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Wires

  • CAIRO, March 29- Egypt's cabinet approved the 2017/ 18 budget on Wednesday, its first since accepting a three-year $12 billion IMF loan contingent on ambitious economic reforms and cuts to subsidy spending. *Overall revenues of 818.621 billion Egyptian pounds versus 644.292 billion expected for 2016-17.. *Total tax revenues of 603.917 billion Egyptian pounds...

  • MILAN/ LONDON, March 29- European shares rose on Wednesday with little reaction to the well-flagged formal announcement of Britain's intention to leave the European Union and start an uncertain two-year process of negotiation. Prime Minister Theresa May formally began Brexit proceedings on Wednesday, notifying EU Council President Donald Tusk that...

  • NEW YORK, March 29- A U.S. stock rally fueled by optimism President Donald Trump will boost the economy may be near its peak, according to a Reuters poll of strategists who forecast U.S. shares will gain less than 3 percent between now and year-end. The run up since the Nov. 8 U.S. election has left the S&P 500 at levels many consider overvalued, and some strategists say a...

  • CARACAS, Venezuela— Venezuelan officials say they've arrested a senior manager at the state oil company on corruption charges at a moment when the oil-rich country is struggling with fuel shortages. The chief prosecutor's office says on its webpage Wednesday that international commerce manager Marco Antonio Malave is accused of conspiring with...

  • ABUJA, March 29- Nigeria's central bank has approved a licence for the Development Bank of Nigeria, the finance ministry said on Wednesday. The bank aims to support small-scale businesses as the country contends with its first recession in 25 years. It has a commitment from the World Bank for $1.3 billion in seed money.

  • LONDON, March 29- Aluminium hit its highest level in nearly two years on Wednesday, supported by optimism that China would carry out plans to cut supply and by a rebound in the oil price. "As long as China follows through with this and takes its environmental concerns seriously, there is potential for aluminium to perform quite well," Nitesh Shah, a commodities...

  • ABUJA, March 29- Nigeria's central bank has approved a license for the Development Bank of Nigeria, the finance ministry said on Wednesday. The bank aims to support small-scale businesses as the country contends with its first recession in 25 years. It has a commitment from the World Bank for $1.3 billion in seed money.

  • *Financials top loser among S&P sectors. *Amazon hits record high, boosts Nasdaq. March 29- The S&P 500 and the Dow were pressured by declines in financial stocks, while consumer discretionary shares lifted the Nasdaq.

  • IOWA CITY, Iowa— The Iowa Senate is slowing down the confirmation of Geri Huser as the Iowa Utilities Board chairwoman after The Associated Press revealed her extensive private legal work. Members of the Senate commerce committee had been scheduled Tuesday to consider Huser's appointment for a second two-year term as board chairwoman.

  • LONDON, March 29- Banks in Britain have tried to reassure their London staff over possible Brexit disruption, including a shift in jobs to continental Europe, as Prime Minister Theresa May triggered formal EU divorce proceedings on Wednesday. Investment banks Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Nomura were among those who sent messages to employees in London,...

  • LONDON, March 29- The English High Court on Wednesday dismissed an attempt by oil and gas services group Unaoil and the wealthy Ahsani family to force the UK Serious Fraud Office to return or destroy material collected during raids in Monaco last year. Unaoil Chairman Ata Ahsani, former chief executive Cyrus and chief operating officer Saman are British...

  • ABUJA, March 29- Nigeria's state oil company plans to move into power generation and transmission, its chief said in a statement on Wednesday, as the firm tries to resolve the country's long-standing power problems. Despite regularly taking the top spot among Africa's oil producers, Nigeria's power generation and electricity grid are plagued by a lack of...

  • CHICAGO, March 29- U.S. corn, soybean and wheat futures were narrowly lower on Wednesday as investors squared positions ahead of U.S. Department of Agriculture plantings and grain stocks data on Friday, traders and analysts said. USDA is expected to show increased U.S. soybean plantings and reduced seedings of corn as well as bigger year-on-year U.S. stockpiles...

  • DUBAI, March 29- Saudi Arabia is considering whether to change the structure of its planned U.S. dollar sukuk issue, which would be the kingdom's first international issue of Islamic bonds, banking sources told Reuters on Wednesday. Riyadh is expected to sell up to $10 billion of sukuk with an issue that could take place in the next few weeks, bankers say.

  • *OPEC oil output falls more in March- Reuters survey. *OPEC- led production cut expected to be extended into H2. NEW YORK, March 29- Oil prices rose nearly 2 percent on Wednesday as U.S. crude inventories rose less than expected, supply disruptions continued in Libya and the OPEC- led output cut by producing countries looked likely to be extended.

  • ARKHANGELSK, Russia, March 29- Russia may produce more than 70 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas per year in its remote Arctic regions, the head of gas producer Novatek said on Wednesday. "The Gydan and Yamal peninsulas have a vast resource base that allows the production of over 70 million tonnes; it is comparable to LNG production in Qatar," Leonid Mikhelson,...

  • DEER CREEK, Okla.— Officials say a relatively powerful earthquake has struck a remote area of northern Oklahoma. The U.S. Geological Survey reports the 4.4 magnitude quake was recorded at 10:37 a.m. Wednesday in Grant County, between the towns of Medford and Deer Creek and about 95 miles north of Oklahoma City. Grant County emergency management director...

  • NEW YORK— Two black women who work at Fox News Channel have charged in a lawsuit that they were subjected to "yearslong relentless racial" hostility at the hands of a top financial executive at the network who has since been fired. Tichaona Brown and Tabrese Wright, who sued this week in New York State Supreme Court in the Bronx, said their boss talked about her...

  • ABUJA/ LAGOS, March 29- Nigeria's national assembly has approved a $500 million Eurobond sale, the finance minister said on Wednesday, an attempt to plug the yawning budget deficit. The government, which plans to increase public spending by almost 20 percent this year with a deficit of 2.36 trillion naira, sought the go-ahead for a new issue after raising an...

  • Dead Sea, Jordan, March 29- Arab leaders said on Wednesday at the end of a one-day summit in Amman that they would be ready to have a historic reconciliation with Israel in return for its withdrawal from land it occupied in the 1967 war.