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  • Jan 23- The Canadian arm of Toys "R" Us Inc said on Tuesday that about 180 of its stores will be shut in the United States in the coming months, as the toy store chain tries to emerge from one of the largest ever bankruptcies by a specialty retailer. All 83 Toys "R" Us Ltd stores will remain open for business as usual, said president of the Canadian unit, Melanie Teed-Murch, in a...

  • *Soybeans ease from 6- week top, Argentina dryness supports. SINGAPORE, Jan 24- Chicago soybean futures slid from a six-week high on Wednesday, easing after seven consecutive sessions of gains, though concerns about dry weather hurting yields in Argentina provided some support. "Argentina weather will remain supportive for soybean prices but at this stage I...

  • *Trade balance +359.0 bln yen vs forecast +530.0 bln yen. TOKYO, Jan 24- Japans exports to China and Asia hit record levels as shipments rose for a 13th straight month in December and manufacturing growth hit a four-year high in January, pointing to an economy that powered through the fourth quarter and into 2018. The Ministry of Finance said on Wednesday that...

  • TOKYO, Jan 24- Japanese government bond prices edged higher on Wednesday, with the Bank of Japan's stance towards maintaining its easy policy providing support. March 10- year JGB futures rose 0.06 point to 150.53. The BOJ kept monetary settings unchanged as expected on Tuesday and Governor Haruhiko Kuroda hosed down market speculation of a shift away from...

  • *Oil prices ease back a touch, Brent still near $70 a barrel. SYDNEY, Jan 24- Asian share markets took a time out on Wednesday as investors were left breathless at the breakneck pace of recent gains, while a fresh burst of speculative selling took the U.S. dollar to three-year lows. Early Wednesday, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan eased 0.2...

  • HANOI, Vietnam— A court in Vietnam has started the trial of a former executive accused of embezzling from the state oil giant and who Germany says was kidnapped from there by Vietnamese agents last year. Trinh Xuan Thanh is the former chairman of PetroVietnam's construction arm and is accused of embezzling $622,000 from a property project.

  • TOKYO— Japan reports its exports rose 12 percent in 2017 from a year earlier in a strong tailwind for the economy, while imports jumped 14 percent. The recovery in trade is driving stronger growth in Japan, though the trade surplus dropped 25 percent to 3 trillion yen. A rebound in shipments to China as its economy gains momentum has been a boon for Japan's...

  • WASHINGTON, Jan 23- President Donald Trump plans to nominate tax lawyer Charles "Chuck" Rettig to serve as commissioner of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, Politico reported on Tuesday, citing multiple sources with knowledge of the White House selection process. Asked about the report, a White House spokeswoman said the administration had no personnel...

  • SINGAPORE, Jan 24- Oil prices fell on Wednesday, weighed down by data that showed an increase in U.S. crude oil and gasoline inventories. Spot Brent crude oil futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $69.78 a barrel at 0223 GMT, down 15 cents from their last close. The American Petroleum Institute said late on Tuesday that crude inventories rose by...

  • SYDNEY, Jan 24- U.S. soybean prices edged down for the first time in seven sessions on Wednesday, though prices lingered near a five-week high amid concerns that dry weather in South America will hamper production. *The most active soybean futures on the Chicago Board of Trade were down 0.1 percent at $9.85-3/ 4 a bushel by 0159 GMT. *Oil prices were firm on Wednesday,...

  • BEIJING, Jan 24- Shanghai copper prices fell as much as 2.1 percent in early trade to a six-week low on Wednesday, tracking a sharp decline in London on Tuesday after London Metal Exchange refined copper inventories surged. *The most-traded March copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange was down 1.7 percent to 52,750 yuan a tonne, as of 0214 GMT.

  • LOS ANGELES— An alliance of California marijuana growers filed a lawsuit Tuesday to block state rules that they fear could open the way for vast farms that would drive smaller cultivators out of business or send them into the black market. The lawsuit, filed in Sacramento County Superior Court by the California Growers Association, comes just weeks after the...

  • WASHINGTON— Google parent Alphabet Inc. outspent all other companies on lobbying Washington bureaucrats and politicians in 2017, a year in which it and other tech giants were hauled before legislators probing Russian influence in the 2016 election. The search giant doled out $13.6 million on lobbying firms like Prime Policy Group and Gephardt Group,...

  • TOKYO, Jan 24- Japan's Nikkei share average took a breather on Monday morning after rising to a fresh 26- year high in the previous session, as weakness in exporters such as Murata and Fanuc offset gains in real estate stocks. The Nikkei dropped 0.4 percent to 24,021.73 in midmorning trade, after touching 24,129.34 on the previous day, the highest level since...

  • SINGAPORE, Jan 24- The dollar touched a four-month low against the yen on Wednesday, pressured by simmering concerns that the U.S. currency's yield advantage will start to erode as major central banks head toward unwinding their massive stimulus. said Stephen Innes, head of trading in Asia-Pacific for Oanda in Singapore. The dollar slipped to as low as 110.06 yen...

  • SHANGHAI, Jan 24- China's central bank on Wednesday set its official yuan midpoint to the strongest level in more than two years at 6.3916 per dollar, breaching the key 6.4 per dollar level, supported by broad weakness in the greenback in global markets overnight. Wednesday's midpoint was 93 pips, or 0.15 percent, firmer than Tuesday's fix of 6.4009 and was the...

  • LOS ANGELES, Jan 23- Electric vehicle maker and solar installer Tesla Inc. said on Tuesday that it does not expect President Donald Trump's solar tariff to have much impact on its high-tech solar manufacturing ambitions, thanks to a clause exempting a vast amount of solar panel components from the levies. Only 500 MW worth of solar cells were imported into the...

  • *OPEC/ Russian led production restraint has tightened oil supplies. Economic growth is translating into healthy oil demand growth, which comes at a time that OPEC and Russia lead production cuts aimed at tightening the market and propping up prices. Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia/Pacific at futures brokerage Oanda in Singapore said a "beaming economic...

  • *Spot gold was nearly unchanged at $1,340.63 per ounce at 0100 GMT. *The U.S. Senate on Tuesday confirmed Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell as the next head of the central bank, succeeding Janet Yellen, a move likely to provide continuity in U.S. monetary policy with the economy growing now for nine years straight. *North Korea said on Tuesday it had a "powerful...

  • LONDON, Jan 23- U.S. natural gas prices have bounced sharply from their lows in December after a sustained spell of exceptionally cold temperatures pushed stocks near to the bottom of their five-year range. Futures prices for gas delivered to Henry Hub in February have risen more than 25 percent since Dec. 21. Hedge fund managers cut a net long position in futures...