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Wires

  • *But ongoing OPEC- led output cuts provide crude with some support. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were at $61.32 a barrel at 0307 GMT, down 47 cents, or 0.8 percent, from their last settlement. Wang Tao, Reuters technical commodity analyst, said Brent could fall into a range of $63.92 to $64.41 per barrel, as suggested by its wave pattern and a projection...

  • *Chicago wheat falls for 3rd day, hits lowest since Feb. 6. SINGAPORE, Feb 21- Chicago wheat prices slid for a third session on Wednesday to mark a two-week low, pressured key exporting countries. The Chicago Board of Trade most-active wheat contract had fallen 0.6 percent to $4.46-1/ 2 a bushel by 0252 GMT, its weakest since Feb. 6.

  • TOKYO, Feb 21- Japanese shares led Asian markets higher after a weak start on Wednesday, with Japanese export focused companies attracting investors as the dollar gained against the yen thanks to U.S. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan took early cues from overnight losses on Wall Street and lost 0.1 percent before rising 0.5 percent.

  • TOKYO, Feb 21- Japan plans to buy at least 20 additional F-35A stealth fighters over the next six years, some or all of which it may purchase directly from Lockheed Martin Corp in the United States rather than assemble locally, three sources said. The sources said buying complete aircraft from the United States, at about $100 million each, will save Japan about $30...

  • JAPAN TO BUY AT LEAST 20 MORE F-35A FIGHTERS IN BID TO BOLSTER AIR DEFENCES-SOURCES.

  • The official with direct knowledge of the matter said GM had also asked South Korea to inject funds into GM Korea in which the country's state bank also holds a stake. Last week, the U.S. automaker announced it would shut down a factory in Gunsan, southwest of Seoul, and said it was mulling the fate of its three remaining plants in South Korea. In return, GM requested...

  • MANILA, Feb 21- London copper futures edged lower on Wednesday as the dollar held near one-week highs versus a basket of currencies, with trading volumes in Asia staying lean as Chinese markets remained shut for the Lunar New Year break. *CHINA HANKING: China Hanking Holdings Ltd launched a takeover bid for Australia's Primary Gold Ltd in line with a plan to build a...

  • SEOUL, Feb 21- South Korea's trade minister said on Wednesday the government has asked for an audit into General Motors "opaque" management in the country in the wake of the carmaker's decision to shut down a factory in a city southwest of Seoul. "By opaque we mean the high rate of profits to raw material costs, interest payments regarding loans and unfair financial...

  • SYDNEY, Feb 21- U.S. soybean prices inched down on Wednesday, but stayed close to their highest in nearly seven months on concerns that dry weather in Argentina could cause large-scale production losses. *The most active soybean futures on the Chicago Board of Trade were down 0.4 percent at $10.22 a bushel by 0201 GMT. *Sizzling conditions in Argentina since...

  • HOUSTON, Feb 20- An oil and gas worker on a Talos Energy LLC platform in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico was killed on Saturday while replacing piping, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said on Tuesday. The Houston- based company said it has initiated an investigation and was working with regulators in its review of the accident, which occurred about 64...

  • Feb 21- Gold extended its fall on Wednesday as the dollar remained strong on rising treasury yields, while investors awaited the minutes of the U.S. *Spot gold had slipped by 0.1 percent to $1,328.65 an ounce at 0130 GMT and was down for a fourth straight session. *U.S. gold futures were down 0.01 percent at $1,331.1 per ounce.

  • CARACAS, Feb 20- President Nicolas Maduro said Tuesday that Venezuela had received $735 million in the first day of a pre-sale of the country's petro cryptocurrency, aimed at pulling the country out of an economic tailspin. Maduro is hoping the petro will allow the ailing OPEC member to skirt U.S. sanctions as the bolivar currency plunges to record lows and it...

  • SEOUL, Feb 21- South Korea's cryptocurrency industry is anticipating much better times as the market regulator changes tack from its tough stance on the virtual coin trade, promising instead to help promote blockchain technology. "The whole world is now framing the outline and therefore should rather work more on normalisation than increasing regulation,"...

  • TOKYO, Feb 21- Japan's Nikkei share average edged up on Wednesday morning in choppy trade as gains in chip stocks and other exporters got a boost from steady dollar-yen levels, which offset weakness in such financial stocks as banks, securities and insurers. The Nikkei gained 0.3 percent to 21,979.91 in midmorning trade, after dipping in negative territory.

  • West Texas Intermediate crude futures were at $61.37 a barrel at 0144 GMT, down 42 cents, or 0.7 percent, from their last settlement. Wang Tao, Reuters technical commodity analyst, said Brent could fall into a range of $63.92- $64.41 per barrel, as suggested by its wave pattern and a projection analysis. "The U.S. dollar continues to find firmer footing," said Stephen...

  • FRANKFURT, Feb 21- Rapid advances in artificial intelligence are raising risks that malicious users will soon exploit the technology to mount automated hacking attacks, cause driverless car crashes or turn commercial drones into targeted weapons, a new report warns. The study, published on Wednesday by 25 technical and public policy researchers from...

  • SINGAPORE, Feb 21- The dollar steadied against a basket of currencies on Wednesday, having pulled up from three-year lows set last week as traders shaved off some of the bearish bets against the U.S. currency. Against the yen, the greenback edged up 0.1 percent to 107.41 yen, having bounced from a 15- month low of 105.545 yen set on Friday. "It's mainly a positioning...

  • LONDON, Feb 20 (Reuters)- U.S. gasoline consumption has levelled off as the stimulus provided by low and falling oil prices between 2014 and 2016 has faded, so refiners are increasingly turning to diesel and customers in emerging markets. U.S. gasoline consumption is forecast to rise by just 40,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2018, after remaining essentially...

  • TORONTO _ New Gold Inc. on Tuesday reported a loss of $195.6 million in its fourth quarter. The average estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 2 cents per share. This story was generated by Automated Insights using data from Zacks Investment Research.

  • PLANO, Texas _ Rent-A-Center Inc. on Tuesday reported fourth-quarter net income of $34.8 million, after reporting a loss in the same period a year earlier. The average estimate of six analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for a loss of 7 cents per share. Six analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $658.5 million.