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Wires

  • *Spot gold was down 0.2 percent at $1,343.22 an ounce at 0112 GMT. *U.S. gold futures slipped 0.8 percent to $1,345.70 per ounce. *Euro zone finance ministers expressed broad support on Monday to allow their bailout fund ESM to become a backstop for the Single Resolution Fund for banks, the chairman of the ministers Mario Centeno told a news conference.

  • *Spot gold was down 0.2 percent at $1,343.22 an ounce at 0112 GMT. *U.S. gold futures slipped 0.8 percent to $1,345.70 per ounce. *Euro zone finance ministers expressed broad support on Monday to allow their bailout fund ESM to become a backstop for the Single Resolution Fund for banks, the chairman of the ministers Mario Centeno told a news conference.

  • SYDNEY, Feb 20- U.S. soybean futures rose 1 percent on Tuesday to hit a near seven-month high as dry weather across key producing regions in Argentina crimps production from one of the world's largest exporters. *The most active soybean futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade were up 1 percent at $10.31-1/ 2 a bushel by 0113 GMT, near the session high of $10.33-1/ 2 a...

  • U.S. soybean futures rose 1 percent on Tuesday to hit a near seven-month high as dry weather across key producing regions in Argentina crimps production from one of the world's largest exporters. *The most active soybean futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade were up 1 percent at $10.31-1/ 2 a bushel by 0113 GMT, near the session high of $10.33-1/ 2 a bushel- the highest...

  • TOKYO, Feb 20- The dollar steadied on Tuesday after pulling ahead from a three-year low against a currency basket the previous day, though it was dogged by growing concerns a ballooning fiscal deficit in the United States could disrupt the economy. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, which stoked concerns the United States could pursue a weaker dollar policy as...

  • SAO PAULO, Feb 19- GPA SA, one of Brazil's largest food retailers, announced on Monday evening a shake-up of its management team, replacing its CEO and the head of a subsidiary just moments before releasing full-year results. In a related move, Flavio Dias will become the CEO of appliance and electronics subsidiary Via Varejo SA, replacing Estermann, who had been...

  • TOKYO, Feb 20- Finance Minister Taro Aso said on Tuesday that Japan has essentially escaped from the economic malaise linked to asset price deflation, although policymakers need to do more. Aso was responding to questions about the government's decision to reappoint BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda for a second five-year term. Japan's economy has grown for eight...

  • Feb 20- Australia's Oil Search on Tuesday reported a near threefold rise in annual core profit, underpinned by robust sales and rising oil and gas prices, and outlined a major expansion in Papua New Guinea. The Papua New Guinea- focused oil and gas producer declared a full-year dividend of 9.5 cents per share, up from 3.5 cents a year ago. "Oil Search has considerable...

  • SINGAPORE, Feb 19- Singapore's move on Monday to raise stamp duty on expensive home purchases is likely to dampen the recent wave of redevelopment sales in the city-state's recovering property market, analysts said. Singapore's central bank warned in November about "excessive exuberance" in the city-state's property market, urging developers to take into...

  • WELLINGTON, Feb 20- Air New Zealand on Tuesday cancelled all flights in and out of New Zealand's capital, Wellington as the remnants of tropical cyclone Gita pummelled the country. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told reporters at Parliament that military had been deployed to areas likely to be worst hit and the country's national Civil Defence office in...

  • SINGAPORE, Feb 19- Singapore said its sales tax will rise to 9 percent from 7 percent, but the change will only come "sometime" between 2021 and 2025, making it likely that the increase would kick in after the city-state's next general election. The bonus comes after Singapore's trade-reliant economy grew 3.6 percent in 2017, its best pace in three years.

  • *Crude reaches 2- wk highs amid Middle East tensions, gold steady. TOKYO, Feb 20- Asian stocks dipped on Tuesday, their recent recovery slowing after European equities broke a winning streak run, while the dollar held firm after bouncing from three-year lows. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged down 0.1 percent.

  • Top Economic Events Polling Unit Diary Today in Washington Political and General News. 20- Feb Germany Auction of 2- year Treasury notes 20- Feb Spain Auction of 3- and 9- month Treasury bills 20- Feb United States Sale of 2- year notes 21- Feb United States Sale of 2- year floating rate notes 21- Feb United States Sale of 5- year notes 21- Feb Sweden Auction of...

  • **BRUSSELS- ECB Vice President Vitor Constancio participates in ECOFIN meeting in Brussels, Belgium. NEW YORK Swedish central bank Governor Stefan Ingves talks about economy and monetary policy- 1730 GMT. **LONDON Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, Deputy Governor Ben Broadbent, Chief Economist Andy Haldane and Monetary Policy Committee external member...

  • REUTERS POLL: OF THOSE PLANNING TO RAISE BASE PAY, 76 PCT PLAN TO KEEP HIKES IN LINE WITH LAST YEAR, 14 PCT SEE THEM ABOVE LAST YEAR, 10 PCT TO UNDERSHOOT LAST YEAR.

  • REUTERS POLL: 52 PCT OF JAPAN FIRMS SEE PM ABE'S CALL FOR 3 PCT WAGE HIKES AS UNREALISTIC, 41 PCT SEE IT AS REALISTIC, 7 PCT CALL IT "OUT OF QUESTION".

  • Feb 20- More than half of Japanese companies do not intend to raise base pay at spring wage talks this year and even those that do say they will keep increases in line with last year, a Reuters poll found. Below are the questions and answers to the poll conducted between Jan 31 and Feb 14 for Reuters by Nikkei Research. Answers are denoted in percentage points, while...

  • TOKYO, Feb 20- More than half of Japan's companies do not plan to raise base pay in annual wage talks in coming months, a set back for the prime minister and the country's main business lobby which has called for wage rises of 3 percent to fuel an economic revival. In a monthly Reuters Corporate Survey, just less than half said they would raise pay and most in this group...

  • REUTERS CORPORATE SURVEY: 48 PCT OF JAPAN FIRMS PLAN TO RAISE BASE PAY THIS YEAR, 52 PCT HAVE NO SUCH PLAN.

  • KANSAS CITY, Kan.— General Motors says it will build a new vehicle at its plant in Kansas City, Kansas. The Kansas City Star reports Fairfax lost its third shift last fall after sales of the Malibu slumped. Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com.