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  • TOKYO, May 22- The Bank of Japan maintained its massive monetary stimulus on Friday and offered a slightly more upbeat view of the economy, unfazed by first-quarter GDP data that offered mixed signs on the strength of the recovery. At his post-meeting news conference, Governor Haruhiko Kuroda is likely to stress that Japan is on track to hit the bank's ambitious...

  • BOJ offers brighter view of economy, keeps policy steady Thursday, 21 May 2015 | 10:56 PM ET

    TOKYO, May 22- The Bank of Japan kept monetary policy steady and slightly revised up its assessment of the economy on Friday, signalling that it sees no need to expand stimulus again on the near-term horizon. "Japan's economy continues to recover moderately," the central bank said in a statement announcing the decision. BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda will hold a news...

  • Oil edges down but WTI set for record 10th week of gains Thursday, 21 May 2015 | 10:50 PM ET

    *Coming up: Baker Hughes weekly U.S. rig data. SINGAPORE, May 22- Oil prices edged down on Friday after rising more than 2 percent in the previous session, buoyed by lower U.S. crude inventories and geopolitical tension in the Middle East. July Brent crude fell 23 cents to $66.31 a barrel by 0246 GMT after closing up 2.3 percent on Thursday.

  • China stocks hit fresh 7-year highs, financials lead Thursday, 21 May 2015 | 10:29 PM ET

    SHANGHAI, May 22- China stocks climbed to fresh seven-year highs on Friday, and looked set for their biggest weekly gain in two months, as investors plough a record amount of borrowed money into the stock market. "It seems that investors are afraid of missing the rally and continue coming in," Gerry Alfonso, director of Shenwan Hongyuan Securities in Shanghai, wrote...

  • May 21- Charter Communications is in talks with Time Warner Cable about a bid that is likely to be well above the $170 per share expected by some analysts, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Charter had bid about $132.50 per share, or $37.3 billion, for Time Warner Cable last year before being beaten by Comcast Corp, whose...

  • *Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia qualified to bid. The move would be good news for regional rice markets that have been flagging this year due to oversupply, with an official telling Reuters by text that Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia were qualified to submit offers. The Southeast Asian nation recently bought 500,000 tonnes via government-to-government deals...

  • *Seibu tumbles after Cerberus launched selldown. *Skylark dives after news Bain Capital to sell stake. TOKYO, May 22- Japan's Nikkei share average edged down on Friday morning, snapping a five-day winning streak as investors carefully await for the outcome of the Bank Of Japan's two-day policy meeting.

  • May 21- Charter Communications is in talks with Time Warner Cable about a bid that is likely to be well above $170 per share expected by some analysts, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Charter had bid about $132.50 per share, or $37.3 billion, for Time Warner Cable last year before being beaten by Comcast Corp, whose all-stock...

  • SINGAPORE, May 22- Gold held steady just above $1,200 an ounce on Friday, remaining on course for its steepest weekly decline in four weeks as the dollar regained momentum, hurting the metal's safe-haven appeal. *Spot gold was little changed at $1,207.01 an ounce by 0048 GMT, after dropping 0.3 percent in the previous session. *Data from Thomson Reuters' Lipper...

  • China's Guangxi to auction 20 bln yuan bonds on May 28 Thursday, 21 May 2015 | 8:44 PM ET

    SHANGHAI, May 22- China's Hubei Zhuang Autonomous Region will auction 20 billion yuan of bonds ranging in tenor from three to 10 years on May 28, according to a notice posted on the website of one of the country's main bond clearing houses late on Thursday. Guangxi will be the fourth government to auction municipal bonds in China this year. Of the 20 billion yuan,...

  • SINGAPORE, May 22- Copper was steady early on Friday but on track for its biggest weekly decline since March as a firmer dollar weighed on prices along with weak Chinese demand. *Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was off 0.1 percent at $6,253 a tonne by 0034 GMT, and down 2.5 percent so far for the week. *Investors in U.S.-based funds pulled $597 million...

  • *Islamic State fighters have scored twin successes in Syria and Iraq, taking full control of the historic Syrian city of Palmyra and overrunning Iraqi government defences east of Ramadi on Thursday. *Islamic State militants have seized the last border crossing between Syria and Iraq controlled by the Syrian government, a Syrian human rights group said on...

  • TOKYO, May 22- Asian shares rose early on Friday after Wall Street set another record high with prospects for a Federal Reserve rate hike in June all but quashed, while the dollar steadied after losing ground to the euro for the first time this week on downbeat U.S. data. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.2 percent with South Korean...

  • MEXICO CITY, May 21- Mexico said on Thursday it would decide within about 15 days what sanctions to impose on U.S. meat products if the U.S. Congress does not comply with a World Trade Organization ruling on labeling. On Monday, the WTO ruled that U.S. country-of-origin labeling laws discriminated against imported meat from Mexico and Canada.

  • FOREX-Dollar nurses losses after U.S. data disappoints Thursday, 21 May 2015 | 8:19 PM ET

    *Profit-taking emerges ahead of UK, US holidays. SYDNEY/ TOKYO, May 22- The dollar nursed modest losses early on Friday, after snapping three days of gains as unimpressive data prompted light profit-taking ahead of speeches by major central bankers and holidays in Britain and the United States. In Asia, the Bank of Japan's policy review at the conclusion of its...

  • RIGA, May 22- Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras held talks on Athens' debt crisis with the German and French leaders but won little more in public than a reminder he needs to do more to secure funds urgently needed to avert bankruptcy. They agreed on the need for the Greek authorities to continue their work with the three institutions, "German and French officials...

  • SANTA BARBARA, May 21- Cleanup crews labored through a third day to scoop up patches of crude oil from a pipeline spill that closed two California state beaches and fouled offshore waters, shattering an environmental balance that U.S. Coast Guard officials said on Thursday may take months to restore. Up to 2,500 barrels of petroleum, according to latest...

  • Her statement comes just one day after the SEC gave JP Morgan Chase& Co, Citigroup Inc, UBS AG, Barclays Plc and the Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc a series of waivers to let them continue their usual securities business. But all the banks won SEC waivers to let them continue being "well-known seasoned issuers" or WKSIs- a status that lets them raise capital quickly...

  • TOKYO, May 22- Japan's net external assets rose to a record 366.86 trillion yen at the end of last year as a weak yen boosted the value of overseas holdings, making the country the world's biggest creditor nation for 24 years in a row, the finance ministry said on Friday. Japan's net external assets were 1.7 times those held by China, the world's No.2 creditor nation...

  • LOS ANGELES/ BOSTON, May 21- McDonald's Corp shareholders defied executives at its annual meeting on Thursday, approving a proposal to make it easier to nominate directors to the board of the fast-food chain and taking its new CEO to task over wages, advertising and its food. McDonald's Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook, who took the helm on March 1, is fighting on...