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Wires

  • Feb 20- Hong Kong stocks extended early gains and closed at a 18- month high on Monday, drawing strength from firm mainland stock and commodity markets. Sentiment in the city was lifted by a strong mainland market, where blue-chips clocked their best single-day performance in six months after media reported pension funds might begin flowing into China's stock...

  • LAGOS, Feb 20- Nigeria's deputy leader is making wide use of powers granted by President Muhammadu Buhari, who is on extended sick leave abroad, as the country seeks to avoid a debilitating power vacuum while it confronts its first recession in 25 years. The Nigerian stock exchange, already hit by recession, has fallen to a nine-month low on the uncertainty over...

  • BERLIN, Feb 20- Greece will need less in emergency loans from international lenders than originally agreed in its third bailout programme due to a better-than-expected budgetary developments, the head of the euro zone bailout fund was reported on Monday as saying. Bavarian Finance Minister Markus Soeder called for a tougher stance in negotiations with...

  • The plan "ensures more choices, lower costs and greater control over your health care," according to talking points GOP leaders handed lawmakers heading home to face constituents during this week's recess. Frank Pallone of New Jersey, the House Energy and Commerce Committee's top Democrat. The GOP package lacks details, which are a work in progress, and has no...

  • LONDON, Feb 20- Shares in Anglo-Dutch consumer goods group Unilever dropped 8 percent on Monday after U.S. rival Kraft Heinz Co abruptly ditched its surprise $143 billion merger proposal. Concerns had also been raised about political scrutiny in Britain where Prime Minister Theresa May had indicated she would be more proactive in vetting foreign takeovers...

  • TOKYO, Feb 20- The yield on 30- year Japanese government bonds hit a one-year high on Monday in an otherwise quiet trading as investors looked to details of U.S. President Donald Trump's economic plans as well as political developments in France. The 30- year JGB yield rose 0.5 basis point to 0.920 percent, its highest level since February last year, as super-long...

  • TAIPEI, Feb 20- Taiwan's export orders for January, released by the Ministry of Economic Affairs on Monday. The data is an indication of the strength of Asian exports and of global demand for technology. JAN 2017 REUTERS DEC 2016.

  • The global study, conducted by Stirling Infrastructure Partners, an adviser to institutional investors, polled 44 sovereign wealth funds and pension funds with some $63 billion allocated to infrastructure, and found a growing appetite for assets in riskier markets. Central and Eastern Europe rose to 30 percent from 22 percent and Latin America to 27 percent...

  • Brent futures were up 23 cents at $56.04 a barrel at 0750 GMT, while U.S. "Sustained gains above $55 a barrel, and a hoped for rally to $60 a barrel, both proving incredibly tough nuts to crack," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at futures brokerage OANDA in Singapore. "At the crux of the matter is that 90 percent OPEC compliance is being balanced by ever...

  • BEIJING, Feb 20- China's Alibaba Group Holding Ltd said it formed a strategic partnership with Bailian Group, the largest retailer by store numbers to join the e-commerce giant's drive to use big data to improve and profit from brick-and-mortar sales. It has also spent $4.6 billion on a minority stake in appliances retailer Suning Commerce Group Co Ltd, is...

  • JAKARTA, Feb 20- U.S. mining giant Freeport-McMoRan Inc warned on Monday that it could take the Indonesian government to arbitration and seek damages over a contractual dispute that has halted operations at the world's second-biggest copper mine. The row, which centers around the sanctity of Freeport's 30- year mining contract, comes as Indonesia seeks to...

  • JAKARTA, Feb 20- Indonesia's mining minister Ignasius Jonan on Monday said the government can also bring Freeport-McMoRan Inc to arbitration if both sides fail to reach an agreement over a mining contract. Earlier on Monday, Freeport-McMoRan chief executive Richard Adkerson said the company may commence arbitration if it and the government cannot...

  • Feb 20- Asked About M&A, Interim Ceo At Builder Bovis. *Tells reuters the fall in profit is due to the 7 million one-off provision to address customer service issues. *Says some of the 180 homes which should have been completed in 2016 have yet to be handed over to buyers.

  • BEIJING, Feb 20- China's steel mills and traders were scrambling to find alternative supplies of coking coal for steel making on Monday after Beijing slapped a surprise ban on coal imports from its isolated northern neighbor. Chinese prices of steel, coking coal and coke all rallied, as traders and analysts said mills will likely be forced to buy more expensive...

  • Feb 19- The chief executive of Uber Technologies Inc has ordered an "urgent investigation" into claims of sexual harassment at the ride-hailing service made by a former employee. Chief Executive Travis Kalanick said on Sunday he instructed his chief human resources officer to investigate the accusations described in a blog post by Susan Fowler, who worked as...

  • BERLIN, Feb 20- Greece will need less in emergency loans from international lenders than originally agreed in its third bailout programme due to a better-than-expected budgetary development, the head of the euro zone bailout fund said in comments published on Monday. Klaus Regling told German newspaper Bild that at the end of Greece's...

  • SHANGHAI, Feb 20- China's blue-chip index posted its biggest daily gain in six months on Monday after media reports said pension funds may begin flowing into the country's stock markets as early as this week. Media reported on Friday that China had started investing an initial 360 billion yuan in pension insurance funds from seven provinces and cities in...

  • *Officials at Chile mine put conditions on meeting with union. MELBOURNE, Feb 20- London copper climbed above the key level of $6,000 per tonne on Monday, buoyed by supply worries after the world's second-biggest copper mine in Indonesia said it could not deliver promised shipments due to export permit issues. That came as a strike at the world's top mine,...

  • Feb 17- U.S. shale producers are facing their first production cost increase in five years in 2017 as industry activity picks up and energy service providers hike fees to take a bigger share of the profits generated by higher oil prices. Drilling innovations over the past decade have generated a dizzying reduction in the cost of pumping oil from shale...

  • Brent futures were up 17 cents at $55.98 a barrel at 0616 GMT, while U.S. "Sustained gains above $55 a barrel, and a hoped for rally to $60 a barrel, both proving incredibly tough nuts to crack," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at futures brokerage OANDA in Singapore. "At the crux of the matter is that 90 percent OPEC compliance is being balanced by ever...