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  • EDINBURGH, July 18- Ruth McPherson was born and educated in Scotland but left to work in London two years ago and so has no say on whether her native country should end three centuries of union with England.

  • *Liquor-makers rise on hopes for Hong Kong- Shanghai linkage. HONG KONG, July 18- China shares rose on Friday morning, reversing early losses as property counters surged after soft home price data triggered expectations of more mini-stimulus by local governments. Some of Hong Kong's losses were erased after China markets regained momentum.

  • SHANGHAI, July 18- China's yuan steadied against the dollar on Friday, as a balance in dollar supply and demand kept the Chinese currency flat after the central bank held the midpoint steady, traders said. The People's Bank of China fixed its official rate at 6.1568 per dollar, only 0.01 percent weaker than Thursday.

  • BEIJING, July 18- China's new home prices fell in June from May for a second straight month and are expected to continue declining- a challenge for Beijing if prices fall too sharply and weigh further on the broad economy.

  • Brent climbs above $108 after plane downed in Ukraine Friday, 18 Jul 2014 | 12:23 AM ET

    SINGAPORE, July 18- Brent futures climbed above $108 a barrel on Friday, extending sharp overnight gains amid heightened geopolitical concerns after a Malaysian jetliner was shot down over eastern Ukraine.

  • *Ukraine says rebel missile shoots down Boeing 777 with 298 aboard. HRABOVE, Ukraine, July 18- World leaders demanded an international investigation into the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner over eastern Ukraine in which all 298 people on board were killed, a tragedy that could further heighten tensions between Russia and the West.

  • NEW YORK, July 18- Many investors say the best trading strategy around a potential takeover of Time Warner Inc by Twenty-First Century Fox is to wager that media baron Rupert Murdoch will pay up to get what he wants.

  • SYDNEY, July 18- London copper slipped on Friday and was set to notch up its biggest weekly loss since early June as nagging concerns about China's property sector and an influx of stocks to exchange inventories dimmed the price outlook for the metal. A sharp downturn in China's housing sector has soured copper's demand prospects.

  • SAN FRANCISCO, July 17- Google Inc's reshuffle of its senior ranks underscores the Internet company's evolving business ambitions, analysts say. On Thursday, Google announced the surprise departure of its veteran business chief Nikesh Arora, who will become Vice Chairman of SoftBank Corp..

  • JGBs steady as fresh debt supply offsets U.S. bond rise Thursday, 17 Jul 2014 | 11:28 PM ET

    TOKYO, July 18- Japanese government bond prices were little changed on Friday, rising early on an overnight surge in U.S. The Ministry of Finance offered 270 billion yen of five-year JGBs on Friday.

  • NEW YORK, July 17- Insurance on the Malaysian airliner brought down over Ukraine is likely to pay out relatively quickly if the cause of the crash is determined, but observers say insurance for the loss of 298 lives and other liability could be complex and lengthy.

  • TOKYO, July 18- The yen hit a five-month high versus the euro on Friday and held some of its overnight gains against the dollar as investors saw the currency as a safe haven after the downing of an airliner over Ukraine and the Gaza conflict stoked geopolitical tension. The Malaysian Airlines passenger jet was brought down over eastern Ukraine.

  • *Gold slips after sharp overnight jump. SINGAPORE, July 18- Gold dipped on Friday on profit-taking after a sharp overnight jump, but the metal is being supported by a wave of risk aversion after a Malaysian airliner was downed in eastern Ukraine, killing nearly 300 people.

  • *Australian PM Abbott expresses revulsion, says Russian-backed rebels behind crash. *Russian ambassador called in, questions raised over Putin's G20 visit. *27 Australians dead in Malaysia Airlines downing.

  • It could easily be a women's club gathering anywhere in middle Australia, but these women are producing a teddy bear that has become one of the most sought after commodities in China.

  • *June home prices ease from May, second straight monthly fall. BEIJING, July 18- China's average new home prices fell in June from May for a second straight month and are expected to continue declining in coming months, a challenge to Beijing if prices fall too sharply and weigh further on the broad economy.

  • TOKYO, July 18- Japan's Nikkei share average dropped to a one-week low on Friday morning and posted its biggest one-day fall in two months as investors turned risk averse on news that a Malaysian Airlines passenger jet was shot down near the Ukraine- Russia border.

  • "This action expands a prohibition of U.S. flight operations issued by the FAA in April, over the Crimean region of Ukraine and adjacent areas of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov," the agency said. Earlier in the day, the FAA said American air carriers had voluntarily agreed to avoid flying through airspace near Russia's border with Ukraine after the crash.

  • *South Korea has long been expected to switch to tariffs. SEOUL, July 18- South Korea will scrap caps on rice imports from the start of 2015, instead managing shipments into the country using a system of steep tariffs, the government said on Friday.

  • POWRANNA, Australia, July 18- Thousands of Black Angus bulls snort steam gently into the frigid early morning air at Tasmania's largest cattle feedlot as they jostle for space at a long grain trough.