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  • SHANGHAI, Oct 18- China's yuan firmed against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday, with markets awaiting policy initiatives from the key Communist Party congress and shrugging off a weaker official midpoint fixing. The once-every-five-years congress began with little reaction to early comments from Chinese President Xi Jinping that China will deepen...

  • TOKYO— Asian shares were mixed on Wednesday, as some indexes got a boost from overnight gains on Wall Street. KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 was nearly unchanged at 21,340.36 and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.1 percent to 5,894.40. Gains were led by health care companies after strong earnings from UnitedHealth Group and Johnson& Johnson.

  • *Xi opens Communist Party Congress, expected to cement control. *Tight security across Beijing for congress. BEIJING, Oct 18- Chinese President Xi Jinping opened a critical Communist Party Congress on Wednesday with a pledge to build a "modern socialist country" that will never copy the political systems of others and will remain open to the world.

  • BRUSSELS, Oct 18- A year-old pact underpinning billions of dollars of transatlantic data transfers will get the green light from the European Union on Wednesday after the first review to ensure Washington protects Europeans' data stored on U.S. servers. The European Commission last month conducted its first annual review of the framework as it seeks to ensure...

  • BEIJING— Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday urged a reinvigorated Communist Party to take on a more forceful role in society and economic development to better address "grim" challenges facing the country as he opened a twice-a-decade national congress. He struck a nationalistic line throughout his speech, calling for the party not only to safeguard...

  • *Support level for gold seen at $1,275- trader. "This morning is about President Xi talking and headlines coming out of that... we're seeing a bit of pullback that's helping gold this morning in Asia," a Hong Kong- based trader said. Asian shares consolidated recent gains and currencies kept to tight ranges on Wednesday as investors waited to see what policies might...

  • BEIJING— President Xi Jinping has called for China's ruling Communist Party to step up technology development, an area in which Beijing faces complaints that it encourages theft of foreign know-how and blocks access to emerging industries. In a speech Wednesday at the opening of a party congress, Xi called for making China a "country of innovators" and create...

  • *SEC charges Rio Tinto and top executives with fraud. *Executives concealed problems with Mozambique assets- SEC. *Company raised money while misinformation in the market- SEC.

  • MENLO PARK, Calif.— Twitter vowed to crack down further on hate speech and sexual harassment, days after CEO Jack Dorsey said in a tweet-storm that the company was "still" not doing enough to protect its users. The policy changes were specifically aimed at protecting women who unknowingly or unwillingly had nude pictures of themselves distributed online or were...

  • BEIJING— The Latest on the ruling Communist Party's congress meeting in Beijing:. President Xi Jinping has called for China's ruling Communist Party to step up technology development, an area in which Beijing faces complaints it encourages theft of foreign know-how and blocks access to emerging industries. China's technology development has prompted...

  • LAUNCESTON, Australia, Oct 18- It would be easy to dismiss the Australian government's discarding of a renewable energy target as a Donald Trump- like attempt to cling on to polluting fossil fuels in the face of the rise of cleaner alternatives. Certainly, the decision by the centre-right Liberal Party federal government to end subsidies for renewable energy...

  • SYDNEY, Oct 18- Australia's Crown Resorts Ltd was hit by allegations of tampering with poker machines on Wednesday when a lawmaker tabled a video of whistleblowers in parliament, sending shares in the casino firm sliding. Independent lawmaker and anti-gambling campaigner Andrew Wilkie used parliamentary privilege, which allows lawmakers to make...

  • *Yen helped by caution ahead of Japan election. TOKYO, Oct 18- The dollar held an upper hand against other major currencies on Wednesday as investors weigh the possibility that U.S. "Who will be the next Fed Governor is the most important focus of the market now," said Yukio Ishizuki, senior strategist at Daiwa Securities.

  • BEIJING, Oct 18- China will maintain the principle that houses are for people to live in, not for speculation, President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday at the opening of a key Communist Party congress.

  • *Iraq crisis, U.S.- Iran tensions trigger crude risk premium. SINGAPORE, Oct 18- Oil prices rose on Wednesday, lifted by a fall in U.S. crude inventories and concerns that tensions in the Middle East could disrupt supplies. Traders said that prices were pushed up by a drop in U.S. crude inventories as well as concerns that fighting in Iraq and mounting tensions...

  • BEIJING, Oct 18- China will build a "clean and clear" internet space, President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday at the opening of a key Communist Party congress.

  • BEIJING, Oct 18- China will relax market access for foreign investment and expand access to its services sector, President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday at the opening of a key Communist Party congress.

  • TOKYO, Oct 18- Japan's Nikkei share average edged up on Wednesday, getting a lift from further gains on Wall Street and as investors bet a weekend election would usher in continued political and monetary stability. "Investors, including foreigners who were significant net sellers in recent months, are buying ahead of Japan's election on Sunday."

  • Treasury keeps China on currency monitoring list. WASHINGTON, Oct 17- The United States on Tuesday declined to name China as a currency manipulator although it remained critical of the Chinese government's economic policies ahead of a planned visit to Beijing by President Donald Trump. Treasury currency report said no countries deserved the currency...

  • SEOUL, Oct 18- South Korea said on Wednesday that its plan to ease blending restrictions at oil storage terminals would come into effect on Thursday, as the government continues its push to boost international oil trading in the country. Previously, international oil traders with storage tanks in South Korea were only allowed to mix oil products in bonded areas...