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  • *China Enterprises index HSCE eases 0.2 pct. HONG KONG, Feb 20- Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng index edged up at midday on Tuesday as the city's markets reopened after the Lunar New Year holiday, while the index of China's H-shares index fell. **Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex- Japan stock index was flat percent while Japan's Nikkei index was down 0.9 percent.

  • HONG KONG, Feb 20- HSBC Holdings' 2017 pre-tax profit rose 142 percent as the lender avoided the multi-billion dollar restructuring costs that marred its 2016 results but the profit growth lagged expectations as it took a writedown following U.S. tax changes. Europe's biggest bank by market capitalisation reported on Tuesday a profit before tax for 2017 of...

  • LAS VEGAS— The new CEO of Las Vegas- based Wynn Resorts said he was not aware of any of the sexual misconduct accusations against casino mogul Steve Wynn before they surfaced last month. Wynn Resorts is facing scrutiny by gambling regulators in Nevada and Massachusetts, where the company is building a roughly $2.4 billion casino just outside Boston.

  • *Japan market currently hobbled by stringent rules. TOKYO, Feb 20- Sony Corp said on Tuesday it would become the latest blue-chip firm to jockey for position in Japan's taxi and ride-hailing market, with plans for a joint venture to develop an artificial intelligence-based hailing system. This month, SoftBank Group Corp and China's Didi Chuxing said they would...

  • *Spot gold has good chance of breaking down to $1,326/ oz- technicals. Spot gold was down 0.4 percent at $1,341.20 an ounce. Earlier, it fell to as low as $1,340.16, the lowest since Feb. 14.

  • *PNG LNG expansion to double capacity. MELBOURNE, Feb 20- Global giants ExxonMobil Corp and France's Total SA have reached broad agreement on plans to double gas exports from Papua New Guinea, their partner Oil Search Ltd said on Tuesday. The plan to expand the ExxonMobil-operated Papua New Guinea liquefied natural gas plant to around 16 million tonnes per annum...

  • SEOUL, Feb 20- General Motors Co plans to produce two new models in South Korea, a local lawmaker quoted GM executive Barry Engle as saying at a meeting with South Korean members of parliament. Engle, president of GM International, did not elaborate on whether GM's plan for the two new car models were dependent on government support for the automaker, said Kim...

  • WELLINGTON, Feb 20- New Zealand's national carrier on Tuesday cancelled all flights in and out of the capital, Wellington, and the southern city of Christchurch declared a state of emergency as the remnants of tropical cyclone Gita pummelled the country. Even before the storm hit in full force, heavy rains in the centre of New Zealand brought floods in...

  • *Japan market currently hobbled by stringent rules. TOKYO, Feb 20- Sony Corp looks set to become the latest blue-chip firm to jockey for position in Japan's taxi and ride-hailing market, with plans for a joint venture to develop an artificial intelligence-based hailing system, the Nikkei newspaper reported. This month, SoftBank Group Corp and China's Didi...

  • MELBOURNE, Feb 20- London copper drifted lower on Tuesday as a firm dollar dictated direction in a thinly traded market, with holidays in top metals user China. *COPPER: London Metal Exchange copper eased for a second day, dropping 0.3 percent to $7,096.50 a tonne by 0240 GMT, having touched its highest in a month on Friday at $7,253. *SHFE: The Shanghai Futures Exchange...

  • SINGAPORE, Feb 20- Chicago soybean futures rose to a seven-month high on Tuesday with the market climbing for five out of six sessions, buoyed by poor rains over the weekend in Argentina's drought-hit oilseed growing areas. The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade added 0.9 percent to $10.30-3/ 4 a bushel by 0207 GMT, near the session high of...

  • TOKYO, Feb 20- Japan's Nikkei share average dropped on Tuesday morning as investors wasted no time to lock in profits from the previous day's rally, while such financial shares as banks and insurers underperformed. The Nikkei dropped 1.4 percent to 21,831.66 in midmorning trade, after rising 2 percent on Monday. The banking sector was the worst sectoral...

  • *Crude reaches 2- wk highs amid Middle East tensions, gold steady. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan shed 0.5 percent. Australian stocks fell 0.3 percent, South Korea's KOSPI lost 0.7 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 0.85 percent.

  • *Overall markets well supported by ongoing OPEC production cuts. SINGAPORE, Feb 20- Oil markets were split on Tuesday, with U.S. crude was pushed up by reduced flows from Canada while international Brent prices eased. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were at $62.16 a barrel at 0153 GMT, up 48 cents, or 0.8 percent, from their last settlement.

  • *Spot gold was down 0.2 percent at $1,343.22 an ounce at 0112 GMT. *U.S. gold futures slipped 0.8 percent to $1,345.70 per ounce. *Euro zone finance ministers expressed broad support on Monday to allow their bailout fund ESM to become a backstop for the Single Resolution Fund for banks, the chairman of the ministers Mario Centeno told a news conference.

  • *Spot gold was down 0.2 percent at $1,343.22 an ounce at 0112 GMT. *U.S. gold futures slipped 0.8 percent to $1,345.70 per ounce. *Euro zone finance ministers expressed broad support on Monday to allow their bailout fund ESM to become a backstop for the Single Resolution Fund for banks, the chairman of the ministers Mario Centeno told a news conference.

  • SYDNEY, Feb 20- U.S. soybean futures rose 1 percent on Tuesday to hit a near seven-month high as dry weather across key producing regions in Argentina crimps production from one of the world's largest exporters. *The most active soybean futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade were up 1 percent at $10.31-1/ 2 a bushel by 0113 GMT, near the session high of $10.33-1/ 2 a...

  • U.S. soybean futures rose 1 percent on Tuesday to hit a near seven-month high as dry weather across key producing regions in Argentina crimps production from one of the world's largest exporters. *The most active soybean futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade were up 1 percent at $10.31-1/ 2 a bushel by 0113 GMT, near the session high of $10.33-1/ 2 a bushel- the highest...

  • TOKYO, Feb 20- The dollar steadied on Tuesday after pulling ahead from a three-year low against a currency basket the previous day, though it was dogged by growing concerns a ballooning fiscal deficit in the United States could disrupt the economy. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, which stoked concerns the United States could pursue a weaker dollar policy as...

  • SAO PAULO, Feb 19- GPA SA, one of Brazil's largest food retailers, announced on Monday evening a shake-up of its management team, replacing its CEO and the head of a subsidiary just moments before releasing full-year results. In a related move, Flavio Dias will become the CEO of appliance and electronics subsidiary Via Varejo SA, replacing Estermann, who had been...