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  • *China Q4 GDP growth +6.8 pct, beats forecasts. BEIJING, Jan 18- China's economy grew faster than expected in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, helped by a rebound in the industrial sector, a resilient property market and strong export growth. "China's growth is very healthy," said Iris Pang, Greater China Economist, ING, Hong Kong.

  • *France and Spain to hold auctions. LONDON, Jan 18- Borrowing costs in the euro area headed back towards recent multi-year highs on Thursday, as a sell-off in U.S treasuries and new supply from France, Spain, and Austria put markets on the back foot once again. France plans to sell up to 7.5 billion euros of short-dated bonds, and Spain up to 4.5 billion euros of short and...

  • LONDON, Jan 18- European shares notched up modest gains on Thursday, falling short of a rally that lifted Wall Street and Asia to new records. The pan-European STOXX 600 rose 0.1 percent by 0824 GMT but the UK's FTSE and Italy's FTSE MIB retreated 0.1 percent. Switzerland's Geberit posted the best performance among European stocks, with a 4.8 percent rise after...

  • The China Enterprises index HSCE, which tracks major Chinese firm listed in Hong Kong, extended gains after data showed China's Q4 economic growth beats expectations. **China's economy grew 6.8 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, helped by a rebound in the industrial sector, a resilient property market and strong export growth.

  • *Dec new home prices +0.4 pct m/m vs +0.3 pct in Nov. BEIJING, Jan 18- China's housing market picked up slightly in December as mild declines in bigger metropolises stabilised and smaller cities gained some momentum, but price growth more than halved in 2017 as government curbs on speculation took effect. Average new home prices in China's 70 major cities rose 0.4...

  • And nearly four months into post-war Germany's longest political impasse, she's likely to emerge on top again for the time being— whatever happens. "The end of Angela Merkel's time in office has begun," Kevin Kuehnert, the head of the Social Democrats' youth wing and a prominent opponent of a coalition, said recently. "Germany won't be able to thrive in the future with...

  • BEIJING, Jan 18- Final consumption accounted for 58.8 percent of China's economic growth in 2017, while capital formation accounted for 32.1 percent of growth, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday. Net exports contributed about 9 percent of growth last year, the statistics bureau said. Those numbers compare to shares of 64.6 percent for...

  • SINGAPORE, Jan 18- Singapore authorities say they have uncovered a complex, cross-border scheme to steal large quantities of oil from Shell's biggest refinery. Eight of the Singaporeans were employees of Shell Eastern Petroleum Ltd, the Singapore subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, while two others worked for Sentek Marine& Trading Pte, one of Singapore's...

  • SINGAPORE, Jan 18- An alleged oil heist in Singapore that has already led to 20 arrests, the seizure of at least one tanker and allegations that thieves siphoned thousands of tonnes of fuel from Shell's biggest refinery is shining a spotlight on an illegal trade worth tens of billions of dollars worldwide. Working routes in a triangle of sea anchored by Thailand,...

  • *Nigeria's Niger Delta Avengers threaten oil sector attacks. SINGAPORE, Jan 18- Oil prices were stable on Thursday, supported by tighter inventories of crude as well as rebel threats of an attack on Nigeria's petroleum industry, but the market was weighed down by a reported rise in U.S. fuel stocks. Brent crude futures were at $69.34 at 0753 GMT, down 4 cents from...

  • PARIS, Jan 18- Carrefour shares rose on Thursday, with traders saying that stronger-than-expected fourth quarter sales from the French supermarket retailer had helped to offset the negative impact of a new profit forecast cut from Carrefour. Carrefour shares were up 3.1 percent in early session trading, making the stock the top performer on France's...

  • SYDNEY, Jan 18- Shanghai base metals futures turned mixed in late Asian hours on Thursday with better-than-expected China economic data coming in just before the market close, which pushed up LME copper. *SHFE COPPER: The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed down 0.24 percent at 53,670 yuan a tonne. *CHINA GROWTH: China Q4 GDP 6.8...

  • ROME, Jan 18- Italy's banking industry is lobbying European lawmakers to change what it sees as unfairly harsh regulation of a common lending practice in the country, a campaign that if successful would ease pressure on lenders to raise more capital. So-called "salary-secured" loans, popular in Italy but rare elsewhere in the European Union, are made to workers on...

  • BEIJING, Jan 18- Chinese authorities have tightened rules on how insurers can provide financing to local governments, as Beijing intensifies its crackdown on illicit local government borrowing and risky lending practices. The new rules are the latest in a series of tough measures taken by Beijing in recent months to rein in local government debt, with...

  • Jan 18- GKN called Melrose's unsolicited offer statement "misleading", a day after it swiftly rejected the turnaround specialist's 7.4 billion pound hostile offer for the British engineering company. "GKN's Board considers 32 percent to be a fake premium. Melrose's market capitalisation on 5 January was significantly smaller than GKN's on the same day... and...

  • LONDON, Jan 18- Primark owner Associated British Foods maintained full-year earnings guidance on Thursday, but cautioned revenue and profit at its sugar business would fall by more than previously expected due to lower European Union sugar prices. In November AB Foods had cautioned that in sugar, higher volumes and lower costs would only partially mitigate...

  • *Evian bottles currently use 25 pct recycled plastic. *Wants cross-industries collaboration against plastic waste. PARIS, Jan 18- Evian, Danone's popular mineral water brand, on Thursday became the latest consumer goods group to undertake pledges on recycling plastic, as companies around the world aim to bolster their credentials regarding helping the...

  • *China Q4 GDP growth +6.8 pct, beats forecasts. BEIJING, Jan 18- China's economy grew faster than expected in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, helped by a rebound in the industrial sector, a resilient property market and strong export growth. "China's growth is very healthy," said Iris Pang, Greater China Economist, ING, Hong Kong.

  • HONG KONG— China's economy expanded at a 6.9 percent pace in 2017, faster than expected and the first annual increase in seven years, the government reported Thursday. Those factors helped China's economy defy expectations of weaker growth in the latter half of the year due to Beijing's curbs on bank lending. The latest results give some wiggle room to China's...

  • BRUSSELS, Jan 18- The largest shareholder in Belgian biotech group Ablynx said on Thursday that it believed a 2.6 billion euro offer made by Denmark's Novo Nordisk was too low. Van Herk Investments, which owns about 10.2 percent of Ablynx, said it agreed with the Belgian company's board that the offer undervalued Ablynx's treatment for rare blood disorders,...