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  • MANILA, Jan 25- London aluminum futures edged higher on Wednesday to trade close to a 20- month high on Wednesday, buoyed by reports of possible capacity cuts in China, while copper rose to its strongest level in almost two months. Traders cited a Bloomberg story saying that China is drawing up plans that would halt about 3.3 million tonnes of operational aluminum...

  • TOKYO, Jan 25- Japanese government bonds tumbled on Wednesday after the Bank of Japan surprised- and perplexed- market players as the central bank appeared to reduce buying in short-dated bonds by veering from its playbook on bond-buying operations. Yields on super-long bonds- those maturing in 20 to 40 years- soared to 11- month highs while the 10- year JGB...

  • SHANGHAI, Jan 25- China stocks rose for the fourth straight day on Wednesday, although optimism over improving corporate earnings was offset by a surprise increase in rates on medium-term loans. Xiao Shijun, analyst at Guodu Securities in Beijing, said that the market was closely monitoring U.S. Shares of Aluminium Corp of China Ltd, the nation's top aluminium...

  • TOKYO, Jan 25- Japanese oil refiner Idemitsu Kosan Co said it conducted an emergency shutdown of a desulphurisation unit at its 200,000 barrels per day Chiba refinery after a fire near a heat exchanger. The crude distillation unit at the plant, east of Tokyo, is continuing to operate, with no impact on cargoes being sent from the facility's truck terminal or by sea, a...

  • LONDON, Jan 25- Some of the biggest holders of UK stocks plan to get tougher on executive pay, as the government turns up the heat over the yawning income gap between bosses and employees following Britons' vote to leave the European Union. Nevertheless, three of the five biggest investors in companies on the FTSE 350 index have set out fresh guidance on setting top...

  • Jan 25- Gold drifted down on Wednesday as Chinese demand ebbed ahead of the Lunar New Year festival, with some analysts warning of further declines as prices for the metal could be due a technical correction. Spot gold had fallen 0.5 percent to $1,202.90 per ounce by 0617 GMT. "unable to capitalize on a softer dollar with Chinese physical demand beginning to wane as...

  • BASEL, Switzerland, Jan 25- Novartis AG may spin off its struggling Alcon eye care business and is launching a share buyback of up to $5 billion, the Swiss drugmaker said on Wednesday while reporting fourth-quarter results that lagged market expectations. Fourth-quarter core net income was $2.66 billion, short of the $2.72 billion expected on average by...

  • ZURICH, Jan 25- Swiss chocolate maker Barry Callebaut said it expected sales volume growth to accelerate in the second half of its fiscal year after the phasing-out of less profitable contracts in its cocoa business made volumes dip in the quarter to Nov. 30. We are on track to deliver improved profitability in our cocoa business, "the Zurich- based company said in a...

  • TOKYO, Jan 25- Japan's Nikkei share average rose on Wednesday, buoyed by record finishes on Wall Street on hopes that the new U.S. administration will focus on growth measures. The Nikkei gained 1.4 percent to 19,057.50. The broader Topix and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 both added 1.0 percent to 1,521.58 and 13,635.86, respectively.

  • *If Park ousted, election for successor to take place within 60 days. SEOUL, Jan 25- The woman at the centre of a corruption scandal gripping South Korea angrily protested her innocence on Wednesday, shouting that she had been made to confess as she was forcibly summoned for questioning. The dramatic scenes came as the outgoing chief judge of the Constitutional...

  • *If Park ousted, election for successor to take place within 60 days. SEOUL, Jan 25- The woman at the center of a corruption scandal gripping South Korea angrily protested her innocence on Wednesday, shouting that she had been made to confess as she was forcibly summoned for questioning. The dramatic scenes came as the outgoing chief judge of the Constitutional...

  • *Gold's December rally fizzles in Asia. In Asia, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.1 percent to its highest levels since late October. When you compare whats happening in this part of the world to the rest, maybe that discount isnt so justified as it has been in the past, said Tim Orchard, chief investment officer Asia ex- Japan at...

  • LAUNCESTON, Australia, Jan 25- China's record imports of liquefied natural gas in December, and the doubling in spot Asian prices in the past six months, appear to contradict the prevailing market view that supply is overwhelming demand for the super-chilled fuel. Similar to other commodities, spot LNG prices in Asia surprised on the upside in the second half of...

  • *Hyundai Q4 net profit 1 trillion won, consensus est 1.5 trillion. SEOUL, Jan 25- Hyundai Motor's profits fell for a twelfth straight quarter over the three months ended December, as steep discounts on its smaller sedans that are losing ground in South Korea and the United States chipped away at the automaker's earnings. At its peak in 2011, more than one car in every...

  • *Exports +5.4 pct yr/yr in Dec vs forecast +1.2 pct. TOKYO, Jan 25- Japan's exports rose for the first time in 15 months in December on strong sales of electronics and car parts, a positive sign for the export-reliant economy even as U.S. protectionism threatens to hurt trade across the region and dent external demand. Ministry of Finance data showed on Wednesday...

  • SEOUL, Jan 25- Hyundai Motor on Wednesday posted a 39 percent drop in its quarterly net profit, missing a consensus forecast, hit by heavy discounts to sell their smaller sedans that are losing ground in South Korea and the United States. Hyundai Motor, the world's fifth-biggest automaker along with affiliate Kia Motors Corp, reported an October-December net...

  • TOKYO, Jan 25- Gas usage in Japan, the world's biggest importer of the fuel in liquid form, this week hit daily records in the cities of Tokyo and Osaka, with residents cranking up heating as a cold snap grips the country. Japan's biggest city gas supplier, Tokyo Gas, on Wednesday said gas usage in the capital reached just over 60 million cubic meters the day before as...

  • *China's c.bank lifts two of its lending rates to rein in debt. SHANGHAI, Jan 25- China stocks erased early losses and edged higher on Wednesday morning, but gains were limited after the central bank raised interest rates on a key funding tool to curb borrowing. China's insurance regulator, in the latest move to control risk, said on Tuesday that it was reimposing...

  • Spot gold prices dipped 0.3 percent to $1,204.80 per. U.S. gold futures slipped 0.5 percent to $1,204.80. "Gold prices have moved higher since the beginning of the year and need some technical correction in the very short-term," said Jiang Shu, chief analyst at Shandong Gold Group.

  • SHANGHAI, Jan 25- China's surprise increase in interest rates on medium-term loans weighed on bond prices on Wednesday, while the yuan weakened after the central bank set a weaker daily fixing in response to a rebound in the U.S. dollar overnight. But some traders were clearly rattled by China's first-ever increase in interest rates for its medium-term lending...