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  • Feb 20- Johnson& Johnson said Wednesday it has received subpoenas from the U.S. Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission related to litigation involving alleged asbestos contamination in its signature Baby Powder product line. The Justice Department declined to comment and the SEC did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

  • PARIS, Feb 21- AccorHotels, Europe's largest hotel company, posted an 8 percent rise in like-for-like operating profits for 2018, helped by cost controls and robust demand in most key regions including France. The French company said it would invest 225 million euros to support new initiatives to boost its footprint in hospitality and entertainment services.

  • BONN, Germany, Feb 21- Deutsche Telekom forecast that revenues and core earnings would continue to grow in 2019 as Chief Executive Tim Hoettges looks to close a key U.S. merger and invests to acquire spectrum and roll out 5 G services.

  • *Venezuela needs fuel for petrol stations and crude blending. MEXICO CITY/ MOSCOW/ LONDON, Feb 21- Venezuela is paying heavy premiums for fuel imports from Russia and Europe, with fewer than a dozen sellers seeing the risk as worth the reward after flows from the United States dried up because of sanctions, trading sources said and data showed.

  • SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 21- Google has a new cloud computing boss and big ambitions to someday produce more revenue from that business than from advertising. Now comes the hard part: winning over big-spending customers. Alphabet Inc's cloud computing division remains a distant third behind Amazon.com Inc and Microsoft Corp in terms of global revenue, according to...

  • SEATTLE, Feb 21- NASA has warned SpaceX and Boeing Co of design and safety concerns for their competing astronaut launch systems, according to industry sources and a new government report, threatening the U.S. bid to revive its human spaceflight program later this year. NASA is paying SpaceX $2.6 billion and Boeing $4.2 billion to build rocket and capsule launch...

  • WOULD ALSO REDUCE CHANCE OF BENCHMARK CUT- SOURCES.

  • Gold may retrace into $1,321- $1,331 range- technicals. Investors were also keeping a close eye on talks to end a trade dispute between China and the United States. Spot gold had inched up by 0.1 percent to $1,339.88 per ounce as of 0529 GMT, having touched $1,346.73 per ounce in the previous session, its highest level since April 19.

  • *Comes as China aims to become leading chipmaking country. SEOUL, Feb 21- South Korea's SK Hynix Inc on Thursday said it would spend $107 billion building four factories, as the memory chip maker seeks to maintain its competitiveness in the face of Chinese efforts to become a leading chipmaking nation. The plan also intensifies an arms race between South Korea, the...

  • BEIJING, Feb 21- London copper prices edged lower on Thursday, retreating from a seven-month peak hit in the previous session, as the dollar firmed after the Federal Reserve revived expectations for a possible U.S. rate hike this year. "On the demand side, Chinese downstream companies increased their purchases after Chinese New Year holidays," ANZ wrote in a note,...

  • *Soybeans fall after closing up, focus on U.S.- China trade talks. Soybeans slid after closing higher on Wednesday with the market focused on a Washington- Beijing trade deal which could boost U.S. bean exports to China. The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade was up 0.4 percent at $4.82-1/ 2 a bushel by 0412 GMT.

  • *Gold may retrace into $1,321- $1,331 range- technicals. Investors were also keeping a close eye on talks to end a trade dispute between China and the United States. Spot gold had inched up 0.1 percent to $1,340.14 per ounce by 0404 GMT, having touched $1,346.73 per ounce in the previous session, its highest level since April 19.

  • Feb 20- Alphabet Inc's Google said on Wednesday it had made an "error" in not disclosing that its Nest Secure home security system had a built-in microphone in its devices. Earlier this month, Google said https://www.blog.google/products/assistant/nest-secure-google-assistant Nest Secure would be getting an update and users could now enable its virtual...

  • *Q3 net $233 mln vs $289 mln loss year prior. The company, dual-headquartered in China and the United States, is optimistic of further growth in China and will focus on the premium market, CEO and chairman Yang Yuanqing told Reuters after December quarter revenue rose to the highest in four years on a strong showing across its major business groups.

  • *Investors expect U.S., China to reach trade deal next month. TOKYO, Feb 21- Asian shares pulled ahead to fresh 4-1/ 2- month highs on Thursday after the U.S. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged up 0.4 percent to peak last seen in early October.

  • MUMBAI, Feb 20- India will hold wide consultations with internet companies before finalising rules to regulate content on social media but will not hold back from framing laws that safeguard national interest, the countrys technology minister said. India, one of the worlds biggest internet markets, in late December proposed rules that will compel platforms...

  • Feb 21- Samsung Electronics Co Ltd has wowed the smartphone industry with the first mainstream foldable screen, accompanied by a nearly $2,000 price tag that generated heated debate as to whether it may prove too expensive to revive slumping sales. "I am blown away," said Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights& Strategy, adding the phone could help Samsung rejuvenate...

  • PALO ALTO, Calif., Feb 20- With the U.S. economy facing significant headwinds, the Federal Reserve should align its balance sheet policy with its new "patient" approach to interest rates, San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President Mary Daly said on Wednesday. "We don't want the balance sheet to be working at cross purposes with our interest rate policy," Daly told the...

  • *U.S. sanctions vs Iran and Venezuela also prop up prices. SINGAPORE, Feb 21- Oil prices hovered close to 2019 highs on Thursday, bolstered by OPEC- led supply cuts and U.S. sanctions on Venezuela and Iran, but were prevented from rising further by slowing growth in the global economy. Another price driver has been U.S. sanctions against oil exporters Iran and...

  • SYDNEY, Feb 21- U.S. wheat futures on Thursday inched further away from a seven-month low touched in the previous session, but gains were checked as North American supply struggled to attract strong international demand. *The most active wheat futures on the Chicago Board of Trade were up 0.4 percent at $4.82-1/ 2 a bushel by 0157 GMT. Egypt's state grains buyer, the...