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Wires

  • West Texas Intermediate fell 12 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $54.33 a barrel by 0323 GMT, having closed up 1.6 percent in the previous session. While OPEC appears to be sticking to its deal, producers that were not part of the deal, particularly U.S. shale drillers, have increased output, driving the growth in inventories in the United States, the world's biggest oil...

  • *Spot gold may gain more to $1,278/ oz- techs. Feb 24- Gold prices held steady on Friday near 3-1/ 2- month highs hit in the previous session amid tempered expectations of a U.S. rate hike in March and as investors awaited clarity on President Donald Trump's economic policy. at 0326 GMT after hitting its highest since Nov. 11, 2016 at $1,251.14 in the previous session.

  • HONG KONG, Feb 24- China's yuan firmed against the U.S. dollar on Friday, after the central bank set a stronger midpoint, and was on track to end the week virtually flat as traders hunted for clues where it will move. The People's Bank of China set the midpoint rate at 6.8655 per dollar prior to market open, firmer than the previous fix of 6.8695. "The U.S. dollar has not...

  • TOKYO, Feb 24- Japanese government bond prices gained on Friday, helped by a regular Bank of Japan buying operation, with the yield curve at its flattest in three weeks as the market tracked a recent decline in global debt yields. In Europe, recent debt market volatility eased slightly, with French government bond yields pulling back after rising earlier in the...

  • *Yuan flat after Trump calls China "grand champions" of FX manipulation. TOKYO, Feb 24- Asian shares took a breather on Friday, slipping from 1-1/ 2- year highs as material shares were hit by sudden falls in copper and other commodity prices while investors assessed Washington's stance on tax and currency policies. And he has said a strong dollar is in U.S. interests, "...

  • *Corn flat, despite lower-than-expected USDA f'cast. SYDNEY, Feb 24- U.S. soybeans edged higher on Friday after earlier hitting a six-week low as ample global supplies pushed the oilseed towards two-week losses of nearly 5 percent. The most active soybean futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade rose 0.1 percent to $10.12-1/ 2 per bushel, after hitting a six-week low...

  • SYDNEY, Feb 24- U.S. soybean futures held steady on Friday after hitting a six-week low on forecasts of plentiful global supplies, and were headed for their second straight weekly fall. *USDA projected U.S. 2017 plantings at 90 million acres, down 4.3 percent from 2016 and below an average of trade expectations in the Reuters poll for 91.0 million acres.

  • *Nikkei has added 0.6 pct for the week so far. TOKYO, Feb 24- Japanese stocks managed to steady from early falls on Friday as the yen weakened slightly during Asian trade, but political uncertainty abroad and U.S. tax policy kept most investors on the sidelines. "Investors are cherry-picking stocks of companies which will likely outperform in the next fiscal year,"...

  • TOKYO, Feb 24- Japanese conglomerate Toshiba Corp said on Friday it was not aware that its U.S. nuclear unit Westinghouse was considering filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. A Chapter 11 filing could help Toshiba draw a line under a decade-long U.S. nuclear venture that has pushed the Japanese group to the brink, forcing it to offer a majority stake in its...

  • BUENOS AIRES, Feb 23- Argentina's state-run oil company YPF SA said it reached a preliminary deal with Royal Dutch Shell Plc on Thursday to develop oil and gas assets in the Vaca Muerta shale field, involving a $300 million investment from Shell. The deal comes after President Mauricio Macri reached an agreement with oil companies and unions last month to...

  • The flagship of South Korea's top conglomerate Samsung Group has been at the centre of an influence-peddling scandal that led South Korea's parliament to impeach President Park Geun-hye in December. Jay Y. Lee, third-generation leader of Samsung Group and Samsung Electronics' vice chairman, was arrested last week after being named a suspect by the South...

  • SEOUL, Feb 24- Tech giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said on Friday it will strengthen controls for financial support made to third-parties, after its vice chairman was arrested in a graft scandal that could topple South Korea's president. Samsung said it would now require financial payments of 1 billion won or more to be approved by the board of directors and...

  • TOKYO, Feb 24- Toshiba Corp said on Friday it was not aware that its U.S. nuclear unit Westinghouse was considering filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

  • SINGAPORE, Feb 24- Traders are selling oil held in tankers anchored off Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia in a sign that the production cut led by OPEC is starting to have the desired effect of drawing down bloated inventories. Yet in the short-term, the crude released from tankers will weigh on markets and possibly undermine OPEC's goal of achieving a balanced...

  • CHICAGO, Feb 23- A second straight month of record low U.S. pork belly inventories in January will likely intensify speculation about a potential national bacon shortage, but analysts said more supply will soon be available. In early February, the Ohio Pork Council stoked alarm by publicizing that belly stocks were at their lowest in half a century, and it...

  • SYDNEY, Feb 24- London copper prices found modest support on Friday after a big fall overnight amid fresh doubts over Chinese demand and some upward movement in the U.S. dollar. *Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was up $7, or 0.1 percent, at $5,866 a tonne by 0105 GMT after falling 3 percent in the previous session. *The most-traded copper contract on the...

  • SAO PAULO, Feb 23- BRF SA, the world's largest poultry exporter, posted a fourth-quarter net loss of 460 million reais, a reversal from a 1.4 billion reais profit turned a year earlier. But sales from units abroad increased 16.7 percent year-on-year, pointing to a solid expansion in the long term, mainly in Asia thanks to demand from China's market.

  • Feb 24- Gold prices held steady on Friday near 3-1/ 2- month highs hit in the previous session following tempered expectations of a U.S. rate hike in March, and as investors awaited clarity on President Donald Trump's economic policy. *Spot gold inched down 0.1 percent to $1,248.21 per ounce at 0054 GMT. The metal, which hit $1,251.14, the highest since Nov. 11, in the...

  • MEXICO CITY, Feb 23- Mexico on Thursday expressed "worry and irritation" about U.S. policies to two of President Donald Trump's top envoys, giving a chilly reply to the new administration's hard line on immigration, trade and security. The U.S. government angered Mexico this week by saying it was seeking to deport many illegal immigrants to Mexico if they entered...

  • West Texas Intermediate fell 13 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $54.32 a barrel by 0048 GMT, having closed up 86 cents in the previous session. On Thursday, sources told Reuters that the joint OPEC/ non- OPEC technical committee reported an 86 percent compliance on the oil cuts in January. Earlier, sources reported over 90 percent compliance within OPEC.