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  • LONDON, Nov 21- North America's peak electricity demand is forecast to increase by just 1 percent a year for the next decade, the slowest rate of growth on record. The North American Electric Reliability Corporation, the industry body charged by the U.S. Congress with helping to maintain a secure power system, identified three major challenges to reliability...

  • Nov 21- Dow Chemical Co said it would add four independent directors to its board as part of an agreement with hedge fund Third Point LLC. The four directors will be included in Dow's nominees for election at the 2015 annual meeting. Reuters reported earlier this week that Third Point was considering a proxy contest after negotiations over board seats with the...

  • NEW YORK, Nov 21- Wall Street was poised to open higher on Friday, setting major stock indexes up for a fifth week of gains, after China's central bank cut its benchmark interest rate for the first time in more than two years to boost its cooling economy. China's move came after European Central Bank head Mario Draghi said "excessively low" inflation had to be raised...

  • Airlines eye tech partners to tap customer data Friday, 21 Nov 2014 | 8:46 AM ET

    "Revenue from the ticket is barely covering costs these days," Uwe Klenovsky, Commercial Director of Thomas Cook Airlines, said at the CAPA World Aviation Summit in Antwerp. Airlines have been reluctant to publish all fares on all distribution channels, often keeping the lowest prices on their own websites, rather than eroding margins further by paying their GDS...

  • ECB launches program to buy asset-backed securities Friday, 21 Nov 2014 | 8:39 AM ET

    FRANKFURT, Nov 21- The European Central Bank has started buying asset-backed securities, it said on Friday, in a move to encourage banks to lend and revive the economy. The program is one plank in a strategy which ECB chief Mario Draghi hopes will increase its balance sheet by up to 1 trillion euros. If it falls short of this overall 1 trillion euro mark and fails to...

  • OTTAWA, Nov 21- Canada's annual inflation rate jumped to 2.4 percent in October, pushed up by higher prices for shelter and food, and potentially putting pressure on the Bank of Canada's stance that interest rates will remain low for some time, Statistics Canada data showed on Friday. It was the highest level of inflation since June and surpassed economists'...

  • Ross Stores tops Street 3Q forecasts Friday, 21 Nov 2014 | 8:32 AM ET

    Ross Stores on Thursday reported earnings of $192.7 million in its fiscal third quarter.

  • Ann Inc beats 3Q profit forecasts Friday, 21 Nov 2014 | 8:28 AM ET
    An Ann Taylor store on Fifth Avenue in New York.

    Ann Inc. on Friday reported fiscal third-quarter profit of $29.9 million.

  • *China cuts interest rates for first time in over 2 years. *Ukraine sells from gold reserves, Russia buys-IMF. LONDON, Nov 21- Gold climbed back above $1,200 an ounce on Friday after a surprise rate cut by China fueled expectations demand could rise in the world's biggest gold consumer.

  • Foot Locker beats Street 3Q forecasts Friday, 21 Nov 2014 | 8:11 AM ET

    Foot Locker on Friday reported net income of $120 million in its fiscal third quarter.

  • *State-controlled KGHM is one of Poland's biggest companies. Poland's environment ministry, which allocates concessions, denied it gave preferential treatment to KGHM over Canadian Miedzi Copper, which has filed a lawsuit, or British firm Darley Energy, which has submitted an appeal. KGHM, Europe's second-largest copper producer and an industrial champion...

  • *Buffett's Berkshire, Novartis, Givaudan doing well. But good news is emerging now for those who prefer safer strategies: some of the best returns this year have come from stable stocks like billionaire Warren Buffett's holding company Berkshire Hathaway or Swiss toilet maker Geberit. "Investors are ready to invest on the equity market but under the condition...

  • *Shares soars as China cuts rates, Draghi talks bond buying. *Euro tumbles on Draghi, Aussie rises on China. LONDON, Nov 21- World shares surged on Friday as China surprised markets with its first interest rate cut in more than two years and the European Central Bank's Mario Draghi threw the door wide open to full scale money printing.

  • LONDON, Nov 21- Commercial banks' lacklustre appetite for its almost free money could leave the European Central Bank struggling to prime the fragile euro zone economy with another trillion euros as planned. Draghi has set a target of returning the ECB's balance sheet to its level of March 2012-- around 3 trillion euros, compared with the current 2 trillion.

  • *Market beginning to expect OPEC cut, analysts say. LONDON, Nov 21- Brent crude oil rose more than $2 to above $81 a barrel on Friday after China cut interest rates and on speculation that OPEC could agree next week to reduce oil production. The rate cut added to a positive mood among oil traders, many of whom expected an agreement by the Organization of the Petroleum...

  • BRUSSELS, Nov 21- The dispute between Britain and Spain over Gibraltar threatens to hold up European Union plans to merge national air corridors, diplomats say. But a wrangle over the sovereignty of the isthmus that connects the British territory of Gibraltar to Spain could delay a deal even if all other issues are agreed upon, EU diplomats said.

  • ISLAMABAD, Nov 21- The Chinese government and banks will finance Chinese companies to build $45.6 billion worth of energy and infrastructure projects in Pakistan over the next six years, according to new details of the deal seen by Reuters on Friday. The deal further cements ties between Pakistan and China at a time when Pakistan is nervous about waning U.S....

  • NEW YORK, Nov 21- U.S. stock index futures rose on Friday, setting major indexes up for a fifth week of gains, after China's central bank cut its benchmark interest rate for the first time in more than two years to boost its cooling economy. *The People's Bank of China said it was cutting one-year benchmark lending rates by 40 basis points to 5.6 percent.

  • MOSCOW, Nov 21- The rouble strengthened sharply in thin trade on Friday, heading for weekly gains of over 3 percent against the dollar, as oil prices recovered and exporters sold small amounts of foreign currency to meet their tax payments. "Exporters are selling as little as they can, but there simply isn't a strong foreign currency bid like there was before," said...

  • BEIJING, Nov 21- A flurry of private Chinese investment into Hollywood should prompt Beijing to loosen its restrictions on U.S. film imports, the mayor of Los Angeles said in China on Friday as he urged officials to raise the country's annual cap on foreign films. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who is leading a two-week trade mission across three Asian countries,...