McLEAN, Va.— Nearly every weekend, Chris Nassetta is cooking in his family's oversized kitchen, outfitted with two commercial-grade refrigerators, three sinks and a deep fryer. Between his wife, six daughters, friends, neighbors and relatives, there are often 40 people dining. "I'm not a gourmet chef," Nassetta says.» Read More
SHANGHAI, Feb 17- China's yuan climbed slightly against the dollar on Monday, following weakening in the dollar, with traders' predicting continued stability in the yuan in coming weeks. The People's Bank of China fixed the yuan's midpoint stronger at 6.1053, up 0.03 percent from Friday's 6.1070, in response to the dollar's 0.22 percent weakening last Friday.
*Daqin Railway sheds early gains despite policy news. HONG KONG, Feb 17- Hong Kong shares hit their highest in three weeks early on Monday, led by insurers which posted strong January premium growth and helped by robust China bank lending data.
SINGAPORE, Feb 17- Brent futures fell below $109 a barrel on Monday as disappointing U.S. economic data revived demand growth concerns at the world's top oil consumer, but strong consumption of heating fuels due to a cold spell kept losses in check. Brent crude slipped 15 cents to $108.93 a barrel by 0351 GMT, after gaining to $109.40.
*Silver at highest since early November. SINGAPORE, Feb 17- Gold hit a 3-1/ 2 month peak on Monday as fears over U.S. economic growth and a weaker dollar added to the metals' safe-haven appeal, extending its gains after rising the most in six months last week.
BANGKOK, Feb 17- Thailand's economic growth slowed significantly in the final quarter of 2013 and the state planning agency cut its forecast for this year because of political unrest that could prevent the formation of a fully functioning government for months.
*Japan Q4 GDP +0.3 pct vs f'cast +0.7 pct. TOKYO, Feb 17- Japan's economy grew at a much slower pace than expected at the end of last year, posing a challenge to policymakers as massive government stimulus efforts showed few signs of sparking momentum in consumption and exports.
--Clyde Russell is a Reuters market analyst. LAUNCESTON, Australia, Feb 17- China's record imports of crude oil in January have largely, and correctly, been dismissed by the market as being artificially boosted by restocking ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays.
*US data disappoints; euro zone, China data more upbeat. SYDNEY/ TOKYO, Feb 17- The dollar languished at a six-week low against a basket of major currencies on Monday, struggling to get over yet more disappointing U.S. economic news that stood in contrast to better data out of the euro zone and China.
*China loan expansion seen as positive, US markets shut for holiday. Stocks across the region felt the benefit with MSCI's index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan up 0.8 percent, bringing its gains to almost 6 percent in eight sessions. Indonesia's market added 0.8 percent, as did the Philippines.
*Japan Q4 GDP +0.3 pct vs f'cast +0.7 pct. By Stanley White and Tetsushi Kajimoto. TOKYO, Feb 17- Japan's economy grew at a much slower pace than expected at the end of last year, posing a challenge to policymakers as massive government stimulus efforts showed few signs of sparking momentum in consumption and exports.
TOKYO, Feb 17- Japanese government bond prices mostly inched lower on Monday, shrugging off disappointing economic data in very thin trading as the Bank of Japan began its two-day policy meeting at which it was expected to stay the course.
*Rakuten dives after acquisition announcement. TOKYO, Feb 17- The Nikkei stock average edged up on Monday, taking heart from gains on Wall Street, although trade was choppy after weaker-than-expected Japanese economic growth data soured investor sentiment.
SYDNEY, Feb 17- London copper hit its highest in more than a week on Monday, after manufacturing in the United States unexpectedly fell in January, dragging down the U.S. dollar and sending short-position holders rushing for cover. *The most-traded April copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 1.01 percent to 51,110 yuan a tonne.
SEOUL, Feb 17- Policy coordination in response to the recent turmoil in some emerging markets will likely be among the main topics for discussion at this week's meetings of G20 policymakers, South Korea's Ministry of Strategy and Finance said on Monday.
SINGAPORE, Feb 17- U.S. crude futures rose on Monday, supported by a weaker dollar after data showed U.S. manufacturing output unexpectedly shrank in January in another sign of how cold weather is hurting the world's top economy. *U.S. crude for March delivery was up 30 cents at $100.60 a barrel by 0048 GMT, after touching a session high of $101.04.
*Sentiment supported as Wall St looks past soft US data. SYDNEY, Feb 17- Most Asian share markets edged higher on Monday in a nod to the resilience of Wall Street, but Japanese stocks struggled with both a stronger yen and a surprisingly weak reading on economic growth.
SINGAPORE, Feb 17- Gold hit fresh three-month highs on Monday, adding to gains after posting its biggest weekly rise in six months, as fears over U.S. economic growth and a weaker dollar sent investors seeking the safe-haven metal. *Spot gold rose 0.3 percent to $1,322.24 an ounce by 0026 GMT, after hitting $1,323.76 earlier in the session- its highest since November.
*Japan Q4 GDP +0.3 pct vs f'cast +0.7 pct. TOKYO, Feb 17- Japan's economy grew less than expected in the fourth quarter of last year as consumer spending, business investment and exports disappointed in a worrying sign of waning momentum ahead of a planned sales tax increase.
TOKYO, Feb 17- Japan's economy grew 0.3 percent in October-December from the previous quarter, posting the fourth straight quarter of expansion, government data showed on Monday, reflecting firm private consumption and a pickup in capital spending.
*Sentiment supported as Wall St looks past soft US data. SYDNEY, Feb 17- Asian markets could take heart on Monday after Wall Street managed to look past more soft U.S. data, though Japanese stocks will be pressured by a stronger yen as the dollar loses altitude.