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  • SHANGHAI, April 28- Agricultural Bank of China Ltd, the country's third-largest lender by assets, reported on Friday a 1.87 percent rise in net profit for the first quarter, missing analysts estimates. Profit was 55.71 billion yuan in the three months through March compared to 54.69 billion yuan in the same period a year prior. The result compared with an average...

  • BEIJING, April 28- Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd, the world's biggest lender by assets, said on Friday net profit grew 1.37 percent in the first quarter, below expectations. Profit was 75.8 billion yuan in the three months through March from 74.8 billion yuan in the same period a year earlier, the bank said in a statement. Analysts had expected 76.5...

  • STOCKHOLM— Electrolux, the world's second-largest maker of household appliances, says profit for the three months ending March 31 rose to 1.08 billion kronor, up 24 percent from the same period a year earlier. The Swedish company says its sales in the first quarter increased slightly by 2.7 percent to 29 billion kronor as it saw an improvement across all of its...

  • Federal Reserve is moving appropriately on the path to unwind asset purchases and normalise rates, while the European Central Bank may be too hesitant, said Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic advisor at the Allianz Group. The Fed, ECB and Bank of Japan need policymakers to step up to take action on structural reforms to be more effective, El-Erian told the Reuters...

  • LONDON, April 28- Concern about global trade and U.S. In an interview with Reuters, Trump called the five-year-old trade pact with South Korea "unacceptable" and said it would be targeted for renegotiation after his administration completes a revamp of the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico. Trump's comments stunned South Korean...

  • BONN, April 28- Bayer's chief executive acknowledged on Friday that he will face an uphill battle to improve Monsanto's reputation once Bayer completes the takeover of the U.S. seeds and agrochemicals company. "Monsantos image does of course represent a major challenge for us, and its not an aspect I wish to play down," Werner Baumann told shareholders at Bayer's...

  • PARIS, April 28- French drugmaker Sanofi's profit beat forecasts in the first quarter and confirmed its earnings outlook for the year, lifting its shares on Friday. However, Sanofi, whose shares were up more than 2 percent at 0805 GMT, said it was confident Dupixent, a drug for moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis that was approved in the United States at the end of...

  • SHANGHAI, April 28- Hong Kong's benchmark stock index eased on Friday from the previous session's 20- month high that was aided by continuous money inflows from mainland China. The Hang Seng index fell 0.3 percent, to 24,615.13, while the China Enterprises Index lost 0.4 percent, to 10,219.89 points. On Friday, Chinese investors used roughly 14.2 of the daily...

  • SHANGHAI, April 28- Short foreign currency positions in forwards and futures versus the yuan held by China's central bank fell in March, the central bank said on Friday. The People's Bank of China held $12.094 billion of such positions with commercial banks as of the end of March, compared with $33.8 billion a month earlier, official data showed.

  • *Spanish economy beats forecasts, Austria, France also grow. LONDON, April 28- Euro zone bond yields rose across the board and the euro strengthened on Friday as economic output data from several countries reaffirmed economic strength in the bloc and furthered the case for tighter monetary policy. European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi struck a cautious note...

  • ZURICH, April 28- A long-awaited turnaround in UBS's wealth management business helped Switzerland's biggest bank deliver its second-best start to a year since the financial crisis, although it struck a cautious tone for the year ahead. This was underscored by Chief Executive Sergio Ermotti in a telephone call with analysts and journalists.

  • PHUKET, Thailand, April 28- A relative of the Thai baby whose murder was shown on Facebook Live earlier this week said he was too distraught and intent on getting police to the crime scene to worry about getting the horrific videos taken down. On Monday, in an abandoned building in the Thai seaside resort of Phuket, 20- year-old Wuttisan Wongtalay turned on Facebook...

  • *Q1 profit 259 mln stg. LONDON, April 28- Royal Bank of Scotland swung to a far better than expected first-quarter profit of 259 million pounds, sending its shares up as much as 4 percent as the lender showed signs of progress in a decade-long turnaround. The goal of making a profit in 2018 depends on resolving RBS's two biggest remaining headaches: its talks with the...

  • MADRID— Spain's statistics agency says the economy grew 0.8 percent in the first quarter, keeping it as one of the fastest growing in the European Union. The National Institute of Statistics said Friday that over the year the country's GDP expanded by 3 percent. It was Spain's 14th consecutive quarter of growth.

  • LONDON— Britain's Barclays Bank says its international operations helped shore up the company during the first quarter. The London- based group said Friday net income from its core businesses rose to 1.18 billion pounds from 950 million in the same period last year. Barclays is reorganizing to focus on consumer, corporate and investment banking in New York and...

  • LONDON, April 28- Solid growth numbers from Spain prodded the euro higher in early European deals on Friday after a week trading at its highest in almost six months on the back of a perceived easing in political risks in France. European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi took a cautious line at Thursday's post-policy meeting news conference, pulling the single...

  • BERN, April 28- The Swiss National Bank could cut rates deeper into negative territory and step up currency market interventions if necessary to pursue its ultra-loose policy and rein in the strong Swiss franc, Chairman Thomas Jordan said on Friday. "Given low inflation and underutilisation of production capacity, maintaining an expansionary monetary...

  • FRANKFURT, April 28- Euro zone inflation could accelerate more quickly than earlier thought but underlying price growth, a key measure watched by policymakers, will only rise slowly, the European Central Bank's Survey of Professional Forecasters showed on Friday. The ECB kept its abundant stimulus measures in place on Thursday, arguing that inflation...

  • WASHINGTON— Working to dismantle his predecessor's environmental legacy, President Donald Trump plans to sign an executive order Friday that could lead to the expansion of drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans. "This order will cement our nation's position as a global energy leader and foster energy security for the benefit of American people, without...

  • CANBERRA, Australia— Australian police revealed on Friday that an officer broke the country's contentious new metadata laws by illegally accessing a journalist's phone records to identify an anonymous source. Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin revealed the first known breach of the laws, which were passed by Parliament in March 2015...