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  • NEW YORK, Dec 13- The Rockport Group is exploring its options, including a possible sale, after one of the U.S. footwear maker's major debtholders took ownership of the company, people familiar with the matter said Wednesday. Alternative asset manager Crescent Capital Group LP, a major creditor of Rockport, took ownership of the footwear seller in recent weeks...

  • SYDNEY, Dec 14- Australian employment surged past all expectations in November, rising the most in more than two years and extending a dream run of 14 straight months of gains, while the jobless rate remained near five-year lows. Thursday's figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed a lofty 61,600 net new jobs were added last month, compared with...

  • BEIJING, Dec 14- Property investment in China rose 7.5 percent in January-November from the same period a year earlier, slowing from an 7.8 percent gain in the first 10 months of 2017, official data showed on Thursday. A property boom has been a major growth driver for China's economy this year, but it has been expected to slow as more cities unveil measures to curb...

  • BEIJING, Dec 14- Foreign direct investment into China rose 90.7 percent year-on-year to 124.92 billion yuan, the commerce ministry said on Thursday. In the first 11 months, FDI rose 9.8 percent to 803.62 billion. In January-November, overseas direct investment fell 33.5 percent to $107.55 billion.

  • BUENOS AIRES/ WASHINGTON Dec 13- The World Trade Organization failed to reach any new agreements on Wednesday, ending a three-day ministerial conference in discord in the face of stinging U.S. criticism of the group and vetoes from other countries. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, to suggest that negotiations among smaller groups of "like-minded" WTO...

  • HONG KONG, Dec 14- Chinese consumer lending firm Lexinfintech has slashed the size of its initial public offering to between $108 million and $132 million- a move that comes in the wake of a crackdown by Beijing on fast-growing online micro-lenders. Lexinfintech, which focuses on loans to educated young adults between 18 and 36 including loans for e-commerce...

  • SYDNEY, Dec 14- U.S. wheat futures rose for a second consecutive session on Thursday to hit a six-day high, though gains were capped amid bumper global supplies. *The most active wheat futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade were up 0.4 percent to $4.18-1/ 2 a bushel, as of 0152 GMT, near the session high of $4.19 a bushel, the highest since Dec. 8. *The U.S. Department of...

  • BEIJING, Dec 14- China's fixed-asset investment growth slowed to 7.2 percent in the January-November period, while industrial output expanded at a faster pace than markets had expected. Industrial output rose 6.1 percent in November from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday, surpassing analysts' estimates for a rise of 6.0...

  • NEW YORK, Dec 13- U.S. lawmakers from states that produce corn for ethanol plants said on Wednesday they would consider proposals from Senator Ted Cruz of Texas to help the oil refining industry cope with the nation's biofuels regulation, but would never agree on anything that diminishes the program. Representatives of both sides gathered on Wednesday at the...

  • WASHINGTON, Dec 13- A former chemical industry consultant nominated by the Trump administration to head the Environmental Protection Agency's chemical safety and pollution prevention office has withdrawn his nomination, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday. Dourson, a professor at the University of Cincinnati who has worked as a consultant for chemical...

  • SINGAPORE, Dec 14- Oil prices rose on Thursday, lifted by a fourth straight weekly fall in U.S. crude inventories, though rising output capped prices well below the 2015 highs reached earlier this week. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were at $56.81 a barrel at 0123 GMT, up 21 cents, or 0.4 percent, from their last settlement. "A decline in the open interest on the...

  • SHANGHAI, Dec 14- China's central bank set its official yuan midpoint at the highest level in over two weeks at 6.6033 per dollar on Thursday, supported by broad dollar weakness after an anticipated U.S. Federal Reserve interest rate hike. The move in the official midpoint was also the biggest one-day strengthening in percentage terms since Nov. 23.

  • CARACAS, Venezuela— Venezuela's cash-strapped government has quickly settled a lawsuit filed by a state-run Chinese company, making good on an unpaid bill and appeasing an important ally that holds billions in the South American country's debt. The dispute arose at a time when Venezuela is trying to renegotiate billions of dollars in foreign debt amid...

  • *Spot gold was up 0.15 percent at $1,257.11 an ounce as of 0123 GMT, after rising nearly 1 percent in the previous session. *The European Central Bank is likely to bump up some of its economic forecasts on Thursday and may debate tweaking its pledge to keep money at its current, ultra-easy level, but will ultimately reaffirm is policy stance. Deputy Attorney General...

  • *Spot gold was up 0.15 percent at $1,257.11 an ounce as of 0123 GMT, after rising nearly 1 percent in the previous session. *The European Central Bank is likely to bump up some of its economic forecasts on Thursday and may debate tweaking its pledge to keep money at its current, ultra-easy level, but will ultimately reaffirm is policy stance. Deputy Attorney General...

  • *Spot gold was up 0.15 percent at $1,257.11 an ounce as of 0123 GMT, after rising nearly 1 percent in the previous session. *The European Central Bank is likely to bump up some of its economic forecasts on Thursday and may debate tweaking its pledge to keep money at its current, ultra-easy level, but will ultimately reaffirm is policy stance. Deputy Attorney General...

  • *Spot gold was up 0.15 percent at $1,257.11 an ounce as of 0123 GMT, after rising nearly 1 percent in the previous session. *The European Central Bank is likely to bump up some of its economic forecasts on Thursday and may debate tweaking its pledge to keep money at its current, ultra-easy level, but will ultimately reaffirm is policy stance. Deputy Attorney General...

  • SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 13- Apple Inc's $390 million deal with chip supplier Finisar Corp announced on Wednesday helps lock in the supply of a component that Apple believes will play a big role in its future products by bolstering augmented reality features. The investment will enable Apple to "get better supply and better pricing, and it makes it more difficult for...

  • NEW YORK— "Net neutrality" regulations, designed to prevent internet service providers like Verizon, AT&T, Comcast and Charter from favoring some sites and apps over others, are on the chopping block. The FCC in 2015 approved rules, on a party-line vote, that made sure cable and phone companies don't manipulate traffic. The net neutrality rules gave the FCC power to...

  • *MSCI Asia-Pacific index up 0.3 pct, Nikkei up 0.1 pct. TOKYO, Dec 14- Asian stocks edged higher on Thursday after the Federal Reserve delivered a much-anticipated interest rate hike but flagged caution about inflation, tempering expectations for future tightening, which weighed on the dollar and Treasury yields. "The key takeaway from the Fed meeting was the...