Wires

  • JAKARTA, Aug 31- As he heads towards the end of his second year as Indonesia's president, Joko Widodo has never looked stronger: a crowd of political parties backs him, he is riding high in opinion polls and the economy is beginning to bounce off the bottom. Presidential spokesman Johan Budi said Widodo was "not yet thinking" about the 2019 election.

  • COLUMBUS, Ohio— Craft brewers in Ohio now have the freedom to make boozier beers. Ohio is following the lead of other states in getting rid of its 12 percent cap that has been on the books since just after Prohibition. Legislators say the law levels the playing field and makes Ohio even more attractive to smaller breweries looking to locate to the state.

  • FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Aug 31- The first regularly scheduled commercial flight between the United States and Cuba in more than half a century is set to depart on Wednesday, starting a new chapter in the Obama administration's bid to open trade and travel with the former Cold War foe. The first of several U.S. carriers to begin serving Cuba in the coming months, JetBlue...

  • Aug 31- Express Scripts Holding, the largest U.S. pharmacy benefit manager, said on Wednesday it will implement a program next year that guarantees per-patient spending caps on diabetes drug costs in an effort to limit soaring increases for its customers. "If they go over the cap, we're on the hook dollar for dollar," Glen Stettin, chief innovation officer at Express...

  • FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.— The first commercial flight between the United States and Cuba in more than a half century is scheduled to fly from Fort Lauderdale to the central city of Santa Clara on Wednesday morning, re-establishing regular air service severed at the height of the Cold War. JetBlue Flight 387 was set to take off at 9:45 a.m. EDT for a 72- minute journey...

  • SINGAPORE/ TOKYO, Aug 31- Asian shares eased on Wednesday following modest losses on Wall Street, with investors awaiting U.S. jobs numbers for further signs the Federal Reserve may raise rates as soon as September. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.3 percent as traders looked to August U.S. non-farm payrolls due on Friday...

  • Aug 30- A delegation of soybean buyers from China signed agreements on Tuesday to purchase 146 million bushels, or nearly 4 million tonnes, of U.S. soybeans at a signing ceremony in Indianapolis, according to the U.S. Soybean Export Council. Some of the purchase agreements between U.S. exporters and buyers from China, the world's top soybean importer, are believed...

  • SHANGHAI, Aug 31- The World Bank has set an indicative yield range for three-year Special Drawing Right denominated bonds set for issue in China at 0.4-0.7 percent, the Shanghai Clearing House announced on its website. The World Bank has approval from the People's Bank of China for a 2 billion SDR program. The issue will be the first SDR bond in 35 years and is part of...

  • *Dollar/yen rises as investors reverse bets on Japan currency. TOKYO, Aug 31- The dollar rose to a one-month high against the yen on Wednesday as investors reversed the bets they had made on speculation that the U.S. That reversal saw the dollar, which was at around 100.500 yen at the start of the week, extend an overnight rally as far as 103.230 yen, its highest since...

  • SINGAPORE, Aug 30- A rapid rebound in Asian refining margins ahead of the autumn maintenance season could prove short-lived as it may prompt refiners to lock in quick profits by increasing their run rates. Singapore refining margins to Dubai crude hit a five-month high of $6.30 a barrel on Friday, rising 119.5 percent since they fell to a two-year low of $2.87 a...

  • BRASILIA, Aug 30- Votes piled up against President Dilma Rousseff at her impeachment trial on Tuesday as opponents made final arguments for her removal, not just for breaking budget rules, but for plunging Brazil into a political and economic crisis. Rousseff, suspended from office in May pending the Senate trial, is charged with spending public funds without...

  • JAKARTA, Aug 31- As he heads towards the end of his second year as Indonesia's president, Joko Widodo has never looked stronger: a crowd of political parties backs him, he is riding high in opinion polls and the economy is beginning to bounce off the bottom. Presidential spokesman Johan Budi said Widodo was "not yet thinking" about the 2019 election.

  • SINGAPORE, Aug 31- Chicago wheat futures were on track on Wednesday for a fourth consecutive month of losses as plentiful global supplies drag down the market, while expectations of record U.S. production kept corn near multi-year lows. The Chicago Board of Trade's most-active wheat contract has given up close to 20 percent in four months of declines.

  • TOKYO, Aug 31- Japanese stocks rose on Wednesday to highs not seen in two weeks, led by exporters and financial stocks as the dollar stood tall against the yen and upbeat U.S. consumer confidence data lifted expectations of a near-term U.S. interest rate hike. The dollar, which was at around 100.500 yen at the start of the week, was little changed at 102.895 after...

  • SEOUL, Aug 31- South Korea's industrial output unexpectedly grew in July but the improvement was mainly due to temporary factors, spurring investors to hone in on trade data out on Thursday for further clues on the health of the economy. "We think the bounces in confidence and in IP growth are noise rather than signal and that IP growth remains essentially flat and...

  • *The most active soybean futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade fell 0.2 percent to $9.48-3/ 4 a bushel, having closed down 1.4 percent on Tuesday when prices hit $9.46-1/ 2 a bushel- the lowest since Aug. 2. *The U.S. Department of Agriculture late on Monday rated 73 percent of the U.S. soybean crop as good to excellent, up from 72 percent the previous week and the highest for...

  • TOKYO, Aug 31- Growth in Japan's industrial output ground to a halt in July after June's gains, underscoring the fragility of factory activity and the continuing challenge to policymakers grappling with a stalling economy. "July output data was a little weak and it suggested factory activity was stalling," said Hidenobu Tokuda, senior economist at Mizuho...

  • *Spot gold was little changed at $1,310.48 per ounce at 0104 GMT. The metal fell 1 percent to hit $1,308.65 on Tuesday, its lowest since June 28. *Fed Chair Janet Yellen said on Friday the case for higher rates was strengthening, though she gave little clarity on the timing of a move.

  • SINGAPORE, Aug 31- Crude oil futures fell in early trade on Wednesday as the U.S. dollar held around three-week highs and industry stocks data indicated a build in U.S. crude inventories. International Brent crude oil futures were trading at $48.27 per barrel at 0052 GMT, down 10 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their previous close. Concerns over refinery production...

  • MELBOURNE, Aug 31- London copper was set for a monthly drop in August, pushing it into negative territory for the year, while zinc, tin and lead eyed monthly advances. *London Metal Exchange copper had edged up 0.2 percent to $4,620 a tonne by 0047 GMT, after plumbing its weakest since June 24 at $4,600 a tonne on Tuesday due to mounting supply. *Shanghai Futures Exchange...