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  • SHANGHAI, March 4- Chinese e-commerce titan Alibaba Group Holding Ltd has invested 2.4 billion yuan in TV program producer Beijing Enlight Media Co Ltd, Beijing Enlight said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday. The move follows investments by Alibaba worth more than $3.1 billion in the entertainment industry last year as the company aggressively expands...

  • Hong Kong shares end lower after retail sales plunge Wednesday, 4 Mar 2015 | 3:15 AM ET

    HONG KONG, March 4- Hong Kong shares finished lower on Wednesday, following weaker U.S. and European markets and as a sharp drop in domestic retail sales hurt investor sentiment. Retail stocks including Sa Sa International, Chow Tai Fook and Giordano International sagged on news that Hong Kong retail sales in January slid 14.6 percent from a year earlier, their...

  • European shares halt pull-back ahead of PMIs Wednesday, 4 Mar 2015 | 3:08 AM ET

    PARIS, March 4- European shares inched higher on Wednesday morning, halting the previous session's pull-back as investors awaited a batch of macro data on the euro zone, including French and German services PMIs for February. At 0806 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.2 percent at 1,548.74 points, after losing 1 percent on Tuesday.

  • SINGAPORE, March 4- Gold edged higher on Wednesday following two days of losses, although caution prevailed as the dollar held near 11- year highs ahead of major U.S. economic data. Spot gold rose 0.1 percent to $1,204.74 an ounce by 0747 GMT. Gold is likely to trade in a $1,200- $1,220 range leading into the jobs data, according to MKS Group.

  • UPDATE 1-Russian assets little changed in early trade Wednesday, 4 Mar 2015 | 2:42 AM ET

    MOSCOW, March 4- The Russian rouble was little changed in early trade on Wednesday, slightly losing ground against the U.S. dollar but gaining against the euro, while Moscow- listed shares edged higher. Oil, Russia's main export, traded around $0.3 lower, with Brent crude holding above $60 per barrel. Analysts said the future trajectory of the Russian currency was...

  • UPDATE 1-ITV to return 250 mln stg via special dividend Wednesday, 4 Mar 2015 | 2:30 AM ET

    LONDON, March 4- British broadcaster ITV plans to return 250 million pounds to shareholders via a special dividend after posting a better-than-expected 2014 profit and seeing strong demand from advertisers in the first quarter. Full-year pretax profit was up 23 percent to 712 million pounds, compared with a forecast of 681 million pounds according to...

  • "Clearly the bulls have capitulated," said strategist Daniel Hynes of ANZ in Sydney, adding that there appeared to be no sign of nickel ore being replaced with nickel in China. Macquarie, however, said nickel demand in China should get a boost from a central government order to close some nickel pig iron factories to curb pollution, citing China research house...

  • SHANGHAI, March 4- China stocks rebounded on Wednesday in volatile trade, with Shenzhen- listed shares rising sharply amid hopes that regulators would soon open a channel for fresh foreign money to enter the city's bourse. Hong Kong chief executive C.Y. Leung told reporters on Tuesday that preparatory work for a Hong Kong- Shenzhen stock connect was going "...

  • TOKYO, March 4- Uber Technologies Inc is reviewing its ride sharing service in the southern Japanese city of Fukuoka after the transport ministry said it had banned the pilot project, citing potential legal concerns. Uber's month-old Fukuoka service pays drivers who use cars registered for personal use to ferry around passengers, a business model that...

  • ITV to return 250 mln stg via special dividend Wednesday, 4 Mar 2015 | 2:11 AM ET

    LONDON, March 4- British broadcaster ITV plans to return 250 million pounds to shareholders via a special dividend after posting a better-than-expected 23 percent rise in 2014 pretax profit and predicting a strong first quarter. The home of Downton Abbey said it had started 2015 well, with net advertising revenue now forecast to be up 11 percent in the first...

  • TORONTO, March 4- When the world's miners head for Toronto each year to attend their industry's annual conference, they arrive with certain expectations. But this year's gathering of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada is a more subdued affair, with lavish spreads and grand lodgings increasingly giving way to cheese platters and Airbnb...

  • China's proposals, which would require tech firms to provide encryption keys and install backdoors granting law enforcement access for counterterrorism investigations, drew criticism from Obama, who told Reuters in an interview this week China would have to change the draft law if it were "to do business with the United States". Fu Ying, China's parliamentary...

  • TOKYO, March 4- Toyota Motor Corp said on Wednesday it will promote two foreigners to senior posts- one marking the first woman to hold an executive title- in a drive towards diversifying its management, long dominated by Japanese men. The world's biggest automaker appointed its European chief, Didier Leroy, to become one of six executive vice presidents after its...

  • Supermarket exec jailed for insider trading Wednesday, 4 Mar 2015 | 1:19 AM ET

    The former group treasurer and head of tax at WM Morrison Supermarkets has been sentenced to 12 months in jail for insider trading.

  • TOKYO, March 4- Japan's Nikkei share average dropped to a one-week low on Wednesday as an overnight fall in U.S. shares triggered profit-taking after the index scaled a 15- year peak earlier in the week. The Nikkei ended 0.6 percent lower at 18,703.60 points. Noticeable decliners included Sharp Corp, which dropped 5.3 percent after a cut to its credit rating by...

  • BOSTON, March 4- Mutual fund companies, including No. 2 Fidelity Investments, have slashed fees on their most popular funds by shifting billions of dollars into collective trusts not regulated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. "CITs are more opaque to the outside world because reporting requirements are not as stringent," said Michael Rawson,...

  • WASHINGTON, March 4- The U.S. Supreme Court will consider on Wednesday a second major legal attack on President Barack Obama's healthcare law, with conservative challengers taking aim at a pivotal part of the statute that authorizes tax subsidies to help people afford insurance. If the court rules against the Obama administration, up to 7.5 million people in at...

  • U.S. lawmakers gear up for Supreme Court Obamacare fray Wednesday, 4 Mar 2015 | 1:00 AM ET

    WASHINGTON, March 4- War rooms of lawmakers and their aides in the U.S. Congress are working furiously to try to influence the Supreme Court's nine justices who will hear arguments on Wednesday on the future of President Barack Obama's landmark healthcare law. Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming, a member of the Republican leadership, is spearheading his party's...

  • TOKYO, March 4- Japanese government bond prices were lower across the board on Wednesday in response to overnight weakness in U.S. Treasuries, although strong results in the Bank of Japan's debt buying operation helped trim losses. The BOJ bought one- to 10- year debt and the firm operation results released later in the session calmed sentiment bruised by...

  • BEIJING, March 4- China's defence budget this year will rise about 10 percent compared with 2014, a top government official said on Wednesday, outpacing the slowing economy as the country ramps up investment in high-tech equipment such as submarines and stealth jets. "Compared with great powers, the road of China's defence modernisation is more difficult.