Wires

  • Dec 7- Advertising company Interpublic Group of Cos said on Wednesday that one of its standalone domestic agencies had been contacted by the Department of Justice's antitrust division for documents regarding video production practices. DoJ is examining whether ad companies rigged bids to favor in-house production units, the Wall Street Journal reported...

  • *S&P 500 index to reach 2,350 by end-2017. NEW YORK, Dec 7- The U.S. stock market's bull run since 2009 will extend into 2017 if President-elect Donald Trump's plans to stimulate the economy with infrastructure spending and financial deregulation come to pass, according to strategists in a Reuters poll. Wall Street has rallied and hit record highs since...

  • TORONTO, Dec 7- Canada's main stock index rose on Wednesday as higher gold prices supported mining shares, offsetting losses for the energy group as oil lost ground. The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 18.87 points, or 0.12 percent, at 15,144.67, shortly after the open. Seven of the index's 10 main groups were higher.

  • The company also plans to open an outlet of its high-end coffee chain, Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room, in Europe, bringing the number to five globally. Starbucks opened its first Reserve coffee roastery and tasting room in Seattle in late 2014, which roasts limited-supply Reserve coffees that sell for up to $50 per 8- ounce package. The company plans to open a...

  • NEW YORK— The latest on developments in financial markets:. Pfizer and Merck each fell 2 percent. Vera Bradley, which makes handbags and accessories, dropped 12 percent and liquor maker Brown-Forman fell 1 percent.

  • LONDON, Dec 7- Oil prices slipped on Wednesday on doubts production cuts promised by OPEC and Russia would be deep enough to end a supply overhang that has weighed on markets for more than two years. Oil prices surged almost 20 percent after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia announced last week that they would cut production next...

  • *FTSE 100 seen rising 4 percent by end-2017. The FTSE 100, which closed on Tuesday at 6,779.84 points, has reversed two years of falls to rise almost 9 percent in 2016, helped by a commodities rally and a slump in the pound after Britain's vote to leave the European Union that inflated the incomes of the FTSE's international firms in sterling terms.

  • *France, German elections seen as major risks. However, after a tumultuous year featuring shock results in both Britain's referendum on European Union membership and the U.S. presidential election, neither index is expected to fulfill earlier predictions for gains in 2016, nor are they seen regaining 2015' s all-time highs next year. Political uncertainty...

  • DUBAI, United Arab Emirates— Stockholders at two Abu Dhabi banks have agreed to a plan to merge the firms, which would create the biggest bank in the Gulf. Shareholders at the National Bank of Abu Dhabi and First Gulf Bank voted Wednesday to approve the tie-up. Moody's has said the merger would make the new NBAD the largest bank across Gulf Arab nations, with some $170...

  • *New CEO sought to deal with Silicon Valley threat. STOCKHOLM, Dec 7- The chief executive of Swedish investment firm Kinnevik is leaving with immediate effect to be replaced by a new leader who will have to fend off competition from technology giants such as Amazon. The decision was taken at a special board meeting in Stockholm when senior company figures were in...

  • LONDON, Dec 7- Cyprus will renew its attempt to privatize state telecoms group Cyta next year after previously failing to get approval to sell it all, putting legislation before parliament in January to allow the sale of a minority stake. Sweeping privatization was a condition of a 10 billion euro bailout program from the European Union and the International...

  • BENGALURU/ LONDON, Dec 7- Global stock markets will rise further in 2017, hundreds of upbeat strategists say in a Reuters poll released on Wednesday, braving a long list of political uncertainties just as the fuel behind the historic post-financial crisis rally runs dry. The most striking shift since the last Reuters global survey- in October- is how quickly many...

  • *Dubai rises in healthy volume. *Abu Dhabi bolstered by strong gains in FGB, NBAD. DUBAI, Dec 7- Stock markets in the United Arab Emirates outperformed the region on Wednesday while investors booked profits in Saudi Arabian petrochemical shares and Egyptian blue chips.

  • Dec 7- Wearable device maker Fitbit Inc said on Wednesday that it had bought smartwatch maker Pebble's software and intellectual property. The deal, which closed on Dec. 6, did not include Pebble's hardware products, Fitbit said. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

  • ROME, Dec 7- The Italian parliament on Wednesday gave its final approval to the government's 2017 budget, which has irked the European Union, paving the way for Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to hand in his resignation. Sweeping away all amendments to speed up its parliamentary passage, the upper house Senate approved the budget in a vote of confidence, with 173 votes...

  • TORONTO, Dec 7- The Canadian dollar was little changed against its U.S. counterpart on Wednesday, trading in a narrow range as oil fell and the market braced for the Bank of Canada's interest rate decision. But data on Tuesday showed a disappointing drop in export volumes and oil, one of Canada's major exports, has pared some gains since the OPEC deal.

  • FRANKFURT, Dec 7- German industrial gases group Linde on Wednesday invited U.S. rival Praxair to negotiate a merger of equals after Praxair defused some contentious issues that had led to the failure of an initial approach. Linde also said after a meeting of its supervisory board on Wednesday that its Chief Executive Wolfgang Buechele would step down sooner...

  • NEW YORK, Dec 7- Interest rates on U.S. fixed-rate mortgages rose to their highest levels in more than two years, sending weekly home loan application activity to its weakest since early January, Mortgage Bankers Association data released on Wednesday showed. The Washington- based industry group said 30- year fixed-rate conforming mortgages averaged 4.27...

  • GENEVA— A monitoring group says Switzerland has achieved "good results" in fighting money laundering and terrorism financing, but should strengthen its compliance controls, boost scrutiny on the use of cash and share information more with foreign authorities. The Paris- based Financial Action Task Force noted that Switzerland remains a major international...

  • NEW YORK, Dec 7- Citigroup Inc fourth-quarter markets revenue is running about 20 percent higher than last year, chief financial officer John Gerspach said on Wednesday. Gerspach, who spoke about a variety of topics in a question and answer format, said that compared with a year ago Citigroup was now more concerned about threats to the European economy and less...