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  • LONDON, Feb 6- Norwegian oil company Statoil vowed to protect dividend payments and said it was braced for a long period of depressed crude prices as it set out plans on Friday to slash costs and cut investment. Statoil, which expanded from a North Sea producer to a global explorer during the past decade, will cut capital expenditure by a tenth this year, reducing...

  • Feb 6- EBay Inc raised its reported fourth-quarter net income by $87 million to reflect a reduction in income tax expense. After adjustment, eBay's net income rose to $1.02 billion from $936 million in the quarter ended Dec. 31. EBay reported its quarterly results on Jan. 21.

  • *Alcatel-Lucent rises after promising return to profit. PARIS, Feb 6- European stocks dipped on Friday to just below recent multi-year highs, held back by mixed earnings as investors looked to the January U.S. non-farm payrolls report due out before Wall Street opens. In contrasting earnings news, telecom equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent rose 3.3 percent, after...

  • BEIJING, Feb 6- China's trade outlook this year is complicated and grim and the country must work hard to keep growth in exports and imports stable, the trade ministry said on Friday. The remarks, published on the ministry's website, came ahead of China's release of its trade data for January, when export growth is forecast to soften and imports are predicted to...

  • LISBON, Feb 6- Portugal went through years of tough austerity which is now bearing fruit and Greece too must abide by its commitments to its single currency partners and creditors, Portugal's economy minister told the Reuters Euro Zone Summit. Antonio Pires de Lima ruled out any kind of debt renegotiation for Greece, saying Athens had to play by the rules of the...

  • ZURICH, Feb 6- Swiss companies are cutting prices, asking suppliers for discounts, paying staff in euros and demanding new hours to protect profits from a soaring franc currency. The central bank last month abandoned its cap on the Swiss franc, causing the currency to strengthen and prompting firms across Switzerland to warn of a plunge in profits.

  • Feb 6- Communications equipment maker Harris Corp said it would buy defense contractor Exelis Inc in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about $4.75 billion. The offer of $23.75 per share is a premium of about 34 percent to Exelis's Thursday close, and values the company at about $4.44 billion based on Exelis's shares outstanding as of Oct. 28. Exelis makes...

  • *China 2014 gold consumption fell by a quarter. LONDON, Feb 6- Gold steadied on Friday as the impact of lower European shares offset a firmer dollar ahead of crucial U.S. employment data, but the metal looked set to post its biggest weekly loss in almost two months. "The Federal Reserve seems to be tuned in to change rates before July... the only way that could change is if...

  • KIEV, Feb 6- A move by Ukraine's central bank to ditch an unofficial peg for the hryvnia has plunged the foreign exchange market into confusion, with buyers of hard currency putting off purchases and sellers holding out for higher levels. On Friday, traders quoted levels ranging from 19.50 to 26.50 hryvnias to the dollar, saying only a few deals had been concluded,...

  • FRANKFURT, Feb 6- Germany- based e-commerce company Rocket Internet said on Friday the value of its investment portfolio has risen 31 percent since its market flotation three months ago and set out plans to bring its existing and new online food takeaway delivery investments together. Kinnevik had reported strong sales but weakening margins during the third...

  • *Copper on track for biggest weekly gain since early Aug 2013. LONDON, Feb 6- Copper edged lower on Friday, retreating from the previous session's gains, as the dollar firmed and investors awaited key U.S. labor market data for indications on the outlook for economic growth and monetary policy. "We expect global demand for copper to remain robust, with the exception...

  • WILLISTON, N.D., Feb 6- Even as plunging crude oil prices fuel anxiety in North Dakota, small business owners in the No. 2 U.S. oil producing state say they are confident that demand for their products and services will remain strong enough to keep things humming. New coffee shops, restaurants and health food stores have recently opened or are set to open in Williston,...

  • *Cuts capex to $18 billion this year from a planned $20 bln. LONDON, Feb 6- Norwegian oil major Statoil vowed to protect dividend payments and said it was braced for a long period of depressed crude prices as it set out plans on Friday to slash costs and cut investments. Statoil, which expanded from a North Sea producer to a global explorer over the past decade, will cut...

  • ZURICH, Feb 6- Switzerland's foreign exchange reserves hit a record high in January, data showed, suggesting its central bank is still actively curbing the franc with interventions one researcher estimated at close to 2 billion francs per day. The figures are the first to show changes in the Swiss National Bank's currency holdings since it surprised financial...

  • *European Commission strategy due Feb 25. RIGA, Feb 6- Creation of a single European energy market is the focus as ministers meet on Friday in Latvia aiming to improve cross-border cooperation and reduce reliance on imported Russian supplies. Latvia and Baltic neighbors Estonia and Lithuania historically have been dependent on Russian natural gas and lacked...

  • ABUJA, Nigeria Feb 6- In late 2013, Nigeria's then central bank governor Lamido Sanusi wrote to President Goodluck Jonathan claiming that the state oil company had failed to remit tens of billions of oil revenues it owed the state. Before he was sacked, though, the central banker submitted to Nigeria's parliament more than 300 pages of documentation in support...

  • PARIS, Feb 6- Telecom equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent pledged to lift profitability again this year through cost cuts after six straight quarters of gross margin improvements and also plans to list its undersea cables business in the second half. Chief Executive Michel Combes expressed confidence on Friday that the company would deliver on the central...

  • LONDON, Feb 6- Crude oil traded $2 higher before paring gains on Friday, on track for a second weekly increase, as chaos in Libya and stronger economic signals from the United States helped futures rebound from near-six-year lows. Prices remain roughly 50 percent below their peak from the middle of last year, and no rapid recovery is expected amid rising global...

  • *Oil biggest 2- week gain since 1998, Copper strongest week in 2 years. LONDON, Feb 6- World shares were heading for their strongest week since October as markets awaited U.S. jobs data on Friday, while oil was shooting for a near 20 percent rebound and the euro was on track for its biggest weekly rise since late 2013.. European stocks dipped at the open and the region's...

  • RUSSIAN PM MEDVEDEV SAYS NO EASY SOLUTION TO COUNTRY'S ECONOMIC WOES- RIA NEWS AGENCY.