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  • *RWE takes 2.1 bln euro impairment on power plants. *2015 net loss 200 mln euros vs consensus for profit. FRANKFURT, Feb 17- RWE, Germany's second largest utility, scrapped its annual dividend for the first time in at least six decades, opting to hoard cash it may soon have to shift to a state-run fund to decommission nuclear power stations.

  • The deal will be based on non-genetically modified seed technology developed by Dow AgroSciences in Canada, which boosts protein content by 20 percent, Avril's Deputy Director General Michel Boucly told reporters. Dow's canola, a type of rapeseed which is grown in the spring, will be adapted to be cultivated in the winter as virtually all other rapeseed in...

  • *Housing starts fall 3.8 percent in January. WASHINGTON, Feb 17- U.S. housing starts unexpectedly fell in January likely as bad weather disrupted building activity in some parts of the country, in what could be a temporary setback for the housing market recovery. Groundbreaking fell 3.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 1.099 million units, the...

  • AMD AND AP JOIN TO ENABLE VIRTUAL REALITY JOURNALISM; AMD TO PROVIDE HARDWARE PLATFORMS, SOFTWARE TECHNOLOGY, VR EXPERTISE TO SUPPORT AP'S JOURNALISM IN VR, 360 VIDEO.

  • *South Africa's global export share shrinking- IMF. JOHANNESBURG, Feb 17- South Africa's struggling manufacturing sector has so far failed to capitalize on a weak currency to boost its exports, stymied by power shortages and rising wages. South Africa's share of global exports fell by 15 percent between 2011 and 2014 the IMF said, despite a weaker rand which would...

  • *Sterling inches up after UK jobs data. Against the yen, the dollar was up 0.1 percent at 114.23 yen, recovering from a low of 113.37 yen struck early in the London session. "If broader risk aversion is steadying, as we suspect, we have to think the yen is at risk of giving back more of its recent strength," said Shaun Osborne, chief currency strategist, at Scotia Capital in...

  • He says his ability to connect with ordinary people, developed during his more than 40 years at the top of British retail, should go some way towards keeping Britain in the bloc in a referendum expected in June. Much is at stake for Britain, the world's fifth largest economy, and the European project itself. Prime Minister David Cameron has called on big business to...

  • NEW YORK, Feb 17- The typical millennial tax client that accountant Jeffrey Gentner sees in Buffalo, New York is often dragged along by mom or dad to suffer through the process. Gentner had one such family in his office recently- a dad who brought in three sons, aged 25, 28 and 33. This is a lesson that Phil Bergevin, a 28- year-old restaurant worker in Williamsburg,...

  • CAIRO, Feb 17- Egypt's central bank began cracking down on exchange bureaus who have been selling currency at unofficial rates as a black market for dollars surged amid a currency crisis and speculation of a devaluation. Egypt, which relies heavily on imports, has been facing a foreign currency shortage since a 2011 uprising drove away tourists and investors-...

  • BRASILIA, Feb 17- The Brazilian government expects to reach agreement by Friday with Samarco Mineração SA to settle a 20 billion-real lawsuit for damages related to a deadly November dam disaster, a spokesman for Brazil's attorney general said on Wednesday. Brazil has sued Samarco, a 50-50 iron ore mining joint venture between Brazil's Vale SA and...

  • MOSCOW, Feb 17- The head of Russia's anti-monopoly agency, Igor Artemyev, said it is highly likely that the agency would approve the possible purchase of a stake in oil company Bashneft by Lukoil, Russia's Interfax news agency reported on Wednesday.

  • Feb 17- Hopes of developing a vaccine against Zika took a small step forward on Wednesday as Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc said its experimental shot had induced a robust and durable response in mice. At least 15 companies and academic groups are currently racing to develop Zika vaccines, according to the World Health Organization, spurred on by growing public...

  • *Soybeans had rallied on U.S. exports, Brazil port congestion. PARIS/ SINGAPORE, Feb 17- U.S. soybeans edged lower on Wednesday as favorable crop weather in South America underlined ample global supplies, checking a rally that took prices to a near two-week high in the previous session. But broadly favorable weather for developing soy crops in Argentina and Brazil,...

  • Feb 17- Regulus Therapeutics Inc said interim data showed that patients tested with its hepatitis C drug combination treatment displayed sustained viral response in an ongoing mid-stage study, sending its shares up 43 percent in premarket trading. The company's shares were up at $9.25 in heavy premarket trading on Wednesday. Regulus said it tested its...

  • WASHINGTON, Feb 17- U.S. housing starts unexpectedly fell in January likely as bad weather disrupted building projects in some parts of the country, in what could be a temporary setback for the housing market. Groundbreaking fell 3.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 1.099 million units, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday.

  • WASHINGTON, Feb 17- U.S. producer prices unexpectedly rose in January as margins for wholesale machinery and equipment increased, but lower energy prices and a strong dollar continue to keep inflation in check. The Labor Department said on Wednesday its producer price index edged up 0.1 percent after slipping 0.2 percent in December. In the 12 months through...

  • *Adj profit $0.44/ shr vs est. loss 0.04/ shr. Noble said total sales volumes of 422,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in the fourth quarter exceeded produced volumes by more than 5,000 barrels per day due to the timing of liquids production in Equatorial Guinea. However, the company said it expected sales volumes to decline to 395,000-405,000 boe/d in the...

  • AMSTERDAM, Feb 17- Dutch retail bank ABN Amro reported fourth quarter profits fell by almost a third and acknowledged on Wednesday that low interest rates and falling commodity prices could hit its performance. In its first earnings report since its Nov. 20 stock market listing, ABN said the economic backdrop in the Netherlands, where it does 80 percent of its...

  • FRANKFURT/ SINGAPORE, Feb 17- Airbus Group has excluded its border security business from the planned sale of its defense electronics unit, whose sale may now go ahead within weeks, defense and space workers at the European company were told on Wednesday. "This means that the sales process for Defence Electronics shall continue as planned and can be finalized...

  • *Q4 net profit falls to 24 mln Swiss francs. *Proposes steady dividend of 0.40 francs per share. ZURICH, Feb 17- Clariant had its worst day on the stock market in five months on Wednesday after its chief executive threw cold water on lingering speculation the Swiss specialty chemicals maker could be a takeover target.