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  • BEIJING, Dec 18- Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd said on Monday it would lead an $863 million investment in apparel platform Vipshop Holdings Ltd, upping its rivalry in retail with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.. Tencent will invest $604 million in exchange for a 7 percent stake in Vipshop, while e-commerce firm JD.com Inc- a long-standing ally- will...

  • ATLANTA— A sudden power outage caused by a fire in an underground electrical facility brought the world's busiest airport to a standstill Sunday, grounding more than 1,000 flights in Atlanta just days before the start of the Christmas travel rush. Georgia Power said on its Twitter page late Sunday that power was back in the airport's atrium and several...

  • *$80 bln maglev line to link Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka. TOKYO, Dec 18- Japanese prosecutors on Monday raided the offices of two of the country's biggest construction firms as they expanded an investigation into suspected collusion over contracts for an $80 billion high-speed magnetic levitation train line. Investigators entered the offices of Shimizu Corp and...

  • TOKYO, Dec 18- Toyota Motor Corp will make more than 10 battery electric car models globally in the early 2020 s, with sales starting in China, the company said on Monday. Toyota will subsequently sell the models in Japan, India, the United States and Europe, it said in a statement. Every Toyota model and luxury-brand Lexus model will either have an electric version or...

  • *Trade balance +113.4 bln yen vs f'cast- 54.9 bln yen- MOF. TOKYO, Dec 18- Japanese exports accelerated sharply in November, yet again pointing to growing momentum in the world's third-biggest economy. "Inflation expectation is in a gradual recovery trend, but a gap between firm economic indicators and weak price indexes remains wide open," said Yuichiro Nagai,...

  • BEIJING, Dec 18- Growth in China's new home prices sustained its momentum in November, with increases seen in provincial centers and smaller cities in a sign policymakers may need to step up curbs to rein in speculation in the property market. China's housing market boom has lasted more than two years, giving the economy a major boost but stirring fears of a...

  • SHANGHAI, Dec 18- China's yuan eased slightly against the U.S. dollar on Monday, dragged lower by a weaker official midpoint and stability in the greenback on optimism over the progress of U.S. tax reform. Prior to market opening on Monday, the People's Bank of China set the midpoint rate at 6.6162 per dollar, 49 pips or 0.07 percent weaker than the previous fix of...

  • *North Sea pipeline outage supports Brent crude prices. SINGAPORE, Dec 18- Oil edged up on Monday, lifted booming U.S. crude output growth may be slowing, although the outlook for oil markets cites ample supplies despite ongoing production cuts led by OPEC. at $57.39 a barrel at 0447 GMT, up 9 cents or 0.2 percent from their last settlement.

  • SHANGHAI, Dec 18- China's main Shanghai stock market slipped slightly on Monday morning, amid concerns over tight year-end liquidity after the central bank lifted interbank market rates. **China's blue-chip CSI300 index was up 0.02 percent, with the consumer staples sector up 1.88 percent, the real estate index down 1.11 percent and healthcare sub-index down...

  • NEW YORK/ SYDNEY, Dec 18- Bitcoin futures received a lukewarm reception at its launch on the CME Group Inc on Sunday, although market experts believe a recent rally in the cryptocurrency has further to go. The reference price, from which price limits are set, is $19,600 for the February contract, $19,700 for March and $19,900 for June, according to CME.

  • *China to tighten financial sector rules in new stage of deleveraging. *China has bought time to defuse credit risks. SHANGHAI, Dec 18- China is in a new phase of its campaign to cut debt, focusing on rules to shrink a bloated financial sector that has grown rapidly as product innovation outpaced regulatory oversight, a senior researcher at the Shanghai Stock...

  • *Spot gold faces resistance at $1,262/ oz- technicals. Dec 18- Gold prices edged lower on Monday, pressured by firmer equities and a buoyant dollar after a bill to overhaul the tax system in the United States moved a step closer to ratification. A Senate vote could come as early as Tuesday and President Donald Trump aims to sign the bill before the week is out.

  • BEIJING, Dec 18- China plans to roll out nationwide by 2020 a system that forces polluters to repair damage to the environment or pay compensation, the official Xinhua news agency reported late on Sunday. China aims to establish a comprehensive damage-compensation system to protect its environment in the next three years, Xinhua reported, citing a document...

  • *MSCI ex- Japan rises 0.2 pct; Japan's Nikkei climbs 0.8 pct. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.2 percent. Japan's Nikkei was the best performer in the region, rising 1.3 percent to edge closer to a 25- year peak of 23,382 points set last month.

  • TOKYO— Share prices were mostly higher in Asia on Monday, lifted by robust trade data from Japan that suggest a sustained recovery in demand in China and other major markets. Last week's strong finish on Wall Street also helped lift regional benchmarks. KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei 225 index jumped 1.4 percent to 22,857.22, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong added...

  • *2- day meeting ends Dec 21, decision expected 0300-0500 GMT. TOKYO, Dec 18- The Bank of Japan is expected to maintain its massive stimulus program at a monetary meeting ending on Thursday despite growing signs of improvement in the economy, keeping its money tap wide open to ensure that recovery translates into higher inflation. BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda may...

  • TOKYO, Dec 18- The dollar held modest gains against its peers on Monday, having received a lift after U.S. tax reform efforts moved another step closer to ratification over the weekend. Top Republicans are confident Congress will now pass the tax bill this week, with a Senate vote as early as Tuesday and President Donald Trump aiming to sign the bill by week's end.

  • MELBOURNE, Dec 18- Shanghai nickel jumped 4 percent on Monday, tracking a move in London after China said it would cut duties on some steel exports, which raised expectations for demand. *Shanghai Futures Exchange nickel surged by more than 4 percent to its highest since Nov. 27, before settling at 93,310 yuan a tonne, a 3.7 percent advance. Shanghai Futures Exchange...

  • *Many global investors turn bullish on Japan equities. *Japan preferred as tactical, cyclical play. "If you look around globally, there are still many investors who have missed the timing to buy because it was such a rapid rise," said Takashi Maruyama, chief investment officer Japan at Fidelity International, referring to the rally that started in mid-September.

  • TOKYO, Dec 18- Japanese stocks rose on Monday with financial and exporter stocks leading gains, offsetting weakness in construction stocks after news prosecutors raided the headquarters of at least two construction firms for alleged antitrust violations. The Nikkei share average gained 1.1 percent to 22,810.56 in midmorning trade, with sentiment boosted...