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  • FRANKFURT, Dec 13- The European Central Bank formally ended its 2.6 trillion euro crisis-fighting bond purchase scheme on Thursday but promised to keep feeding stimulus for years into an economy struggling with an unexpected slowdown and political turmoil. In a precarious balancing act, ECB President Mario Draghi signaled both confidence about growth and...

  • A slowing economy will bring the U.S. growth rate closer to the stalled economies of China, Europe and Japan and limit inflation, making mortgage-backed securities an attractive alternative to investment-grade credit, Pimco wrote. In Europe, UK financial bonds continue to look attractive given the low probability of a chaotic, no-deal Brexit, the firm noted.

  • At its investor day, Atlanta- based Delta forecast a 4 to 6 percent rise in revenues, compared to an average 5.6 percent rise forecast by Refinitiv data. The lower end of Delta's 2019 profit forecast of $6 to $7 per share also fell short of an average $6.70 forecast by Refinitiv. Delta shares were down $2.29, or 4 percent at $53.97 shortly before noon EST,...

  • FRANKFURT, Dec 13- Shareholders and a major union expressed skepticism on Thursday about speculation of a merger between Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank. Talk of a possible merger between Germany's two largest banks has heated up in the past few weeks as both lenders are still struggling to revitalize their performance a decade on from the financial crisis.

  • FRANKFURT, Dec 13- Shareholders and a major union expressed scepticism on Thursday about speculation of a merger between Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank. Talk of a possible merger between Germany's two largest banks has heated up in the past few weeks as both lenders are still struggling to revitalise their performance a decade on from the financial crisis.

  • Sanofi is heavily reliant on Lantus, its leading product with sales of 4.62 billion euros in 2017, and Mylan's own insulin drug would be its second competitor after Eli Lilly launched its version in late 2016.. "The PTAB decision alone does not affect the existing 30- month stay and Mylan does not have tentative Food and Drug Administration approval for its...

  • *FTSE 100 flat, FTSE 250 down 0.8 pct. The mid-cap FTSE 250 index ended the day down 0.8 percent, giving up early gains as worries that a disorderly Brexit would hurt the economy returned. The FTSE 100 ended the day flat with oil and consumer stocks lagging.

  • MOJAVE, Calif., Dec 13- A Virgin Galactic rocket plane blasted to the edge of space on Thursday and returned safely to the California desert, capping off years of difficult testing to become the first U.S. commercial human flight to reach space since Americas shuttle program ended in 2011.. The test flight foreshadows a new era of civilian space travel that could...

  • WASHINGTON, Dec 13- The number of Americans filing applications for jobless benefits tumbled to near a 49- year low last week, which could ease concerns about a slowdown in the labor market and economy. Tightening labor market conditions bolster expectations that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates at its Dec. 18-19 policy meeting.

  • WASHINGTON, Dec 13- U.S. House of Representatives leader Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday that President Donald Trump has not answered Democrats' budget compromise proposals on measures to keep the federal government open. Trump said on Tuesday he would be proud to shut down the federal government if Democrats don't agree to fund border security, namely his...

  • CHICAGO, Dec 13- Is it time to raise the Social Security retirement age? But according to an economist at the Urban Institute who specializes in employment and retirement decisions made by older Americans, raising the retirement age would inflict serious harm on roughly one-quarter of Social Security beneficiaries. When Social Security was created in 1935,...

  • *Palladium hits all-time high of $1,269.25/ oz. Spot gold eased 0.2 percent to $1,243.27 per ounce at 11:21 a.m. EST, while U.S. gold futures were down 0.2 percent at $1,247.50 per ounce. "It looks like ECB President Mario Draghi was a little more dovish than expected, so we are seeing the euro currency back off and the dollar strengthening, and this is weighing on gold...

  • Arriving in Brussels just a day after a failed attempt to topple her at home, May was met largely by readiness to help from European Union leaders but also by a warning: we will not reopen the divorce agreement struck last month. Britain's departure from the EU, its biggest shift in trade and foreign policy for more than 40 years, is proving anything but smooth,...

  • RICHARD BRANSON SAYS VIRGIN GALACTIC COMPLETED FIRST REVENUE-GENERATING FLIGHT.

  • LONDON, Dec 13- Sterling gave up most of the gains it made after Prime Minister Theresa May survived a no-confidence vote overnight as signs that the British parliament was headed towards deadlock over Brexit prompted traders to take profits. "Sterling made a cautious recovery from the 20- month lows but it is mindful and fragile of the ongoing situation and...

  • *Traders eye UK PM May's Brussels trip after confidence vote. *Optimism on U.S.- China trade relations boosts dollar. NEW YORK, Dec 13- The euro fell against the dollar on Thursday after the European Central Bank as expected halted new bond purchases and promised to maintain policy support for the euro zone due to risks from trade tensions, Brexit and budget woes in...

  • VIRGIN GALACTIC SPACE PLANE REACHED 51.4- MILE APOGEE ABOVE EARTH, REENTERED ATMOSPHERE AT MACH 2.5.

  • JOHANNESBURG, Dec 13- Aspen Pharmacare said on Thursday it expected the conditions for the sale of its infant formula business to be in place by the first quarter of 2019.. Some analysts felt the sale price was too low for what had been Aspen's main income generator. "Currently, each of Aspen's lenders, the South African Reserve Bank and Nestle have consented and/or...

  • Dec 13- Caterpillar Inc said on Thursday Chief Executive Officer Jim Umpleby would take on the additional role of chairman, effective immediately. Umpelby replaces company veteran Doug Oberhleman, who retired as CEO on Dec. 31, 2016 but stayed on as executive board chairman until March 31, 2018. The industry bellwether also said on Thursday its November retail...

  • PARIS, Dec 13- Renault said on Thursday an audit launched in the wake of Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn's arrest in Japan had so far found no irregularities with his pay at the French carmaker. Ghosn was charged on Monday in Japan for failing to declare deferred income he had agreed to receive from Nissan, for the five years ending March 2015. The Renault board also "...