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Wires

  • BERLIN— Thousands of European travelers could be left stranded by the bankruptcy of Austrian budget carrier Niki. Hopes for a swift rescue of Niki, a division of bankrupt Air Berlin, were dashed Wednesday when Lufthansa dropped its bid for the airline following resistance from the European Commission. It said several other airlines have offered to fly...

  • EDINBURGH, Dec 14- Shares in Capita hit a 12- year low on Thursday after the troubled British outsourcer cautioned that upcoming work was unlikely to boost profit in the short term, dashing hopes that 2018 would mark its recovery. Capita, rebuilding after a series of profit warnings last year, said the market for major contracts remained "subdued" sending its...

  • CANBERRA, Australia— Australia's financial crime intelligence agency has widened its allegations against the country's largest bank, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, of failing to comply with measures to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing. The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Center, better known as AUSTRAC, on Thursday...

  • LONDON, Dec 14- The dollar held at more than one-week lows on Thursday after the U.S. central bank kept its economic forecasts unchanged with investors expecting more losses if the European Central Bank outlines a more optimistic outlook on the economy. Against the euro, the dollar was slightly weaker on the day at $1.1824 with traders focused on a ECB policy...

  • BERN, Dec 14- The Swiss National Bank maintained its ultra-loose monetary policy stance on Thursday, saying it would keep its negative interest rates in place to combat the "highly valued" Swiss franc. The SNB kept the target range for its benchmark three-month interest rate at minus 1.25 percent to minus 0.25 percent, in line with expectations of analysts polled...

  • LONDON, Dec 14- The global oil market will likely show a surplus in the first half of 2018, as rising U.S. supply offsets OPEC's discipline in maintaining its production cuts for the whole of next year, the International Energy Agency said on Thursday. "Total supply growth could exceed demand growth: indeed, in the first half the surplus could be 200,000 barrels per...

  • Her allegations- denied by the man accused of the assault on a domestic Vistara flight in India- triggered online outrage and prompted a rare police investigation. The incident, coming shortly after Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's sister Randi, a Silicon Valley executive, said via social media that she had been a victim of sexual harassment on an Alaska...

  • ISTANBUL— Turkey's official news agency says police have summoned an FBI official stationed in Turkey, in connection with testimony in a U.S. federal corruption case against a Turkish banker. Anadolu Agency said Wednesday evening that the FBI attache was "invited" after a former Turkish deputy police chief reportedly told the jury in New York that the FBI paid...

  • BEIJING— Chinese authorities have commandeered supplies of natural gas to heat homes, disrupting supplies to industry, after efforts to clear smog-choked air by banning coal use led to energy shortages in frigid weather. The disruption highlights the difficulties of massive government efforts to clean up China's smog-choked cities and reduce reliance on...

  • *ECB to keep taps open while China, U.S. tighten policy. LONDON, Dec 14- High-grade euro zone government bond yields held near recent lows ahead of a European Central Bank meeting at which ratesetters are expected to play down strong growth and inflation numbers. The world's two largest economies, the United States and China, both tightened policy overnight, but the...

  • MOSCOW, Dec 14- Moscow's Arbitration Court on Thursday rejected a claim by Germany's Siemens that the sale of its turbines which were delivered to Crimea was invalid. In August, the same court rejected a request by Siemens to seize its gas turbines, which had turned up in Crimea contrary to EU sanctions. Russia is under Western sanctions for its involvement in the...

  • WASHINGTON— Generous tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest Americans would be delivered in a sweeping overhaul of the tax laws, under a new agreement crafted by Republicans in Congress. The agreement reached Wednesday by House and Senate GOP leaders also calls for scrapping a major tax requirement of the "Obamacare" health law, a step toward the ultimate...

  • TOKYO, Dec 14- Japanese e-commerce firm Rakuten Inc said it would apply for a 4 G mobile license, aiming to become the country's fourth major wireless carrier in a strategic shift that had analysts warning of an uphill battle to gain customers. Rakuten, which operates one of Japan's most popular shopping websites, said it hoped to gain a new engine of growth, adding...

  • TOKYO, Dec 14- Japan's JERA Co, a fuel purchasing joint venture of Tokyo Electric Power and Chubu Electric Power, has agreed with French utility EDF's trading arm to expand their existing cooperation into liquefied natural gas. "JERA and EDFT believe that there is significant room for optimizing LNG on a global basis, establishing a more liquid market, and over...

  • LONDON, Dec 14- British online grocer Ocado suffered a slow down in retail sales growth in its latest quarter, hurt by a shortage of drivers which it said was affecting the wider industry. Ocado, which last month secured its biggest overseas deal so far- a partnership with French supermarket Groupe Casino- said that in certain parts of London and south east England...

  • Despite the Fed's rate rise which is a boost to lenders, banks were the worst-performing sector in Europe as cautious comments from Chair Janet Yellen on persistently low inflation shook investors' confidence in financial stocks. They dragged Europe's STOXX 600 down 0.2 percent, while euro zone blue chips fell 0.1 percent. Attention turned to Europe's...

  • *China Jan-Nov property investment +7.5 pct y/y. BEIJING/ SHANGHAI, Dec 14- China's central bank on Thursday nudged up money market rates as authorities sought to defuse financial risks without imperilling the economy, a balancing act that they have managed successfully so far this year as activity remained broadly steady. A flurry of data on the day...

  • TOKYO, Dec 14- Japan's ruling bloc approved a plan on Thursday to slash the corporate tax rate to around 20 percent from 30 percent- but only for companies that raise wages aggressively and boost domestic capital spending. The carrot-and-stick approach is Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's most aggressive step yet to convince companies to lift wages 3 percent, which...

  • LONDON, Dec 14- South Africa's precious metals miner Sibanye-Stillwater has agreed to buy Lonmin in an all-share deal, valuing the troubled platinum producer at about 285 million pounds, the two companies said on Thursday. Lonmin, the world's third biggest platinum producer, has faced the combined pressures of low platinum prices and challenges of operating...

  • DUBAI, Dec 14- Gulf stock markets were mostly soft in early trade on Thursday, with the Saudi Arabian bourse taking little encouragement from the government's announcement of a 72 billion riyal stimulus package. King Salman issued a royal decree approving 72 billion riyals worth of measures to stimulate growth in the private sector next year.