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Wires

  • NEW YORK/ SYDNEY, Dec 11- Bitcoin futures jumped more than 20 percent in their eagerly anticipated U.S. debut, which backers hope will encourage wider use and legitimacy for the world's largest cryptocurrency even as critics warn of the risk of a bubble and price collapse. The one-month bitcoin contract opened trade at 6 pm at $15,460, dipped briefly and then rose...

  • SHANGHAI, Dec 11- China's yuan edged up against the dollar on Monday, reflecting a firmer midpoint in cautious trading as investors looked to the Federal Reserve policy meeting clues on the pace of U.S. monetary tightening next year. "The yuan remains handcuffed by domestic economic uncertainty but as we enter the year-end stretch run a resurgent USD is likely to...

  • *MSCI ex- Japan up 0.4 pct, well above recent 2- month trough. SYDNEY, Dec 11- The craze for cryptocurrencies entered a new chapter on Monday as bitcoin futures rocketed by one-fifth of their value at a closely-watched launch, while Asian shares climbed amid optimism about global growth. The most-traded contract on the Chicago- based CBOE Global Markets exchange...

  • SHANGHAI, Dec 11- China and Hong Kong stocks rose on Monday, aided by strength in consumer and financial shares. **The largest percentage losers on the Shanghai index were Shanghai Diesel Engine Co Ltd down 4.7 percent, followed by Guanghui Energy Co Ltd losing 3.17 percent and Gansu Ronghua Industry Group Co Ltd down by 2.85 percent. **So far this year, the Shanghai...

  • *Spot gold still targets $1,239/ oz- technicals. Dec 11- Gold prices steadied above a four-month low on Monday, but lacked upward momentum as expectations of higher interest rates in the United States supported the dollar. The dollar was steady in early Asian trade, buoyed by stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs data and expectations of higher interest rates in the...

  • BEIJING, Dec 8- Chinese coal imports rose in November from the month before on firm demand during the winter heating season, even as Beijing encourages a shift to cleaner fuels in its battle against pollution. "Coal traders are seeking cheaper fuel from overseas markets as miners in China have been ordered to cut capacity to tackle environmental and safety...

  • *Output rise undermines OPEC- led efforts to tighten market. SINGAPORE, Dec 11- Oil prices fell on Monday as last week's rise in the U.S. rig count pointed to a further increase in American production that could undermine OPEC- led efforts to tighten markets. A statement by Kuwait's oil minister that OPEC and other oil producers will study before June next year the...

  • WELLINGTON, Dec 11- New Zealand's government on Monday named pension fund chief Adrian Orr as the new governor of the nation's central bank, triggering a rally in the local dollar as markets prepared for changes to the monetary policy mandate. Orr will take up the role at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand on March 27, Finance Minister Grant Robertson said in an...

  • TOKYO— Share prices were higher in Asia on Monday, lifted by encouraging employment data from the U.S. that took the Standard& Poor's 500 index to its third straight weekly gain on Friday despite weakness earlier in the week. KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei 225 stock index was up 0.2 percent at 22,855.98 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index gained 0.5 percent to 28,777.13.

  • Guangxi, Jiangxi, Hainan, Inner Mongolia, Hubei, Shaanxi, Tianjin, Hebei, Liaoning, Jilin, Qinghai, Heilongjiang and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps can all pay less than one year's worth of pensions to workers covered under the respective funds, the official Beijing News reported, citing China's 2016 Social Security Development Annual Report.

  • Guangxi, Jiangxi, Hainan, Inner Mongolia, Hubei, Shaanxi, Tianjin, Hebei, Liaoning, Jilin, Qinghai, Heilongjiang and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps can all pay less than one year's worth of pensions to workers covered under the respective funds, the official Beijing News reported, citing China's 2016 Social Security Development Annual Report.

  • *Spot gold was nearly unchanged at $1,247.80 an ounce by 0045 GMT, after hitting its lowest since July 26 at $1,243.71 on Dec. 7. Senator Susan Collins, whose support was crucial in passing the Senate tax reform bill earlier this month, said on Sunday she has not yet decided whether she will back the final measure negotiated by House and Senate leaders.

  • SYDNEY, Dec 11- U.S. soybean futures fell on Monday for a fourth consecutive session as forecasts for rain across South America pushed prices to a 10- day low on expectations of increased output amid already ample global supplies. The most active soybean futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade were down 0.4 percent to $9.85-3/ 4 a bushel by 0237 GMT, near the session...

  • SYDNEY, Dec 11- The front-month bitcoin futures contract on the Chicago- based CBOE Futures Exchange surged past $17,000 on Monday, the first day of trading. The January contract opened at $15,460 in New York on Sunday evening, before leaping to a high of $17,170 during Asian hours. They were last quoted at $17,120, a more than $1,000 premium to the price on Gemini...

  • TOKYO, Dec 11- Japanese stocks struggled for traction on Monday as gains in financial shares were offset by drops in real estate and construction companies, with Obayashi Corp diving more than 8 percent. Obayashi tumbled on reports that it is under investigation on suspicion of rigging contracts for Japan's magnetic levitation train line.

  • MELBOURNE, Dec 11- London metal prices were upbeat early on Monday, tracking climbs in materials used to make steel, with zinc also lifted as a crackdown on pollution in China dampens growth in mine supply. *LONDON COPPER: LME copper had risen 0.4 percent to $6,602 a tonne by 0139 GMT, after closing little changed in the previous session and finishing the week down...

  • *Output rise undermines OPEC- led efforts to tighten market. SINGAPORE, Dec 11- Oil prices fell on Monday, pulled down as the latest rise in the U.S. rig count pointed to a further increase in American production, potentially undermining efforts led by OPEC to tighten markets. "The largest concern for investors currently remains the rise in the U.S. rig count, which...

  • SEOUL, South Korea— South Korea added several North Korean groups and individuals to its sanctions list Monday in a largely symbolic move that is part of efforts to cut off funding for the North's weapons programs. Seoul is among the first to respond to North Korea's Nov. 29 missile launch with fresh sanctions. Separately on Monday, South Korea, the United States...

  • SYDNEY, Dec 11- U.S. soybeans fell for a fourth consecutive session on Monday, hitting a 10- day low as forecasts for favorable weather across South America stoked expectations of ample global supplies. *The most active soybean futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade were down 0.4 percent to $9.86 a bushel, near the session low of $9.85-1/ 2 a bushel- the lowest since Dec....

  • The most-traded contract on the Chicago- based CBOE Global Markets exchange opened at $15,460 in New York on Sunday evening, before leaping to a high of $16,660. They were last quoted at $16,420, a near $1,300 premium to the price on the Luxembourg- based Bitstamp. "Bitcoin's price surge continues to look like another speculative mania," said Shane Oliver, chief...