VIENNA, Aug 21- Viscose fibers maker Lenzing announced higher savings targets on Thursday after first-half operating profit more than halved on deteriorating viscose prices. Lenzing said it expected viscose staple fiber prices, which are driven by the Chinese market and closely linked to cotton prices, to improve in 2015 at the earliest.» Read More
CHICAGO, May 15- Crop land prices in the central Plains were steady to weaker in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the previous quarter as lower grain prices weighed on the outlook for farm income this year, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City said on Thursday.
WASHINGTON, May 15- The delinquency rate on home mortgages in the United States fell in the first three months of the year to its lowest level in six years, a report from the Mortgage Bankers Association said on Thursday. The seasonally adjusted delinquency rate on all home loans fell to 6.11 percent in the first quarter from 6.39 percent in the prior three months.
May 15- Thousands of gallons of crude oil spilled over a half-mile area in Los Angeles on Thursday due to a break in an above-ground Plains West Coast pipeline, the city fire department said. The pipeline was shut off remotely, and the incident shut down a section of the Atwater Village area of the city, a local NBC affiliate reported.
NEW YORK, May 15- U.S. Data earlier on Thursday was more bullish on the economy, showing that fewer Americans filed for unemployment benefits in the last week, consumer prices posted their largest increase in 10 months in April and a gauge of manufacturing in New York state accelerated to its fastest pace in nearly four years.
*Baghdad has threatened to sue companies doing trade. LONDON, May 15- Israeli and U.S. oil refineries have joined the growing list of customers for crude from Iraqi Kurdistan, a region locked in a bitter struggle with the central government in Baghdad that says the sales are illegal. Baghdad refuses to sell oil to Israel, echoing other Arab states.
U.S. SENATE COMMITTEE SENDS SIX-YEAR TRANSPORTATION BILL TO FULL SENATE; BILL KEEPS FUNDING AT CURRENT LEVELS.
*Lisbon and Milan stock markets hit by weak economic data. LONDON, May 15- Slumps in the stock markets of Lisbon and Milan, after data showed that the Portuguese and Italian economies had shrunk, knocked back European shares from multi-year highs on Thursday.
DUBAI, May 15- Stock markets in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar will see relatively large one-off inflows of money at the end of May as funds tracking the MSCI indexes adjust their positions in line with updated benchmarks.
NEW YORK, May 15- U.S. stocks opened lower on Thursday, pressured by weaker-than-expected earnings from Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the biggest U.S. retailer. Shares of Wal-Mart, a Dow component, fell 2.7 percent to $76.73. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 2.89 points, or 0.07 percent, at 4,097.74.
*Analyst says could deter GE from bid for Alstom assets. PARIS, May 15- The French government gave itself the power to block foreign corporate takeovers in "strategic" sectors on Thursday, throwing up a potential roadblock to General Electric's $16.9 billion bid for Alstom's energy assets.
The case, in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., was dismissed on Wednesday as being premature because the FDA had not yet approved or rejected the applications for generic forms of the drug, Teva said.
May 15- Wal-Mart Stores Inc forecast second-quarter profit below analysts' estimates after reporting its smallest growth in quarterly sales in nearly five years, as a severe winter kept shoppers from its stores. Wal-Mart is the latest retailer to flag a colder-than-usual winter for weak sales.
LONDON, May 15- Big European investors seem to be dismissing warnings from top financial authorities that record low borrowing costs for fragile euro zone countries are unrealistic, as they bet those markets will continue to rise.
US 10- YEAR TRESURIES YIELDS FALL TO 2.503 PERCENT, LOWEST SINCE OCTOBER.
May 15- Auto parts retailer Advance Auto Parts Inc reported a 21 percent rise in quarterly profit, helped by the acquisition of the biggest operator of the Carquest chain of auto repair shops and car parts stores.
WASHINGTON, May 15- U.S. industrial output fell at its fastest rate in more than 1-1/ 2 years in April as factory production slumped, tempering hopes for a big jump in economic growth after a winter slowdown.
DETROIT, May 15- General Motors Co said on Thursday it has issued five more recalls, covering about 2.7 million vehicles in the United States and as a result is expected to take a charge of up to $200 million.
WASHINGTON, May 15- New applications for U.S. unemployment benefits hit a seven-year low last week while consumer prices recorded their largest increase in 10 months in April, pointing to a firming economy.
US 30- YEAR TREASURIES BOND YIELDS FALL TO 3.34 PERCENT, LOWEST SINCE JUNE 2013.
*Wal-Mart profit falls as severe winter deters shoppers. NEW YORK, May 15- Wall Street was set for a lower open on Thursday as weaker-than-expected earnings from Wal-Mart Stores Inc overshadowed a number of better-than-expected economic reports.