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Wires

  • TOKYO— Japan has reported a trade deficit for January, its first in eight months, mainly due to seasonal factors. Exports jumped 12 percent to 6.09 trillion yen, leaving a deficit of 943.4 billion yen. Exports to China jumped 30 percent from a year earlier.

  • SEOUL, Feb 19- South Korean President Moon Jae- in said on Monday General Motors' decision to shut down a factory south of Seoul will be a blow to the region and asked relevant government ministries to take measures to shore up economic activity there. GM announced last week it will shutter the plant in Gunsan, in South Korea's southwest, by May and decide within weeks...

  • TOKYO, Feb 19- Japan's Nikkei share average finished 2 percent high on Monday, as exporters gained following a pullback in the yen, while market heavyweights such as Fanuc and Fast Retailing helped boost the benchmark index. The broader Topix rose 2.2 percent to 1,775.15, but volume was thin, with only 1.29 billion shares changing hands, the lowest since late...

  • LAUNCESTON, Australia, Feb 19- What do the moves by the Democratic Republic of the Congo to boost its share of the country's cobalt bounty have in common with the former Thai government's attempts to control the global market for rice exports? It's also likely that similar to the ultimate disaster that befell ousted Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, the...

  • *23 people were removed from cruise due to brawl. SYDNEY, Feb 19- Carnival Corp, the world's largest cruise operator, said on Monday it was investigating the response of its security personnel to a brawl that broke out on one of its South Pacific cruises that resulted in 23 passengers being removed. The 10- day cruise to the South Pacific returned to the Australian...

  • *Some focus turns to Israel- Iran tensions. TOKYO, Feb 19- Oil prices extended gains to hit their highest level in nearly two weeks on Monday, buoyed as Asian shares joined a global recovery in equity markets and as worries grew over tensions in the Middle East. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that Israel could act against Iran itself, not just its...

  • LONDON, Feb 19- Forced to abandon ship after mistiming their investments five years ago, hedge funds are venturing back in a bid to profit from growing global trade flows. "They all came in too early," Tor Svelland, chief investment officer at hedge fund Svelland Capital, said, adding that the market is different this time around as capacity is shrinking.

  • TOKYO, Feb 19- The dollar found some traction on Monday following last week's steep fall and managed to hold above a three-year low against a basket of currencies. The U.S. currency has been weighed down by a variety of factors this year, including concerns that Washington might pursue a weak dollar strategy and the perceived erosion of its yield advantage as...

  • LONDON, Feb 19- It's the burning question in the oil industry: when will Saudi Arabia pull the trigger on the Aramco stock market listing? The Riyadh government is carefully analysing the future price curve structure in oil markets because it regards prices further out as an important element in achieving a high valuation in what could be the biggest initial...

  • TOKYO, Feb 19- Japanese government bond prices were little changed on Monday, with the market caught between negative pressure from rallying stocks and a lift from the Bank of Japan's regular debt-buying. A wait-and-see mood also prevailed ahead of Tuesday's liquidity-enhancing JGB auction and limited market movements. The BOJ on Monday bought 270 billion...

  • SEOUL, South Korea— Asian markets were higher on Monday following Wall Street gains last week, as market jitters showed signs of easing. ANALYST'S TAKE: "For the most part, Asia markets look to take after the positive U.S. lead and edge higher alongside U.S. futures this Monday," said Jingyi Pan, a market strategist at IG in Singapore. BANK OF JAPAN: Bank of Japan Governor...

  • *Exports boosted ahead of Chinese Lunar New Year. TOKYO, Feb 19- Buoyant sales of cars and electronics led Japan's exports to a 14th straight month of growth in January but manufacturers' business confidence slid- highlighting fears of the rising yen disrupting an export-led recovery. Monday's news also followed gross domestic product data out last week...

  • WELLINGTON, Feb 19- Air New Zealand warned on Monday flights in and out of New Zealand faced major disruptions this week due to Cyclone Gita, set to hit the country on Tuesday, and encouraged passengers to defer travelling. New Zealand's MetService issued severe weather warnings for most of the country's South Island, expected to be hit by heavy rain and...

  • *Speculators cut net gold longs in the week to Feb. 13. Spot gold had risen 0.2 percent to $1,350.28 an ounce. U.S. gold futures slipped 0.2 percent to $1,353.10.

  • *Some focus turns to Israel- Iran tensions. TOKYO, Feb 19- Oil prices extended gains to hit their highest level in nearly two weeks on Monday, buoyed as Asian shares joined a global recovery in equity markets and by worries over tensions in the Middle East. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that Israel could act against Iran itself, not just its allies...

  • *Japan to use ODA to promote "Free and Open Indo-Pacific. SYDNEY, Feb 19- Australia, the United States, India and Japan are talking about establishing a joint regional infrastructure scheme as an alternative to China's multibillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative in an attempt to counter Beijing's spreading influence, the Australian Financial Review...

  • SINGAPORE, Feb 19- Singapore Exchange Ltd said on Monday it will launch successor products to its flagship Indian equity index derivatives before the bourse's licence agreement with the National Stock Exchange of India expires in August 2018. The move comes days after India's three main bourses unexpectedly announced they would stop licensing their...

  • SYDNEY, Feb 19- Australia, the United States, India and Japan are talking about establishing a joint regional infrastructure scheme as an alternative to China's multibillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative in an attempt to counter Beijing's spreading influence, the Australian Financial Review reported on Monday, citing a senior U.S. official.

  • TOKYO, Feb 19- Japan's Nikkei share average rose to a 1-1/ 2- week high on Monday morning as exporters took advantage of a pullback in the yen, while market heavyweights such as Fanuc and Fast Retailing helped boost the benchmark index. The Nikkei advanced 1.3 percent to 21,999.42 in midmorning trade, after rising to its highest level since Feb. 7 at 22,040.05.

  • MELBOURNE, Feb 19- London metals started the week lower on Monday as a resurgent dollar dragged down prices from one-month highs hit the session before and the Lunar New Year holidays reduced liquidity. *COPPER: London Metal Exchange copper had slipped by 0.6 percent to $7,189 a tonne by 0104 GMT, erasing small gains from the previous session when prices hit the...