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  • March 30- Gold prices held steady on Thursday, supported by uncertainties on the impact of Britain's departure from the European Union, U.S. policy under President Donald Trump and French elections, but at the same time capped by a stronger dollar. *Prime Minister Theresa May formally began Brexit- Britain's divorce from the European Union- on Wednesday,...

  • TOKYO, March 30- Asian shares edged up to near their highest in two years on Thursday, while the dollar benefited from waning expectations that the European Central Bank was poised to end its easy policy. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was 0.2 percent higher in early trade, pushing against its loftiest levels since June 2015.

  • *OPEC compliance with announced production cut increases. SINGAPORE, March 30- Oil prices were steady on Thursday, supported by falling crude output in Libya and declining gasoline stocks in the United States, although bloated U.S. crude inventories are still weighing on markets. In the United States, West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up 5 cents at...

  • TOKYO, March 30- The dollar hovered near a one-week high against a basket of currencies on Thursday, buoyed by a weaker euro which sagged as prospects of the European Central Bank stepping away from monetary easing faded. The common currency had dropped about 0.5 percent overnight following a report by Reuters that European Central Bank policymakers were wary...

  • BRASILIA, March 29- The Brazilian government on Wednesday enacted a bigger spending freeze than anticipated while keeping tax hikes to a minimum as it seeks to reach a fiscal deficit target key to regaining the country's investment-grade rating. Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles told a news briefing the government would freeze 42.1 billion reais in...

  • BUENOS AIRES, March 29- Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht's efforts to seek a leniency deal in Argentina are limited under the country's laws, an Argentine prosecutor investigating corruption allegations said on Wednesday. Rodriguez said it would be easier to reach an agreement reducing penalties for individual executives who cooperate with the...

  • March 29- Volkswagen AG said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved its request to sell up to 67,000 diesel vehicles from the 2015 model year, including about 12,000 currently in dealer inventory with approved emissions modifications. The EPA approved a fix for about 70,000 Volkswagen diesel vehicles in January. The EPA did not immediately to a...

  • CALGARY, Alberta, March 29- ConocoPhillips on Wednesday agreed to sell oil sands and western Canadian natural gas assets to Cenovus Energy Inc for C $17.7 billion, making it the latest international oil major to pull back from a region where high costs and low crude prices have made it hard for large companies to make an acceptable return. For Calgary- based...

  • March 29- Amazon.com Inc plans to cut 263 jobs at its money-losing parenting products unit Quidsi this summer as part of a business restructuring, it said in a notice filed with New Jersey on Wednesday. The New Jersey- based subsidiary operates Diapers.com, Soap.com and other websites. Amazon's stock briefly hit a record high of $876.44 before closing at $874.32.

  • BRASILIA, March 29- The Brazilian government on Wednesday enacted a bigger spending freeze than anticipated while keeping tax hikes to a minimum as it seeks to reach a fiscal deficit target key to regaining the country's investment-grade rating. Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles told a news briefing the government would freeze 42.1 billion reais in...

  • BOSTON, March 29- Billionaire hedge fund manager William Ackman has apologized to clients for betting on Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc, telling them he was "deeply and profoundly sorry" for losing so much of their money on the investment. Ackman decided to sell his entire Valeant position earlier this month, suffering a roughly $4 billion loss...

  • MONTREAL, DETROIT March 29- Ford Motor Co will announce on Thursday production of a new engine in the Canadian province of Ontario, two sources familiar with the matter said, in an investment that would boost Canada's auto industry after years of job losses to Mexico and the United States. New investment in engine production in Canada was seen as vital because the...

  • SEOUL, March 30- Shares of tech giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd opened up 0.2 percent at 2,094,000 won on Thursday following the launch of its Galaxy S8 flagship smartphone.

  • ZAGREB- The central bank governors of Croatia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Kosovo, Bosnia and Montenegro will participate in a conference focused on benefits the euro could have on the local economies 2100 GMT. FRANKFURT- Deutsche Bundesbank Executive Board member Andreas Dombret will deliver speech on German banking sector at Frankfurt School of Finance&...

  • ZAGREB- The central bank governors of Croatia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Kosovo, Bosnia and Montenegro will participate in a conference focused on benefits the euro could have on the local economies 2100 GMT. FRANKFURT- Deutsche Bundesbank Executive Board member Andreas Dombret will deliver speech on German banking sector at Frankfurt School of Finance&...

  • The Republican chairman of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee promises a thorough investigation into any direct links between Russia and Donald Trump during his successful 2016 run for the White House. Nations led by China and the European Union rally around a global plan to slow climate change after Trump began undoing Obama-era plans for deep cuts in...

  • BRASILIA, March 29- The Brazilian government on Wednesday announced a larger-than-expected spending freeze while opting for smaller tax breaks to meet its fiscal deficit goal. Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles said the government will freeze 42 billion reais in spending as tax revenues continue to disappoint as the economy slowly emerges from its...

  • SAN SALVADOR, March 29- El Salvador's Congress on Wednesday approved a law prohibiting all metal mining projects in a bid to protect the poor Central American country's environment and natural resources. In October, El Salvador won an arbitration at the World Bank's International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes against the...

  • Trump has accused the Freedom Caucus lawmakers of snatching a "defeat from the jaws of victory" with their rejection of the White House- backed healthcare bill to replace President Barack Obama's 2010 healthcare reform bill. Representative Warren Davidson, a Freedom Caucus member from Ohio, said Republicans should leave aside the blame game and work through...

  • SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador— El Salvador's congress has approved a total ban on the mining of metals in the country, one of the first to enact such a broad ban. But the bill passed Wednesday in El Salvador would not allow any underground, above-ground or artisanal mining for metals. Human rights prosecutor Raquel Guevara called it "a historic day for El Salvador."