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  • By Libby George and Karolin Schaps. LONDON, April 29- Brent crude was heading for its biggest monthly rise in seven years on Friday, touching fresh 2016 highs as a weak dollar and falling U.S. production tempered concerns about a lingering excess of physical oil. Brent futures were trading at $48.26 a barrel at 1211 GMT, up 12 cents from their last close.

  • AB InBev has already lined up Japan's Asahi Group Holdings to buy SABMiller's Grolsch, Peroni and Meantime brands for 2.55 billion euros, and said on Friday it had put up for sale SABMiller's business in Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. AB InBev, maker of Budweiser and Stella Artois, has barely any business in eastern Europe outside Russia and...

  • LONDON, April 29 (Reuters)- European equities fell on Friday and headed for their biggest weekly decline in one month, with travel and leisure stocks sending the market lower after updates from British Airways owner IAG and Restaurant Group. International Airlines Group fell 4.3 percent, among the decliners in the FTSEurofirst 300 index. Britain's Restaurant...

  • *Commodity market fundamentals have not improved yet. LONDON, April 29- The rapid speculative rally in commodity markets is already petering out as focus returns to oversupplied markets, but dipping into a few choice assets could yield strong returns later this year. "Fundamentals haven't improved yet, supply and demand haven't balanced out," said Standard Life...

  • LONDON, April 29- A vote to leave the European Union in a June 23 referendum could cost each Briton around 45,000 pounds, or around half the value of the United Kingdom's housing stock, JPMorgan Chase& Co said in a research report. Some financiers say a British exit would sap London's wealth, hammer sterling, undermine the world's fifth-largest economy and prompt...

  • LONDON, April 29- Strong demand for hyperactivity treatment Vyvanse helped lift first-quarter earnings 12 percent at Shire, the London- listed drugmaker that is buying U.S. rare diseases firm Baxalta for $32 billion. Quarterly non-GAAP earnings per share of $3.19 on revenue up 17 percent to $1.71 billion compared with analysts' consensus forecasts of $3.05...

  • LONDON _ Aon PLC on Friday reported first-quarter profit of $315 million. The average estimate of 10 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.33 per share. Five analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $2.88 billion.

  • LONDON, April 29- Dallas Federal Reserve President, Robert Kaplan, on Friday pledged to push for gradual increases in the U.S. benchmark interest rate, as long as inflation continues to rise and the U.S. economy remains near full employment. The Fed, which is charged with the twin goals of maximum employment and stable inflation, this week kept interest-rate policy...

  • *Venezuela output to fall, state may face default- analysts. LONDON, April 29- Brent crude reached fresh 2016 highs on Friday and was poised for its biggest monthly gain in seven years as a weak dollar and falling U.S. production tempered concerns about a lingering excess of physical oil. Brent futures were trading at $48.35 a barrel at 0949 GMT, up 21 cents from their...

  • *Stock falls as much as 25 pct, second biggest FTSE midcap loser. April 29- Ophir Energy Plc said it had ended talks to partner with Schlumberger on its Fortuna project in Equatorial Guinea, leaving the oil and gas explorer to hunt for alternatives to move the project forward. Shares in Ophir, which had projects in Africa and East Asia, fell as much as 25 percent on...

  • LONDON, April 29- Russia's rouble and Turkey's lira lead a gang of top emerging market currencies to six-month highs on Friday as signals this week that U.S. interest rates are likely to stay ultra-low cemented a third month of losses for the dollar. EM stocks were suffering the effects of a heavy week for major markets like Wall Street and Tokyo, but for currencies...

  • LONDON— It's been a long and tortuous journey, but the eurozone economy is finally back to the size it was before the global financial crisis. Eurostat, the European Union's statistics agency, said the 19- country currency bloc expanded by a quarterly rate of 0.6 percent in the first three months of the year. It is far higher in the countries that have suffered most...

  • LONDON, April 29- European equities fell sharply on Friday and headed for their biggest weekly decline in one month, with the travel and leisure stocks leading the market lower after updates from British Airways-owner IAG and Restaurant Group. International Airlines Group fell 4 percent, the top decliner in the FTSEurofirst 300 index, after saying it would...

  • LONDON— Anglo-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca says first-quarter earnings fell 12 percent as it announced plans to cut costs so it can devote more resources to cancer drugs. AstraZeneca said Friday that income increased to $646 million from $550 million. AstraZeneca also says it plans to cuts costs by about $1.1 billion over the next two years as the company...

  • LONDON— Royal Bank of Scotland says its net loss widened in the first quarter as the taxpayer-owned bank made its final 1.2 billion-pound payment to the U.K. Treasury as part of a deal to give the government first crack at any profits. The bank, which is 73- percent taxpayer-owned, on Friday reported a net loss of 968 million pounds, compared with 459 million pounds...

  • Biotech drugmaker Gilead Sciences said its results were hurt by big discounts and rebates on its costly hepatitis C medicines, and its stock lost $8.52, or 8.8 percent, to $88.48. Rival biotech giant Amgen reported relatively solid results, but fell $2.59, or 1.6 percent, to $157.97. Health insurer Molina Healthcare slashed its full-year guidance because of...

  • April 29- Embattled Indian tycoon Vijay Mallya wants a "reasonable" settlement with creditor banks to his defunct airline, he said in an interview in London published by the Financial Times on Friday. Mallya, 60, flew first class from Delhi to London on March 2 at a time when the Indian government and mainly state-controlled banks are trying to recover $1.4...

  • LONDON/ TRIPOLI, April 28- Libya's National Oil Corporation has ambitious plans to restore output to pre-2011 levels after years of violence and disruption, officials said. Oil output is now less than a quarter of the 1.6 million barrels per day Libya pumped before Muammar Gaddafi fell in 2011, and the National Oil Corporation in Tripoli hopes to ramp it up...

  • April 28- A lawsuit accusing PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP of violating U.S. discrimination law by hiring a "stunningly low" number of people over the age of 40 to maintain a youthful culture has been filed in San Francisco. The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday in federal court, said the London- based accounting company does virtually all of its recruiting for...

  • NEW YORK, April 28- Oil companies and speculators have piled into complex, high-risk spread options, betting that oil prices will extend their recent rally on tightening supplies and resurgent exports, the latest sign of growing optimism in the world's top energy market. Last week, nationwide stocks touched a new record while Cushing had the biggest build in...