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  • *Copper down on China, Russian signs of more supply. SYDNEY, Dec 17- Copper eased on Wednesday, dragged down by a rise in Chinese output and concerns a sharp drop in the rouble could see Russian producers step up metals production. Copper prices have now plunged by around $1,000 a tonne since the start of the year, underscoring a mounting supply glut, which miners says...

  • MEXICO CITY, Dec 16- Mexico's telecommunications regulator IFT has approved a plan from dominant broadcaster Televisa that lays out how the company will share infrastructure with competitors in order to avoid stiff penalties tied to its share of controlling more than half the market, the watchdog said on Tuesday. The plan is part of a process that Televisa, the...

  • SYDNEY, Dec 17- Increasingly controversial environmental issues in Australia and a global slump in commodity prices are putting pressure on Australia's A $1.8 trillion pension fund industry to adopt socially responsible investing policies- including a restriction on funding fossil fuels. Ethical funds have grown to more than A $150 billion this year from...

  • METALS-Copper retreats as China pumps out more metal Tuesday, 16 Dec 2014 | 8:35 PM ET

    SYDNEY, Dec 17- Copper eased in early Asian trade on Wednesday, dragged down by a rise in Chinese output. *The most-traded February copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange slipped 1 percent to 45,680 yuan a tonne. *Discovery Metals Ltd will suspend copper mining in Botswana within the next six months, citing a deteriorating world copper price.

  • SYDNEY, Dec 17- An uneasy calm settled on Asian markets on Wednesday as a brewing financial crisis in Russia and the rout in oil prices sent investors scurrying for the cover of top-rated bonds. Yields on British, German and Japan sovereign debt had all hit record lows while long-dated U.S. yields reached their lowest since late 2012.. MSCI's index of Asia-Pacific...

  • The Senate approved legislation sent from the House of Representatives that renews retroactively, back to Jan. 1, 2014, a 55- item package of tax breaks. In a floor speech before passage, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden said: "With this tax bill, the Congress is turning in its tax homework 11 months late... this package of tax incentives will last just two...

  • *Japanese lenders also planning to offer new services in India. MUMBAI, Dec 17- Faced with a shrinking economy and tepid loan demand at home, Japan's largest banks are looking to bolster their presence in India, enthused by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's reform agenda and improving ties between the two countries. Standard Chartered, the biggest foreign player in...

  • TOKYO, Dec 17- Japan's exports grew for a third straight month in November from a year earlier, but much more slowly than expected and despite a sharp fall in the yen as slowing demand in Asia and Europe dampened trade. "Exports to Asia and Europe were weak. "I still expect shipments to remain firm as the U.S. economy continues to help spur output in Asia and Japan.

  • Dec 16- When the almost 11,000 financial advisers in Wells Fargo& Co's branch brokerage system get their 2015 compensation plan on Wednesday they may grimace at one change that could hit their pay, or cost their customers a little more. Morgan Stanley, the largest U.S. brokerage firm with more than 16,000 advisers, for example, does not credit brokers for purchases...

  • Dec 16- Shares of Auspex Pharmaceuticals Inc soared about 60 percent on Tuesday after the drug developer said its product for treating chorea, or involuntary movement associated with Huntington's disease, met the main goal in a late-stage study. The shares jumped about to $40 in extended trading after closing at $25.09 on Nasdaq. The company said it was also...

  • *Risk aversion rises on Russia's financial crisis. TOKYO, Dec 17- The dollar nursed its losses in early Asian trading on Wednesday, pulling away from lows hit overnight on skidding oil prices, Russia's financial crisis, and speculation that the Federal Reserve might take a more cautious tone on monetary policy. We also expect committee members to raise their...

  • TOKYO, Dec 17- Japan will reduce new government bond issuance for the third straight year in next fiscal year's budget as an economic recovery boosts corporate tax revenues, media reports said on Wednesday. Tax revenues are set to rise to around 54- 55 trillion yen from current year's 50 trillion yen as the weak local currency, rising stock prices and improvements...

  • NEW YORK/ LOS ANGELES, Dec 16- The National Labor Relations Board is expected to rule soon on if, and how, companies can be held responsible for labor violations carried out by their contractors or franchisees- a move that could have far-reaching implications for businesses. In fact, if a conflict is found between the NLRB's stance and findings from other state and...

  • WASHINGTON, Dec 16- Northrop Grumman Corp has won a $657.4 million contract from the U.S. Air Force to provide South Korea with four RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned surveillance aircraft, the company and the Defense Department said on Tuesday. The contract, which includes two spare engines and ground control components, "will provide critically needed wide-area...

  • "The negative pressures facing most providers are widespread," said Martin Arrick, services analyst with Standard& Poor's Ratings. Moody's Investors Service anticipated another 12 to 18 months of weak performance, with large hospital systems faring better from economies of scale and the ability to drive revenue growth through expanded services.

  • *Olive Garden 2nd- qtr same-store sales up 0.5 pct. Dec 16- Darden Restaurants Inc, whose entire board was replaced by activist investor Starboard Value LP, reported a 4.9 percent rise in quarterly sales and raised the lower end of its adjusted profit forecast for the full year. Darden said it now expects adjusted profit of $2.25- $2.30 per share from continuing...

  • Japan exports rise 4.9 pct year/year in November - MOF Tuesday, 16 Dec 2014 | 6:54 PM ET

    TOKYO, Dec 17- Japan's exports rose 4.9 percent in November from a year earlier, Ministry of Finance data showed on Wednesday, rising for a third straight month in a sign of a gradual pick-up in global demand. The result compared with a 7.0 percent increase expected by economists in a Reuters poll. That resulted in a trade deficit of 891.9 billion yen, marking a 29th...

  • VANCOUVER, Dec 16- British Columbia will go ahead with building the Site C hydroelectric dam, Premier Christy Clark said on Tuesday, even as the controversial project's estimated cost rose to as much as C $8.78 billion. Critics say the dam, planned for the Peace River in northeastern British Columbia, will flood farmland and destroy wildlife habitat and heritage...

  • NYMEX-Oil falls on surprise U.S. crude stocks gain Tuesday, 16 Dec 2014 | 6:42 PM ET

    TOKYO, Dec 17- U.S. crude futures fell nearly 1 percent on Wednesday to stay below $56 a barrel after industry data showed stockpiles unexpectedly rose last week, and as Russia failed to halt more steep falls in the value of the rouble. *NYMEX crude for January delivery was down 49 cents at $55.44 a barrel by 2322 GMT, after settling up 2 cents on Tuesday as trading of...

  • SYDNEY, Dec 17- World markets braced for more volatility on Wednesday as tumbling oil prices and a brewing financial crisis in Russia sent investors stampeding for safe havens such as the yen and U.S. The jump in the yen is likely to pressure Japan's Nikkei while fears of capital flight will haunt emerging markets across Asia. MSCI's index of Asia-Pacific shares...