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  • SYDNEY, March 28- London copper edged higher on Friday, moving further away from more than three-year lows hit earlier this month, as hopes for stimulus in top metals user China put it on target for its biggest weekly rise in six months.

  • MILAN, March 28- Intesa Sanpaolo, Italy's biggest retail bank, posted a net loss of 4.55 billion euros on Friday, due to heavy writedowns on bad loans and impairments on some units, but said it was now on course to rebuild profits.

  • SHANGHAI, March 28- China shares closed down on Friday, as gains from major index heavyweights were offset by a sell-off in tech shares as investors booked profits on worries that their recent stellar performance may be coming to an end. Investors also continued to desert Kweichow Moutai Co Ltd, with the stock losing 3.2 percent.

  • TOKYO, March 28- Japanese stocks rose to two-week highs on Friday in choppy trade ahead of the approaching fiscal year-end, while Yahoo Japan Corp dived on questions over strategy following news it will buy mobile network operator eAccess from SoftBank Corp. Gains in Asian markets helped the Nikkei share average end 0.5 percent higher at 14,696.03, the best close since March 13.

  • SINGAPORE, March 28- Brent steadied below $108 per barrel on Friday, holding most of its gains from the prior session and heading for the first weekly rise in five, on promising U.S. data and fears geopolitical tensions could dent supply from Russia.

  • *Asian shares supported by reports Beijing to accelerate spending. SYDNEY, March 28- The euro was wallowing near three-week lows in Asia on Friday as speculation intensified that the European Central Bank might ease policy further, while reports Beijing would fast track infrastructure spending supported Asian shares.

  • SHANGHAI/ HONG KONG, March 28- Hong Kong shares produced a solid gain early Friday, lifted by the financial sector on strong bank earnings, while mainland index edged up, held down by falls in tech stocks. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong rose 1.6 percent.

  • BEIJING, March 28- China's Premier Li Keqiang sought to reassure jittery global investors that Beijing was ready to support the cooling economy, saying the government had the necessary policies in place and would push ahead with infrastructure investment.

  • Ukraine faces painful slog to economic recovery Friday, 28 Mar 2014 | 1:00 AM ET

    *Russia accounts for 25 pct of Ukrainian exports. KIEV, March 28- Smarting from Ukraine's U-turn towards Europe, Russia is likely to employ every weapon in its economic arsenal to ensure its neighbour's road to financial recovery is as painful as possible, even when paved with billions of dollars in Western aid.

  • UPDATE 1-Fed's Evans sees no rate rise before mid-2015 Friday, 28 Mar 2014 | 12:21 AM ET

    HONG KONG, March 28- The U.S. "I personally doubt that the funds rate is going to start to increase before the middle of 2015," Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans told the Credit Suisse investment conference in Hong Kong.

  • A group of 24 such companies compiled by Credit Suisse has lost $63 billion in market value, or almost 19 percent, so far in March.

  • BEIJING, March 28- China's factory activity is expected to have picked up slightly in March, a Reuters poll showed, in a rare piece of good news, though the figure is unlikely to alter views that the world's second-largest economy is facing a slow first quarter.

  • SINGAPORE, March 28- Brent steadied below $108 per barrel on Friday, retaining most of its gains from the prior session and heading for the first weekly rise in five, on promising U.S. data and fears geopolitical tensions could dent supply from Russia.

  • China's yuan steadies as market looks for direction Friday, 28 Mar 2014 | 12:03 AM ET

    HONG KONG, March 28- China's yuan held steady against the dollar on Friday, even though the central bank set the weakest midpoint in six months, as traders were puzzled about which direction the Chinese currency would move next. The People's Bank of China set the yuan mid-point at 6.1490, down 0.04 percent from the previous day's 6.1465.

  • CBS Outdoor to go after more ad dollars as new company Friday, 28 Mar 2014 | 12:01 AM ET

    NEW YORK, March 28- CBS Outdoor Americas' top executive says he plans to convince top advertisers to move more of their dollars toward billboards and other displays as the company splits from media broadcaster CBS on Friday.

  • March 27- Ford Motor Co will spend $500 million and create 300 jobs to upgrade an Ohio engine plant to make the new 2.7- liter six-cylinder EcoBoost engine for its best-selling F-150 pickup trucks, the company said on Friday. The 2015 F-150 pickup truck will be the first model to use the new engine that will be built at Ford's Lima, Ohio engine plant.

  • March 27- All restrictions on marine traffic through the Houston Ship Channel, a critical waterway for oil shipments, were lifted on Thursday, five days after an oil spill in the Galveston Bay, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

  • FOREX-Euro on defensive after dovish ECB talk, kiwi flies Thursday, 27 Mar 2014 | 10:55 PM ET

    SYDNEY/ TOKYO, March 28- The euro struggled near a three-week low against the dollar on Friday, weighed by recent dovish talk from several European Central Bank officials. The euro last traded at $1.3744, having plumbed three-week lows of $1.3728 overnight, on track to end lower for a second straight week.

  • JGBs tick up on BOJ buying, no reaction to data Thursday, 27 Mar 2014 | 10:37 PM ET

    TOKYO, March 28- Japanese government bond prices ticked up on Friday, helped by the Bank of Japan buying short and superlong maturities in a subdued market that showed little reaction to a series of Japanese economic indicators. The BOJ offered to buy 170 billion yen of JGBs maturing in more than 10 years and 500 billion yen in one- to five-year maturities.

  • *Asian shares supported by speculation of China stimulus. SYDNEY, March 28- The euro was wallowing near three-week lows in Asia on Friday as speculation intensified that the European Central Bank might ease policy further, while similar hopes of stimulus in China gave a fillip to Asian shares.