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  • MEXICO CITY, Dec 16- Mexico will tender licenses to explore and drill 10 deepwater areas in the Gulf of Mexico as part of a landmark opening of its long-closed oil sector, the country's energy regulator said on Wednesday. Four of the areas in the Perdido Fold Belt are expected to contain light crude, regulator CNH said. No date has been set for the auction, but it will be...

  • *Fed announcement expected at 2 p.m. ET. Dec 16- Wall Street rose for the third straight day on Wednesday ahead of a widely anticipated interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve later in the day. The U.S. central bank is seen raising rates by a token 25 basis points, when it announces the outcome of its policy meeting at 2 p.m. ET, followed by a press conference by Chair...

  • KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia, Dec 16- Saudi Aramco has named three senior vice-presidents including Mohammed al-Qahtani as head of upstream operations, the state-owned firm said on Wednesday. Mohammad Al Saggaf was appointed senior vice president for operations and business services, while Ahmad al-Sa'adi was named head of technical services.

  • NEW YORK, Dec 16- No sooner will the Federal Reserve raise U.S. interest rates than it must make more decisions on how to drain markets awash in cash and, further down the road, how to shrink its swollen balance sheet. Years of unprecedented stimulus has left the Fed swollen with $4.5 trillion in bonds, and the banks bursting with $2.6 trillion in reserves.

  • DAR ES SALAAM, Dec 16- Tanzanian President John Magufuli on Wednesday dismissed the head of the government's anti-graft body for failing to tackle high-level corruption in east Africa's second-biggest economy, Magufuli's office said. Magufuli sacked Edward Hoseah, the long-serving director general of the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau,...

  • DEMOCRAT HILLARY CLINTON PROPOSES EXPANDING' BUFFETT RULE' TO RAISE EFFECTIVE TAX RATES ON MILLIONAIRES.

  • WASHINGTON, Dec 16- The United States appears on the brink of ending a four-decade ban on most exports of crude oil, which would end a years-long fight brought about by a boom in domestic shale output that contributed to a supply glut and depressed prices. The measure is part of a sprawling deal wrapped up by congressional leaders late on Tuesday to keep the U.S....

  • MOSCOW, Dec 16- Russia may cut or cancel import duties on agricultural produce, mainly vegetables and fruits, from Iran, Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev was quoted as saying by the ministry's press service on Wednesday. A decision in principle by global powers to lift sanctions on Iran over its nuclear programme has stirred other nations, including Russia,...

  • KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia, Dec 16- Saudi Aramco has named three senior vice presidents including Mohammed al-Qahtani as head of upstream operations, the state-owned firm said on Wednesday.

  • *Brazil- exposed stocks weaker after sovereign downgrade. LONDON/ MILAN, Dec 16- European shares rose on Wednesday as investors awaited the outcome of a crucial rate-setting meeting of the U.S. Greek shares rose 3 percent, outperforming the rest of Europe after the Greek parliament approved a bill containing reforms demanded by the country's international...

  • FORECASTS VEHICLE FLEET EFFICIENCY WILL RISE MODESTLY TO 24.7 MILES PER GALLON IN 2015.

  • VEHICLE FLEET FUEL EFFICIENCY REMAINED UNCHANGED IN 2014 AT 24.3 MILES PER GALLON- EPA.

  • LONDON, Dec 16- If you're trying to identify next year's big risk from global currency markets, look no further than a sharper-than-expected fall in China's yuan. That would in turn encourage more money to leave China and China- related investments, slashing the value of currencies in South Korea, Malaysia or Taiwan and raising broader questions over the...

  • WASHINGTON, Dec 16- The White House reacted positively on Wednesday to a deal to fund the U.S. government through September 2016, saying that it met U.S. President Barack Obama' s priorities without including "hundreds of needless ideological riders." "The president's team is still reviewing the text of omnibus, but it appears to meet the priorities the president...

  • *Brent crude drops within $1/ bbl of July 2004 low. NEW YORK, Dec 16- Oil fell on Wednesday, snapping a two-day rebound and heading back toward 11- year lows after U.S. government data showed a huge build in crude inventories, surprising market players who had expected a draw. "Only the staunchest contrarian could derive anything bullish out of that report," said Peter...

  • Republican lawmakers said on Wednesday they were pleased the Obama administration had authorized a $1.83 billion arms sale to Taiwan, but called for a more regular process for such transactions. Senator John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, called for a "more regularized process" for considering requests for arms sales to Taipei "to...

  • Dec 16- Chevron Corp won $28 million in damages after Gibraltar's highest court ruled against a company that was set up to receive and distribute funds resulting from a judgment against Chevron in Ecuador. Chevron continues to fight claims from Ecuadorean villagers, who have filed lawsuits in Canada, Brazil and Argentina seeking to enforce the judgment...

  • LONDON, Dec 16- Louis Dreyfus Commodities has appointed Anthony Tancredi as head of sugar with immediate effect, the company said on Wednesday. Tancredi previously headed the firm's global cotton unit but stepped down from that position in November, when the company said he would move to another unit of the trade house. He will replace Jacques Gillaux.

  • BUENOS AIRES, Dec 16- Argentina will announce a much anticipated relaxation of currency controls on Wednesday, the government said, setting the stage for a weakening of the local peso and an increase of soybean shipments from the world's No. 3 exporter. Farmers in the grains-exporting powerhouse have been waiting for a currency devaluation before selling...

  • NEW YORK, Dec 16- Yields on U.S. We're still waiting for the Fed, so things could change, "said Stanley Sun, interest rates strategist at Nomura Securities International in New York. The U.S. central bank will announce the results of its two-day policy meeting at 2 p.m. EST and Chair Janet Yellen will lead a press conference at 2:30 p.m..