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Wires

  • FRANKFURT, July 26- Booming sales of new Mercedes-Benz cars pushed up quarterly operating profit at Germany's Daimler by 15 percent, slightly below consensus and overshadowed by allegations that German carmakers were involved in anti-competitive behaviour. Daimler's group earnings before interest and tax rose to 3.74 billion euros in the second quarter,...

  • *FOMC statement due at 1800 GMT. Spot gold fell 0.27 percent to $1,245.16 per ounce at. "Markets are certainly a little bit cautious ahead of the Fed meeting and that's probably hindering investor appetite," said ANZ analyst Daniel Hynes.

  • OSLO, July 26- Offshore drilling contractor Seadrill delayed the restructuring of its $14 billion in debt and liabilities on Wednesday and reiterated that Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings were likely. The crown jewel in the business empire of billionaire of John Fredriksen, has struggled as energy firms have slashed investment due to a more than 50 percent...

  • LOS ANGELES— The caller who rang Valerie Sobel's cellphone had a horrifying message: "We have Simone's finger. In the hours that followed, the kidnappers talked her into wiring $4,000 for ransom. Los Angeles police alone have received more than 250 reports of such crimes in the past two years, and people have wired more than $100,000, said Capt.

  • LONDON, July 26- British commercial broadcaster ITV said on Wednesday pressure on its advertising income should ease in the third quarter after it reported first-half results cushioned by solid demand in its production and online businesses. The broadcaster of " Coronation Street" and " Britain's Got Talent" said net advertising revenue for its family of...

  • *Caterpillar's robust results lift Komatsu, Hitachi Construction. TOKYO, July 26- Japanese stocks rose on Wednesday, snapping a three-day losing streak, as solid gains on Wall Street boosted sentiment and Caterpillar's strong earnings whetted investors' appetite for companies such as Komatsu and Hitachi Construction. Japanese construction equipment...

  • SINGAPORE, July 26- The United Arab Emirates will import the country's first oil cargo from the United States, two sources familiar with the matter said, as the OPEC producer sought substitutes to replace Qatari condensate supplies after a diplomatic row. The UAE halted condensate imports from Qatar after it, along with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain, severed...

  • ZURICH, July 26- LafargeHolcim posted slightly better-than-expected second-quarter results and brought forward the start date for its new CEO as the world's biggest cement maker sought to put a scandal over payments to armed groups in Syria behind it. "We would like to have Jan Jenisch as quickly as possible and he agreed to advance the date," Chairman Beat Hess,...

  • PARIS, July 26- PSA Group increased sales and profit in the first half, the maker of Peugeots and Citroens said, beating analyst expectations with a new profitability record at its core manufacturing division. Net income rose 3.6 percent to 1.26 billion euros on a 5 percent increase in revenue to 29.17 billion, the French carmaker said on Wednesday, as stronger...

  • *Nigeria agrees to join push to rein in output. Brent crude futures rose 41 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $50.61 a barrel by 0617 GMT, after rallying more than 3 percent on Tuesday. The market has been buoyed by Saudi Arabia's announcement at a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non- OPEC producers on Monday that it would limit crude...

  • PARIS, July 26- STMicroelectronics said on Wednesday it was "well-positioned" to achieve its second-half financial targets, after reporting a 13 percent jump of its quarterly net revenues from a year ago. The Geneva- based company, which has cut jobs and reorganised itself last year, is benefiting from growing demand for sensors for smartphones, cars, and the...

  • PARIS, July 26- STMicroelectronics said on Wednesday it was "well-positioned" to achieve its second-half financial targets, after reporting a 13 percent jump of its quarterly net revenues from a year ago. The Geneva- based company, which has cut jobs and reorganized itself last year, is benefiting from growing demand for sensors for smartphones, cars, and the...

  • MELBOURNE, July 26- London copper climbed to its highest in more than two years on Wednesday, buoyed by a weaker dollar and talk that China's appetite for refined metal could grow if it curbs scrap imports. Expectations that China could look at banning some imports of copper scrap from the end of 2018 fueled the rally in copper prices, said analyst Dan Morgan of UBS...

  • KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index climbed 0.5 percent to 20,047.73 but South Korea's Kospi index slipped 0.3 percent to 2,432.25. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index added 0.2 percent to 26,894.21 and the Shanghai Composite index in mainland China slipped 0.1 percent to 3,239.62. ANALYST VIEW: "The market expects a near-zero probability of a rate hike...

  • LONDON, July 26- Commercial broadcaster ITV said the pressures weighing on its advertising income should ease in the third quarter after it reported first-half results buoyed by its production and online businesses. The " Coronation Street" and " Britain's Got Talent" broadcaster said on Wednesday the net advertising revenue for its family of channels is...

  • FRANKFURT, Germany— Automaker Daimler AG says its net profit rose slightly in the second quarter as its Mercedes-Benz luxury car business boomed but profits lagged at its truck, van and bus businesses. The company reported Wednesday that net profit was up 2 percent compared to a year ago, to 2.51 billion euros from 2.45 billion euros. CEO Dieter Zetsche said...

  • TOKYO, July 26- Japanese government bond prices eased on Wednesday in sympathy with falls in U.S. bonds as markets awaited the U.S. The market showed no reaction to remarks by Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Hiroshi Nakaso, who said that there are signs that companies will raise prices in the future. U.S. bond prices fell on Tuesday in part due to a knee-jerk reaction to...

  • BEIJING, July 26- All big Chinese companies owned by the central government will be registered as limited liability companies or joint-stock firms by the end of the year, as Beijing moves to make its state-owned giants more nimble, efficient and modern. About 90 percent of China's state-owned firms have already completed the process, which has helped improve...

  • *Turkey, North Africa, Ukraine stand to benefit. BRATISLAVA, July 25- Central and Eastern Europe faces the end of an economic era. VW was one of dozens of big Western manufacturers beating a path to Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary after the fall of communism in search of cheap labor.

  • *Conflicts help drive demand for arms. PRAGUE, July 26- During the last days of the Cold War in 1988, Czechoslovakia's Aero Vodochody's factory outside Prague produced a record 250 of its Albatros L-39 training jets for Soviet bloc air forces. "The influence of big countries in emerging markets is changing," said Aero Chief Executive Giuseppe Giordo told Reuters.