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  • *Fast Retailing contributes hefty gains after strong 1 Q. TOKYO, Jan 9- Japanese stocks extended their gains into a third day on Friday morning after Wall Street rallied on growing confidence in the U.S. economy, while hopes of aggressive stimulus steps in Europe and a pause in sliding oil prices bolstered sentiment. Adding to the improving mood, index-heavy Fast...

  • SYDNEY, Jan 9- Momentum is building in Australia for electoral change that could see tiny single issue parties blamed for U.S.-style gridlock in the upper house senate squeezed out, clearing the way for budget reforms as the economy slows. "Business of course acknowledges that the senate has a very important function, but there is a real sense of frustration with...

  • *Dec CPI +1.5 pct y/y, +0.3 pct m/m. BEIJING, Jan 9- China's annual consumer inflation hovered at a near five-year low of 1.5 percent in December, signaling persistent weakness in the economy but giving policymakers more room to ease policy to support growth. "Deflation this year is definitely a risk," said Minggao Shen, economist at Citi in Hongkong.

  • China December inflation signals persistent weakness Thursday, 8 Jan 2015 | 9:13 PM ET

    China's annual consumer inflation hovered at a near five-year low of 1.5 percent in December, signalling persistent weakness in the economy.

  • LOS ANGELES, Jan 8- As chefs in California hurried to stock their kitchens with newly legal foie gras, animal rights activists on Thursday protested a federal judge's decision overturning the state's two-year ban on sales of the fatty liver of ducks and geese. Chefs said they were scrambling to line up shipments from outside California while activists...

  • Jan 8- The drop in oil prices is putting money in consumers' pockets and is "a good thing, basically" for the U.S. economy, Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota said at a town hall at his bank's headquarters. At the same time, he said, the oil price decline will put downward pressure on drilling and on production in North Dakota, where the local economy has been...

  • NEW YORK, Jan 8- Sue Ann Arnall, the ex-wife of Oklahoma oil magnate Harold Hamm, has deposited a handwritten $975 million divorce check, Hamm's lawyer said on Thursday, in a move that may end an epic divorce battle over a fortune worth billions. In the November ruling by an Oklahoma County Court judge, Hamm, the chief executive of Continental Resources was allowed to...

  • MELBOURNE, Jan 9- London copper rose a touch on Friday, but remained near 4-1/ 2 year lows and was set to chalk up a fourth weekly loss on ongoing worries about demand from top consumer China and fragile growth in Europe. *LME copper prices hit a 4-1/ 2 year trough at $6,091.50 a tonne on Wednesday and analysts and traders say they expect prices to slide through the $6,000...

  • Jan 8- U.S. core inflation needs to rise sharply toward 2 percent, wages need to rise faster, and market-based measures of inflation expectations need to improve before the Federal Reserve raises rates, a top Fed official said on Thursday. So far, however, core inflation shows no sign of moving up, wage growth has improved only slightly, and market-based inflation...

  • China Dec consumer inflation 1.5 pct, as expected Thursday, 8 Jan 2015 | 8:36 PM ET

    BEIJING, Jan 9- China's annual consumer inflation hovered at a near five-year low of 1.5 percent in December, signalling persistent weakness in the economy but giving policymakers more room to ease policy to support growth. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected annual consumer inflation to be 1.5 percent in December, compared with 1.4 percent in November.

  • LOS ANGELES, Jan 8- Sony Pictures Entertainment Chief Executive Michael Lynton said on Thursday the costs from the devastating cyberattack on the Hollywood studio will be completely covered by insurance and will not lead to further cost-cutting. The attack targeting the entertainment arm of Sony Corp. is nevertheless believed to be the most destructive...

  • Jan 8- Executives at Vanguard Group, the No. 1 U.S. mutual fund company, said on Thursday deflation is a real risk for the global economy while downplaying inflation concerns for the United States. 'Vanguard Chief Investment Officer Tim Buckley said during a live webcast. "Once you're in the cycle, it very difficult to get out," Vanguard Chairman William McNabb added.

  • WASHINGTON, Jan 8- The New York Federal Reserve Bank sharply criticized an internal probe carried out by the Fed's inspector general on the handling of J.P. Morgan's "London Whale" case, according to a full version of the probe released on Thursday. The New York Fed said the inspector general was wrong to criticize examiners for failing to prioritize exams of J.P....

  • Jan 8- The Federal Reserve should leave short-term borrowing costs near zero for a seventh year in a row, a top Fed official urged on Thursday, citing sliding U.S. inflation and still-high unemployment. The Fed "can best achieve its macroeconomic objectives by not raising the fed funds rate target this year," Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota said...

  • KOCHERLAKOTA: RAISING RATES WOULD SLOW PROGRESS TOWARD INFLATION GOAL.

  • KOCHERLAKOTA: FED SHOULD HAVE ADDED MORE STIMULUS LAST YEAR TO BOOST INFLATION, EMPLOYMENT.

  • TOKYO, Jan 9- The euro wallowed near a nine-year low on Friday on growing expectations the European Central Bank will embark on quantitative easing, while the dollar held firm before U.S. jobs data that could cement the case for a rate hike by the Federal Reserve. "We note that daily close below the 2010 low at $1.1877 has amplified bearish sentiment, with the...

  • SINGAPORE, Jan 9- Gold was little changed on Friday ahead of a key U.S. jobs report, but the metal was set to post its first weekly gain in four on safe-haven bids amid political uncertainty in Greece. *Spot gold was steady at $1,209.60 an ounce by 0034 GMT, below a three-week high of $1,222.40 reached on Tuesday. *The metal has gained 1.7 percent so far this week, snapping a...