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  • LAUNCESTON, Australia, Sept 2- Conventional wisdom is that falling oil prices provide significant economic stimulus, but many Asian countries appear to be missing out on much of the benefit. China, the world's largest crude importer, dropped the retail ceiling price of gasoline by 125 yuan a tonne from Wednesday, taking it to 6,830 yuan a tonne.

  • *Gold steady after four-day advance. MANILA, Sept 2- Gold steadied on Wednesday with appetite for the metal soured by a firmer dollar despite weaker Asian equities, and failure to breach a key resistance and a looming U.S. rate hike suggest more downside risk. Gold has failed to convincingly breach the $1,145 resistance even in the face of a 3 percent slide in U.S....

  • TOKYO, Sept 2- Japanese stocks fell on Wednesday as concerns about China's cooling economy and further losses in Chinese stock markets demoralized investors, wiping out early gains. Daio Paper Corp. lost 17.9 percent, dragging down the Topix paper subindex after announcing it will issue 30 billion yen worth of euro-yen denominated convertible bond shares,...

  • LONDON, Sept 2- Nick Robertson, the founder of British online fashion retailer ASOS, has stepped down as chief executive after 15 years in which he transformed the internet minnow into a retail powerhouse with fans around the world. ASOS, popular with Internet savvy twentysomethings and high-profile fans such as British singer Rita Ora and U.S.

  • JAKARTA, Sept 2- China's slowing economic growth is denting demand for goods and natural resources from Southeast Asia which, in turn, is hitting demand for Chinese exports in the ASEAN region, the biggest market for China outside the United States and Europe. The 10 economies in the Association of South East Asian Nations took nearly $160 billion of China's...

  • JOHANNESBURG, Sept 2- South Africa's future energy mix could include an even higher share for nuclear power than the 9,600 megawatts already planned, the Business Day newspaper reported on Tuesday, citing an interview with a government official. It said a new version of South Africa's integrated resources plan, which projects its electricity requirements...

  • LONDON, Sept 2- The founder of British online fashion retailer ASOS is stepping down as chief executive after 15 years that have seen the firm transformed from an internet minnow to a retail powerhouse. ASOS said on Wednesday that Nick Robertson, who owns 8.4 percent of its equity, according to Reuters data, will quit as CEO but remain at the firm as a non-executive...

  • Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index climbed 0.1 percent to 18,177.95. CHINA TRADING: The Shanghai market was volatile on Wednesday, the last day of trading ahead of a two-day holiday to celebrate Japan's defeat in World War II. Investor sentiment also improved on other signs that Beijing was stepping in, including a China Securities Journal report that said...

  • *Tree cover losses rise in Brazil and Indonesia- study. "This analysis identifies a truly alarming surge in forest loss in previously overlooked hotspots," Nigel Sizer, a WRI director, said in a statement, pointing to West Africa, Asia's Mekong River Basin, South America's Gran Chaco region and Madagascar. Tree cover loss also rose in Brazil and Indonesia, home to some...

  • PYONGYANG, North Korea— If an Air Koryo passenger ignores its no-photography rule, a flight attendant might take the camera and delete the pictures herself. Crumpling up a newspaper bearing the image of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un can earn travelers a stern lecture, or worse. They are clearly not the world's worst airline, "said Simon Cockerell, of the Koryo...

  • JAKARTA, Sept 2- Indonesia's president promised quick "massive deregulation" on Wednesday to improve investor sentiment in Southeast Asia's largest economy. "We need to carry out massive deregulation and introduce new regulations that will really create a good climate for the economy as soon as possible. We are racing against time, "President Joko Widodo said...

  • BRASILIA, Sept 2- Brazil is likely to halt one of the world's most aggressive rate-hiking cycles on Wednesday, sparing more suffering to a contracting economy despite fears a deepening fiscal crisis could keep inflation high. Still, President Dilma Rousseff's inability to plug a widening fiscal deficit that threatens Brazil's investment-grade rating is...

  • CANBERRA, Australia— Australia's economy has grown by a slower-than-expected 0.2 percent in the three months through June, dragged down by waning Chinese demand for resources including iron ore and coal. Australia's resource-based economy grew by 0.9 percent in the January-March quarter. Treasurer Joe Hockey says the latest figures show that the...

  • *Oil market reforms will squeeze China's state oil giants. SINGAPORE, Sept 2- China may launch a global crude oil futures contract as early as October to compete with the existing London Brent and the U.S. The long-awaited crude contract would better reflect China's growing importance in setting crude prices, as well as boost the use of the yuan in which it will be...

  • BEIJING, Sept 2- PetroChina will obey a ruling from the country's environmental watchdog ordering the state energy giant to halt construction of part of a new large refinery in southwestern China, a company official said on Wednesday. PetroChina, the country's top oil and gas producer and second-largest refiner, has been fined for violating environmental...

  • SHANGHAI, Sept 2- China stocks clawed back sharp early losses on Wednesday amid speculation that the government is putting fresh pressure on brokerages to support the market. Nine Chinese brokerages have pledged additional funds worth over 30 billion yuan to buy shares, the China Securities Journal said on Wednesday. A number of Chinese brokerages, including...

  • SHANGHAI, Sept 2- China's yuan weakened slightly on Wednesday as dollar demand ahead of public holidays the following two days offset a stronger official midpoint and state-bank dollar sales on behalf of the central bank, traders said. "Many people bought dollars today as banks need foreign exchange to prepare for possible demand from their customers during...

  • *Tree cover losses rise in Brazil and Indonesia- study. Brazil and Indonesia, which contain some of the world's biggest tropical forests, both saw a small rise in tree cover loss last year, while losses accelerated in some previously overlooked regions, according to data compiled by the U.S.-based World Resources Institute think-tank. "This analysis identifies...

  • ANCHORAGE, Alaska— The president of Shell Oil Co. said Tuesday exploratory drilling off Alaska's northwest coast is going well despite stormy weather last week that caused the company to halt operations for a few days. And in an interview with The Associated Press Marvin Odum said he expects further protests against the company's plans for Arctic drilling...

  • MELBOURNE, Sept 2- London copper steadied on Wednesday in the face of sour sentiment towards base metals after world factory activity slowed in August and the International Monetary Fund cut its outlook for global growth. Copper hit its weakest in six years at $4,855 a tonne at the beginning of last week. China's giant manufacturing industry contracted and...