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  • LIMA, April 22- Peru's central bank slashed its forecast for this year's economic expansion to 5.5 percent from 6 percent on dimmer expectations for the country's crucial mining sector, the bank's president said. Central Bank President Julio Velarde said mining activity will pick up this year but will not likely be as robust as previously thought.

  • *Deputy governor says Japan can withstand tax hike pain. TOKYO, April 23- Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said consumer inflation may exceed the central bank's projection in the fiscal year that ended in March, voicing confidence the world's third-largest economy continues to make headway in meeting its price target.

  • *Some buying low P/E names such as Bridgestone gain. TOKYO, April 23- Japanese stocks rose on Wednesday morning, spurred by Wall Street gains on solid earnings and merger activity, but buying was tempered as investors were wary of the looming local reporting season.

  • BEIJING, April 23- China's factory activity shrank for the fourth straight month in April, signalling economic weakness into the second quarter, a preliminary survey showed on Wednesday, although the pace of decline eased helped by policy steps to arrest the slowdown.

  • *Risk sentiment bolstered by gains in US, Europe. SYDNEY/ SINGAPORE, April 23- Asian stock markets were little moved on Wednesday after a Chinese manufacturing survey met expectations, but the Australian dollar plunged to a two-week low after data showed surprisingly low inflation in that country's economy.

  • BEIJING, April 23- China's manufacturing downturn eased slightly in April as declines in new orders and output slowed, a preliminary survey showed on Wednesday, though factory activity showed an overall contraction for the fourth straight month.

  • PARIS/ SAO PAULO, April 22- Brazil's third-biggest airline, Azul Linhas Aereas, is set to announce a fleet expansion on Wednesday including an order for its first wide-body aircraft from European planemaker Airbus, according to two industry sources.

  • SINGAPORE, April 23- London copper futures edged lower on Wednesday ahead of reading on China's manufacturing activity, with a further contraction likely to cut the appetite for risky assets, although nickel hit the highest in more than 14 months on tighter supply.

  • PARIS/ SAO PAULO, April 22- Brazil's third-biggest airline, Azul Linhas Aereas, is set to announce a fleet expansion on Wednesday including an order for its first wide-body aircraft from European planemaker Airbus, according to two industry sources. Airbus and U.S. rival Boeing Co battle intensely for such orders.

  • Brazilian Congress passes Internet bill of rights Tuesday, 22 Apr 2014 | 8:46 PM ET

    BRASILIA, April 22- Brazil's Senate unanimously approved groundbreaking legislation on Tuesday that guarantees equal access to the Internet and protects the privacy of Brazilian users in the wake of U.S. spying revelations.

  • SINGAPORE, April 23- U.S. crude futures held steady near $102 a barrel in early Asian trade on Wednesday after steep losses in the previous session on expectations oil inventories in the world's top consumer rose at a much slower pace than expected.

  • SINGAPORE, April 23- Gold was trading near its lowest in more than two months on Wednesday as stronger equities dented the metal's safe-haven appeal and bullion funds showed weak investor appetite. *Spot gold was trading flat at $1,283.40 an ounce by 0021 GMT.

  • SYDNEY, April 23- Asian shares crept higher on Wednesday following merger-driven gains in Europe and on Wall Street, though investors were wary in case coming figures on Chinese manufacturing again disappointed. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.15 percent.

  • April 22- Darden Restaurant Inc will have to call a shareholder meeting to vote on Starboard Value LP's proposal to delay the company's plan to spin off its struggling Red Lobster chain, after the activist investor secured the support of a majority of the company's shareholders.

  • DIARY - Top Economic Events to May 6 Tuesday, 22 Apr 2014 | 8:01 PM ET

    LONDON- Bank of England will release the minutes of April Monetary Policy Committee meeting- 0830 GMT. HELSINKI- Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen, Finance Minister Jutta Urpilainen and The Finns Party leader Timo Soini participate in a election debate- 1300 GMT.

  • Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd and Canadian National Railway Co have come under enormous pressure to clear the backlog, which resulted from a record harvest last year and subsequent disruptions of service caused by a frigid winter.

  • SYDNEY/ WASHINGTON, April 23- Australia will announce plans on Wednesday to order 58 more F-35 fighter jets built by Lockheed Martin Corp for A $12 billion, sources in Washington and Canberra told Reuters.

  • NEW YORK, April 22- AT&T Inc on Tuesday raised its forecast for full-year revenue growth to reflect its acquisition of LEAP wireless in March and the popularity of a new handset pricing model that charges customers for devices separately from their wireless plans.

  • April 22- Comcast may divest about 4 million subscribers after its merger with Time Warner Cable and is working to reach an accord to sell a portion of those customers to Charter Communications, a source familiar with the matter said Tuesday.

  • UPDATE 1-Skechers profit soars on runaway shoe sales Tuesday, 22 Apr 2014 | 7:18 PM ET

    April 22- Skechers USA Inc posted a near-fivefold jump in quarterly profit after its new footwear designs sold well in the United States and abroad, sending shares of the company up 14 percent after the bell. Skechers, whose larger rivals include Nike Inc and Adidas AG, said it expected U.S. and international demand to stay strong for the rest of the year.