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  • LONDON— Taxpayer-owned Royal Bank of Scotland says second-quarter net income rose 27 percent to 293 million pounds as the British government prepares to sell its stake. Bailed out by the British government at the height of the financial crisis in 2008, RBS is struggling to put the excesses of the past behind it, including an ill-fated global expansion drive...

  • LONDON— Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell says second-quarter net income fell 25 percent to $3.9 billion as the prolonged impact of lower crude prices continues to hurt the bottom line. CEO Ben van Beurden says the company is taking a prudent approach through the downturn, making sure it has the capacity to deliver a dividend to shareholders. Van Beurden says the...

  • Tokyo's Nikkei 225 gained 1.1 percent to 20,522.83 while Seoul's Kospi shed 0.9 percent to 2,019.03. Taiwan, Manila, Jakarta and New Zealand also gained while Singapore fell. CHINA'S GYRATIONS: The Shanghai benchmark suffered its biggest one-day drop in eight years on Monday when it plunged 8.5 percent despite government intervention to stem a slide in stock...

  • HONG KONG, July 30- Toshiba Corp's years-long practice of inflating its profits has raised questions among accounting experts about whether low fees paid by Japan- listed companies to their auditors mean they do not spend enough time scrutinizing company accounts. Toshiba chief executive Hisao Tanaka and a string of other senior officials resigned last...

  • LONDON _ Ensco PLC on Wednesday reported second-quarter net income of $260.3 million, after reporting a loss in the same period a year earlier. The average estimate of 12 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.04 per share. Ensco shares have decreased 40 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard& Poor's 500 index...

  • LONDON _ Noble Corp. on Wednesday reported second-quarter earnings of $159 million. The average estimate of 12 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 52 cents per share. Noble Corp. shares have dropped 20 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard& Poor's 500 index has increased slightly more than 2 percent.

  • NEW YORK, July 29- The dollar rose modestly against a basket of currencies on Wednesday as the Federal Reserve upgraded its view of the labor market, supporting some traders' opinion that it would raise benchmark U.S. interest rates, perhaps as early as September. Although inflation has remained below the Fed's 2 percent target and overseas developments...

  • *Crude futures rise $1 before ending off highs on strong dollar. NEW YORK, July 29- Oil settled higher on Wednesday, recovering from multi-month lows, after U.S. government data showed a surprisingly large crude stockpile draw that signaled the market may have been wrong in predicting slumping demand for energy. Crude futures lost more than $10 a barrel over the...

  • DETROIT, July 29- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV will face a shortage of new products in North America over the next 18 months, especially hot-selling trucks and crossover vehicles, according to three sources familiar with the company's plans. While the Italian-American automaker said it will bring three new sports models from Italy to the United States in the...

  • Gold struggles to rise back above $1,100/ oz level. NEW YORK/ LONDON, July 29- Gold moved up a shade on Wednesday, but remained near last week's 5-1/ 2- year low, after a U.S. "market can't seem to decide whether the Fed has moved marginally farther away from a September hike," said Tai Wong, director of base and precious metals trading for BMO Capital Markets in New York.

  • *Vlieghe to retain interest in Brevan Howard hedge fund. LONDON, July 29- New Bank of England policymaker Gertjan Vlieghe will retain a financial interest in one of the world's biggest hedge fund firms while he sets interest rates, an arrangement that Britain's finance ministry said posed no conflict of interest. Some economists privately expressed surprise...

  • *Vlieghe to retain interest in Brevan Howard hedge fund. LONDON, July 29- New Bank of England policymaker Gertjan Vlieghe will retain a financial interest in one of the world's biggest hedge fund firms while he sets interest rates, an arrangement which Britain's finance ministry said posed no conflict of interest. Some economists privately expressed surprise...

  • *Crude futures rise over $1 a barrel before consolidating. NEW YORK, July 29- Oil prices jumped about 2 percent on Wednesday, springing from near six-month lows, after U.S. government data showed a surprisingly large crude stockpile draw that signaled the market may have been wrong in predicting slumping demand for energy. Crude futures have lost over $10 a barrel...

  • *Italcementi jumps after bid from HeidelbergCement. LONDON, July 29- European shares rose on Wednesday, lifted by strong corporate results and bid activity, including HeidelbergCement's move to take control of Italcementi. In Europe, Italcementi surged 49 percent while HeidelbergCement fell more than 6 percent.

  • *Sugar market to have first deficit in 6 years-Reuters poll. Drought has already begun to threaten production in number two exporter Thailand and top consumer India as weather bureaux confirm the return of the phenomenon which can lead to scorching weather across Asia and heavy rains and floods in South America. "The current drought is more severe than last...

  • LONDON, July 29- Barclays' new chairman sought to stamp his mark on the bank on Wednesday by accelerating the sale of assets and cost cutting after the group produced a 12 percent increase in second-quarter profits. Chairman John McFarlane, who arrived at Barclays in April with a reputation for taking bold action, laid out his plans for the bank after ousting Chief...

  • HARARE, July 29- Metallon Corp, the biggest gold producer in Zimbabwe, said it missed its first-half output target by 19 percent due to equipment breakdowns, in another setback for the country's mining sector, which has been hit by slumping commodities prices. London- based Metallon, which is not listed, owns fives mines in Zimbabwe, three operational and two which...

  • NEW YORK, July 29- The dollar held steady against major currencies on Wednesday as traders awaited possible clues from the Federal Reserve on whether it will raise interest rates, perhaps as early as September. Although inflation has remained below the Fed's 2 percent target and overseas developments including the European debt crisis and most recently...

  • *Says to restart Goa mines by October. MUMBAI, July 29- India's Vedanta Ltd said on Wednesday it expected to restart iron ore mining by October in top exporting Goa province and that talks were continuing with regulators for merging with its cash-rich unit Cairn India. Chief Executive Tom Albanese said on a conference call Vedanta was hoping to get approvals as...

  • *HIV sales help offset margin slide post Novartis deal. LONDON, July 29- GlaxoSmithKline moved to reclaim its prowess as a research powerhouse on Wednesday by flagging up dozens of new drugs and vaccines in development, as demand for new HIV medicines helped it beat quarterly profit forecasts. The drugmaker recently sold its marketed cancer drugs to Novartis...