TOKYO, Oct 26- A top Japanese government official said Prime Minister Shinzo Abe should delay a planned sales-tax increase, the strongest sign yet that economic weakness is causing concern among those close to the premier ahead of the difficult tax decision. Powerful interests like the Finance Ministry, the Bank of Japan and major corporations want Abe to...» Read More
LONDON, May 14- AstraZeneca's boss said on Wednesday he would engage with Pfizer if the price was right and the risks posed from forcing the British drugmaker's operations into the U.S. company's new three-unit model were addressed.
*Libya's western El Feel oilfield resumes output- NOC. LONDON, May 14- Brent futures rose to nearly $110 a barrel on Wednesday, reaching a two-week high, on a draw in some crude oil stocks in the United States and the deteriorating situation in the Ukraine. Brent crude for June delivery was up 77 cents at $110.01 a barrel at 1457 GMT after closing up 83 cents.
NEW YORK, May 14- The British pound fell from a 16- month high versus the euro and dropped to a one-month low against the dollar on Wednesday after the Bank of England surprised investors by saying it has no plans for near-term monetary tightening.
May 14- Domestic crude oil production in the United States hit 8.43 million barrels per day last week, the highest level since October 1986, weekly data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed on Wednesday. The EIA output data is an estimate and includes lease condensates produced alongside oil.
May 14- Activist investor Starboard Value LP accused Darden Restaurants Inc of trying to disenfranchise shareholders by delaying holding a special meeting to vote on a proposal to halt plans to spin off or sell its struggling Red Lobster seafood chain.
*Media stocks lead fallers as Mediaset, ITV disappoint. The STOXX Europe 600 media index fell 1.2 percent, the worst performer among sector indexes, as disappointing results by broadcasters ITV and Mediaset cast a shadow on a strong reporting season so far for the industry.
BRATISLAVA, May 14- Measures taken against Russia after its annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region are already "starting to bite", U.S. EU foreign ministers hinted this week that any disruption of the elections could trigger new economic sanctions against Russia.
MOSCOW, May 14- Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak and European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger agreed on Wednesday to meet on May 19 in Berlin to set a date and place for three-way talks with Ukraine. Novak and Oettinger agreed on the meeting during a telephone call, Russia's energy ministry said in a statement.
PARIS, May 14- BNP Paribas faces investor questions about the huge fine it is being asked to pay in the United States at its annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday.
NEW DELHI/ MUMBAI, May 14- Tata Steel Ltd said a phase of solid economic growth in Europe was supporting a recovery in steel demand in its main market, which also helped the company post results that easily beat analysts' estimates in the March quarter. Tata Steel got a foothold in Europe through its $13 billion acquisition of Britain's Corus in 2007..
NEW YORK, May 14- International Business Machines Corp expects its hardware sector to stabilize in 2014 and will maintain forecasts for earning per share of $20 by 2015, its chief financial officer told investors at a briefing on Wednesday. He said to stabilize the sector IBM would continue to "refresh" hardware and further invest in research and development.
LONDON, May 14- U.S. electricity consumption has remained flat for the last six years, the first such prolonged pause in growth, as recession and improvements in efficiency have bitten deeply into demand.
NEW YORK/ MEXICO CITY, May 14- Citigroup has fired 11 more people, including four senior executives, after an ongoing internal investigation found lax controls and bogus loans at its Mexican unit Banamex, according to an internal memo sent to employees on Wednesday.
MOSCOW, May 14- Russia's Gazprom said on Wednesday it was talking to its clients about possibly moving to rouble payments, but that it would not make any change unilaterally. "We are conducting certain consultations with our clients.
MOSCOW, May 14- Russia is ready to discuss price and conditions for gas supplies to Ukraine if Kiev pays at least part of its gas debt, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday. "Nobody ever said: hand over $4 billion straight away, rather show that you are ready to act... If they pay part of it, that's the minimum requirement for resuming talks, "he told reporters.
MOSCOW, May 14- Russia may change its budget rule that limits government spending of oil revenues if the economy finds itself in a serious recession or if crude prices fall, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday. "For now we have agreed... not to change the rule in a fundamental way," Medvedev told journalists at a briefing.
RUSSIA IS READY TO RETURN TO TALKS ON PRICE, CONDITIONS FOR GAS SUPPLIES TO UKRAINE IF KIEV PAYS AT LEAST PART OF ITS GAS DEBTS- RUSSIAN PRIME MINISTER.
Traders are looking for fresh catalysts to keep the market's momentum going amid mixed readings on the economy from data and corporate earnings, as well as the ongoing threat that the tension between Russia and Ukraine could escalate into further violence.
*Turkey declares national mourning for three days. SOMA, Turkey, May 14- Hopes faded of finding more survivors in a coal mine in western Turkey on Wednesday, where 238 workers were confirmed killed and 120 more still feared to be trapped in what is likely to prove the nation's worst ever industrial disaster.
US TREASURIES EXTEND PRICE RALLY, 10- YEAR NOTE YIELDS FALL BELOW 2.55 PERCENT.