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  • BRASILIA, Feb 26- Brazil will likely raise interest rates for the eighth straight time on Wednesday but slow the pace of monetary tightening as inflation eases and Latin America's largest economy flirts with recession. A smaller rate hike would be a relief to Rousseff, who has watched Brazil's economy slow to a crawl since taking office in January 2011.

  • Malaysia, Singapore grapple with prolonged dry spell Wednesday, 26 Feb 2014 | 12:32 AM ET

    *Malaysia cabinet to decide on calling an emergency. SINGAPORE/ KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 26- Singapore and Malaysia are grappling with some of the driest weather they have ever seen, forcing the tiny city-state to ramp up supplies of recycled water while its neighbour rations reserves amid disruptions to farming and fisheries.

  • *Crude stocks at Cushing fall by 1.1 mln barrels- API. But prices, particularly of the European benchmark, may draw support from prolonged unrest in North African exporter Libya. Brent crude had slipped 17 cents to $109.34 a barrel by 0516 GMT, extending losses after settling $1.13 lower.

  • Thai homebuilders face tough times as crisis drags on Wednesday, 26 Feb 2014 | 12:32 AM ET

    *Property index has fallen 10 percent in three months. BANGKOK, Feb 26- Political unrest and an over-supplied $20 billion real estate market in Thailand are the latest challenges threatening developers who are cancelling new launches in the hopes of staving off a bubble.

  • *Asia left rudderless after flat finish on Wall St, mixed US data. SYDNEY, Feb 26- Asian share markets struggled to scrape together some gains on Wednesday following a flat finish on Wall Street and as concerns over opaque policy moves in China kept investors on edge amid a drought of major economic data.

  • Treasury warned banks on Tuesday to be on the look-out for potentially suspicious transfers of financial assets by Ukraine's fugitive President Viktor Yanukovich or members of his inner circle.

  • U.S. housing recovery uneven across markets, study finds Wednesday, 26 Feb 2014 | 12:00 AM ET

    By 2018, the median price of single-family homes will be close to the peak reached in 2006 before the national market cratered, according to the study from the Demand Institute, a nonprofit think tank operated by The Conference Board and Nielsen.

  • *BYD soars on Tesla surge, Beijing plan to aid electric cars. HONG KONG, Feb 26- Hong Kong and China shares were sluggish early on Wednesday as the yuan again fell below the official fix, adding to jitters about possible policy changes at next week's annual parliamentary meetings.

  • HONG KONG, Feb 26- China's yuan weakened below the daily fixing for a second consecutive day on Wednesday after the central bank set the lowest midpoint in more than two months, in a sign authorities are determined to stamp out speculative bets in the currency.

  • *Battery' giga factory' for electric cars would be a first for U.S. *Plant due on-stream in 2017, key for next-generation Tesla car. Feb 26- Panasonic Corp is considering investing in a U.S. car battery plant planned by Tesla Motors Inc, sources familiar with the plan said on Wednesday, with total investment estimated by one source around 100 billion yen.

  • BEIJING/ HONG KONG, Feb 25- China's corporate debt has hit record levels and is likely to accelerate a wave of domestic restructuring and trigger more defaults, as credit repayment problems rise.

  • *Crude stocks at Cushing fall by 1.1 mln barrels- API. But prices, particularly of the European benchmark, may draw support from prolonged unrest in North African exporter Libya. Brent crude had slipped 1 cent to $109.50 a barrel by 0307 GMT, after settling $1.13 lower.

  • FOREX-Yen holds ground, China pushes yuan lower again Tuesday, 25 Feb 2014 | 10:20 PM ET

    *China's yuan falls sharply on suspected PBOC moves. SYDNEY/ TOKYO, Feb 26- The yen steadied on Wednesday as investors gave the dollar a wide berth on the back of a decline in U.S. After going as low as 102.01 yen the previous day the dollar stood at 102.33 yen, well below a three-week high above 102.80 yen hit on Friday.

  • Investors have poured back into the metal on worries about economic conditions in the United States and also China, which is now dealing with unprecedented growth in company debt. Gold had eased 0.13 percent to $1,338.41 an ounce by 0227 GMT, after rising to its strongest since October at $1,343.40 an ounce Tuesday in its fourth day of gains.

  • Citizens for Tax Justice looked at 288 profitable Fortune 500 companies and said that 26 of them- including Boeing Co, General Electric Co and Verizon Communications Inc- paid no federal income tax in the five-year period.

  • "At this stage the relevant financial authorities, the police, the Finance Ministry and others are gathering information on the case," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a regular news conference when asked about Tuesday's shutdown of the Tokyo- based exchange.

  • *Asia left rudderless after flat finish on Wall St, mixed US data. SYDNEY, Feb 26- Asian shares were trading sluggishly on Wednesday following a flat finish on Wall Street, while concerns over opaque policy moves in China kept investors on edge amid a drought of major economic data.

  • Feb 26- Australian billionaire Gina Rinehart's Roy Hill iron ore project is close to finalising a $7.8 billion financing deal, sources said, a vital step towards an end-2015 start for the giant mine in Western Australia's iron-rich Pilbara district.

  • MEXICO CITY, Feb 25- U.S. and Chinese rail companies have expressed interest in the Mexican rail freight market if a bill that seeks to open up the sector to more companies is approved, the head of the lower house of Congress' transport commission said on Tuesday.

  • Feb 25- Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox has received a subpoena from federal prosecutors in New York, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a person familiar with the matter.