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  • BERLIN, Feb 20- German healthcare group Fresenius said sales growth would slow and profit stagnate this year as investments to fix the performance at its German hospitals business and build up home dialysis take a toll. Fresenius, which makes generic infusion drugs and operates hospitals and dialysis clinics, expects sales to rise between 3 and 6 percent this...

  • BEIJING, Feb 19- China will deepen reforms of its agriculture sector to promote its rural economy, the government said in its first policy statement of 2019, as it seeks to bolster growth and offset trade challenges. Beijing's statement, released late on Tuesday, comes after the world's second-largest economy saw its weakest growth in 28 years in 2018 and...

  • SINGAPORE, Feb 20- Oil prices slipped away from 2019 highs on Wednesday, with surging U.S. supply and slowing economic growth tempering upward pressure from supply cuts led by producer club OPEC and from Washington's sanctions on Iran and Venezuela. OPEC- member and top crude exporter Saudi Arabia is expected to reduce shipments of light crude oil to Asia in...

  • NEW DELHI, Feb 20- Lockheed Martin offered India a new combat jet, F-21, on Wednesday to be made locally, in a bid to win a large military order worth over $15 billion. The U.S. defence firm had earlier offered its F-16 fighter used by countries around the world for the Indian air force's ongoing competition for 114 planes to be made in India. But Lockheed, unveiling the...

  • SHANGHAI, Feb 20- The yuan jumped to a near three-week against the dollar on Wednesday after a Bloomberg report said the United States was pressing China to pledge not to devalue its currency as part of a deal to end their trade war. The yuan fell more than 5 percent against the dollar last year as the trade war escalated, raising questions over whether China was...

  • BEIJING, Feb 20- London copper prices rose for a sixth consecutive session on Wednesday, striking a fresh two-month high on hopes of a trade deal between China and the United States. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday talks with China, currently taking place in Washington, were going well and suggested he was open to pushing off the deadline to complete...

  • *U.S. sanctions on Iran, Venezuela tighten markets. SINGAPORE, Feb 20- Oil prices were around 2019 highs on Wednesday, propped up by supply cuts led by producer club OPEC and by U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela. OPEC- member and top crude exporter Saudi Arabia is expected to reduce shipments of light crude oil to Asia in March as part of the effort to tighten markets.

  • WASHINGTON, Feb 19- The United States is seeking to secure a pledge from China it will not devalue its yuan as part of an agreement intended to end the countries' trade war, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday. Officials from the two countries, which resumed talks on Tuesday in Washington, are discussing how to address currency policy in a "Memorandum of Understanding"...

  • TOKYO, Feb 20- Japan's Nikkei rose to more than two-month highs on Wednesday morning, as progress in U.S.- China trade talks helped lift cyclical stocks such as autos and electronic equipment firms. The optimism comes despite Japan's exports in January posting their biggest decline in more than two years as China shipments tumbled and orders for its machinery...

  • MELBOURNE, Feb 20- Australia's Fortescue Metals Group said that it had no capacity at its ore processing facilities to immediately add' material' iron ore volumes, after a dam tailings burst in Brazil raised uncertainty over global supply. "In the short-term, there is not necessarily the capacity to add material incremental volumes, but I think like everybody...

  • Soybean prices gained ground on expectations of a trade deal between Washington and Beijing, with the market recouping some of last session's losses. *The most-active Chicago Board of Trade wheat contract had risen 0.3 percent to $4.91-1/ 4 a bushel by 0134 GMT, after dropping to its lowest since Oct. 26 at $4.88-1/ 2 a bushel in the last session.

  • CHICAGO, Feb 19- Southwest Airlines Co, which has been in negotiations with its aircraft mechanics union for six years, will be investigating the disruption behind an unprecedented number of out-of-service aircraft, its chief operating officer Mike Van de Ven said on Tuesday.

  • LIMA, Feb 19- Peru on Tuesday launched a drive to eliminate illegal gold mining in one of the Amazon's most biodiverse corners, sending 1,500 police and military officers to a region that has suffered rising deforestation from wildcat mining. President Martin Vizcarra's government said it was suspending civil liberties and tasking the military with...

  • Feb 19- The U.S. Transportation Department said on Tuesday it will cancel $929 million in federal funds awarded by the Obama administration for a California high-speed rail project and is "actively exploring every legal option" to seek the return of $2.5 billion the state has already received. California Governor Gavin Newsom said last week the state will...

  • SINGAPORE, Feb 20- Oil prices slipped from 2019 highs on Wednesday as soaring U.S. production and expectations of an economic slowdown undermined efforts led by producer club OPEC to cut supply to tighten global markets. OPEC- member and top crude exporter Saudi Arabia is expected to reduce shipments of light crude oil to Asia in March as part of the effort to...

  • MELBOURNE, Feb 20- Australia's biggest gas pipeline company, APA Group, has resumed its search for a U.S. acquisition, after putting the move on hold last year while it dealt with a takeover offer, its chief executive said on Wednesday. APA Managing Director Mick McCormack said the company, which has a market value of A $11 billion, had identified a few opportunities...

  • Feb 19- Elon Musk's Tesla Inc is preparing to launch its leasing products for Model 3, news website Electrek said on Tuesday, citing an email sent to employees. The email stated that employees will be able to lease a Model 3 within the next two weeks, Electrek reported citing sources familiar with the matter. http://bit.ly/2NgLIcz. The email did not say when...

  • Feb 19- British Finance Minister Philip Hammond said on Tuesday it was clear the European Union will not now consider alternatives to the contentious Irish backstop to help the UK government win support for its Brexit withdrawal deal, but such options could be valuable in future.

  • *Spot gold was marginally lower at $1,339.61 per ounce as of 0021 GMT, having touched $1,341.78 per ounce in the previous session, its highest level since April 20. *Palladium rose 0.3 percent to $1,484.00 per ounce, within striking distance of $1,500 after it hit a record $1,485.50 on Tuesday on concerns about a sharp supply deficit. *British Prime Minister...

  • *U.S. sanctions on Iran, Venezuela tighten markets. SINGAPORE, Feb 20- Oil prices hovered near 2019 highs on Wednesday, supported by OPEC- led supply cuts and U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela, but capped by soaring U.S. production and expectations of an economic slowdown. OPEC as well as some non-affiliated producers such as Russia agreed late last year to cut...