Six months ago, the left-wing Broad Front ruling coalition looked a comfortable favorite to win the presidency for a third five-year term for its blend of pro-market economic policies and social welfare measures. But after an unexpected win in the National Party's primaries, Luis Lacalle Pou, 41, has climbed steadily in polls, tapping into a simmering...» Read More
WASHINGTON, April 30- U.S. Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked one of President Barack Obama's top legislative priorities, a bill to raise the federal minimum wage for the first time in five years.
April 30- New York state's main banking regulator said on Wednesday it had teamed up with card payment companies Visa Inc and MasterCard Inc to curb illegal payday loans through debit card transactions.
The package would also require President Barack Obama to increase substantially U.S. and NATO support for the armed forces of Poland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia and accelerate implementation of missile defense in Europe.
MOSCOW, April 30- Chinese investors are committed to financing part of Novatek's $27 billion Russian gas project, ensuring it has sufficient backing despite losing U.S. support because of sanctions, the company said on Wednesday. "I think there will be a lot of conversations and travel between Moscow and Beijing- a more open dialogue."
WASHINGTON, April 30- The U.S. House energy committee has approved legislation to limit the length of review time for liquefied natural gas export applications, in a compromise aimed at attracting bipartisan support for speeding up U.S. gas shipments overseas.
MOSCOW, April 30- Oil majors are beginning to grow cool on new projects in Russia as U.S. and EU sanctions over Moscow's actions in Ukraine make investment increasingly risky and after the Kremlin's threat to review the West's role in Russia's energy industry, the world's largest.
WASHINGTON, April 30- The Federal Reserve Board disclosed that it met on Tuesday morning in an unusual gathering ahead of a two-day meeting of the Fed's broader policymaking panel. The last time the Fed board such a meeting was in December 2011.
April 30- WellPoint Inc on Wednesday said that its Obamacare exchange business was sustainable so far, echoing comments from another major insurer last week that these new customers have cost as much as expected, not more.
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, and Vice Chairman Saxby Chambliss, a Georgia Republican, said they have circulated the draft to key stakeholders in its early stages to avoid the disagreements that have thwarted passage in the past.
*Alstom jumps; among most shorted stocks on Paris bourse. Alstom jumped 9.3 percent after saying it would review a binding offer from General Electric for its energy business by the end of May and left the door open for a competing bid from Germany's Siemens.
WASHINGTON, April 30- The U.S. economy barely grew in the first quarter as the severe winter hampered exports and led businesses to curtail investment spending, but activity already appears to be bouncing back. Gross domestic product expanded at a 0.1 percent annual rate, the slowest since the fourth quarter of 2012, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday.
LONDON, April 30- Lloyds Banking Group has reached an agreement to sell $500 million of shipping loans from its remaining ship finance portfolio, finance and banking sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday. Bank of America and U.S. hedge fund Davidson Kempner Capital Management were expected to buy the Lloyds loans, one of the sources said.
MEXICO CITY, April 30- Mexico's government said on Wednesday it will give preference to local companies as it looks to attract investors and reduce the state's domination of the oil and gas industry.
*Twitter hits record intraday low, eBay also down after results. Exelon to buy Pepco Holdings, Pepco shares rally. NEW YORK, April 30- U.S. stocks were little changed on Wednesday after data showed the economy grew at a sharply lower-than-expected pace in the first quarter, but gains in private payrolls kept the market near break-even.
April 30- The Obama administration is focused on finding ways to curb tax-motivated reincorporations to other countries by U.S. businesses, a U.S. Treasury official told Reuters on Wednesday.
HOUSTON, April 30- Texas- based power company Energy Future Holdings has $11.8 billion in debtor-in-possession loans to back operations through the massive Chapter 11 bankruptcy that it filed for on Tuesday.
AHMEDABAD, India, April 30- Police opened a investigation against Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi, tipped to be India's next prime minister, after he flashed his party's symbol and made a speech after casting his vote in a violation of election rules.
LONDON, April 30- Lloyds Banking Group has reached an agreement to sell $500 million of shipping loans from its remaining ship finance portfolio, finance and banking sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday. Bank of America and U.S. hedge fund Davidson Kempner Capital Management were expected to buy the loans, one of the sources said.
LONDON, April 30- Transatlantic exchange operator Nasdaq OMX has lowered clearing fees and expanded the list of assets that can be used as collateral at its Nordic clearing house after the business was authorised under new European Union rules.
WASHINGTON, April 30- It is unclear whether the incidence of a deadly virus that has killed some 7 million piglets in the United States over the past year has peaked, the Department of Agriculture's chief economist said on Wednesday.