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  • *Shock contraction fuels rate cut views. SEOUL, April 25- South Korea's economy unexpectedly shrank in the first quarter, marking its worst performance since the global financial crisis, as companies slashed investment and exports slumped in response to Sino-U.S. trade tensions and cooling Chinese demand. A worse-than-expected downturn in the memory chips...

  • SINGAPORE, April 25- U.S. sanctions against Iran have denied its government more than $10 billion in oil revenue, a U.S. official said on Thursday. Special Representative for Iran and Senior Policy Advisor to the Secretary of State, made the comment during a call with reporters days after Washington said it would end all exemptions to sanctions against Iran,...

  • WASHINGTON, April 24- A merit-based immigration proposal being put together by White House senior adviser Jared Kushner could lead to an increase in U.S. visas for highly skilled workers, sources familiar with the effort said on Wednesday. Democrats, whose support the White House would need to advance any kind of immigration legislation through Congress, have...

  • SHANGHAI, April 25- China's central bank lowered its official yuan midpoint to 6.7307 per dollar on Thursday, the weakest level in a month, pressured by broad dollar strength overnight in global markets. Thursday's midpoint was 102 pips, or 0.15 percent, weaker than the previous fix of 6.7205 and was the softest since March 29. The dollar index, which measures the...

  • *The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade was up 0.1 percent at $8.56-1/ 4 a bushel, as of 0114 GMT. *Favourable weather during spring grain sowing in Black Sea producers Russia and Ukraine is increasing the chances of another large grain harvest due to healthy levels of soil moisture, analysts and traders said. *Russia, a major global wheat...

  • SINGAPORE/ JAKARTA, April 25- Indonesia's state-owned energy company Pertamina said late on Wednesday it has bought its first-ever cargo of U.S. crude oil, which is set to arrive at one of its refineries in June. Indonesia is the latest Asian country to import U.S. crude as shale production growth enabled the United States to ship out more competitively-priced...

  • *Wall St shares hover below record highs, supported by earnings. TOKYO, April 25- Asian shares slipped on Thursday as a surprise deterioration in German business morale rekindled fears of slowing global growth, while oil prices pulled back slightly after a sharp run-up earlier in the week. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan eased 0.2...

  • LONDON, April 24- Hedge funds are betting heavily on higher gasoline prices this summer, anticipating that refiners will struggle to produce enough gasoline to replenish depleted stocks while ramping up diesel output for the shipping industry. Funds' net bullish position in gasoline has more than doubled to 115 million barrels from 47 million at the end of...

  • April 24- Microsoft Corp on Wednesday briefly topped $1 trillion in value for the first time after executives predicted continued growth for its cloud computing business. The Redmond, Washington- based company beat Wall Street estimates for quarterly profit and revenue, powered by an unexpected boost in Windows revenue and brisk growth in its cloud business...

  • SEOUL, April 25- South Korea's SK Hynix Inc posted a 69 percent drop in first-quarter operating profit on Thursday, marking its smallest quarterly profit since late 2016 as memory chip prices remain weak. The world's second-biggest memory chip maker behind Samsung Electronics said January-March profit was 1.4 trillion won. That was in line with a 1.4 trillion...

  • **STOCKHOLM- The Riksbank is holding a press conference on monetary policy decision 0900 GMT. OSLO- Norges Bank Governor Oystein Olsen and CEO Yngve Slyngstad give introductory statements before the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs of the Storting 0600 GMT. TOKYO- Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda to speak to reporters at the end of the...

  • TOKYO, April 22- Crown Prince Naruhito, set to become Japan's emperor on May 1, is known as an earnest, studious man who wooed and won his ex-diplomat wife, Crown Princess Masako, with a pledge to protect her. A student of medieval European river transport, Naruhito spent two years at Oxford University, a time he has described as some of the best years of his life.

  • April 24- Tesla Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk suggested on Wednesday a capital raise could be imminent, as the electric vehicle maker lost $700 million in the first quarter and predicted a return to profit in the third. On a call following results, Musk also stepped back from an earlier prediction that the company's Shanghai factory, which is currently being...

  • April 24- Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc beat Wall Street estimates for quarterly revenue and profit on Wednesday, as the restaurant chain's marketing efforts and aggressive investments in online ordering and deliveries attracted more customers. Shares of the company were up 1 percent to $717 in extended trading. The company has rolled out ad campaigns that...

  • April 24- Tesla Inc on Wednesday reported a 36 percent slide in solar installations and said it had implemented a new selling strategy months after ending a partnership to sell the rooftop systems in busy Home Depot stores. U.S. electric vehicle maker Tesla, which reported an overall $702 million loss in the first quarter, inherited the solar business in its $2.6...

  • SEOUL, April 25- South Korea's economy unexpectedly shrank in the first quarter, marking its worst performance since the global financial crisis, as government spending failed to keep up the previous quarter's strong pace and as companies slashed investment. A worse-than-expected downturn in the memory chips sector hit first quarter capital investment,...

  • April 24- Microsoft Corp on Wednesday briefly topped $1 trillion in value for the first time after executives predicted continued growth for its cloud computing business. The Redmond, Washington- based company beat Wall Street estimates for quarterly profit and revenue, powered by an unexpected boost in Windows revenue and brisk growth in its cloud business...

  • TOKYO, April 25- Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito and his wife, Masako, represent a lot of firsts for an imperial couple: university-educated, multilingual and with years of experience living overseas, during which Naruhito even did his own laundry. As they prepare to carve out identities as Japan's emperor and empress, hopes are high they will make the office both...

  • April 24- Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc beat Wall Street estimates for quarterly revenue and profit on Wednesday, as the restaurant chain's marketing efforts and aggressive investments in online ordering and deliveries attracted more customers. The company has rolled out ad campaigns that showcased the fresh ingredients used in its tacos and burritos and...

  • WASHINGTON, April 24- A merit-based immigration proposal being put together by White House senior adviser Jared Kushner could lead to an increase in U.S. visas for highly skilled workers, sources familiar with the effort said on Wednesday. Democrats, whose support the White House would need to advance any kind of immigration legislation through Congress, have...