RALEIGH, N.C.-- Tesla Motors is fighting a bill in North Carolina that would effectively ban the company from selling its electric cars in the state, pitting it against auto dealers who say the car maker has an unfair advantage selling directly to consumers online.» Read More
BANGKOK, Dec 7- After years of profiting from cheap labour, Southeast Asian businesses paying wages low enough to undercut China are being forced to accept it is time they paid people a bit more. In Thailand, minimum wages will jump by 35 percent in some regions from January, on top of a nationwide increase of 40 percent last April.
*Xiaomi's Lei Jun dismisses notion of copying Apple. Less than three years after its founding, the smartphone maker is valued at $4 billion and evokes Apple- like adoration from its fans, some of whom are desperate enough to skip work for a shot at buying the latest product the day it goes on sale.
PARIS, Dec 7- France's finance minister said on Friday he was not campaigning to replace Jean-Claude Juncker as the new chairman of euro zone finance ministers, although he had been mooted as a possible candidate. "We will think about it collectively, I am not a candidate," Pierre Moscovici told BFM TV. "
But Germany's Bundesbank cut its growth outlook for the country on Friday, less than 24 hours after the European Central Bank slashed its economic forecasts for the euro zone. Germany's DAX index was down 0.1 percent. "
*Rand considers setting up refinery in China in two to three years. SHANGHAI, Dec 7- The world's biggest gold refiner, South Africa's Rand Refinery, is considering setting up a refining plant in China within two to three years, joining hands with a local partner on its first such plant abroad, a senior executive said on Friday.
TAIPEI, Dec 7- Taiwan's exports rose only marginally in November from a year ago, showing that global demand remains tepid even in the late-year shopping season that's traditionally good for the island's tech companies. In October, Taiwan's exports fell 1.9 percent from a year earlier.
His plight came to light after Reuters reported that Taiwan firm Foxconn had sent telephone text messages to his family telling them it would cut off funds for his treatment and other expenses if they did not remove him from hospital in Shenzhen city and submit him for a disability assessment 70 km away in Huizhou, where the company says he was hired.
HONG KONG, Dec 7- Hong Kong shares eased slightly on Friday but hovered near their highest since August last year as prospects of a strong recovery in the Chinese economy spurred more inflows into mainland-related equities. In China, the CSI300 of top Shanghai and Shenzhen listings rose 1.5 percent bringing its weekly gain to 5 percent.
LONDON, Dec 7- The bleak outlook for the European economy knocked the euro and stalled gains the region's share markets on Friday, as investors waited to see if nonfarm payrolls data in the United States might affect its monetary policy plans.
ROME, Dec 7- Italy should reassure markets that its economic reforms will not be reversed after Silvio Berlusconi's PDL party withdrew support for the government, OECD chief economist Pier Carlo Padoan said on Friday.
ATHENS, Dec 7- Greece aims to shield its banks from possible lawsuits linked to a crucial buyback of sovereign bonds and has no plans to extend the acceptance deadline for the scheme beyond Friday, a senior finance ministry official said.
*Buys business from Bunge to boost products, distribution. OSLO, Dec 7- Norway's Yara has agreed to buy the Brazilian fertilizer business of commodities giant Bunge in a deal valued at $750 million, giving it a wider product range and distribution network in a key market.
LONDON, Dec 7- European shares traded fractionally higher early on Friday, consolidating 18- month highs, as a worsening economic outlook for Europe tempered some optimism about U.S. budget negotiations.
HONG KONG, Dec 7- Hong Kong shares eased slightly on Friday but eked out a 0.7 percent gain for the week on the back of a rebound from 2012 lows for China's domestic indices as retail investors returned to the market on signs of an economic recovery.
BEIRUT, Dec 7- The Syrian army fired rockets into and reinforced its positions around two Damascus suburbs on Friday, resident opposition activists said, as it battles to isolate the centre of the capital from recent rebel offensives.
*Term TC/RC deals seen settling at $70 and 7 cents- Macquarie. SINGAPORE, Dec 7- London copper was steady on Friday, and was set to close the week little changed, as traders focused on the progress in U.S. talks to avert a looming fiscal crisis while also waiting for a crucial jobs report from the world's largest economy.
MOSCOW, Dec 7- MegaFon, Russia's No.2 mobile operator, has completed a $1.07 billion deal to buy a stake in cellphone retailer Euroset to expand the number of shops through which it can sell its services. MegaFon, controlled by Russia's richest man Alisher Usmanov, announced plans in October to buy half of Euroset.
HONG KONG, Dec 7- Shares in Chinese state-owned insurer PICC Group surged nearly 8 percent in its Hong Kong trading debut on Friday, a rare bright spot in an otherwise dismal year for initial public offerings in the city and most other big regional markets.
*Nikkei holds above 9,500 mark for 2nd day in row. TOKYO, Dec 7- Japan's Nikkei share average ended slightly lower on Friday, coming off a seven-month high, as profit-taking kicked in on a near month-long rally that has been inspired by yen weakness on expectations of bold central bank action.
Thursday's rally came after Japanese media polls showed the opposition Liberal Democratic Party is on track to secure a majority in Japan's Dec. 16 election. LDP leader Shinzo Abe has called for more aggressive stimulus from the Bank of Japan.