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  • April 20- Facebook Inc's privacy practices were cleared by auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in an assessment completed last year of the period in which data analytics consultancy Cambridge Analytica gained access to the personal data of millions of Facebook users. Facebook had established and implemented a comprehensive privacy program and...

  • OKLAHOMA CITY— Scott Pruitt's penchant for travel and concerns about security were notable even before he became head of the Environmental Protection Agency, according to newly obtained records that show that as Oklahoma's attorney general he frequently traveled out-of-state for appearances before conservative groups and used an office investigator...

  • SHANGHAI, April 20- Ctrip.Com International Ltd, Asia's biggest online travel firm, would welcome the chance to list at home in mainland China should regulators introduce depositary receipts as planned, Chief Executive Jane Sun told Reuters on Friday. The firm first floated shares on the NASDAQ market in the United States 15 years ago as part of a wave of Chinese...

  • BEIJING, April 20- London aluminum and nickel prices fell for a second day on Friday as a rally driven by fears of supply disruptions caused by U.S. sanctions on Russia's United Company Rusal, the world's second-biggest aluminum producer, lost momentum. Aluminum is on track for a weekly rise of 6.3 percent in London and is up 21 percent so far this month.

  • BEIJING, April 20- London aluminium and nickel prices fell for a second day on Friday as a rally driven by fears of supply disruptions caused by U.S. sanctions on Russia's United Company Rusal, the world's second-biggest aluminium producer, lost momentum. Aluminium is on track for a weekly rise of 6.3 percent in London and is up 21 percent so far this month.

  • WASHINGTON— The head of the International Monetary Fund is urging countries to work out their differences over trade and take advantage of a healthy world economy to reduce debt before the next downturn comes. But clouds are already gathering: an intensifying standoff between the United States and China that threatens to flare up into the biggest trade...

  • *Southwest, others disputed FAA's inspection estimates. *FAA to finalize inspection order within two weeks. The documents reveal that airlines including Southwest thought the FAA had "vastly understated" the number of engines that would need to be inspected- and therefore the cost.

  • LONDON/ CHICAGO, April 20- Procter& Gamble's $4.2 billion deal for Merck's vitamin and supplements business is the latest example of a major consumer company stocking up on health-related products. Just last month, cleaning product maker Clorox Co agreed to buy multivitamin company Nutranext for $700 million. The vitamins and supplements sector is...

  • SHANGHAI, April 20- The yuan weakened on Friday as the dollar index rose, with traders awaiting clues on direction in a market that has fluctuated in a narrow band over the past weeks despite escalating trade tensions with the United States and concerns about the sustainability of China's growth. The People's Bank of China set the midpoint rate at 6.2897 per...

  • SEOUL, April 20- General Motors' South Korean unit and its labor union are set to hold another round of wage talks on Friday afternoon, keen to stave off a threat by the U.S. automaker to seek bankruptcy for the loss-making unit. GM, which in February announced its plan to shut down one of its plants in Korea, wants wage concessions from its labor union as well as...

  • SINGAPORE, April 20- Oil prices held firm on Friday near three-year highs reached earlier this week as ongoing OPEC- led supply cuts as well as strong demand gradually draw down excess supplies. Brent crude oil futures were at $73.79 per barrel at 0440 GMT, up 1 cent from their last close. Both Brent and WTI hit their highest levels since November 2014 on Thursday, at...

  • *Asia bought more pre-owned than new planes in 2017- report. SHANGHAI, April 20- Asia's super-wealthy are increasingly opting for second-hand private jets rather than buying new ones, as private buyers look for deep discounts and shorter waiting times, aircraft brokers said. "Customers have changed, their knowledge of the industry has changed and they now...

  • South Korea's Kospi lost 0.4 percent to 2,475.72 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell 0.6 percent to 30,531.52. Stocks in Taiwan, Singapore and Indonesia also declined. APPLE SUPPLIERS: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. plunged nearly 6 percent in Taiwan after the key Asian Apple supplier gave a lower-than-expected revenue forecast for the second...

  • *Market set to grow over $10 billion in next decade by some estimates. TOKYO, April 20- A two-armed robot in a Japanese factory carefully stacks rice balls in a box, which a worker carries off for shipment to convenience stores. But as workforces age in Japan and elsewhere, collaborative robots- or "cobots"- are seen as a key way to help keep all types of assembly lines...

  • *HK-> Shanghai Connect daily quota used 2.7 pct, Shanghai-> HK daily quota used -6.2 pct. SHANGHAI, April 20- China stocks slid on Friday morning, dragged down by banking and transport firms, and as worries over China-U.S. trade spat lingered. **Worries also lingered over the trade stand-off between China and the United States.

  • HONG KONG, April 20- China's ZTE Corp said on Friday that a ban on the sale of parts and software to the company was unfair and threatens its survival, and vowed to safeguard its interests through all legal means. ,China's second-largest telecoms equipment maker said in a statement. The ban has ratcheted up tensions between China and the United States at a time when...

  • SHENZHEN, China— As trade disputes simmer, Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, the No. 3 smartphone brand, is shifting its growth efforts toward Europe and Asia in the face of mounting obstacles in the U.S. market. The order cited Huawei and its Chinese rival ZTE by name. Huawei's struggles in the United States are in contrast to its booming business in...

  • WASHINGTON, April 19- Japan has warned its G20 counterparts that protectionism and exchange of retaliatory measures will disrupt financial markets and heighten volatility. "I told my G20 counterparts that no country would benefit from inward-looking policies based on protectionism," Japan's Finance Minister Taro Aso told reporters after a dinner...

  • BEIJING— Chinese tech company ZTE says it won't accept an "unfair" U.S. penalty in a case involving exports of telecoms equipment to North Korea and Iran and is seeking a solution through legal channels. The Commerce Department on Monday barred the state-owned company from importing American components for seven years after concluding the company paid...

  • BENGALURU, April 20- Gold prices inched lower on Friday and were headed for the first weekly decline in three as expectations of higher U.S. interest rates and easing political tensions on the Korean Peninsula and Syria weighed on demand for the safe-haven metal. Spot gold was down 0.3 percent at $1,341.33 an ounce at 0215 GMT, while U.S. gold futures fell 0.3...