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  • *UCB, BNP Paribas, Natixis up after results. *Engie falls on HSBC downgrade to "hold". Natixis rose 3.3 percent after reporting a 5 percent rise in net income for the second quarter, driven by a strong increase in asset management, insurance sales and private banking, as well as continued efforts to reduce its balance sheet and risky assets.

  • HONG KONG, July 31- Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng index ended higher on Friday, but an index tracking Chinese companies fell following ailing mainland shares. The Hang Seng index rose 0.6 percent to close at 24,636.28 points. China stocks fell on Friday and posted their biggest monthly loss in nearly six years, even as Beijing rolled out a series of support...

  • NEW ORLEANS— Attorneys are eyeing a November retrial date for Kurt Mix, the former BP engineer charged with obstructing a federal investigation into the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Court papers filed Thursday show attorneys are working toward a Nov. 16 date but may seek to push the trial back to Nov. 30. Federal prosecutors say Mix deleted text messages about the...

  • LONDON, July 31- The dollar steadied near a one-week high against a basket of currencies on Friday and was on track for an almost 2 percent monthly rise, with the latest U.S. growth data supporting the case for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates this year. "Expectations of a September rate hike were probably marginally firmed up on the growth data but it...

  • Honda reported the first-quarter results under international accounting standards for the first time. Like other Japanese automakers, Honda has benefited from the cheaper yen, which boosts the value of repatriated earnings. Honda is still soaking up hefty quality-related costs as it continues to recall cars equipped with air bag parts made by top supplier...

  • HONG KONG, July 31- China stocks fell on Friday and posted 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. The Shanghai Composite Index, which tracks all the tickers trading on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, lost 1.1 percent to end at 3,664.0 points.

  • LONDON, July 31- European shares steadied in early trading on Friday after having risen in the previous three sessions, with some companies posting strong gains after announcing forecast-beating results. The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was flat at 1,570.90 points by 0709 GMT. Airbus was up 4.1 percent after the aerospace group posted a 6...

  • SHANGHAI, July 31- Chinese authorities have arrested seven people who allegedly lured in half a billion dollars from investors by illegally offering huge amounts of leverage as high as lending 100 yuan for every yuan in collateral, a prosecutor said on Friday. The Longwan district prosecutor in the coastal city of Wenzhou said on its official microblog that...

  • TOKYO, July 31- Japanese government bond prices were mostly steady on Friday, pulling ahead slightly at the longer end. The Bank of Japan offered to buy 375 billion yen of JGBs in the 1- year to 5- year zone, 425 billion yen of JGBs in the 3- year to 5- year zone, and 400 billion yen of JGBs in the 5- year to 10- year zone under its JGB purchase programme.

  • *To sell TV plant, license Aquos brand to China's Hisense. TOKYO, July 31- Japan's Sharp Corp on Friday announced it was exiting the TV business in the Americas to shore up its finances, after booking a deeper-than-expected quarterly loss on weak smartphone display sales. The company, which sought a bank-led bailout in May, said it would sell its TV manufacturing...

  • July 31- Martin Sorrell's WPP and buyout firm Providence agreed on Friday to buy British marketing group Chime Communications for 374 million pounds in a bid to turn the smaller group into a global sports marketing agency. The offer from Providence and shareholder WPP includes an interim dividend of 2.53 pence per share. WPP, which owns about 20 percent of Chime,...

  • ALBANY, N.Y.— New York state is giving low-cost electricity to 15 businesses around the state as part of a program to use affordable power as an economic development tool. The list of businesses includes Amazon LLC in New York City and Bausch& Lomb in Rochester. Other companies are in the Mohawk Valley, the Southern Tier, long Island and western New York.

  • *China securities regulator asking brokerages for offshore trading records-sources. HONG KONG/ SHANGHAI, July 31- China is asking foreign and Chinese-owned brokerages in Hong Kong and Singapore to hand over stock trading records, sources with direct knowledge of the requests told Reuters, extending its pursuit of investors shorting Chinese stocks to...

  • The Tokyo- based maker of the Accord sedan and Odyssey minivan has been the hardest hit among automakers from the costs related to a global recall of Takata Corp.' s air bags that can explode. Honda, which has a stake in Takata, relies heavily on the Tokyo- based air bag and seatbelt maker. Honda estimates its recalls related to Takata air bags worldwide at 24.5 million.

  • SEOUL, South Korea— China's stock market rebounded while other Asian stocks also mostly gained Friday after data showed the U.S. economy posted solid growth during the second quarter. Japan's Nikkei 225 added 0.2 percent to 20,557.96 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 0.5 percent to 24,618.67. Stocks in Australia and New Zealand were higher as well as most...

  • BERLIN, July 31- German retail sales posted their strongest first-half increase in at least 20 years, data showed on Friday, strengthening expectations that private consumption will be a major growth driver for Europe's largest economy this year. The 2.5 percent increase in shopping activity in real terms from January to June was the largest increase on...

  • LONDON, July 31- BG Group's second-quarter earnings nearly halved as it took yet another hit from persistently weak crude prices though record oil and gas production limited the damage. Growth in the second quarter was driven by Australia and Brazil, where volumes in both more than doubled to an average of 80,000 barrels per day in Australia and 143,000 for...

  • LOS ANGELES— Beaches along the Santa Barbara County coast remained open to swimmers, surfers and sunbathers Friday as the Coast Guard worked to determine whether an oil slick that materialized just offshore this week was simply the result of natural ocean-floor seepage. That's the conclusion Jordan Clark, professor of earth science and environmental...

  • BERLIN— Switzerland's central bank is reporting a hefty loss for the second consecutive quarter after its decision to drop a cap on the franc's value against the euro sent the national currency soaring higher. The Swiss National Bank said Friday it lost 20 billion francs in the April-June period, nearly 18 billion francs of that on foreign-currency positions...

  • Iran is keen to recover market share that evaporated under U.S. and European Union sanctions designed to keep its exports at around 1 million bpd, down from 2.5 million bpd in 2011. Under the accord reached in Vienna on July 14, Iran will be subject to longer-term restrictions on its nuclear program in return for the removal of U.S., U.N. and European sanctions.