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Wires

  • SEOUL, May 25- South Korea's central bank kept interest rates steady on Thursday, taking an unusually bullish view of economic growth prospects as a new administration formulates multi-billion-dollar fiscal stimulus measures. The Bank of Korea's monetary policy committee held its base rate steady at 1.25 percent as predicted by all 19 economists surveyed...

  • HONG KONG, May 25- ChemChina has raised $20 billion in perpetual bonds and preferred shares to finance its acquisition of Swiss seeds maker Syngenta, according to a regulatory filing by the state-owned Chinese company. Bank of China has invested $10 billion via a perpetual bond, making the Chinese lender the single largest financier in the $44 billion deal,...

  • BEIJING, May 25- China's recent decision to impose extra tariffs on sugar imports would help maintain a fairer market and trade, the Chinese commerce ministry said on Thursday, its first comment on the safeguards announced earlier this week. Brazilian sugar exports to China could fall around 800,000 tonnes in the next 12 months as a result of China's higher...

  • SAN FRANCISCO, May 24- Infosys Ltd, the India- based computer services giant, on Wednesday touted its new strategy to hire and train 10,000 American workers over the next two years at the company's annual leadership meeting in San Francisco. H1-B visa program for skilled workers, which has been under fire as the Trump Administration moves to tighten a range of...

  • HONOLULU— Before a flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu took off carrying a passenger whose inflight behavior prompted bomb-threat procedures and military fighter jets to escort the plane, passengers complained to American Airlines workers that the man was scaring them, a woman who was on the flight said Wednesday. Jaime Reznick, of Los Angeles, said when she...

  • BANGKOK, May 25- Motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson Inc said on Thursday it will build a plant in Thailand, a major Asian automotive hub, to serve the growing Southeast Asian market, a move criticized by a U.S. labor union. The Thailand facility "will allow us to be more responsive and competitive in the ASEAN region and China," Harley-Davidson public relations...

  • SINGAPORE, May 25- Chicago wheat futures rose for a second straight session on Thursday with short-covering by funds and concerns over excessive moisture in the U.S. grain growing areas underpinning the market. The Chicago Board of Trade most-active wheat contract rose 0.6 percent to $4.35 a bushel by 0332 GMT, having added 0.7 percent on Wednesday.

  • *Spot gold seen retesting resistance at $1,264 per ounce- technicals. May 25- Gold held steady on Thursday to keep most of its gains from the previous session, with the dollar slipping after minutes of the U.S. Spot gold was nearly flat at $1,258.61 per ounce by.

  • *China is one of world's fastest growing condom markets. SYDNEY, May 25- A Chinese consortium is buying Ansell Ltd's condom division, the world's no. 2 condom maker, for $600 million, betting on surging demand in China as sex becomes less of a taboo subject and more emphasis is placed on public health education. Ansell's brands include Jissbon, which sounds like James...

  • TOKYO— While world attention has focused on Kim Jong Un's recent missile tests, a month-long surge in gasoline prices in Pyongyang is showing no signs of letting up— a puzzling problem that if allowed to drag on could be very bad news for the North Korean economy. That means North Korea now has some of the highest prices in the world for gasoline.

  • HONG KONG, May 25- Hong Kong's securities regulator on Thursday ordered a trading halt in all shares in Tianhe Chemicals Group Ltd, without giving further details. Last month, Tianhe said media reports claiming financial irregularities had been uncovered at the company and that the Securities and Futures Commission had directed a trading halt of the stock...

  • BEIJING— A computer that plays go has begun a second game against China's top player in a match authorities are limiting the Chinese public's ability to see. Thursday's game is one of three that 19- year-old Ke Jie and Google's AlphaGo computer program are due to play this week at a forum on artificial intelligence in a town west of Shanghai.

  • HONG KONG, May 25- China's yuan slipped to the seventh-most actively traded currency in the league tables for global trade finance, transaction service provider SWIFT said. In a presentation posted on its website dated May 23, the latest ranking for April places the renminbi behind the swiss franc with a global market share of 1.60 percent.

  • TAIPEI, May 25- Taiwan stocks rose for a fourth session on Thursday as investor sentiment was bolstered by gains in overseas markets, led by tech heavyweights such as TSMC and Hon Hai Precision Industry. Sinopac Financial Holdings, a mid-sized financial holding firm, fell 0.2 percent. The Taiwan dollar firmed T $0.096 to T $30.087 per U.S. dollar.

  • HONG KONG— Moody's has cut its credit rating for Hong Kong hours after downgrading China for rising debt levels, which it said would have "significant impact" on the Asian financial hub because of their close links. Earlier in the day, Moody's cut its China rating for the first time since 1989, saying that the country's financial strength is likely to erode as...

  • TOKYO, May 25- Japanese stocks edged up on Thursday as investors bought futures after the yen weakened in Asian trade, while a surge in index-heavyweights such as SoftBank supported sentiment. Information technology conglomerate SoftBank jumped as much as 4.5 percent to hit a near two-week high of 8,894 yen and contributed to a hefty 31 positive points to the...

  • TOKYO, May 25- Japanese stocks edged up on Thursday as investors bought futures after the yen weakened in Asian trade, while a surge in index-heavyweights such as SoftBank supported sentiment. Information technology conglomerate SoftBank jumped as much as 4.5 percent to hit a near two-week high of 8,894 yen and contributed to a hefty 31 positive points to the...

  • TOKYO, May 25- The dollar was on the defensive on Thursday after the Federal Reserve dialled down on some of the more hawkish policy expectations in the market, while the euro edged back up towards a 6-1/ 2- month high. The minutes were seen to indicate heightened Fed caution towards interest rate hikes and took the wind out of an earlier bounce by the dollar, which had...

  • *South Korea shares hit record high, Taiwan at 17- yr high. TOKYO, May 25- Asian shares scaled two-year highs on Thursday while the dollar and U.S. bond yields slipped after the U.S. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan advanced 0.7 percent, hitting its highest level since June 2015, and bringing its gains so far this year to about 17 percent.

  • QUITO, May 24- Lenin Moreno was sworn in as Ecuador's president on Wednesday following a tight electoral race that the former vice president won on promises of maintaining the social programs of his leftist predecessor, Rafael Correa. The 64- year-old socialist won a runoff last month in the oil-exporting country, bucking a shift to the right in South America as...