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  • Employment Cost Index barely rises in Q2. NEW YORK, July 31- U.S. The Employment Cost Index, the broadest measure of labor costs, rose 0.2 percent, marking the smallest increase in the index's 33- year history, the U.S. Labor Department reported.

  • PARIS/ MILAN, July 31- European missile maker MBDA edged towards its biggest shake-up in over a decade on Friday as Airbus Group signalled interest in expanding its share, while Italy's Finmeccanica said it would be open to selling its stake. French-based Airbus and Britain's BAE Systems each own 37.5 percent, and Finmeccanica owns 25 percent of MBDA, created in...

  • RIO DE JANEIRO— Brazil's state-owned oil company has received the equivalent of more than $20 million that was recovered as a result of an investigation into a corruption-kickback scandal engulfing Petrobras. The Federal Prosecutor's Office says in a statement that 69 million reals were returned to Petrobras on Friday. The statement says the amount...

  • BRASILIA, July 31- Two senior executives at Brazil's state-run power company Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA told Reuters on Friday that they had requested leave as a corruption investigation sweeps the country's largest electric utility. Valter Cardeal, head of generation at the holding company known as Eletrobras, and Adhemar Palocci, head of planning...

  • FRANKFURT, July 31- Deutsche Bank is freezing 2015 cash bonuses for its executive board as it examines whether some managers could have done a better job at avoiding problems that led to expensive litigation, a person familiar with the matter said. The bonus freeze hits all members of the management board except Deutsche Bank's new Chief Executive John Cryan,...

  • LONDON, July 31- Scientists and drug companies will continue to research the potential of alternative Ebola vaccines, despite a shot from Merck and NewLink Genetics proving 100 percent effective in a trial in Guinea. In the event, it proved about as safe as a flu vaccine, said University of Reading virologist Ben Neuman, but it was still not given to children or...

  • LONDON, July 31- British Home Secretary Theresa May has intervened to reverse a decision by her officials and grant dissident Chinese artist and free speech advocate Ai Weiwei a full six-month visa to enter Britain, her government department said on Friday. On Thursday the artist, whose passport was returned by Chinese authorities last week four years after it...

  • GENEVA, July 31- China failed to comply with a World Trade Organization ruling that found its tariffs on a type of speciality steel products breached global trade rules, a WTO panel said in a ruling on Friday. The United States brought the case in 2010 after China slapped punitive duties on U.S. exports of grain oriented flat-rolled electrical steel, used in the...

  • LONDON, July 31- New Bank of England policymaker Gertjan Vlieghe said on Friday that he would sever all financial links with his previous employer, hedge fund Brevan Howard, to avoid any accusations of a conflict of interest. Britain's finance ministry said this did not pose a conflict of interest. "As of August 31st I will have severed all financial and other ties...

  • *Raises FY profit to $4.65- $4.75/ shr from $4.45- $4.65/ shr. Royal Caribbean, the world's second-largest cruise operator by revenue, is more focused in the Caribbean, which accounts for nearly half of its total capacity. Royal Caribbean was seeing the fastest growth in the Asia Pacific region, particularly in China, where more than 95 percent of the cruises were...

  • *Dollar index on track for 1.2 percent gain in July. *Upbeat core inflation data bolsters euro. NEW YORK, July 31- The dollar fell against a basket of currencies on Friday, ending a decent month on a sour note as a record-low rise in U.S. employment costs in the second quarter dialed back bets the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates later this year.

  • *Wall St slightly higher in early trading. NEW YORK, July 31- The dollar tumbled and benchmark U.S. Wall Street stock prices rose, also taking a cue from the Employment Cost Index data showing the smallest quarterly increase in 33 years.

  • This time, CBS says it's making all advertisers buy an online spot with their on-air time, so ads seen during the online simulcast will be the same as the ones on TV. CBS is broadcasting the next Super Bowl, which will be held in Santa Clara, California, on Feb. 7. It's not known whether this policy will continue after that, as CBS rotates the broadcast with Fox and NBC.

  • WASHINGTON, July 31- U.S. Marine Corps Commandant General Joseph Dunford has declared an initial squadron of 10 Lockheed Martin Corp F-35B fighter jets ready for combat, sources familiar with the decision said on Friday. Deputy Commandant for Aviation Lieutenant General Jon Davis told reporters on Monday that the squadron met all the requirements for the...

  • LONDON, July 31- Copper prices fell on Friday on persistent worries about demand in top consumer China, but losses were muted after weak U.S. data prompted a slide in the dollar. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 0.4 percent at $5,240 tonne at 1435 GMT, after sliding as much as 1 percent in the morning and then bouncing briefly into positive...

  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was born out of the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul law that passed in 2010 and started a year later. Richard Cordray was not the White House's first choice to lead the agency. Elizabeth Warren, now a senator from Massachusetts, was put forth for the job but her nomination was blocked.

  • CHICAGO— Grain futures mixed Friday early trading on the Chicago Board of Trade. Wheat for September delivery was 2.75 cents higher at $4.9925 a bushel; December corn was. 25 cent lower at $3.8350 a bushel; December oats were 4 cents higher at $2.5050 bushel; while November soybeans fell 11.5 cents to 9.3850 cents a bushel. October live cattle was. 85 cent higher at...

  • ATHENS, July 31- Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras acknowledged on Friday that his government had made covert contingency plans in case Greece was forced out of the euro, but rejected accusations that he had plotted a return to the drachma. Tsipras was forced to respond to the issue in parliament after former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis this week revealed...

  • NEW YORK— It hasn't been an easy week in social media, despite double-digit revenue growth from Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Investors are looking beyond headline numbers and finding reasons to sell. Not even Facebook, with stronger-than-expected profit and revenue numbers and bulletproof mobile advertising strategy, was spared.

  • JOHANNESBURG, July 31- Unions at South African gold producers are divided over whether to accept a final wage offer and avert the kind of prolonged strike that affected the platinum sector last year. AngloGold Ashanti, Sibanye Gold, Harmony Gold and two smaller producers, have offered wage increases of up to 17 percent, saying the sector is grappling with...