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  • March 23- U.S. stock index futures were modestly higher on Thursday as investors turned their attention to President Donald Trump's first significant policy test, as he looks to gets a healthcare bill passed in Congress. *The benchmark index is trading at about 18 times expected forward earnings, compared with a 10- year average of 14, according to Thomson...

  • *OPEC cuts began on Jan. 1 but stockpiles still climbing. LONDON, March 23- Oil prices rallied from four-month lows on Thursday but the recovery was cautious with investors concerned that OPEC- led supply cuts were not yet reducing record U.S. crude inventories. Brent crude, the international benchmark for oil, was trading at $51.02 a barrel by 1112 GMT, up 38 cents on...

  • IRVING, Texas _ Commercial Metals Co. on Thursday reported fiscal second-quarter earnings of $30.3 million. The average estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 12 cents per share. Commercial Metals shares have decreased 16 percent since the beginning of the year.

  • ZURICH, March 23- Falcon Private Bank, one of the Swiss banks ensnared in the Malaysian corruption scandal surrounding the troubled 1 MDB fund, lost 128 million Swiss francs last year, it said on Thursday. The steep loss came on the back of efforts to cut risk and costs from the closure of its Singapore branch ordered in October by the Monetary Authority of Singapore...

  • NEW YORK _ Scholastic Corp. on Thursday reported a loss of $15.4 million in its fiscal third quarter. The New York- based company said it had a loss of 44 cents per share. Scholastic expects full-year earnings in the range of $1.60 to $1.70 per share, with revenue in the range of $1.7 billion to $1.8 billion.

  • March 23- Consulting and outsourcing services provider Accenture Plc reported a 4.7 percent increase in quarterly net revenue, helped by strong demand for its digital and cloud services. Net income attributable to Accenture fell to $838.8 million or $1.33 per share in the second quarter ended Feb. 28, from $1.33 billion or $2.08 per share, a year earlier.

  • DUBLIN _ Accenture PLC on Thursday reported fiscal second-quarter net income of $838.8 million. Nine analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $8.34 billion. For the current quarter ending in June, Accenture said it expects revenue in the range of $8.65 billion to $8.9 billion.

  • Any day now, the Senate is expected to approve a resolution- already passed by the House- that throws a roadblock in front of states preparing to offer government-sponsored, low-cost retirement saving plans to people who do not have them at work. President Donald Trump has pledged to sign the resolution- but the Senate could do something important for the future...

  • WASHINGTON, March 23- Jay Clayton, the Wall Street attorney tapped by President Donald Trump to lead the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, will face questions on his vision for the agency at his confirmation hearing on Thursday before the Senate Banking Committee. A partner at Sullivan& Cromwell who is not registered with any political party, Clayton has...

  • BOSTON, March 23- President Donald Trumps White House has said his plans to slash environmental regulations will trigger a new energy boom and help the United States drill its way to independence from foreign oil. According to the SEC, a publicly traded company must deem a matter "material" and report it to the agency if there is a substantial likelihood that a...

  • PHILADELPHIA— Philadelphia's new tax on sweetened beverages is exceeding expectations. Figures released Thursday by the city's Department of Revenue show the tax brought in $6.4 million in February. The tax generated $5.9 million in January, more than double its prediction of $2.3 million.

  • SEOUL/ HONG KONG, March 23- Major fast-food chains in South Korea and Hong Kong have pulled chicken, beef and pork off their menus as they scramble to reassure customers about food safety as Brazil's meat scandal crisis intensifies. China and Hong Kong are the top two importers of Brazilian meats, last year buying nearly one-third of the $14 billion worth of meat...

  • *FTSE 100 down 0.1 pct. LONDON, March 23- Britain's FTSE 100 edged down on Thursday after an unsteady start, with surprisingly strong retail sales data boosting the pound and triggering a move lower for the index whose constituents mainly earn foreign currency. Clothing retailer Next was up 7.2 percent and the top FTSE gainer in heavy volume.

  • JERUSALEM, March 23- Teva Pharmaceutical Industries' plans to end unprofitable activities and freeze recruitment, but said Israeli media reports of up to 6,000 layoffs were incorrect. Earlier on Thursday, two of Israel's leading financial news websites carried separate reports that Teva, the world's biggest generic drug maker and Israel's largest company,...

  • BURLINGTON, Mass. _ Avid Technology Inc. on Thursday reported fourth-quarter net income of $5.2 million, after reporting a loss in the same period a year earlier. The Burlington, Massachusetts- based company said it had net income of 13 cents per share. For the year, the company reported profit of $48.2 million, or $1.20 per share.

  • LONDON, March 23- British clothing retailer Next reported a first drop in annual profit since 2009 and said it was "extremely cautious" about prospects for the year ahead but its battered shares rose on relief that the outlook has not deteriorated further. Britain's most successful clothing store chain for a long time, Next has faltered over the last two years,...

  • LONDON, March 23- Bank of England Deputy Governor Ben Broadbent said on Thursday it was possible that interest rates could rise, but he also highlighted a strong sense of caution among investors about the outlook for Britain after Brexit. Our forecast was conditioned on pretty gentle rises but rises nonetheless, "Broadbent said, answering questions after a...

  • LONDON, March 23- Emerging equities steadied on Thursday, helped by modest gains in Asia as investors waited to see if U.S. Emerging assets have rallied hard this year on the back of Trump's promised fiscal splurge but stumbled on Wednesday after his healthcare bill stalled in Congress, raising doubts about his ability to implement the pledges.

  • LONDON, March 23- Britain's markets watchdog has resumed its investigation into payments made by Barclays in the course of a 2008 emergency fundraising, after reviewing new evidence that could see it reconsider a 50 million-pound fine imposed in 2013.. Two sources familiar with the situation said the Financial Services Authority was taking a fresh look at...

  • A customer leaves an ATM at a Wells Fargo branch in Denver.

    Starting on Monday, Wells Fargo depositors can withdraw money using a smartphone at any branded ATM.