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Latest Business News Wires - Business Headlines

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  • LONDON, Feb 7- Britain's trade deficit plunged in December to its lowest since July 2012, driven by erratic goods such as aircraft, but smaller-than-expected manufacturing growth underscored the challenge of rebalancing the economy.

  • *Skanska drags after orders lag. LONDON, Feb 7- European shares rose for a second straight day on Friday, supported by hopes that jobs data later in the session would reveal a brightening picture for the U.S. economy.

  • *China demand strong after week-long new year break. LONDON, Feb 7- Gold edged higher on Friday and was set for its sixth week of gains out of seven as Chinese buyers returned from a week-long holiday, while investors awaited the upcoming U.S. payrolls report for clues on economic growth.

  • Feb 7- Cigna Corp, which provides health and other insurance, on Friday reported a decline in fourth-quarter profit as medical costs in its private Medicare business came in higher than anticipated, and it gave an earnings outlook that was lower than analysts expected. Cigna said it expected 2014 earnings of $6.80 to $7.20 per share.

  • SINGAPORE, Feb 7- Ethiopian Airlines is in preliminary talks with Boeing that could lead to an order for 10 of the U.S. planemaker's latest model, the 777 X, the airline's chief executive said. "We are discussing with Boeing for about 10 777 X," he added- a deal potentially worth $3.8 billion at list prices.

  • Feb 7- Cigna Corp, which provides health and other insurance, on Friday reported a lower fourth-quarter profit as medical costs in its private Medicare business came in higher than anticipated, and the company said it expected 2014 earnings to grow.

  • *German court refers complaint against OMT to European court. KARLSRUHE, Germany, Feb 7- Germany's Constitutional Court will refer a complaint against the European Central Bank's flagship bond-buying plan to the European Court of Justice, removing the prospect of it curbing the programme.

  • LONDON, Feb 7- The euro dipped against the dollar on Friday after Germany's Constitutional Court criticised the European Central Bank's bond-buying programme. But by referring the issue to the European Court, the court also removed prospects that Germany might try to curb the programme, which helped limit the single currency's decline.

  • SINGAPORE, Feb 7- Ethiopian Airlines is in preliminary talks with Boeing that could lead to an order for 10 of the U.S. planemaker's latest model, the 777 X, the airline's chief executive said. "We are discussing with Boeing for about 10 777 X," he added- a deal potentially worth $3.8 billion at list prices.

  • *Copper on track to post biggest weekly gain this year. *China markets reopen from week-long holiday. LONDON, Feb 7- Copper rose on Friday, on track to post its largest weekly rise for the year, boosted by encouraging labour market data from the United States and limited short-term availability of the metal in the physical market.

  • BRUSSELS, Feb 7- ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steelmaker, forecast higher profits this year, driven by higher steel sales and margins, and an increase in iron ore production as Europe ended two years of decline.

  • ECB SAYS TO DECIDE AT LEAST TWO MONTHS BEFORE NOVEMBER'S SSM START WHICH BANKS WILL COME UNDER ITS DIRECT SUPERVISION.

  • ECB SAYS WILL GET POWER UNDER NEW SSM SUPERVISORY RULES TO GRANT, WITHDRAW BANK LICENCES, ASSESS ACQUISITIONS OF QUALIFYING HOLDINGS.

  • *Single Supervisory Mechanism for sector to start on Nov. 4. FRANKFURT, Feb 7- The European Central Bank will attain significant powers over the euro zone's commercial banks once it becomes their supervisor later this year, including withdrawing bank licences and assessing acquisitions, it said on Friday.

  • SINGAPORE, Feb 7- Singapore is proposing wide-scale reforms to its equity market rules in the wake of a penny stock scandal, its central bank and stock exchange announced on Friday.

  • LONDON, Feb 7- German Bund futures rallied while lower-rated bonds pared gains on Friday after Germany's top court referred a complaint against the European Central Bank's "unlimited" bond-buying scheme to the European Court.

  • *Genting Singapore, Landing International to develop $2.2 bln South Korea casino resort. HONG KONG, Feb 7- Casino operator Genting Singapore and Chinese property developer Landing International Development will develop a $2.2 billion casino resort in South Korea, joining global gaming firms rapidly expanding across Asia to court wealthy Chinese punters.

  • MUMBAI, Feb 7- The Indian Commodity Exchange is set to fold due to plummetting trading volume as a result of the government's failure to liberalise and investors retreat from futures markets after a major financial scandal at another exchange last year.

  • "There is potentially a further wave of investment headed for the prime central London property market," Tom Bill, associate in the Knight Frank residential research team, told Reuters.

  • *Coming up: U.S. non farm payrolls data; 1330 GMT. LONDON, Feb 7- Brent crude oil steadied above $107 a barrel on Friday on optimism U.S. jobs data would confirm accelerating economic growth in the world's top oil consumer. Brent crude was up 5 cents at $107.24 by 0920 GMT, after rising 0.9 percent in the previous session- its biggest daily gain since Jan. 22.