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  • JOHANNESBURG, Dec 17- South African stocks rose to a more than one-week high on Thursday after the United States raised interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade, but a stronger dollar weighed on the battered rand. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's assurances that further tightening would be gradual and dependent on inflation soothed markets...

  • Analysts said the monetary policy divergence between the tightening Fed and stimulative European Central Bank and Bank of Japan was firmly in place and drawing demand for the greenback. The Fed's tightening policy fuels demand for higher-yielding U.S. debt compared to bonds in Europe and Japan, driving investment flows into the United States and boosting...

  • WASHINGTON/ NEW YORK, Dec 17- The United States and Cuba have agreed to restore scheduled commercial airline service between the two countries, the two countries said on Thursday, the first anniversary of the Cold War foes' announcement they would normalize relations. The deal, the latest step this year to restore U.S.- Cuba ties after more than half a century of...

  • BUDAPEST, Dec 17- Hungary's government told ministries and other state institutions to cancel subscriptions with Magyar Telekom on Thursday in a row over the telecom operator's decision to end a sponsorship deal with a pop singer over his remarks about women. The government, which has made waves in recent days with a conservative take on gender equality, said...

  • Dec 17- Apple Inc said on Thursday it had promoted Apple Watch project head Jeff Williams to the role of chief operating officer, filling a position that has been vacant since Tim Cook took over as chief executive in 2011.. Apple also said it would expand the responsibilities of global marketing chief Phil Schiller to include leading the Apple App Store.

  • BOSTON, Dec 17- Third Avenue's Focused Credit Fund built up a $200 million cash position in the days before its collapse, but that was not enough to meet redemptions because it could not sell even its most liquid assets. New York- based Third Avenue, which shocked Wall Street with its move to shut down the junk bond fund on Dec. 9, described the final days of its...

  • IMF CHIEF LAGARDE SAYS WILL APPEAL FRENCH COURT DECISION TO BRING HER TO TRIAL IN TAPIE CASE.

  • *Casino slumps after Muddy Waters note. LONDON/ MILAN, Dec 17- European shares surged on Thursday as investors took the U.S. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was up 1.6 percent by 1530 GMT after climbing to a one-week high, while Germany's DAX, France's CAC and Britain's FTSE 100 rose between 3 to 1 percent.

  • FRENCH FINANCE MINISTER SAYS CAN'T SEE HOW FRENCH COURT DECISION SHOULD PREVENT LAGARDE FROM CARRYING OUT HER IMF DUTIES.

  • PARIS, Dec 17- A French court has ordered Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, to face trial over her role in a pay-out of some 400 million euros to businessman Bernard Tapie, her lawyer said on Thursday. The case will be heard by magistrates at the Cour de justice de la Republique- which judges ministers for crimes in office, France's...

  • *Beijing Enterprise, Fortum, Macquarie/Steag to bid-sources. China's Beijing Enterprise Holdings, Finnish utility Fortum and a consortium comprising infrastructure investor Macquarie and German utility Steag have been asked to hand in final bids for Energy from Waste by late January, the people added. Other interested parties such as China Everbright...

  • *Private equity seeks bargains in UK shopping centres. "You have to be very selective about which secondary shopping centres you go into," said Manish Chande, a founding partner of fund management business Clearbell Capital, which bought a centre in Durham, northeast England last year. The firm is revamping The Gates Shopping Centre, opened in 1975, by adding a...

  • PARIS, Dec 17- The lawyer of International Monetary Fund boss Christine Lagarde said on Thursday he would recommend his client appeal a French court's decision to bring her to trial over her role in the Bernard Tapie/Credit Lyonnais affair. "It's incomprehensible," Lagarde's lawyer Yves Repiquet said on French TV channel iTele. The decision by the Cour de...

  • SAO PAULO, Dec 17- Latin American currencies were mostly steady on Thursday as traders saw an increase in U.S. interest rates as a sign of confidence in the world's largest economy and took comfort that additional tightening would likely be slow in coming. Traders cited Fed Chair Janet Yellen's assurance that the bank will proceed slowly with hikes over the...

  • Dec 17- Tesla Motors Inc said it would continue to use driving assistant software maker MobilEye NV's vision chips in its vehicles, a day after a celebrity hacker challenged MobilEye's technology. A Tesla blogpost said the Bloomberg article dated Dec. 16 didn't correctly represent Tesla and Mobileye. Influential short-selling firm Citron Research in a tweet...

  • Dec 17- Apple Inc said it appointed Jeff Williams chief operating officer and Johny Srouji senior vice president for hardware technologies.

  • *Dollar and previous "liftoffs" http://reut.rs/1PuuPZI. *Who's right on rates: Fed or market? LONDON, Dec 17- The reaction across global markets to Wednesday's historic rise in U.S. interest rates appears to have been smooth and pain-free.

  • *Bids total 119 bln baht vs 80.8 bln baht in 1st auction. BANGKOK, Dec 17- Thailand's telecoms regulator extended an auction for two 4 G mobile broadband network licences for a third day on Thursday amid fierce competition which has raised the overall bidding to $3.3 billion, beating the total price paid for a previously awarded set of licences.

  • IMF HEAD LAGARDE'S LAWYER SAYS TO RECOMMEND LAGARDE APPEALS DECISION BY FRENCH COURT TO BRING HER TO TRIAL.

  • CHICAGO, Dec 17- Metals company Alcoa Inc said on Thursday it has signed two long-term supply contracts with plane manufacturer Boeing Co worth more than $2.5 billion that will be part of its value-added business once the company splits in the second half of 2016.. "This is a major contract for us," Alcoa Chief Executive Klaus Kleinfeld told Reuters.