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  • TOKYO, Jan 31- Japanese manufacturing activity grew in January at the fastest pace in nearly eight years as new orders for goods expanded at a record rate, a sign of robust domestic demand before an increase in the sales tax in April.

  • Jan 30- Canadian contract electronics manufacturer Celestica Inc's quarterly profit narrowly beat analysts' average estimate due to a slight improvement in margins and a tax benefit.

  • The group includes non-represented employees as well as engineers and technicians represented by the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, Boeing said. Separately, about 31,000 machinists will get bonuses of 4 percent of eligible pay, the maximum under their contract, Boeing said.

  • Koch abandons Bakken oil pipeline Thursday, 30 Jan 2014 | 5:52 PM ET

    HOUSTON, Jan 30- Koch Pipeline Co LP has abandoned plans to build a 250,000 barrels-per-day pipeline to move North Dakota Bakken crude to Illinois, a spokesman confirmed on Thursday.

  • SEATTLE, Jan 30- Microsoft Corp's board is preparing to name internal executive Satya Nadella as the software company's next chief executive, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing unnamed sources it said were briefed on the CEO search process.

  • Yahoo says detected hacking attempt on email accounts Thursday, 30 Jan 2014 | 5:46 PM ET

    Jan 30- Yahoo Inc said it had detected a coordinated effort to obtain Yahoo Mail usernames and passwords using malicious computer software. The company, which said there was no evidence that passwords or usernames had been obtained directly from its systems, said it had taken immediate action to protect affected users by prompting them to reset passwords.

  • WASHINGTON, Jan 30- A Target Corp representative briefed Congressional investigators by telephone on Thursday about the retail chain's recent massive data breach, but offered few fresh details, citing continuing law enforcement investigations.

  • TORONTO, Jan 30- Canadian National Railway Co, the country's largest rail operator, reported higher quarterly results on Thursday and said full-year volumes and revenue hit a record, but results were tempered by extreme winter weather in December and came in slightly below estimates.

  • It said the firm's researchers uncovered the ring, whose victims included small companies in the United States, Russia, Canada and Australia. Arts and crafts retailer Michaels has said it is investigating a possible breach and the FBI has warned retailers to expect more attacks.

  • NEW YORK, Jan 30- The S&P 500 scored its biggest gain in more than a month on Thursday as Facebook led a tech rally and data showed the U.S. economy was on solid footing in the fourth quarter. Facebook Inc shares jumped 14.1 percent to end at $61.08, hitting a lifetime high of $62.50 during the session and supporting both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq.

  • NEW YORK, Jan 30- A New York state appeals court on Thursday refused to dismiss a $1.07 billion lawsuit accusing Goldman Sachs Group Inc of selling securities as the financial crisis began that it expected to lose value.

  • NEW YORK, Jan 30- U.S Northern and Midwestern states called on Thursday for new measures to help bring the heating fuel propane into their regions as a bitter freeze extended into a second week, signaling that pockets of shortages have not yet disappeared.

  • *China slowdown caps Brent gains. However, growing evidence of a fuel demand slowdown in the second-biggest oil consumer, China, capped gains. BP announced Thursday it dropped plans to invest in a refinery in China, as Royal Dutch Shell did late last year.

  • Microsoft board to name insider Nadella as CEO -report Thursday, 30 Jan 2014 | 5:30 PM ET

    SEATTLE, Jan 30- Microsoft Corp's board is preparing to name internal executive Satya Nadella as the software company's next chief executive, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing unnamed sources it said were briefed on the CEO search process.

  • NEW YORK, Jan 30- Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive of Goldman Sachs Group Inc, received restricted stock worth $14.7 million this week as part of his 2013 bonus, Goldman reported in a regulatory filing on Thursday.

  • CALGARY, Alberta, Jan 30- The National Energy Board, the regulator for Canada's major pipeline projects, on Thursday recommended the federal government approve Enbridge Inc's C $1.8 billion plan to build an oil pipeline linking Edmonton, Alberta, to the province's largest storage hub at Hardisty.

  • DETROIT, Jan 30- Toyota Motor Corp has alerted U.S. safety officials that seat material in several vehicles, including the top-selling Camry sedan, does not meet fire retardation standards and could result in a recall. Toyota said there have been no reports of fires or injuries related to the problem.

  • Jan 30- Property and casualty insurer Chubb Corp reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit as its claims fell 30 percent and announced a $1.5 billion share buyback. Chubb's net profit rose more than five-fold to $569 million, or $2.24 per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, from $102 million, or 38 cents per share, a year earlier.

  • Some prices in the poorly supplied northeast of the country rose to all-time highs above $120 per million British thermal units on Jan. 21, more than $100 higher than the previous week. "As demand comes, we are sitting here fat, dumb and happy," said Vikas Dwivedi, an energy market strategist at Macquarie Group.

  • WASHINGTON, Jan 30- Janet Yellen, the first woman to chair the Federal Reserve in its 100- year history, will take over the reins of the U.S. central bank on Saturday and formally be sworn in next week, the Fed said on Thursday. Yellen, 67, who begins her post as the Fed unwinds its unprecedented efforts to boost the U.S. economy, will be sworn in at 9 a.m. EST on Feb. 3.