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  • TOKYO, Sept 29- The deadly eruption of a volcano in Japan over the weekend will not affect the restart of the Sendai nuclear reactor, which is in a separate volcanically active area, the country's top government spokesman said on Monday.

  • The action by Front Line Action on Coal was one of six the environmental group said it was holding to protest tree clearing in eastern Australia's Gunnedah coal basin by Whitehaven Coal Ltd..

  • TOKYO, Sept 29- Brent crude oil fell below $97 a barrel in Asian trade on Monday, moving closer to a two-year low hit last week due to weak data from major buyer China and a stronger U.S. dollar. The London benchmark has fallen from $115 in June as geopolitical tension in the Middle East has failed to derail petroleum output and concerns about slow demand have grown.

  • HONG KONG, Sept 29- Clashes between Hong Kong police and pro-democracy supporters won't significantly impact the city's credit ratings in the short term unless they last long enough to have a material impact on the economy, ratings agency Fitch said on Monday.

  • The action is one of six the group said it was holding to protest tree clearing in eastern Australia's Gunnedah coal basin by Whitehaven Coal Ltd.. Front Line Action on Coal is calling for the government to halt work at Whitehaven's Maules Creek mine bordering the Leard State Forest and audit its approval process.

  • HONG KONG, Sept 29- Hong Kong shares sank more than 2 percent to a 2-1/ 2- month low on Monday morning after pro-democracy supporters clashed with police in the worst unrest in the city since China took back control of the former British colony almost two decades ago.

  • TOKYO, Sept 29- Japan's Nikkei share average rose on Monday morning after the weak yen supported sentiment, while risk taking was buoyed after the U.S. economy grew at its fastest pace in 2-1/ 2 years in the second quarter.

  • HONG KONG, Sept 29- Hong Kong shares fell more than 1 percent to a two-month low on Monday after pro-democracy supporters clashed with police in the worst unrest in the city since China took back control of the former British colony two decades ago.

  • MELBOURNE, Sept 29- London copper slipped to its lowest in more than three months on Monday, amid signs of ample supply in the world's top copper user, and expectations of steadying demand into the end of the year.

  • *Hong Kong dollar falters as pro-democracy demonstrators clash with police. Speculators raised their bullish bets on the U.S. dollar in the week ended Sept. 23, as the greenback extended its winning weekly streak against a basket of currencies, according to the latest data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission released on Friday.

  • WASHINGTON, Sept 29- One of the more unusual trials to come out of the 2008 financial crisis is set to begin on Monday, when a federal judge will consider whether the U.S. government's rescue of American International Group Inc was, in fact, legal.

  • TOKYO, Sept 29- The dollar hit a four-year peak against a basket of currencies in early Asian trade on Monday, bolstering Japanese shares, but other Asian shares shrugged off Friday's Wall Street rebound in the face of political unrest in Hong Kong. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dropped 0.4 percent, hitting a 20- week low.

  • SINGAPORE, Sept 29- Gold extended losses to a second session on Monday, dropping towards a nine-month low, as robust U.S. economic data and a stronger dollar curbed demand for the safe-haven metal. *Spot gold slipped 0.1 percent to $1,217.57 an ounce by 0032 GMT, after dropping 0.3 percent in the previous session.

  • *U.S. crude for November delivery had fallen 57 cents to $92.97 a barrel by 0007 GMT, after finishing $1.01 higher on Friday on the back of strong U.S. economic data.

  • WASHINGTON, Sept 28- The Federal Aviation Administration said on Sunday that it has set a target of October 13 to restore to service a Chicago- area air traffic control site that was set ablaze by a field technician, as delays and cancellations continued at Chicago airports.

  • LONDON, Sept 29- British companies are feeling their most confident about taking on business risk in seven years despite worries about an election in 2015 and a possible referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union, a survey showed on Monday.

  • BRUSSELS, Sept 29- The European Union's likely next trade chief will face tough questions about how she would handle free trade negotiations with the United States when confirmation hearings for the new European Commission open on Monday.

  • Sept 28- Pimco CEO Doug Hodge said on Sunday that Pimco is moving away from a founder-led model and that the Newport Beach, California- based firm's flagship fund previously run by co-founder Bill Gross "does not define Pimco."

  • The case has come under deep skepticism from Western diplomats who have considered the evidence weak and say it threatens to scare off foreign investors at a time when Cuba is actively seeking business partners from abroad.

  • Sept 28- Pimco is ready to move forward from a "founder-led" model in the wake of the abrupt exit of Bill Gross from the fund management company, CEO Doug Hodge said Sunday in a phone interview. Hodge said the $222 billion Total Return Fund, run by Pimco co-founder Gross, "does not define" the company.