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  • LONDON, Feb 23- Associated British Foods reiterated its annual earnings expectations on Monday, helped by strong demand and increased store space at its Primark discount fashion chain where half-year sales are set to rise by 16 percent. Ahead of the publication of first half to Feb. 28 results on April 21 it said underlying trading remained in line with...

  • *Morgan Stanley, Barclays, ANZ expect lower prices. SINGAPORE, Feb 23- Oil prices dipped on Monday on worries about oversupply in North America, with Brent futures testing support around $60 a barrel and U.S. contracts hovering around $50.70. WTI crude futures were trading down 9 cents at $50.72 a barrel by 0745 GMT.

  • AB Foods maintains year earnings guidance Monday, 23 Feb 2015 | 2:13 AM ET

    LONDON, Feb 23- Associated British Foods maintained full year earnings expectations, with growth at its Primark discount fashion chain and progress at its grocery, ingredients and agriculture businesses offsetting continued weakness in its sugar operation. The firm said on Monday it still expected a marginal decline in adjusted earnings per share for its...

  • Shanghai-HK stock connect to allow short-selling Monday, 23 Feb 2015 | 2:12 AM ET
    Hong Kong Stock Exchange

    Foreign investors will from next week be able to short sell select mainland Chinese shares via the Hong Kong-Shanghai trading link.

  • The ensuing years were no easier, as a disappointing launch of the Civic model caused many to question whether Honda had lost its edge. For the past three years, Ito has shaken up Honda's decades-old, tightly-knit supply chain as the automaker sought to trim costs and find more cutting-edge technologies. That has predictably rankled local suppliers, and some...

  • 'Birdman' leap makes Fox Searchlight shine at Oscars Monday, 23 Feb 2015 | 2:02 AM ET

    LOS ANGELES, Feb 22- Fox Searchlight, the arthouse film division of Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox, dominated the Academy Awards on Sunday with eight awards including the coveted best picture prize for its absurd comedy-drama "Birdman." The studio also scored with offbeat winner " The Grand Budapest Hotel," which took home four trophies in technical categories.

  • *Debt deal a relief but Greece not seen out of woods yet. TOKYO, Feb 23- Asian shares were flat on Monday as many countries in the region returned from Lunar New Year holidays, with sentiment supported by relief that Greece reached a deal to avert an immediate fiscal crisis. "Friday's agreement between Greece and the EU left both sides claiming victory, as well as...

  • *Record U.S. stocks to put pressure on prices- Morgan Stanley. SINGAPORE, Feb 23- Oil prices dipped on Monday on worries about oversupply in North America, with Brent futures testing support around $60 a barrel and U.S. contracts hovering around $50.50. Similar to last year, growing U.S. and Canadian production combined with refinery maintenance and an only...

  • TOKYO, Feb 23- Japan's Nikkei share average hit a near 15- year high on Monday after Greece clinched a deal with its euro zone partners to extend its bailout, but recent gainers such as banks and insurers succumbed to profit-taking. The Nikkei rose 0.7 percent to 18,466.92 points, its highest close since April 2000. But gains in the broader market were smaller, with...

  • Honda, in unexpected move, says CEO Ito to step down Monday, 23 Feb 2015 | 1:16 AM ET

    TOKYO, Feb 23- Honda Motor Co, in an unexpected move, said on Monday that Chief Executive Officer Takanobu Ito would step down in late June, making way for Managing Officer Takahiro Hachigo after six years in the top post. Hachigo, 55, an engineer, joined Honda in 1982 with a career spanning several countries including the United States, China, and Britain.

  • HONG KONG/ SHANGHAI, Feb 23- Foreign investors will from next week be able to short sell select mainland Chinese shares via the Hong Kong- Shanghai trading link, the latest in a series of regulatory moves to open China's markets to overseas capital. Despite the limits, traders said the new rules are likely to encourage hedge funds and other investors to use Stock...

  • JGBs shrug off share gains, edge higher Monday, 23 Feb 2015 | 1:03 AM ET

    TOKYO, Feb 23- Japanese government bonds edged up on Monday, supported by the Bank of Japan's bond-buying operations, and shrugging off any impact from a fresh 15- year high for the Nikkei stock average. The BOJ offered to buy 400 billion yen of JGBs maturing in 5 to 10 years, and 140 billion of floating-rate JGBs. The Nikkei share average hit a new 15- year high on...

  • The bank is making it harder for brokers to take some of their clients with them when they leave Merrill Lynch- specifically, clients that were referred to the broker by a Bank of America branch. The original 2004 signers were Merrill Lynch, UBS AG and Smith Barney, then part of Citigroup Inc, and more than 1,200 brokerages have since signed onto the pact known among...

  • *Senate committee expected to call hearing on bill- sources. A similar Fed audit bill passed the House of Representatives late last year and a hearing on Fed transparency is expected to be formally called by the Senate banking committee, according to people familiar with the matter. "We feel the current system works well, it's time-tested, and there are all kinds of...

  • CHICAGO, Feb 23- Across the U.S. Many rent payments- which vary from a few thousand dollars for a tiny farm to millions for a major operation- are due on March 1, just weeks after the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated net farm income, which peaked at $129 billion in 2013, could slide by almost a third this year to $74 billion. In Iowa, the nation's top corn and soybean...

  • HOUSTON, Feb 23- Shale oil producers are throttling back so quickly on drilling that U.S. crude output could fall sooner than expected, within months, executives say as they slash costs to cope with tumbling crude prices and compete with Persian Gulf rivals. For one, companies are cutting costs deeper and faster than before as Wall Street investors increasingly...

  • SINGAPORE, Feb 23- Oil prices rose on Monday along with global markets, lifted by optimism that another euro zone crisis over Greek debt had been averted for now, although analysts said that crude markets remained oversupplied. Benchmark Brent crude futures were trading at $60.34 a barrel by 0532 GMT, up 12 cents from their last settlement, while U.S.

  • LOS ANGELES, Feb 22- Love him or hate him, Neil Patrick Harris proved to be one of the hardest-working hosts in Oscar history on Sunday night, singing, dancing and even sprinting in his underpants onto the stage of the Dolby Theatre. But the 41- year-old Broadway and television talent who came to prominence as the child star of " Doogie Howser, M.D.," also confronted a...

  • LOS ANGELES, Feb 22- The dark comedy "Birdman" held up a mirror to Hollywood and its struggling actors and received in return the film industry's highest recognition on Sunday, the Academy Award for best picture. Eddie Redmayne won best actor with his painstaking portrayal of physicist Stephen Hawking in "The Theory of Everything," robbing "Birdman" lead and former...

  • --Clyde Russell is a Reuters columnist. LAUNCESTON, Australia, Feb 23- Iron ore should go back to the future and reinstate annual contract pricing, according a former executive of top miner Rio Tinto. This changed, largely at the behest of former BHP Billiton chief executive Marius Kloppers, who wanted to take advantage of a shortage of supply to generate higher...