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  • BRASILIA, Dec 17- Latin American leaders who for years have pressured the United States to drop its economic embargo against Cuba praised President Barack Obama for moving on Wednesday to restore diplomatic relations with its communist-run Cold War foe. U.S. policy toward Cuba has soured its reputation across much of Latin America, especially in recent years...

  • TABLE-Reuters U.S. primary dealer poll results Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 6:46 PM ET

    NEW YORK, Dec 17- These are the results of Reuters poll of U.S. primary dealers following the latest Federal Open Market Committee meeting on Wednesday. For the related story click. Primary Dealer When do Will the Where do Where do Would a.

  • NEW YORK, Dec 17- Economists at Wall Street's biggest banks remain convinced the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates by next June and most expect the Fed to tighten policy more than once in 2015, a Reuters poll found after the U.S. central bank wrapped up a policy meeting on Wednesday. The Fed last raised interest rates in 2006 and has held its target policy...

  • SYDNEY, Dec 18- Australia's New South Wales state said it plans to raise A $20 billion by leasing or selling 49 percent of its electricity network, enabling it to pay for a second Sydney Harbour rail crossing and several road upgrades. State Treasurer Andrew Constance said the plan, to proceed if the government is re-elected in a ballot scheduled for March, would...

  • SYDNEY, Dec 18- Asian shares rallied on Thursday after U.S. stocks enjoyed their strongest session this year when the Federal Reserve sounded upbeat on the economy and promised to be patient in removing policy stimulus. In Asia, Nikkei futures were pointing to an opening increase of at least 1 percent, while stocks in Australia climbed 1.1 percent.

  • Sessions yields to Enzi as U.S. Senate Budget chairman Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 6:26 PM ET

    WASHINGTON, Dec 17- Republican Senator Mike Enzi said on Wednesday he will take over as chairman of the Senate Budget Committee next year after the panel's current top Republican, Jeff Sessions, agreed to step aside. The two senators had contested the chairmanship of the committee that will provide a key blueprint for Republican policy priorities as the party...

  • NEW YORK, Dec 17- Argentina urged a U.S. appeals court on Wednesday to reverse a lower court decision requiring the country and various banks to provide holdout creditors with information about the country's assets including military equipment and diplomatic property. But the judges also expressed concerns that if they narrowed the order, Argentina would...

  • The indictment, made public on Wednesday, accused the company and its former president and officers of negligence and fraud in the discharge of a chemical pollutant into the Elk River near Charleston in alleged violation of the Clean Water Act, Refuse Act and in violation of an environmental permit. The indictment named former Freedom President Gary Southern,...

  • Uber plans tighter screening for drivers Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 6:17 PM ET

    Dec 18- Online taxi service Uber Technologies Inc, one of whose driver was accused of rape in New Delhi, said it would add new methods to verify drivers' credentials and make its service safer. France, Spain and Thailand have banned some or all Uber services. The company's services have also been in New Delhi following the rape allegation.

  • *Economy stabilised in H2; investment, demand weak- survey. SHANGHAI, Dec 18- China's economy showed mild signs of stabilisation in the fourth quarter but corporates remained cautious on investment, a business survey found, highlighting stubborn resistance to efforts from Beijing to reinvigorate growth. "Still, Q4's improvement defies Beijing's claims of...

  • NEW YORK, Dec 17- A tiny mutual fund based in Miami, a clutch of cruise line operators and a Canadian natural resources company rank among the early winners in the Obama administration's surprise move on Wednesday to thaw relations with Cuba. While the Cuban economy is small, with gross domestic product of roughly $70 billion, according to the World Bank,...

  • Regal Cinemas and AMC Theaters were among the cinema chains announcing they will not show "The Interview" as planned on Dec. 25, citing security threats by hackers that breached Sony Corp's computers. The move is the clearest sign of the widening influence of the hackers who have also leaked Sony documents that drew global headlines, and now have forced a change of...

  • NEW YORK, Dec 17- The U.S. dollar posted its biggest daily gain against major currencies since early October on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve signaled it was on track to hike interest rates sometime next year. "Markets are taking the dollar higher, as they should be, because the Fed is on track to hike rates in 2015," said Win Thin, currency strategist at Brown...

  • SAO PAULO, Dec 17- Brazilian billionaire Abilio Diniz agreed to buy a 10 percent stake in Carrefour SA's Brazilian unit, a source with direct knowledge of the situation said on Wednesday, potentially strengthening its ability to take on the supermarket chain Diniz's father founded. Under terms of the deal, Diniz, whose Peninsula ParticipaƧƵes holding...

  • Dec 17- AK Steel Holding Corp said it expects shipments to jump 37 percent to 2 million tons in the current quarter from the previous quarter, helped by acquisitions and strong demand from the auto industry. AK Steel said it expects to benefit from substantially lower costs for iron ore, carbon scrap and energy in the fourth quarter ending Dec. 31 compared with the...

  • Dec 17- Oracle Corp posted a 3.5 percent rise in total revenue in the company's first quarter since Larry Ellison stepped down as chief executive, bolstered by a 45 percent jump in its fast-growing cloud services business. Investors have been carefully watching how Oracle beefs up its "cloud" divisions, which deliver software over the Internet, as a gauge for how...

  • Dec 17- After twenty years, Thomas Herzfeld's long bet on Cuba is paying off. The Miami Beach- based portfolio manager behind the $25.3 million Herzfeld Caribbean Basin fund, the only Cuba- focused fund in the United States, watched its shares soar more than 40 percent at one point on Wednesday after President Barack Obama's surprise move to thaw relations with the...

  • CALGARY, Alberta, Dec 17- Chevron Corp is putting a plan to drill for oil in the Beaufort Sea in Canada's Arctic on hold indefinitely because of what it called "economic uncertainty in the industry" as oil prices fall. In a letter to Canada's National Energy Board on Wednesday, the company withdrew from a hearing on Arctic drilling rules because it has walked away...

  • VANCOUVER, Dec 17- Canada is looking for 50 wealthy foreigners to join a pilot run of an immigration program for millionaires, although applicants will have to be far richer than those who entered under a previous scheme and will also need language skills to get in. The federal government, which scrapped its previous investor class visa earlier this year amid...

  • WASHINGTON, Dec 17- Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, chairman of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, asked the International Trade Commission on Wednesday to begin a study of the economic impact on the United States of current restrictions on exports to Cuba. He said the study, ordered in light of President Barack Obama's easing of trade restrictions on Cuba, would...