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  • FED'S MESTER, IN INTERVIEW, SAYS MORE THAN FOUR RATE HIKES IN 2016 LIKELY APPROPRIATE.

  • SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 3- One of the Federal Reserve's hawkish officials said on Sunday that while she prefers a slightly more aggressive approach, she is not opposed to her colleagues' view that the U.S. central bank needs to raise interest rates only four times this year. I think that's not a bad description, "Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said in an interview...

  • TOKYO, Jan 4- The dollar fell to a 10- week low against the yen as tensions in the Middle East and soft Chinese data added bids to the safe-haven Japanese currency in the first trading session of 2016.. Investor risk appetite took a knock at the start of the new year after Saudi Arabia on Sunday severed ties with Iran and data showed China's factory activity shrank...

  • *China sets yuan at weaker level than expected. TOKYO, Jan 4- Asian shares and currencies fell on Monday on the first day of trading in 2016 after China factory activity contracted and the yuan weakened, while oil prices jumped as much as 3 percent on rising tensions in the Middle East. Japan's Nikkei fell 2.6 percent to 2-1/ 2- month lows, while mainland China shares...

  • *China private sector PMI unexpectedly falls to 48.2. *South Korea, Taiwan fare better but exports a major drag. SYDNEY, Jan 4- China's factory activity shrank for a 10th straight month in December as surveys across Asia showed industry struggling with slack demand even as the policy cupboard is looking increasingly bare of fresh stimulus.

  • TOKYO, Jan 4- Japan's Nikkei share average tumbled to 2-1/ 2- month lows on Monday as weak China factory activity surveys and year-end losses on Wall Street discouraged investors on the first trading day of 2016.. "In early trade, domestic buyers seemed to be contributing to trimming the declines, but after the China survey was out, foreign investors' selling...

  • NEW YORK, Jan 3- Mark Zuckerberg wants to build an artificially intelligent assistant in 2016 to help run his home and assist him at work, the Facebook Inc founder and chief executive said on Sunday. Zuckerberg, who commits to a new personal challenge every year, revealed his plan in a Facebook post. "You can think of it kind of like Jarvis in Iron Man," Zuckerberg wrote,...

  • NEW YORK, Jan 3- Investors poured $347 billion into exchange-traded funds globally during 2015, fund manager BlackRock Inc said on Sunday, setting a new record for the industry. BlackRock said its own haul of $130 billion in new money also set a record in global flows for its iShares ETF business, surpassing the previous annual record set in 2014, when investors...

  • VANGUARD GROUP INC SAYS TOOK IN $76 BLN NEW CASH FOR ITS U.S.

  • BLACKROCK SAYS TOOK IN $130 BLN IN ISHARES ETF BUSINESS GLOBALLY, SURPASSING 2014 RECORD.

  • INVESTORS GLOBALLY POURED RECORD-BREAKING $347 BLN IN ETFS DURING 2015- BLACKROCK INC.

  • ETFS, UP FROM $82 BILLION IN 2014- BLACKROCK.

  • ISHARES POSTS RECORD $34 BLN INFLOW TO EUROPEAN ETFS, UP FROM $20 BLN IN 2014- BLACKROCK.

  • Jan 3- Investors poured $347 billion into exchange-traded funds globally during 2015, fund-manager BlackRock Inc said on Sunday, setting a new record for the industry. BlackRock said its own haul of $130 billion in new money also set a record in global flows for its iShares ETF business, surpassing the previous annual record set in 2014, when investors added...

  • *Factory activity contracts for 10th, pace of fall quickens. *Caixin factory PMI falls to 48.2 in Dec vs Nov's 48.6. BEIJING, Jan 4- China's factory activity contracted for the 10th straight month in December, and at a sharper pace than in November, a private survey showed, dampening hopes that the world's second-largest economy will enter 2016 on steadier footing.

  • SHANGHAI, Jan 4- China's yuan weakened against the dollar at its open on Monday after the central bank set the guidance rate at a more than 4-1/ 2- year low. Prior to market open, the People's Bank of China set the yuan midpoint rate at 6.5032 per dollar- its lowest level since May 2011, 0.15 percent weaker than the previous fix of 6.4936. The spot market opened at 6.5120...

  • SINGAPORE, Jan 4- Oil prices jumped over 2 percent in the first trading hours of 2016 as relations between Middle Eastern rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran deteriorated following Riyadh's execution of a prominent Shi'ite Muslim cleric. Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic ties with Iran on Sunday, responding to the storming of its embassy in Tehran in an escalating row...

  • SINGAPORE, Jan 4- Chicago wheat kicked off the new year with modest gains as prices were underpinned by short-covering and concerns about the U.S. weather after the grain market suffered deep losses in 2015. Corn and soybeans was largely unchanged in early Asian trade. *Chicago Board of Trade March wheat gained 0.2 percent to $4.70-3/ 4 a bushel by 0120 GMT on...

  • SEOUL, Jan 4- Hyundai Motor and affiliate Kia Motors expect their vehicle sales to rise 1.5 percent this year, lagging industry growth forecasts, after missing their target in 2015 for the first time since the 2008 global financial crisis. The South Korean automakers, once out-performers in the global industry, have been losing momentum in recent years, with...

  • MELBOURNE, Jan 4- London copper started 2016 on a soft footing on Monday as a stronger dollar pushed down on commodities, compounding a tepid demand outlook hurt by fitful growth in top consumer China. *China looked set for a soggy start to 2016 after activity in the manufacturing sector contracted for a fifth straight month in December, suggesting the government...