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  • BEIJING, Dec 12- China will likely set its 2018 economic growth target at around 6.5 percent, unchanged from the previous year, leaving more room for quality growth as a government deleveraging campaign is set to intensify, a policy adviser was quoted as saying on Tuesday. Lou Feng, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a state think tank, expects...

  • SYDNEY, Dec 12- Australia's push to control a housing bubble by reining in bank lending to property developers has unleashed a highly profitable market for shadow lenders, including international hedge funds. There are no figures on the size of this market, but Dan Simmons, a Hong Kong- based partner with hedge fund OCP Asia, which is providing funding, estimates it...

  • SHANGHAI, Dec 12- China's yuan eased slightly against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday on rising seasonal corporate demand for the greenback ahead of a U.S. There's speculation that China's central bank will wield a liquidity management tool twice this month for the first time since March, and that has some traders feeling Beijing might tighten policy soon after the...

  • *Upbeat China credit figures underpin mood in Asia. SYDNEY, Dec 12- Asian shares took a small step back on Tuesday after three straight sessions of gains, with markets consolidating in the hope an upswing in global growth could outlast a likely hike in U.S. borrowing costs this week. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan drifted off 0.3...

  • *GRAPHIC: Oman premium over WTI widens: http://reut.rs/2BbGXxo. LAUNCESTON, Australia, Dec 12- The shutdown of Britain's largest crude oil pipeline is an early Christmas gift to U.S. exporters shipping to Asia, and a complication for Middle Eastern and African producers seeking to maintain market share in the world's top importing region.

  • BOSTON— Five female kitchen workers in Boston are detailing a sexual harassment lawsuit they're filing against a national restaurant chain. The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice, which represents the women, says the lawsuit being addressed Tuesday highlights the plight of women in low-wage positions like dishwashers, cleaners and...

  • RIO DE JANEIRO— One night about a year ago, Leandro Mota Generoso was sleeping on a street in downtown Rio de Janeiro when he felt something jagged strike his face. A year after Rio de Janeiro hosted the Olympic Games, a grinding economic crisis has led to an influx of thousands of homeless people, creating a climate of tension that city officials are scrambling to...

  • *Dollar slightly firmer vs basket of major currencies. SINGAPORE, Dec 12- The dollar held firm near two-week highs versus a basket of major currencies on Tuesday, with traders awaiting the U.S. That was within sight of Friday's peak of 94.087, the highest since Nov. 21.

  • TOKYO, Dec 12- Japanese government bonds were steady on Tuesday, underpinned by solid demand at a sale of five-year JGBs as investors awaited the next session's U.S. monetary policy decision for directional cues. The Ministry of Finance offered 2.2 trillion yen of 5- year JGBs with a 0.10 percent coupon. The ministry will offer 1.0 trillion yen 20- year JGBs on...

  • SHANGHAI, Dec 12- China and Hong Kong stocks fell on Tuesday morning, as investors brace for a likely hike in U.S. borrowing costs this week. **The largest percentage losses in the Shanghai index were Air China Ltd down 4.96 percent, followed by Sanjiang Shopping Club Co Ltd losing 4.78 percent and Datang Telecom Technology Co Ltd down by 4.01 percent.

  • *Spot gold may test support at $1,240/ oz- analyst. *Touched lowest since July 20 on Monday. 0350 GMT, after hitting its lowest since July 20 at $1240.10 on Monday.

  • BEIJING, Dec 12- Amazon.com Inc said on Tuesday it was expanding its cloud computing business in China with a new local partner, aiming to win share in an increasingly crowded and highly regulated market. China launched strict new regulations in June that require foreign firms to store data locally and outsource hardware elements to local partners.

  • DUBAI, Dec 12- Saudi Arabia's main sovereign wealth fund said it planned to enter the cinema business with major U.S.-based movie exhibition company AMC Entertainment Holdings, as the conservative kingdom lifts a 35- year-old ban on cinemas. "In line with the fund's mandate to help unlock promising new sectors within the kingdom, PIF and AMC Entertainment will...

  • ZURICH/ SYDNEY, Dec 12- Zurich Insurance has agreed to buy Australia and New Zealand Banking Group's life insurance arm for A $2.85 billion, its biggest foray into Australia and its third in the last two years. Zurich, Europe's fifth-biggest insurer, also bought Macquarie Group Ltd's life insurance unit for an undisclosed sum in 2016 and the Cover-More Group for...

  • BUENOS AIRES, Dec 11- World Trade Organization members are unlikely to reach a final deal to curb fishery subsidies during the ministerial conference underway this week in Buenos Aires, spokesman Keith Rockwell told reporters on Monday. The success of any deal is widely seen to rest on the willingness of China, which has resisted pressure to curb its vast fleet,...

  • *Nov wholesale prices up 3.5 pct yr/yr vs f'cast +3.3 pct. TOKYO, Dec 12- Japan's wholesale prices rose an annual 3.5 percent in November, the fastest rate in nine years, the Bank of Japan said, in a sign that rising global commodity costs were driving up corporate expenses. It was the fastest rate of increase since October 2008, when wholesale prices rose 4.5 percent...

  • *Brent rises above $65 a barrel for first time since June, 2015. SINGAPORE, Dec 12- Brent crude oil prices jumped above $65 per barrel for the first time since 2015 after the shutdown of the Forties North Sea pipeline knocked out significant supply from a market that was already tightening due to OPEC- led production cuts. "Brent crude raced higher... as news broke that...

  • SINGAPORE, Dec 12- Chicago wheat futures slid for a seventh consecutive session on Tuesday, trading near their weakest since early January on pressure from abundant global supplies. The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade was down 0.1 percent at $4.13 a bushel, as of 0224 GMT. Soybeans climbed 0.3 percent to $9.85-3/ 4 a bushel, having earlier...

  • Upbeat China credit figures underpin mood in Asia. The latest promising news came from China where banks doled out a surprisingly generous dose of credit in November, which could bode well for a pick up in retail sales and industrial output due later in the week. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dithered either side of flat having...

  • TOKYO, Dec 12- Japanese stocks edged up on Tuesday morning in choppy trade supported by gains in financial stocks, mining shares and shippers, with investors on tenterhooks ahead of this week's U.S. The Nikkei share average rose 0.1 percent to 22,949.88 in midmorning trade, after opening flat. Shippers' gains were supported after Baltic dry index of freight...