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Wires

  • LISBON, Portugal— Portugal's central bank has given an upbeat assessment of the country's economic outlook, with an export-driven recovery taking national output close to a pre-2008 level within two years. The Bank of Portugal revised its economic forecasts upward Wednesday. Portugal's budget deficit has also fallen to a 42- year low of 2.1 percent.

  • TORONTO, March 29- Canada's main stock index declined on Wednesday as weakness in the industrial sector helped offset a rise in energy stocks that was supported by higher oil prices. At 10:01AM EDT, the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was down 23.82 points, or 0.15 percent, at 15,574.75. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd gained 0.3 percent to C...

  • LONDON, March 29- Gold edged up on Wednesday, as uncertainty about Brexit talks, French elections and U.S. "There are a lot of uncertainties regarding the Trump reflation trade after the failure last week to overhaul Obamacare, and uncertainty in Europe with French elections coming up and the official start today of Brexit negotiations," said Carsten Fritsch,...

  • WASHINGTON, March 29- Ford Motor Co, the second largest U.S. automaker, on Wednesday announced two new recalls affecting 440,000 vehicles and expects to spend about $295 million to fix the issues. The recalls include 211,000 vehicles in North America to replace potentially faulty side door latches and 230,000 vehicles for under-hood fire risks.

  • JOHANNESBURG, March 29- The top six of South Africa's ruling African National Congress are divided down the middle on whether to remove Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, two sources told Reuters. President Jacob Zuma, who is part of the top six wants to replace Gordhan and has the support of Chairwoman Baleka Mbete and Deputy Secretary-General Jessie Duarte, the...

  • NAIROBI, March 29- Kenya's East African Breweries got a 141 percent subscription rate for its five-year corporate bond, the company said on Wednesday. The company, which is controlled by Britain's Diageo, said investors offered 8.45 billion shillings, well above the 6 billion shillings it sought. EABL also operates in neighboring Uganda and Tanzania.

  • SHANGHAI/ BEIJING, March 29- China Construction Bank Corp, the country's second-biggest lender by assets, reported on Wednesday a slightly higher 2016 net profit amid a squeeze on bank margins. The results came a day after two other of China's leading banks, Bank of Communications and Agricultural Bank of China, reported modest profit growth as they battle the...

  • CARACAS, March 29- Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA said on Wednesday a spill at its main exporting port Jose had been halted without any impact on crude shipments from the terminal.

  • SAO PAULO, March 29- JBS SA, the world's biggest meatpacker, said on Wednesday it would furlough workers at 10 of its 36 Brazilian beef plants after sales fell sharply due to a police probe into bribery of health inspectors in Brazil's meat industry. A JBS press representative said the 20- day furlough would begin on Monday. JBS previously said that it would operate...

  • SAN FRANCISCO, March 29- Blue Apron, the biggest U.S. meal kit company, has hired investment bankers to lead its 2017 initial public offering, according to people familiar with the matter. New York City- based Blue Apron has selected Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup Inc to lead the offering that could come as soon as this fall, the sources said.

  • LONDON, March 28- Libya's $66 billion sovereign fund should invest in domestic power and energy infrastructure but must first unite the factions battling to control it and get sanctions on its assets lifted, one of its leaders said. Ali Shamekh, chief executive of the Libyan Investment Authority, told Reuters on the sidelines of the Global Sovereign Wealth...

  • NEW YORK— Talks with a Chinese company seeking a stake in a Fifth Avenue skyscraper owned by the family of Jared Kushner are over. Negotiations with Anbang Insurance to help fund redevelopment of the Kushner Cos.' struggling office tower on Manhattan's Fifth Ave. had drawn criticism from lawmakers and government ethics experts. Kushner Cos. bought the property...

  • PARIS, March 29- Indonesia has signed a letter of intent to buy Airbus A400M military aircraft, the office of French President Francois Hollande said on Wednesday. The provisional agreement was signed during a visit by Hollande to Indonesia and covers an unspecified number of aircraft, according to a list of deals issued by his office. A previous deal to export...

  • WASHINGTON, March 29- The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday said a New York law barring retailers from charging more to buy with credit instead of cash is a speech regulation and sent the case back to a lower court for further review. The court, in a 8-0 decision, threw out a lower court's ruling upholding the New York law as a price regulation. Merchants contend laws like...

  • LAGOS, March 29- The Nigerian arm of South Africa's Standard Bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank, has an exposure of $24 million to Etisalat Nigeria, it said on Wednesday, adding restructuring talks were "ongoing". The Nigerian arm of Abu Dhabi- listed telecoms company Etisalat has been discussing with 13 local banks about renegotiating the terms of a $1.2 billion loan after...

  • *Britain triggers Article 50 to exit EU. Investors also appeared to remain on the sidelines, expecting some uncertainty after Britain started a process to exit the European Union. Nine months after Britons voted to leave, British Prime Minister Theresa May notified EU Council President Donald Tusk in a letter that the UK is quitting the bloc it joined in 1973..

  • CHICAGO— Grain futures were mixed Wednesday in early trading on the Chicago Board of Trade. Wheat for May delivery was 1.40 cents higher at $4.26 a bushel; May corn was up. 60 cent at $3.5840 a bushel; May oats was down 1.60 cents at $2.3320 a bushel while May soybeans lost. 20 cent to $9.7160 a bushel. April live cattle was. 33 cent higher at $1.2100 a pound; March feeder...

  • LONDON, March 29- Banks in Britain have tried to reassure their London staff over possible Brexit disruption, including a shift in jobs to continental Europe, as Prime Minister Theresa May triggered formal EU divorce proceedings on Wednesday. Investments banks Goldman Sachs and Nomura were among those who sent messages to employees in London, Europe's...

  • VENEZUELA'S PDVSA SAYS OIL SPILL AT JOSE PORT HAS NOT AFFECTED CRUDE SHIPMENTS FROM ORINOCO BELT.

  • WASHINGTON— Signed contracts to buy US homes hit highest level since April.