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  • PARIS— Shares in Societe Generale slumped Thursday after the French bank warned it would not achieve a targeted increase in profitability this year. Societe Generale shares tumbled at the open of the Paris stock exchange and were down 13 percent at 27.26 euros in morning trading. The warning came as the bank reported a rise in 2015 net profit to 4 billion euros.

  • NEW DELHI/ MUMBAI, Feb 11- India's turbocharged growth figures have been criticized by many analysts for giving too flattering a view of Asia's third-largest economy. Consumer spending was the main driver behind India's 7.3 percent growth in the October-December quarter, as a pick up in urban spending more than compensated for subdued spending in rual areas...

  • *Nokia warns over China slowdown. HELSINKI, Feb 11- Finnish telecom gear maker Nokia warned that demand for new mobile networks would slow this year in China and said it would not give a financial outlook until April following its acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent. Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri said the company expected market growth this year in North America, India, the...

  • STOCKHOLM— Sweden's central bank has decided to cut its key interest rate to a record low of minus 0.50 percent, saying the measure is necessary to safeguard the bank's target of increasing inflation, which was still "not on a firm footing." Noting that its "very expansionary monetary policy" had helped strengthen the Scandinavian country's economy and reduce...

  • *Japan& China shut for public holidays. LONDON, Feb 11- The yen jumped 2 percent to its strongest in 15 months against the dollar on Thursday in another wave of global capital flows into the traditional security of Japan, raising expectations of official intervention to cool the currency's rise. "We got to 8 a.m. this morning and it just hit in a wave," said Richard Benson,...

  • LONDON, Feb 11- The British government has significant work to do to justify allowing the authorities to spy on the public's internet use, one of the main planks of a new planned surveillance law, lawmakers said on Thursday. "There is much to be commended in the draft Bill, but the Home Office has a significant amount of further work to do before Parliament can be...

  • *Iran offers crude to Asia at discount to Saudi Arabia. LONDON, Feb 11- Oil slid on Thursday, dented by record U.S. crude inventories at the Cushing delivery point, worries about the demand outlook, and as Goldman Sachs said prices would remain low and volatile until the second half of the year. In a sign that producers are still competing for market share by lowering...

  • HONG KONG, Feb 11- Hong Kong shares plunged on Thursday led by mainland-related stocks, with the Hang Seng Index marking its worst daily performance since August as worries about the health of the global economy sparked a sell-off. Mainland markets are closed this week for the Lunar New Year holiday, while Hong Kong markets reopened after a three-day break for...

  • *FTSEurofirst 300 down 3.4 pct. LONDON, Feb 11- A top European share index plunged to its lowest level in 2-1/ 2 years on Thursday, led down by a renewed slump in banks and miners, with Societe Generale sliding after disappointing results. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 was down 3.4 percent at 1,199.01 points by 0848 GMT, slumping to its lowest level since August...

  • French bank Societe Generale isn't the only bank facing a hammering in stock markets. The biggest fallers on the Stoxx 600 index of European shares are Greece's Eurobank Ergasias and Alpha Bank, whose stocks have tanked 23 percent and 16 percent, respectively. Societe Generale shares are down 13 percent at 27.26 euros in Paris.

  • PARIS— Total says its fourth quarter earnings skidded 26 percent as the collapse in oil prices hit another global energy giant. The French company said Thursday that profit adjusted for changes in the value of inventories and one-time items dropped to $2.1 billion from $2.8 billion in the same period a year earlier. In 2016 Total will cut capital investment by...

  • WASHINGTON— State and local governments would be permanently barred from taxing access to the Internet under a bipartisan compromise that Congress is a step away from sending to President Barack Obama. Since 1998, in the Internet's early days, Congress has passed a series of bills temporarily prohibiting state and local governments from imposing the types...

  • *2015 underlying earnings down 51 pct to $4.54 bln. MELBOURNE/ SYDNEY, Feb 11- Rio Tinto scrapped its generous payout policy in the face of a bleak outlook for the global economy after it slumped to a net loss for 2015 and posted its worst underlying earnings in 11 years. The macro outlook remains challenging, "Chief Executive Sam Walsh told reporters.

  • JAKARTA, Feb 11- Indonesia on Thursday opened dozens of sectors to foreign investors in what President Joko Widodo has described as a "Big Bang" liberalisation of its economy, Southeast Asia's largest. "More international investment will bring more capital, more world-class expertise, more technologies to Indonesia. The negative investment list sets out which...

  • SYDNEY— Mining company Rio Tinto said Thursday it suffered a loss of $866 million in 2015 as deteriorating economic conditions around the world pressured prices of commodities such as iron ore and coal. The Australian mining giant on Thursday reported that 2015 revenue slumped to $34.8 billion from $47.6 billion the year before. Rio said it will reduce...

  • BOCHUM, Germany, Feb 11- General Motors Chief Executive Mary Barra on Thursday said the company's European division Opel would build an affordable five-seater electric car, the Ampera-e, in 2017.. "Like its twin, the Chevrolet Bolt EV, the Ampera-e promises to transform the electric vehicle market in Europe as the first EV that combines long range at an affordable...

  • LONDON, Feb 11- European shares fell on Thursday, led down by a renewed drop in banks and miners, with Societe Generale and Rio Tinto both under pressure after disappointing with their latest results. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 was down 2.1 percent at 1,215.46 points by 0815 GMT. The biggest faller in the bank sector on Thursday was Societe Generale, down...

  • LONDON, Feb 11- Glencore has taken another step to reduce its debt by selling $500 million of future precious metals output and reported a drop in production of its most lucrative product, copper. The Swiss-based mining and trading company said overnight that it had agreed to sell future precious metals production from its Antapaccay mine in southern Peru to...

  • JAKARTA, Feb 11- Indonesia on Thursday announced its boldest measures to attract foreign investment in a decade, loosening restrictions on dozens of sectors including agriculture and the movie industry. The far-reaching move comes a day after President Joko Widodo told Reuters in an interview he planned a "big bang" liberalisation of Southeast Asia's...

  • HELSINKI— Nokia saw fourth quarter profit grow more than 50 percent to 498 million euros on a slight increase in sales, but the telecom networks company cautioned it would face some "market headwinds," especially in China. Analysts were disappointed at the scant outlook, and the company stock fell 3 percent to 5.31 euros in early Helsinki trading.