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  • LAHAINA, Hawaii, July 29- Pacific trading partners are deadlocked over intellectual property protections, including monopoly periods for next-generation drugs, Japanese Economy Minister Akira Amari said on Wednesday. People briefed on the TPP talks saw signs of progress on other sticky issues, such as Canada's dairy market, as farmers kept up pressure for...

  • LONDON, July 30- BT Group posted first-quarter revenue and core earnings in line with forecasts on Thursday and said it was on track to meet full-year expectations due to solid demand for broadband and its new Champions League pay-TV offering. The British broadband market leader, which is buying the country's biggest mobile network EE, reported core earnings...

  • LONDON, July 30- British engineering firm Rolls-Royce, under pressure after slashing profit forecasts three times in nine months, reported a 32 percent drop in first-half profit, which was slightly better than expected. It said this put it on track to meet downgraded 2015 guidance. Rolls-Royce shocked investors earlier this month when it warned profits at its...

  • LONDON, July 30- Britain's biggest defence company BAE Systems reiterated guidance for marginal earnings growth this year, a forecast which it said remained conditional upon securing new orders for fighter jets. BAE said in February that for 2015 it expected underlying earnings per share to be marginally higher than the 38 pence per share it made in 2014 if it...

  • PARIS, July 30- Telecom network equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent posted second-quarter sales slightly lower than expectations and announced the September departure of its chief executive ahead of being bought by rival Nokia. Getting to free cash flow positive remains the key goal of Alcatel-Lucent in the turnaround plan launched by Chief Executive Michel...

  • LONDON, July 30- Royal Dutch Shell said on Thursday it will further reduce 2015 capital investment to $30 billion, down by 20 percent from a year ago as it expects the downturn in oil prices to "last for several years." Shell earlier this year cut its capital expenditure, or capex, to $33 billion from around $35 billion in 2014.. Shell said it expects $30 billion of asset...

  • SHANGHAI, July 30- Chinese stock analysts find it difficult to identify a single clear reason for this week's sudden plunge in domestic share markets, but sometimes the simplest explanation is the best. Authorities had pumped a net 85 billion yuan into money markets at the end of June, just as they were trying to stop a free-fall in share prices.

  • LAUNCESTON, Australia, July 30- What could go wrong for liquefied natural gas in Asia to derail the current consensus of strongly rising demand being met by supply that is increasing even faster? Other projects being built in Russia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Africa will take the total LNG output capacity to 423.7 million tonnes by 2020, up from 301.2 million...

  • BEIJING, July 30- Baidu Inc, China's biggest internet search engine company, said on Thursday it will buy back shares worth $1 billion after the company's stock price slid following a weak earnings report earlier this week. The repurchases will take place over the next 12 months and be funded from the company's existing cash balance, New York- listed Baidu said in a...

  • *Second-quarter GDP forecast to rise at 2.6 percent rate. WASHINGTON, July 30- U.S. economic growth likely accelerated in the second quarter as a pick-up in consumer spending and housing offset the drag from trade and the energy sector, suggesting a steady momentum that could bring the Federal Reserve closer to hiking interest rates this year.

  • HONG KONG, July 30- China shares slid on Thursday after state media reported that banks were investigating their exposure to the stock market from wealth management products and loans collateralised with stocks. "The market has been struggling to hover above the water with investors taking to the sidelines to see if stability can be maintained in the market,"...

  • SEOUL, July 30- Samsung Electronics Co Ltd on Thursday offered a downbeat outlook for the second half of the year as smartphone market growth slows and ahead of the expected release of new iPhones from arch rival Apple Inc.. Samsung's dominance is being chipped away at the low-to-mid end by Chinese rivals such as Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and in the premium...

  • Tokyo's Nikkei 225 gained 1.1 percent to 20,522.83 while Seoul's Kospi shed 0.9 percent to 2,019.03. Taiwan, Manila, Jakarta and New Zealand also gained while Singapore fell. CHINA'S GYRATIONS: The Shanghai benchmark suffered its biggest one-day drop in eight years on Monday when it plunged 8.5 percent despite government intervention to stem a slide in stock...

  • *$60- $70 a barrel "more sustainable"- oil risk manager. U.S. crude stockpiles fell by 4.2 million barrels in the week to July 24, more than twenty times analysts' expectations of a decrease of 184,000 barrels, Energy Information Administration data showed. The large drawdown in stocks could be short-lived, said Tony Nunan, oil risk manager at Tokyo's Mitsubishi...

  • BEIJING, July 30- Baidu Inc, China's biggest search engine company, said on Thursday it will repurchase $1 billion of its shares, after the company's stock price was hammered by investors following weak earnings results on Monday.

  • WASHINGTON— Air safety investigators have a "high degree of confidence" that aircraft debris found in the Indian Ocean is of a wing component unique to the Boeing 777, the same model as the Malaysia Airlines plane that disappeared last year, a U.S. official said Wednesday. Air safety investigators— one of them a Boeing investigator— have identified the component...

  • ATHENS, Greece— Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' power-sharing acrobatics look harder to perform by the day. On Thursday, lead bailout negotiators are due in Athens. They will intensify a new round of talks for a massive third rescue package after Athens and lenders from other eurozone countries reached a bitterly fought compromise.

  • WASHINGTON— Expectations have grown that sometime this year, the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates from record lows. The only question seems to be when. Many analysts foresee the first hike in September, though Fed Chair Janet Yellen has stressed that any increase will be driven by the latest economic data.

  • But there are signs of slowing momentum around New York, Los Angeles and Washington. Rents continue to jump at double-digit rates in Denver, San Francisco and San Jose, California. Median prices slipped month over month in the New York metro area by $15 to $2,340, while also dropping slightly in Washington and flat-lining in Los Angeles.

  • SHANGHAI, July 30- China's yuan slipped on Thursday as corporates bought dollars after the central bank set the daily guidance rate weaker, traders said. Beijing appears to want a stable currency so that the market has more confidence in it, increasing the chances of the International Monetary Fund including it in its Special Drawing Right basket and...