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  • MOSCOW— Sprawling Russian conglomerate Sistema says a court has frozen some of its assets to secure a pending $2 billion lawsuit from Russia's largest oil company, the state-owned Rosneft. Rosneft, led by a close ally of President Vladimir Putin, last week sued Sistema for damages related to its ownership of oil company Bashneft that Rosneft bought last year.

  • LONDON, Dec 13- European bourses opened on a cautious note on Wednesday despite gains on Wall Street and in Asia as investors await a U.S. Federal reserve meeting and assess the political implications of Donald Trump's setback in a bitter Senate election in Alabama. "Last night's new U.S. records aren't expected to translate through to this morning's open in...

  • BERLIN— The operator of a major natural gas hub in Austria where an explosion left one person dead and 21 injured says gas flow in all pipelines to and from the plant has been restored. The facility at Baumgarten an der March, east of Vienna, was taken offline after Tuesday's explosion, and gas transport to countries south and southeast of Austria, including Italy,...

  • MADRID, Dec 13- Inditex, the world's biggest clothes retailer and owner of Zara stores, reported a slowdown in sales growth in its third quarter on Wednesday as Europe's warm autumn kept shoppers away, although analysts pointed to a brighter end of the year. Fashion retailers such as Next and John Lewis have already reported a hit from warmer-than-usual weather...

  • Dec 13- Hong Kong stocks rebounded on Wednesday, underpinned by services and financial firms. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 1.83 percent to 11,519.79. **Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex- Japan stock index was firmer by 0.51 percent while Japan's Nikkei index closed down 0.47 percent.

  • *Russian gas flows to Italy have resumed. VIENNA, Dec 13- All main arteries supplying neighboring countries from Austria's main gas pipeline hub were back online before midnight after an explosion there shut it down on Tuesday, the operating company said on Wednesday. The Baumgarten site in eastern Austria is a major regional transfer node, taking gas from as far...

  • LONDON, Dec 13- The start of trading in government bond and stock market futures on the derivatives and futures exchange Eurex was delayed by around 50 minutes on Wednesday after the platform suffered "serious issues." The opening of trading on Eurex at 0700 GMT was delayed as the exchange was experiencing "serious issues. The technical problems had little impact...

  • *U.S. stock futures, dollar fall as Democrat wins Alabama race. *Spot gold may rebound to $1,250 resistance level- technicals. U.S. stock futures, Treasury yields and the dollar fell as Democrat Doug Jones beat Republican Roy Moore in a bitter U.S. Senate race in Alabama, dealing a political blow to Trump in a race marked by accusations of sexual misconduct against...

  • EVERETT, Wash.— This is the lesson that the working-class city of Everett has learned: It takes a community to rescue the hardcore homeless. Hil Kaman left his job prosecuting the homeless and took up the challenge of finding solutions. In two years, Everett's specialized team has found some form of housing for 14 chronically homeless people on its by-name list.

  • MADRID— The owner of Zara fashion stores says net profit surged by 6 percent in the first nine months of its fiscal year as it continued its international expansion with both online and physical stores. Inditex clothes retailer said on Tuesday that net profit from February through October was 2.34 billion euros, compared with 2.2 billion euros for the same...

  • National anthem protests in the NFL. These were some of the people, topics and memes that trended to the top of Google searches in 2017. The search terms reflected the United States in upheaval over sexual misconduct allegations against powerful men, reeling from the tumultuous presidency of Donald Trump, and people around the world searching for information...

  • WASHINGTON— On the day when Janet Yellen will hold her final news conference as Federal Reserve chair, the Fed has left little doubt what it plans to do Wednesday: Raise its benchmark interest rate for the third time this year. The central bank finally raised rates modestly in December 2015 and then again in December 2016 and in March and June this year.

  • TOKYO, Dec 13- Oil prices rose on Wednesday as industry data showed a larger-than-expected drawdown in U.S. crude stockpiles, while expectations for an extended shutdown of a major North Sea crude pipeline also continued to bolster markets. It had settled down $1.35, or 2.1 percent, on Tuesday on a wave of profit-taking after news of a key North Sea pipeline...

  • EDINBURGH, Dec 13- Serco said on Wednesday its full-year underlying trading profit would come in around the top end of its guidance range after the British outsourcer secured a number of key contracts and reduced costs. "Some markets, and in particular the UK, are currently growing more slowly than their former trend rate," Rupert Soames, Serco's Chief Executive,...

  • COPENHAGEN, Dec 13- Danish brewer Carlsberg has edged closer to reaching an agreement with the Vietnamese government to increase its stake in Habeco, one of Vietnam's biggest brewers, which it hopes will speed up the process. Vietnam has one of the world's most attractive beer markets and the biggest in Southeast Asia, buoyed by a young population that consumed...

  • COPENHAGEN, Dec 13- Danish brewer Carlsberg has edged closer to reaching an agreement with the Vietnamese government to increase its stake in Habeco, one of Vietnam's biggest brewers, which it hopes will speed up the process. Vietnam has one of the world's most attractive beer markets and the biggest in Southeast Asia, buoyed by a young population that consumed...

  • *Democrat beats Trump-backed candidate in Alabama. TOKYO, Dec 13- U.S. stock futures, Treasury yields and the dollar dipped on Wednesday as Democrat Doug Jones beat Republican Roy Moore in a bitter U.S. Senate race in Alabama, while Asian shares gained as crude oil futures took back some lost ground. "The U.S. dollar is on the backfoot after Jones has scored an upset...

  • LONDON, Dec 13- The opening of trading on Eurex was delayed on Wednesday and the exchange said the platform was experiencing "serious issues". Eurostoxx 50 and DAX futures as well as German, French and British government bond futures failed to open at 0700 GMT and were still not trading by 0730 GMT. On its website, Eurex said the exact timeline of the start of trading...

  • MELBOURNE, Dec 13- London copper edged higher on Wednesday as the dollar eased after hitting one-month highs earlier on expectations that the U.S. The dollar slipped against a basket of currencies after a Democrat won a bitter fight for a U.S. Senate seat in deeply conservative Alabama, reducing Republicans' already narrow Senate majority further.

  • TOKYO, Dec 13- Toyota Motor Corp and Panasonic Corp said on Wednesday they are considering jointly developing batteries for electric vehicles, a partnership that could help Panasonic extend its market lead in automotive lithium-ion batteries. Panasonic is the main EV battery supplier for luxury U.S. car maker Tesla Inc. The electronics firm commands 29...