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  • Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla shocked investors in June when he said the island's debt- totaling $72 billion- was unpayable and required restructuring. Puerto Rico has flagged that it will likely skip a $58 million payment due Aug. 1 on its Public Finance Corporation debt, which has weaker investor protection than some other bonds.

  • WASHINGTON, July 31- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will unveil as soon as Monday the final version of a sweeping- and controversial- regulation to cut carbon emissions from the electricity sector. Among other things: The EPA is expected to push back the rule's start date by two years to 2022, according to a slide posted by the agency briefly on its...

  • SHANGHAI, July 31- China's securities watchdog is investigating the impact of automated trading on share markets, as authorities step up a crackdown on what they regard as heavy speculative selling that could destabilize the world's second-largest economy. Fearing the turmoil could spill over into the wider economy, which had already been cooling, the...

  • SINGAPORE, July 31- Oil prices fell in Asian trade on Friday as concern over global oversupply intensified after the head of oil producers' cartel OPEC indicated there would be no cut-back in production, although a fall in the U.S. dollar put a floor under prices. Badri added that even if OPEC had cut output by as much as 2 million barrels per day, it would not have...

  • HONG KONG, July 31- China stocks fell on Friday and looked set to suffer their biggest monthly loss in nearly six years even as Beijing rolled out a series of support measures and promised to step up efforts to bolster the flagging economy. China CSI300 stock index futures for August fell 0.1 percent to 3,678.6, but was still 133.74 points below the current value of...

  • SAINT-ANDRE, Reunion— A barnacle-encrusted wing part that washed up on a remote Indian Ocean island could help solve one of aviation's greatest mysteries, as investigators work to connect it to the Malaysia Airlines flight that vanished more than a year ago. The surprise discovery of the debris on a rocky beach stirred hopes and emotion among families of the...

  • LAHAINA, Hawaii, July 30- Pacific Rim trade ministers neared the final spurt of negotiations on an ambitious free trade pact on Thursday, but differences over farm exports and monopoly periods for next-generation drugs kept them short of an elusive final deal. Ministers from the 12 countries negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would cut trade...

  • ATHENS, Greece— Lead negotiators from the European Union and International Monetary Fund begin an intensive round of talks with Greece on Friday to hammer out details of a third international bailout worth some 85 billion euros. The bailout talks must be concluded before Aug. 20, when a debt repayment to the European Central Bank worth more than 3 billion euros...

  • SEOUL, South Korea— China's stock market extended its loss for a second day while other Asian stocks were mostly up Thursday after data showed the U.S. economy posted solid growth during the second quarter. Japan's Nikkei 225 was flat at 20,525.29 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 0.4 percent to 24,602.11. Stocks in Australia and New Zealand were higher as...

  • Caracas shopkeeper Wilmer Ruiz realized last week that he couldn't call his family in Cuba or a friend who immigrated to Ecuador. Both countries have been staunch allies of Venezuela's 16- year socialist revolution. Internet calling services like Skype go only so far toward resolving the issue.

  • *Greenback seen supported after US GDP backs rate rise view. *Dollar index takes breather after setting 1- week high. SINGAPORE/ TOKYO, July 31- The dollar backed off from a one-week high against a basket of currencies on Friday, but was still seen on firm footing after U.S.

  • TOKYO, July 31- Japanese fund managers increased their holdings of stocks in model portfolios in July on expectation of a moderate earnings recovery while they cut their allocations to bonds to the lowest level in almost a year, a Reuters survey showed on Friday. A survey of seven Japanese-based fund managers, conducted between July 21 and 24, found respondents...

  • TAIPEI, July 31- Taiwan's economic growth slowed more sharply than expected to a three-year low in the second quarter, hurt by a collapse in exports as a slowdown in major market China chilled demand for its line of key technology products. The growth slump in Taiwan, an important hub in the global supply-chain for tech giants such as Apple Inc. and...

  • SHANGHAI, July 31- China's securities regulator on Friday said it is investigating the impact of automated trading on the market, as Beijing intensifies pressure on its financial industry in the wake of a share-price plunge. It appears Beijing is trying to reinforce the "national team" of brokerages and banks that have pledged to buy and hold shares until...

  • *Wheat down more than 18 pct for July. *Corn set for monthly loss of more than 10 pct. "The dryness issues in parts of Europe, Canada and Argentina remain but that is not leaving the market on the precipice of new crop downgrades," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy, Commonwealth Bank of Australia in a note to clients.

  • SHANGHAI, July 31- China's yuan was flat on Friday after the central bank set an official guidance rate that barely changed from the previous session. The People's Bank of China set the midpoint rate at 6.1172 per dollar prior to market open, down 0.01 percent from the previous fix at 6.1165. Beijing appears to want a stable currency to lift market confidence and...

  • PORTLAND, Ore., July 30- An icebreaking vessel key to Royal Dutch Shell's plans to drill for oil in the Arctic departed Portland, Oregon, late on Thursday, navigating between a narrow gap of environmental activists dangling from a bridge after a two-day human blockade. Several Greenpeace activists appeared to bow to orders from police to lower themselves into...

  • SINGAPORE, July 31- Oil prices fell in Asian trade on Friday as concern over global oversupply intensified after the head of oil producers' cartel OPEC indicated there would be no cut-back in production, although a fall in the U.S. dollar put a floor under prices. Badri added that even if OPEC had cut output by as much as 2 million barrels per day, it would not have...

  • *Tokyo core CPI marks first annual fall since April 2013. TOKYO, July 31- Japan's household spending unexpectedly fell and inflation stalled in June, heightening the chance the economy may have contracted in April-June and casting doubt on the central bank's view growth will rebound solidly in the current quarter. "If the BOJ were to ease this year, it will...

  • *Fujifilm soars on share buyback plan. TOKYO, July 31- Japan's Nikkei share average was little changed on Friday as investors awaited more earnings from blue-chip companies and looked for signs of whether China's volatile stock markets were starting to take a toll on its economy. On Friday, shippers such as Mitsui O.S.K. Lines and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha are slated...