set for March 4. In 2012, the Supreme Court upheld the law, by a 5- to-4 vote, as...

  • NEW YORK, Feb 20- As the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index closes in on the all-time high it reached in March 2000, investors are facing a market that barely resembles the go-go era of 15 years ago. Dividend investors, too, now routinely hold large positions in technology companies such as Microsoft, Cisco, and Oracle, a decision unthinkable in the...

  • HOUSTON, Feb 20- Barely two months into his new job as the head of the world's largest offshore driller, Steven Newman was steering Transocean through the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, quickly earning a reputation as a CEO with a steady hand. A Transocean official declined to comment. According to a Transocean presentation, its fleet is about 25 percent larger than...

  • TOKYO, Feb 20- Activist investor Daniel Loeb said Fanuc Corp's plan to boost investments was not enough to fix its "blatant capital inefficiency", stepping up calls for the Japanese industrial robot maker to reward shareholders through major buybacks. Loeb, whose hedge fund Third Point holds an undisclosed stake in Fanuc, told Reuters by email the plan to double...

  • YouTube to release kids app next week Thursday, 19 Feb 2015 | 11:57 PM ET

    The free app from Google Inc's online video service will be available for download from Feb. 23 and will feature kid-friendly design, with big icons and minimal scrolling, according to details seen by Reuters. In December, USA Today reported that Google was planning to roll out child-friendly versions of its most popular products in a bid to be "fun and safe for...

  • *Focus on Baker Hughes survey after rig count fell to 3- yr low. A weekly survey by Baker Hughes last week showed the U.S. oil rig count fell to its lowest since August 2011, though government data indicated U.S. oil output has hit 9.2 million barrels a day, the most since 1973. The results of the latest rig count are due around 1800 GMT. "I assume we're going to continue to...

  • Oil edges up ahead of U.S. rig count data Thursday, 19 Feb 2015 | 10:12 PM ET

    The Baker Hughes survey is likely to show that the number of rigs drilling for oil in the United States fell for the 11th straight week to multi-year lows, market participants said. "I assume we're going to continue to see another big fall and that's going to provide support for the market," said Tony Nunan, a risk manager at Mitsubishi Corp in Tokyo.

  • TOKYO, Feb 20- Japanese stocks rose to a fresh 15- year high on Friday with the dollar boosted by upbeat U.S. data, but continuing uncertainty over the Greek debt negotiations weighed on the euro. "Now the market is relieved again on hopes for an earlier U.S. rate hike," said Nobuhiko Kuramochi, a strategist at Mizuho Securities, noting that a stronger U.S. economy is...

  • TOKYO, Feb 20- Japan Display Inc is considering building a new plant to supply smartphone screens for Apple Inc, which may shoulder much of the 200 billion yen investment, Japan's Nikkan Kogyo newspaper said on Friday. The proposed plant in Ishikawa, central Japan, would start operations in 2016 and is expected to produce panels mainly for Apple but also for other...

  • TOKYO, Feb 20- German drugmaker Bayer AG is close to selling its diabetes devices business to KKR-backed Panasonic Healthcare Holdings Co Ltd and the unit could be valued at up to $2.3 billion, Bloomberg news reported. The announcement of the buyout may come as early as Friday, although the talks are ongoing and an agreement may be delayed or fall apart, Bloomberg...

  • *Japan Display soars on report it is considering building a plant. TOKYO, Feb 20- Japan's Nikkei share average rose for a third day to hit a fresh 15- year high on Friday morning, with market sentiment getting a boost from a weaker yen following robust U.S. jobless data. "Now the market is relieved again on hopes for an earlier U.S. rate hike," said Nobuhiko Kuramochi, a...

  • METALS-Copper eyes flat week with China buyers out Thursday, 19 Feb 2015 | 8:56 PM ET

    MELBOURNE, Feb 20- London copper edged down on Friday, after a solid U.S. labor report boosted the dollar, with prices set to close the week little changed amid the Lunar New Year holiday in top consumer China. A rebound from 5-1/ 2 year lows touched in mid January has run out of steam with top user China away from the market. *China's stock, bond, foreign exchange and...

  • TOKYO, Feb 20- Activist investor Daniel Loeb, whose hedge fund Third Point has taken a stake in Fanuc Corp, said the Japanese industrial robot maker's recent plan to boost capital spending was no alternative to fixing its "blatant capital inefficiency." "The capacity expansions should not be thought of as an alternative to solving the blatant capital...

  • Wal-Mart wage hike seen pressuring Target, fast-food Thursday, 19 Feb 2015 | 8:40 PM ET

    Feb 19- Wal-Mart Stores Inc's wage hike will likely trigger a rethink on pay across the retail and fast-food sectors, with Target Corp one of the low-wage employers facing pressure to follow suit and pay workers more. Wal-Mart announced on Thursday it would lift its minimum U.S. wage to $9 an hour this year and $10 in 2016, raising the ante in a tightening labor...