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  • *Top miner Nickel Asia eyes record exports this year. MANILA, July 31- Philippine nickel miners, hit by a slump in prices, may have found an unexpected ally in the El Nino. "The impact of El Nino on our operations is going to be positive," said Emmanuel Samson, the CFO of top miner Nickel Asia Corp. "The dry weather means our mines can continue to be productive in October or...

  • *July batters commodities, China stocks see biggest drop in 6 yrs. *Oil down over 15 percent for month on supply, China, dollar woes. LONDON, July 31- Commodities and China investors waved a relieved goodbye to July on Friday following a brutal sell-off that has revived fears about the global economy and overshadowed more encouraging news from the U.S. and Europe.

  • *Spending in shops up 2.5 percent in first half. *Annual retail sales soar by 5.1 percent in June. BERLIN, July 31- German retail sales recorded their strongest first-half increase in at least 20 years, data showed on Friday, strengthening expectations that private consumption will be a major growth driver for Europe's largest economy this year.

  • *ArcelorMittal has limited China exposure. BRUSSELS, July 31- ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steelmaker, said it would do better in the second half of the year than the first and kept its 2015 profit targets, despite cutting its global forecast for steel demand. ArcelorMittal, which produces 6 to 7 percent of the world's steel, repeated its 2015 for core profit...

  • LONDON, July 31- IAG, owner of British Airways and Iberia, said on Friday it will continue to focus on driving down costs as competition intensifies both within Europe and as rivals put on more capacity on its all-important transatlantic routes. IAG, which is buying Aer Lingus to add to a portfolio comprising BA, Iberia and Vueling, said its unit revenue per...

  • LONDON, July 31- Oil prices fell on Friday as concern over global oversupply intensified after the head of oil producers' cartel OPEC indicated there would be no cuts in production despite a huge global oversupply. Badri said rising demand would prevent a further fall in oil prices and suggested cuts in OPEC output would not have much impact on the market.

  • LONDON— Lloyds Banking Group says first-half net income rose 18 percent to 677 million pounds as the government-backed bank accelerated its recovery from the financial crisis. The bank, bailed out by taxpayers in 2008, disclosed Friday that the government's stake had been reduced to just 15 percent from as much as 43 percent. CEO Antonio Horta-Osorio said in a...

  • PARIS— Google is rejecting an order by the French data privacy agency to remove search results worldwide upon request, saying European law allowing the' right to be forgotten' doesn't apply globally. "The Internet would only be as free as the world's least free place," the company wrote on its Europe policy blog. Europe's highest court ruled in May 2014 that people...

  • MUMBAI, July 31- India's Reliance Communications has revived a plan to sell a 51 percent stake in its tower unit, attracting early interest from U.S. private equity firms as well as domestic and American industry players, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said. Reliance Communications, India's fourth-biggest mobile phone carrier and headed by...

  • MOSCOW/ PARIS, July 31- France and Russia have reached a compensation deal for the cancellation of the delivery of two French-made Mistral helicopter carriers, according to Russian media reports. "I hope that in the nearest future an agreement will be signed on breaking the contract, and then the sum that France will pay us will be announced," RIA quoted Kozhin as...

  • *UCB, BNP Paribas, Natixis up after results. *Engie falls on HSBC downgrade to "hold". Natixis rose 3.3 percent after reporting a 5 percent rise in net income for the second quarter, driven by a strong increase in asset management, insurance sales and private banking, as well as continued efforts to reduce its balance sheet and risky assets.

  • HONG KONG, July 31- Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng index ended higher on Friday, but an index tracking Chinese companies fell following ailing mainland shares. The Hang Seng index rose 0.6 percent to close at 24,636.28 points. China stocks fell on Friday and posted their biggest monthly loss in nearly six years, even as Beijing rolled out a series of support...

  • NEW ORLEANS— Attorneys are eyeing a November retrial date for Kurt Mix, the former BP engineer charged with obstructing a federal investigation into the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Court papers filed Thursday show attorneys are working toward a Nov. 16 date but may seek to push the trial back to Nov. 30. Federal prosecutors say Mix deleted text messages about the...

  • LONDON, July 31- The dollar steadied near a one-week high against a basket of currencies on Friday and was on track for an almost 2 percent monthly rise, with the latest U.S. growth data supporting the case for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates this year. "Expectations of a September rate hike were probably marginally firmed up on the growth data but it...

  • Honda reported the first-quarter results under international accounting standards for the first time. Like other Japanese automakers, Honda has benefited from the cheaper yen, which boosts the value of repatriated earnings. Honda is still soaking up hefty quality-related costs as it continues to recall cars equipped with air bag parts made by top supplier...

  • HONG KONG, July 31- China stocks fell on Friday and posted their biggest monthly loss in nearly six years, even as Beijing rolled out a series of support measures and promised to step up efforts to bolster the flagging economy. The Shanghai Composite Index, which tracks all the tickers trading on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, lost 1.1 percent to end at 3,664.0 points.

  • LONDON, July 31- European shares steadied in early trading on Friday after having risen in the previous three sessions, with some companies posting strong gains after announcing forecast-beating results. The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was flat at 1,570.90 points by 0709 GMT. Airbus was up 4.1 percent after the aerospace group posted a 6...

  • SHANGHAI, July 31- Chinese authorities have arrested seven people who allegedly lured in half a billion dollars from investors by illegally offering huge amounts of leverage as high as lending 100 yuan for every yuan in collateral, a prosecutor said on Friday. The Longwan district prosecutor in the coastal city of Wenzhou said on its official microblog that...

  • July 31- Martin Sorrell's WPP and buyout firm Providence agreed on Friday to buy British marketing group Chime Communications for 374 million pounds in a bid to turn the smaller group into a global sports marketing agency. The offer from Providence and shareholder WPP includes an interim dividend of 2.53 pence per share. WPP, which owns about 20 percent of Chime,...

  • TOKYO, July 31- Japanese government bond prices were mostly steady on Friday, pulling ahead slightly at the longer end. The Bank of Japan offered to buy 375 billion yen of JGBs in the 1- year to 5- year zone, 425 billion yen of JGBs in the 3- year to 5- year zone, and 400 billion yen of JGBs in the 5- year to 10- year zone under its JGB purchase programme.