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  • Caracas shopkeeper Wilmer Ruiz realized last week that he couldn't call his family in Cuba or a friend who immigrated to Ecuador. Both countries have been staunch allies of Venezuela's 16- year socialist revolution. Internet calling services like Skype go only so far toward resolving the issue.

  • *Greenback seen supported after US GDP backs rate rise view. *Dollar index takes breather after setting 1- week high. SINGAPORE/ TOKYO, July 31- The dollar backed off from a one-week high against a basket of currencies on Friday, but was still seen on firm footing after U.S.

  • TOKYO, July 31- Japanese fund managers increased their holdings of stocks in model portfolios in July on expectation of a moderate earnings recovery while they cut their allocations to bonds to the lowest level in almost a year, a Reuters survey showed on Friday. A survey of seven Japanese-based fund managers, conducted between July 21 and 24, found respondents...

  • TAIPEI, July 31- Taiwan's economic growth slowed more sharply than expected to a three-year low in the second quarter, hurt by a collapse in exports as a slowdown in major market China chilled demand for its line of key technology products. The growth slump in Taiwan, an important hub in the global supply-chain for tech giants such as Apple Inc. and...

  • SHANGHAI, July 31- China's securities regulator on Friday said it is investigating the impact of automated trading on the market, as Beijing intensifies pressure on its financial industry in the wake of a share-price plunge. It appears Beijing is trying to reinforce the "national team" of brokerages and banks that have pledged to buy and hold shares until...

  • *Wheat down more than 18 pct for July. *Corn set for monthly loss of more than 10 pct. "The dryness issues in parts of Europe, Canada and Argentina remain but that is not leaving the market on the precipice of new crop downgrades," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy, Commonwealth Bank of Australia in a note to clients.

  • SHANGHAI, July 31- China's yuan was flat on Friday after the central bank set an official guidance rate that barely changed from the previous session. The People's Bank of China set the midpoint rate at 6.1172 per dollar prior to market open, down 0.01 percent from the previous fix at 6.1165. Beijing appears to want a stable currency to lift market confidence and...

  • PORTLAND, Ore., July 30- An icebreaking vessel key to Royal Dutch Shell's plans to drill for oil in the Arctic departed Portland, Oregon, late on Thursday, navigating between a narrow gap of environmental activists dangling from a bridge after a two-day human blockade. Several Greenpeace activists appeared to bow to orders from police to lower themselves into...

  • SINGAPORE, July 31- Oil prices fell in Asian trade on Friday as concern over global oversupply intensified after the head of oil producers' cartel OPEC indicated there would be no cut-back in production, although a fall in the U.S. dollar put a floor under prices. Badri added that even if OPEC had cut output by as much as 2 million barrels per day, it would not have...

  • *Tokyo core CPI marks first annual fall since April 2013. TOKYO, July 31- Japan's household spending unexpectedly fell and inflation stalled in June, heightening the chance the economy may have contracted in April-June and casting doubt on the central bank's view growth will rebound solidly in the current quarter. "If the BOJ were to ease this year, it will...

  • *Fujifilm soars on share buyback plan. TOKYO, July 31- Japan's Nikkei share average was little changed on Friday as investors awaited more earnings from blue-chip companies and looked for signs of whether China's volatile stock markets were starting to take a toll on its economy. On Friday, shippers such as Mitsui O.S.K. Lines and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha are slated...

  • PALO ALTO, California— Microsoft says its' new Windows 10 operating system is now running on more than 14 million computers, two days after the software was released as a free download. Microsoft says it's releasing the software in waves to make sure downloads go smoothly. In a blog post late Thursday, Microsoft said it has not yet delivered Windows 10 to everyone...

  • TAIPEI, July 31- Taiwan stocks fell on Friday after the government gave a dismal early reading of second-quarter GDP growth, sharply lower than forecast. As of 0151 GMT, the main TAIEX index fell 0.6 percent, to 8,600.38, below other regional bourses, after closing at 8,651.49 in the previous session, up 1 percent. The Taiwan dollar firmed T $0.052 to T $31.549 per U.S....

  • *Fujifilm soars on share buyback plan. TOKYO, July 31- Japan's Nikkei share average was little changed on Friday as investors awaited more earnings from blue-chip companies and looked for signs of whether China's volatile stock markets were starting to take a toll on its economy. On Friday, shippers such as Mitsui O.S.K. Lines and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha are slated...

  • SHANGHAI, July 31- China stocks fell on Friday morning at market open. The CSI300 index fell 1.0 percent to 3,777.15 points at 1:26 GMT, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 1.4 percent to 3,655.67 points. China CSI300 stock index futures for August fell 0.3 percent, to 3,668.4, 108.75 points below the current value of the underlying index.

  • BEIJING, July 31- China posted a $14.9 billion deficit on trade in services in June and a deficit of $91.6 billion in the first half of 2015, the foreign exchange regulator said on Friday.

  • SYDNEY, July 31- U.S. soybeans held steady on Friday, though the oilseed was heading for a fourth consecutive weekly loss, as the market weighed up whether signs of growing export demand would start to erode ample supplies more quickly. *Corn touched a five-week low of $3.75-3/ 4 a bushel on Thursday. *Wheat fell to a five-week low of $4.93-1/ 4 a bushel on Thursday.

  • MELBOURNE, July 31- London copper ticked lower on Friday and was facing its biggest monthly loss since January amid sputtering Chinese demand and a stronger dollar, with traders squaring books ahead of the month-end and Chinese factory data over the weekend. *Shanghai Futures Exchange copper fell 0.8 percent to 38360 yuan a tonne. Power cuts in Africa's...

  • *Tokyo July core CPI falls 0.1 pct vs f'cast 0.0 pct. *Tokyo core CPI marks first annual fall since April 2013. TOKYO, July 31- Japan's annual core consumer inflation stalled and household spending unexpectedly fell in June, underscoring the challenges the central bank faces in reflating the economy to meet its ambitious 2 percent price target.

  • *U.S. crude for September delivery slipped 2 cents to $48.50 a barrel as of 0038 GMT, after ending the previous session down 27 cents. *Brent crude oil for September delivery rose 12 cents to $53.43 after settling 27 cents lower in the previous session. *Russia's oil-for-goods barter deal with Iran, estimated to be worth $70 billion, is still in place, Russian Energy...