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  • PARIS, March 19- European stocks rose on Thursday after the U.S. Britain's FTSE 100 also hit a new record high. The FTSE rose as much as 0.5 percent to an intraday record high of 6,978.74 points, beating its previous peak of 6,974.26 points set on March 2.

  • Foreign net buying of Japan stocks biggest in 3 months Thursday, 19 Mar 2015 | 4:16 AM ET

    Foreign net buying of Japanese cash stocks was 306.2 billion yen during March 9-13, data released by the Tokyo Stock Exchange showed. The Nikkei benchmark has been hitting fresh 15- year highs on optimism over steady economic recovery, improved corporate earnings and better shareholder returns, as well as expectations Japan will be one of the main...

  • BERLIN, March 19- China's growth target of 7 percent for this year is appropriate and the country does not need additional stimulus measures to meet it, deputy finance minister Shi Yaobin told German newspaper Handelsblatt on Thursday. "I think the state should support the growth target with certain measures. Weighed down by a property downturn, factory...

  • March 19- Hong Kong shares joined nearly all regional markets in rising on Thursday after the Federal Reserve indicated it won't start raising U.S. interest rates for some time. Analysts said a delay in a U.S. rate hike benefits Hong Kong stocks. Among the most actively traded stocks on Hong Kong's main board were Landing International, up 0.6 percent to HK $0.16;...

  • TOKYO, March 19- Japanese online retailer Rakuten Inc is buying U.S. eBook company OverDrive Inc for about $410 million, deepening its push into the U.S. market and into the "sharing economy." Rakuten's announcement on Thursday about the OverDrive deal comes a week after it led a $530 million funding round for U.S ride-sharing service Lyft, signaling Rakuten's...

  • *China to buy more high-protein wheat to meet shortage- traders. China bought around 300,000 tonnes of high protein milling wheat from Canada and about 150,000 tonnes from Australia, with shipment from May 2015, according to traders in Europe. The price gap has expanded, encouraging mills and state-trading houses to import, "said an industry source with an...

  • BAKU, March 19- Azeri state energy firm SOCAR said on Thursday it had placed $750 million worth of 15- year Eurobonds.

  • *Restructuring costs to total over 200 bln yen- source. TOKYO, March 19- Japan's loss-making Sharp Corp intends to cut 12 percent of its workforce in a global restructuring expected to cost more than $1.7 billion, a person familiar with the plan said on Thursday. The job cuts will total around 6,000, half of which would come in Japan through early retirement while...

  • UPDATE 1-Interparfums set to buy Rochas for $108 mln Thursday, 19 Mar 2015 | 3:46 AM ET

    PARIS, March 19- Interparfums said on Thursday it would buy perfumes and fashion company Rochas from U.S.-based Procter& Gamble for $108 million, taking the French fragrances group into the fashion business for the first time.

  • LONDON, March 19- British clothing retailer Next met guidance with a 12.5 percent rise in year profit, powered by sales growth at both its stores and Directory internet business, though it took a cautious view of the outlook for the 2015-16 year. The firm, which trades from over 500 stores in Britain and Ireland and almost 200 stores overseas, said on Thursday that...

  • Worst over for Russia's economy - finance Minister Thursday, 19 Mar 2015 | 3:40 AM ET

    MOSCOW, March 19- Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Thursday the worst was over for the country's economy, hit by Western economic sanctions over Ukraine and the fall in global oil prices. Siluanov said in a speech that there were signs the economy had entered a period of stabilisation. This follows a fall of 1.5 percent in gross domestic product in...

  • UK to ramp up crackdown on tax avoidance - Osborne Thursday, 19 Mar 2015 | 3:32 AM ET

    LONDON, March 19- Britain will announce new laws to crack down on tax avoidance on Thursday including making it a criminal offence for accountants and lawyers to help someone avoid paying tax, finance minister George Osborne said. Osborne told BBC television that the changes would give more powers to prosecutors and courts to tackle avoidance.

  • LONDON, March 19- Luxury shoemaker Jimmy Choo reported a 7.2 percent rise in annaul earnings and said it would continue to grow by expanding its store portfolio in China. Reporting its first full-year results since floating on the London Stock Exchange in October, Jimmy Choo said adjusted core earnings of 50.2 million pounds in 2014 compared to the 46.9 million...

  • MELBOURNE, March 19- London copper rose more than 1 percent on Thursday, after dropping to a one-month low in the previous session, as the dollar sagged on indications of a later start to U.S. interest rate hikes. "It's all about the U.S. dollar and it's pretty short-term," said analyst Joel Crane at Morgan Stanley in Melbourne. London Metal Exchange copper rose 1.3...

  • MOSCOW, March 19- MMK, one of Russia's biggest steelmakers, posted a fourth-quarter net loss of $150 million due to a non-cash foreign exchange loss of $394 million caused by a weaker rouble.

  • Next annual profit jumps 12.5 pct Thursday, 19 Mar 2015 | 3:15 AM ET

    LONDON, March 19- British clothing retailer Next met guidance with a 12.5 percent rise in year profit, powered by sales growth at both its stores and Directory internet business. The firm, which trades from over 500 stores in Britain and Ireland and almost 200 stores overseas, said on Thursday it made an underlying profit before tax of 782 million pounds in the year...

  • The CSI300 index of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen fell 0.2 percent, to 3,839.74, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.2 percent, to 3,582.27 points. Among the most active stocks in Shanghai were Bank of China, down 1.2 percent to 4.28 yuan; Hainan Airline, down 0.2 percent to 4.32 yuan and China State Construction, up 4.0 percent to...

  • JGBs soar, yields sink after Fed's dovish signal Thursday, 19 Mar 2015 | 3:10 AM ET

    TOKYO, March 19- Japanese government bonds soared on Thursday, sending yields on several notes to multi-week lows, after the U.S. In the superlong zone, the yield on the 20- year JGB fell 6 basis points to 1.070 percent after earlier touching 1.040 percent, its lowest since Feb. 3. Investors shrugged off news that three Japanese public pension funds with a combined...

  • SHANGHAI, March 19- China's yuan firmed sharply for the third straight day on Thursday, breaking through its 200- day moving average and recouping all of its losses for the year as corporate flight out of long-dollar positions intensified. The People's Bank of China set the midpoint rate at 6.146 per dollar prior to market open, firmer than the previous fix of...

  • PORT VILA, March 19- The death toll from the devastating storm that pummelled Vanuatu last weekend will not rise significantly, the prime minister of the South Pacific island nation said on Thursday. "The important thing is that the people survived," Prime Minister Joe Natuman told Reuters in an interview in the capital Port Vila. With widespread destruction in...