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  • NEW YORK, Dec 18- Oil prices tumbled more than 5 percent on Tuesday, falling for the third straight session as the market grappled with reports that U.S. supply would continue to surge even if demand weakens as global growth deteriorates, which many expect. U.S. crude oil fell $3.64, or 7.3 percent, to settle at $46.24 a barrel, the weakest since August, 2017.

  • TRIPOLI/BENGHAZI, Libya, Dec 18- Libya's state oil company NOC has declared force majeure at the country's largest oilfield, El Sharara, a week after announcing a contractual waiver on exports from the field following its seizure by protesters. El Sharara, which produces 315,000 barrels per day for the OPEC member, was taken over on Dec. 8 by groups of tribesmen,...

  • BERLIN, Dec 18- Germany is lowering its threshold to launch security probes of stake purchases by non-European entities to protect critical infrastructure, a government document showed on Tuesday, in a push to fend off unwanted takeovers by Chinese investors. The move coincides with mounting concerns that China's state-backed companies are gaining too...

  • WASHINGTON, Dec 18- The U.S. auto safety regulator said on Tuesday it is speeding up the process for reviewing whether automakers can deploy self-driving vehicles without devices such as brakes and steering wheels. On Tuesday, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it issued a final regulation streamlining the review process.

  • ROME, Dec 18- Italy has done a deal with the European Commission over its contested 2019 budget, a spokeswoman at the Economy Ministry said on Tuesday, signalling an end to weeks of wrangling that had shaken financial markets. However, a source in Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte's urged caution, saying Rome had only received verbal assurances from Brussels.

  • BRENT FUTURES FALL MORE THAN 5 PERCENT TO SESSION LOW OF $56.42 A BARREL.

  • ROME, Dec 18- Italy has received "only verbal communications" from EU commissioners over a possible budget deal and is still awaiting formal notification of an accord, a source in the prime minister's office said on Tuesday. Earlier, a spokeswoman in the Economy Ministry told reporters that an agreement had been reached over the disputed 2019 budget, signaling an...

  • Dec 18- Rent-A-Center Inc said on Tuesday it terminated a deal to be acquired by Vintage Capital Management, as the buyout firm did not extend a deadline to close the transaction that was waiting for regulatory approval six months after being announced. Rent-A-Center agreed to be taken private by Vintage Capital in June in a $1.37 billion deal, including debt,...

  • BERLIN, Dec 18- Germany is lowering its threshold to launch security probes of stake purchases by non-European entities to protect critical infrastructure, a government document showed on Tuesday, in a push to fend off unwanted takeovers by Chinese investors. Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition government agreed to lower the shareholding threshold at...

  • BOSTON, Dec 18- Activist investors said on Tuesday they filed shareholder resolutions at two U.S. private prison operators, looking to link executive pay to human rights considerations at CoreCivic Inc and have Geo Group give more details on the treatment of people held at correction and detention facilities. The resolutions were filed by shareholders...

  • U.S. CRUDE FUTURES FALL TO LOWEST SINCE SEPT. 1, 2017.

  • CRUDE FUTURES EXTEND LOSSES, WTI FALLS $3 TO SESSION LOW OF $46.88 A BARREL.

  • NEW YORK/ LONDON, Dec 18- Raw sugar futures on ICE fell to their lowest levels since early October, dragged down by losses in crude oil, while arabica coffee touched a three-month low as the market struggled to absorb surplus supplies. *March raw sugar settled down 0.19 cent, or 1.5 percent, at 12.30 cents per lb. after dipping to a low of 12.26 cents.

  • Dec 18- Glencore-controlled Katanga Mining said on Tuesday it had agreed to pay more than $22 million to settle Canadian allegations of inadequate historical disclosures of its finances and activities in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Johnny Blizzard, chief executive officer of the Toronto- listed company, will resign and step down from its board, the...

  • PARIS, Dec 18- French "yellow vest" protesters occupied highway toll booths, setting a number on fire and causing transport chaos in parts of the country just days before the Christmas holidays getaway. France's biggest toll road operator, Vinci Autoroutes, said there were demonstrations at about 40 sites along its network and that some highway intersections...

  • SAO PAULO, Dec 18- Brazilian President Michel Temer said at a meeting of the South American trade bloc Mercosur in Uruguay on Tuesday that he is optimistic of a deal with the European Union next year. Bolsonaro, who takes office on Jan. 1, has criticized Mercosur as hampering Brazil's economic interests. The next economy minister, Paulo Guedes, has said bilateral...

  • ROME, Dec 18- Italy has done a deal with the European Commission over its contested 2019 budget, a spokeswoman at the Economy Ministry said on Tuesday, adding that the accord would be formalized on Wednesday in Brussels. The Commission rejected Italy's expansionary draft budget in October, saying it was in clear breach of EU fiscal rules. Rome submitted a revised...

  • *China books unknown volume of U.S. soybeans. *Corn up on hopes for sales to China. Corn also firmed as traders anticipated import purchases by China as part of the detente, which included a pledge by Beijing to buy U.S. agricultural products.

  • LONDON, Dec 18- The British government has held talks with shipping firms to secure back-up vessels in case Britain exits the European Union with no trade deal but it is unlikely to make progress as most ships are booked for other business, industry sources say. If Britain leaves the EU on March 29 without a trade deal, extra ships will be needed to work new routes...

  • NEW YORK, Dec 18- Oil prices tumbled on Tuesday after reports of swelling inventories and forecasts that record U.S. and Russian output will hit a market in which demand might weaken if global growth deteriorates as many expect. U.S. crude oil fell $2.35, or 4.7 percent, to trade at $47.53 a barrel by 12:55 p.m. EST. Global benchmark Brent lost $2.19, or 3.7 percent, to...