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  • HONG KONG/ LONDON, Feb 21- HSBC Holdings reported a 62 percent slump in annual pre-tax profit that fell way short of analysts' estimates as the British bank took hefty writedowns from its restructuring, sending its Hong Kong shares down 3.5 percent. The 2016 profit reflected a $3.2 billion impairment of goodwill in its global private banking business in Europe...

  • TOKYO, Feb 21- Japanese government bonds edged lower on Tuesday, taking their cue from higher U.S. U.S. markets were closed for the Presidents' Day holiday on Monday. The 30- year JGB yield rose 0.5 bp to 0.920 percent, matching its highest level since February 2016 logged in the previous session, while the 20- year yield was flat at 0.705 percent.

  • TOKYO, Feb 21- Japanese government bonds edged lower on Tuesday, taking their cue from higher U.S. U.S. markets were closed for the Presidents' Day holiday on Monday. The 30- year JGB yield rose 0.5 bp to 0.920 percent, matching its highest level since February 2016 logged in the previous session, while the 20- year yield was flat at 0.705 percent.

  • TOKYO, Feb 21- Japanese stocks rose on Tuesday as the weaker yen helped overall sentiment, while the paper sector outperformed on a report that a major producer intends to raise printing paper prices. Trading volumes were low, however, as a holiday in the United States on Monday left investors short of the usual leads. The paper& pulp sector soared 3.8 percent and was...

  • SYDNEY, Feb 21- Mining giant BHP Billiton rewarded shareholders with a bigger than expected dividend on Tuesday, signaling its growing confidence amid a resurgence in commodity prices. The world's biggest miner reported a near eight-fold rise in underlying first-half net profit to $3.24 billion from $412 million a year earlier, just missing market...

  • SYDNEY, Feb 21- Australia is expected to raise at least A $8 billion in a new bond offer, two fund managers said, a month after the government sold a record A $9.3 billion issue. The Australian Office of Financial Management, the federal government's funding agency, launched a 12- year issue on Tuesday with a margin of 13.5 basis points to 16.5 basis points over the...

  • KUWAIT CITY— Kuwait's first new government hospital in more than three decades will soon open its doors— but only to Kuwaiti citizens. It will be the first government hospital built in Kuwait since 1984, taking some pressure off an overburdened public health system. U.S. ally Kuwait, like other oil-rich Persian Gulf states, has for decades offered a free...

  • Joe Ready, head of Wells Fargo's institutional retirement plan business, for example, told trustees of the city of San Diego's defined contribution plan that participants' $1 billion in assets were walled off from other parts of Wells Fargo. San Diego pension officials declined to comment for this story. Wells Fargo declined to make Ready available and said it...

  • BOSTON— A circus is being lionized for bringing back animal acts a year after earning praise from animal rights groups for dropping them to keep up with changing public attitudes. The Melha Shrine Circus, which has seven performances over four days scheduled for May in western Massachusetts, brought back performing elephants, tigers and dogs because that's...

  • SYDNEY, Feb 21- Mining giant BHP Billiton rewarded shareholders with a bigger than expected dividend on Tuesday, signaling its growing confidence amid a resurgence in commodity prices. The world's biggest miner reported a near eight-fold rise in underlying first-half net profit to $3.24 billion from $412 million a year earlier, just missing market...

  • A related issue is whether Ohio has a realistic chance of finding an alternative drug— a barbiturate called pentobarbital— that once was widely used in executions but has become difficult or, in Ohio's case, impossible to obtain. The court's ruling, likely in a few weeks, will be closely watched not just in Ohio but in other states that use midazolam or might be...

  • *China valuations remain in the middle of the pack in Asia. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.2 percent on Tuesday and held below a 19- month peak hit last Thursday. "We upgraded our China equities call last month because of the strong economic data and comments coming out from the new U.S. administration pointing to a softer...

  • REUTERS POLL-17 OF 32 ECONOMISTS EXPECT BOJ TO EASE FURTHER WHEN IT DECIDES TO CHANGE MONETARY POLICY NEXT.

  • TOKYO, Feb 21- The likelihood of more monetary stimulus in Japan is diminishing, according to a Reuters poll of economists who were largely split on the central bank's next policy move, signaling a possible turning point in expectations for its easing cycle. The latest Reuters survey of economists conducted Feb. 13-17 showed the outlook for growth and inflation...

  • REUTERS POLL-23 OF 33 ECONOMISTS DO NOT EXPECT A REPEAT OF FIERCE TRADE DISPUTE BETWEEN JAPAN AND U.S.

  • *Cbank looks to get money more quickly to weakest sectors. BEIJING, Feb 21- China's central bank said on Tuesday that it will extend a preferential scheme for some banks that will free up additional funds for lending, as long as they channel money to weaker, cash-starved sectors of the economy. The People's Bank of China launched a program in 2014 that allows banks to...

  • TOKYO, Feb 21- U.S. crude futures rose for a second day on Tuesday, with data showing hedge funds are betting big across oil markets following OPEC production cuts agreed last year. West Texas Intermediate crude was up 27 cents, or 0.5 percent, at $53.67 a barrel at 0511 GMT, after rising about 0.5 percent in a shortened session on Monday due to a U.S. national holiday.

  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.1 percent to 24,181.31 while Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 shed 0.2 percent to 5,782.90. Seoul's Kospi gained 1 percent to 2,106.19 and benchmarks in New Zealand and Jakarta also rose. Taiwan, Singapore and Manila declined.

  • HONG KONG— London- based bank HSBC reported Tuesday that annual profit slumped by more than 80 percent following a year of "unexpected economic and political events" that contributed to volatile markets and influenced investment activity. However, he warned that the risks remain high because of the threat of populism in upcoming European elections, the threat...