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  • Jan 18- Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp is taking steps to assume responsibility for bankrupt retailer Sears Holdings Corp's two pension plans, covering about 90,000 people, the U.S. government agency said on Friday. The agency is stepping in to oversee the retirement benefits of employees and retirees at Sears, Roebuck and Co and Kmart Corp as it is clear that...

  • Jan 18- China has offered to go on a six-year buying spree to ramp up imports from the United States in order to reconfigure the relation between the two countries, Bloomberg reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter. By raising annual goods imports from the United States by a combined value of more than $1 trillion, China would seek to reduce its...

  • Jan 18- U.S. energy firms cut 21 oil rigs this week, the biggest decline since February 2016, even as the United States is expected to reinforce its leadership as the world's number one crude producer this year. Crude oil output from the United States last week rose to a peak of 11.9 million barrels per day, and is expected to hit a new record of more than 12 million bpd...

  • Representative Maxine Waters, the Democrat who chairs the panel, and Representative Patrick McHenry, its top Republican, are behind the bill, which would order the Securities and Exchange Commission to review its existing rules around some executive investment plans. "I am glad to join Chairwoman Waters in this meaningful effort to help the SEC better...

  • WASHINGTON, Jan 18- U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday accused President Donald Trump of putting American troops and civilians working in Afghanistan in danger by publicizing a planned congressional trip to the war-torn country. The White House on Thursday had blocked Pelosi from using a military plane for a congressional trip with other...

  • Jan 18- U.S. refiners are bidding up prices for scarce types of crude oil needed for their most sophisticated plants as the United States reconsiders harsher sanctions on Venezuela that could further reduce imports of the country's oil. But the proposals that would most affect the energy industry involve banning U.S. exports of refined products to Venezuela...

  • *China offers to ramp up U.S. imports- Bbg. Jan 18- Technology and industrial stocks powered Wall Street's rise on Friday, setting the three main indexes on track for their fourth week of gains, amid growing optimism that the United States and China would resolve their bitter trade dispute. U.S. stocks steadily extended gains after a Bloomberg report said China had...

  • BRASÍLIA, Jan 18- Brazil is moving toward a self-monitoring system for food processors, Agriculture Minister Tereza Cristina Dias said on Friday, including meatpackers still recovering from an inspection scandal that hurt trade with key markets. "Why can't Brazil do self-monitoring when Europe and the United States use it?" The scandal briefly threatened...

  • Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said the need for lower-priced versions of Model 3 will become even greater from July, when the U.S. tax credit again drops in half, adding $1,875 to the car's price tag, and again at the end of the year when it goes away entirely. Legacy luxury brands such as Volkswagen's Audi and Porsche, Daimler's Mercedes-Benz and BMW all plan new...

  • BRASILIA, Jan 18- Brazil should open indigenous land to commercial farming, Agriculture Minister Tereza Cristina Dias said on Friday, while also seeking to soften many of President Jair Bolsonaro's controversial stances on native people and the environment. Reservation land covering roughly 12 percent of Brazil's territory is currently off limits for...

  • Jan 18- Tiffany& Co tempered its yearly profit forecast on Friday after the luxury jeweler's holiday sales fell unexpectedly as Chinese tourists spent less globally due to a stronger dollar and demand softened in Europe and at home. Like other luxury goods firms, Tiffany relies on spending by China's burgeoning middle class as consumer demand remains subdued...

  • WASHINGTON, Jan 18- U.S. consumer sentiment tumbled in early January to its lowest level since President Donald Trump was elected more than two years ago amid fears an ongoing partial shutdown of the federal government and financial market volatility would slow the economy. The drop in confidence reported by the University of Michigan on Friday is the...

  • BERLIN, Jan 18- Germany's customs agency is hiring 900 extra officers in preparation for Britain's departure from the European Union, its director told the news magazine Der Spiegel, warning companies that, deal or no deal, they needed better to prepare for Brexit. In an interview, extracts from which were published on Friday, customs agency head Colette Hercher...

  • Apple rattled global markets this month when the iPhone maker cut its revenue outlook for the first time in 15 years, blaming factors like the U.S.- China trade dispute and a slowdown in the Chinese economy. "They should give us a good gauge of what is happening in China beyond smartphones because Texas Instruments is mostly industrials and autos, and Intel is PCs...

  • Chinese output data on Monday will set the tone for a week that also sees the first policy updates of the year by the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan against the backdrop of a continued global economic slowdown. In the United States, results from blue-chip companies including IBM will give Wall Street traders something to chew on while officials in...

  • *To boost confidence in oil cut, OPEC issues quota list. *China offers to ramp up U.S. imports- Bloomberg. NEW YORK, Jan 18- Oil prices rallied about 3 percent on Friday, boosted after OPEC detailed specifics on its production-cut activity to reduce world supply, and on signals of progress in resolving the U.S.- China trade war.

  • *Hopes for end to U.S.- China trade spat boost Wall Street. Treasury yields rose to three-week highs on Friday as investors piled back into Wall Street on hopes Washington and Beijing are moving to end their trade dispute and stronger-than-expected data on manufacturing production. "The risk-on mood has caused yields to move higher," said John Canavan, market...

  • hold@ TORONTO/ OTTAWA, Jan 18- Canada's annual inflation rate climbed in December, matching the Bank of Canada's 2 percent target, but stable underlying price pressures were set to forestall additional interest rate hikes over the coming months as lower oil prices hurt the economy. Economists said the impact on the index of a 22 percent jump in airfares will be...

  • ITALIAN GOVERNMENT CONSIDERING MERGER OPTIONS FOR MONTE DEI PASCHI, CARIGE WITH HEALTHIER RIVALS- SOURCES.

  • *Rome weighs merging troubled banks with healthy rivals. *Rome reluctant to put public money into banks. Their problems threaten to reignite a banking crisis that Rome thought it had ended two years ago and could further damage an economy already at risk of slipping back into recession.