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Nikkei rises to close at 25-year high, construction companies fall

TOKYO, Dec 11 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks hit a fresh 25-year high on Monday in choppy trade as gains in financial shares and large cap stocks offset falls in real estate and construction companies, with Obayashi Corp diving more than 7 percent.

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Ford's November China vehicle sales drop 8 pct y/y

Dec 11 (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co's sales in China fell 8 percent in November from a year ago, following a 5 percent decline in October, the U.S. automaker said on Monday.

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UPDATE 4-Hotly anticipated bitcoin futures surge 21 percent on debut

* Big U.S. banks, brokerages give launch a mixed reception (Updates prices)

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UPDATE 3-Oil dips on increased US drilling activity, uncertainty over OPEC cuts

* UAE says OPEC to next June announce strategy to exit cuts (Adds UAE comment, updates prices)

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BRIEF-Galapagos To Enter NASDAQ Biotech Index Effective Dec 18‍​

* TO ENTER NASDAQ BIOTECH INDEX EFFECTIVE DEC 18‍​ Source text: http://bit.ly/2jM5AGV Further company coverage: (Gdynia Newsroom)

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BRIEF-Medigene, RXi To Collaborate On Therapeutic T Cells

* MEDIGENE COLLABORATES WITH RXI PHARMACEUTICALS TO FURTHER SHARPEN ITS THERAPEUTIC T CELLS

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UPDATE 1-Roche: Tecentriq cocktail slows kidney cancer progression

ZURICH, Dec 11 (Reuters) - Combining Roche's Tecentriq immunotherapy with its older drug Avastin reduced the risk of disease worsening or death (PFS) for the initial treatment of advanced kidney cancer in some patients, the Swiss drugmaker said on Monday

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GLOBAL MARKETS-Bitcoin futures rocket past $18,000; Asian shares buoyant

* Fed expected to hike rates this week; BoE, ECB also meeting

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Monsanto offers cash to U.S. farmers who use controversial chemical

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Monsanto Co will give cash back to U.S. farmers who buy a weed killer that has been linked to widespread crop damage, offering an incentive to apply its product even as regulators in several U.S. states weigh restrictions on its use.

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BRIEF-Birkenstock To Stop Supplying Amazon In Europe from Jan. 1

* SAYS TO STOP SUPPLYING AMAZON.COM INC IN EUROPE AS OF JAN. 1, 2018

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UPDATE 3-Hotly anticipated bitcoin futures surge 21 percent on debut

* Big U.S. banks, brokerages give launch a mixed reception (Updates prices, adds quote)

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GLOBAL MARKETS-Bitcoin futures surge past $18,000; Asian shares firm

* Fed expected to hike rates this week; BoE, ECB also meeting

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UPDATE 2-Oil prices drop on increased U.S. drilling activity

* Oil cut deal to be reviewed before June '18 -Kuwait (Adds Kuwait comments, updates prices)

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Nikkei flat as real estate, construction stocks weigh

TOKYO, Dec 11 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks struggled for traction on Monday as gains in financial shares were offset by drops in real estate and construction companies, with Obayashi Corp diving more than 8 percent.

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GLOBAL MARKETS-Bitcoin futures make firm debut, dollar holds gains ahead of Fed

* Fed expected to hike rates this week; BoE, ECB also meeting

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UPDATE 2-Hotly anticipated bitcoin futures debut in sedate fashion

* Big U.S. banks, brokerages give launch a mixed reception (Updates throughout, adds comments)

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GLOBAL MARKETS-Bitcoin futures race higher in volatile launch, dollar steady

* U.S. Fed expected to hike rates this week; BoE, ECB also meeting

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Oil prices drop on increased U.S. rig drilling

SINGAPORE, Dec 11 (Reuters) - Oil prices fell on Monday, pulled down as the latest rise in the U.S. rig count pointed to a further increase in American production, potentially undermining efforts led by OPEC to tighten markets.

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UPDATE 1-Novartis CAR-T therapy leads to durable response in lymphoma study

Dec 10 (Reuters) - Patients with an advanced form of an aggressive blood cancer who had initially responded to Novartis' new type of gene-modifying immunotherapy continued to respond at least six months after treatment, according to updated data released at a medical meeting on Sunday.

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RPT-UPDATE 1-Global brewers line up bids for Vietnam's Sabeco sale - sources

SINGAPORE/LONDON, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Brewing groups including Thai Beverage, Anheuser-Busch InBev and Kirin Holdings are gearing up to bid for a stake in Vietnam's largest brewer, Sabeco, people familiar with the matter said, with the $5 billion sale process by the government opening this week.

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Exclusive: U.S. mall owner GGP rejects Brookfield Property's $14.8 billion offer - sources

NEW YORK (Reuters) - GGP Inc , one of the largest owners and operators of U.S. shopping centers, has rejected a $14.8 billion buyout offer from its biggest shareholder, Brookfield Property Partners LP , people familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

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BRIEF-‍Verastem Announces Clinical Data From Pivotal Phase 3 Duo Study​

* ‍VERASTEM ANNOUNCES CLINICAL DATA FROM PIVOTAL PHASE 3 DUO™ STUDY​

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UPDATE 1-Hospital operators in merger talks to form U.S. industry leader -WSJ

NEW YORK, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Ascension Health and Providence St. Joseph Health are in talks about a merger between the two Catholic non-profits that would create the largest U.S. hospital chain, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the discussions.

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Steinhoff calls in Moelis and AlixPartners to advise ahead of lenders' meeting

BERLIN, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Troubled international retail conglomerate Steinhoff , whose shares plunged last week after disclosing accounting problems, said on Sunday it had appointed two advisory firms ahead of a meeting with lenders on Dec. 19.

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Hospital operators in merger talks to create U.S. industry leader -WSJ

NEW YORK, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Ascension Health and Providence St. Joseph Health are in discussions about a merger that would create the largest hospital chain in the United States, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the situation.

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Gilead's new drug keeps 56 pct of lymphoma trial patients alive

Dec 10 (Reuters) - More than half of trial patients with an advanced, aggressive form of blood cancer lived for at least a year after one-time treatment with Yescarta, a novel therapy sold by Gilead Sciences Inc, according to study results presented on Sunday.

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'Unheard of' responses to bluebird CAR-T therapy seen in myeloma study

Dec 10 (Reuters) - More than half of patients with advanced multiple myeloma who had run out of therapeutic options remained in complete remission after receiving bluebird bio Inc's experimental gene-modifying immunotherapy in a small, early stage study, according to updated data released on Sunday.

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Novartis CAR-T therapy leads to durable response in lymphoma study

Dec 10 (Reuters) - Patients with an advanced form of an aggressive blood cancer who had initially responded to Novartis' new type of gene-modifying immunotherapy continued to respond at least six months after treatment, according to updated data released at a medical meeting on Sunday.

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UPDATE 1-After bitcoin’s wild week, traders brace for futures launch

NEW YORK, Dec 10 (Reuters) - The newest way to bet on bitcoin will arrive on Sunday, when futures of the cryptocurrency that has taken Wall Street by a storm begin trading.

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UPDATE 1-Congolese lower house adopts new mining code that increases taxes

DAKAR, Dec 10 (Reuters) - The Congolese lower house of parliament has adopted a new mining code that will increase taxes and royalties, two members of parliament and an aide to the speaker said.

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Major markets rise, led by Saudi and Egypt

* Saudi continues bounce from chart support, volume very high

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Roche lymphoma drug drives high remission rate, longer survival-study

Dec 10 (Reuters) - An experimental Roche Holding AG drug, added to standard therapy, led to a far higher rate of remission and helped patients with an advanced, aggressive blood cancer live significantly longer than the standard treatment alone, according to data from a mid-stage trial released at a medical meeting on Sunday.

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Thyssenkrupp makes offer to workers for Tata Steel deal: sources

BERLIN (Reuters) - Thyssenkrupp has offered workers commitments on jobs and investments to get union backing for its deal with Tata Steel to merge their European steel operations, several people close to labor union IG Metall said.

worldNews reuters.com

Britain offered 'statement of intent' on Irish border to unlock talks: Davis

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Brexit minister David Davis described the government's pledge to prevent any return to a hard border with Ireland after Britain leaves the European Union as "a statement of intent" rather than a legally binding move.

cnn.com

California fires: Governor offers grim outlook

Gov. Jerry Brown has a sobering message for Southern Californians after a week of raging wildfires: This is your new normal.

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Israel Chemicals sells stake in desalination firm IDE for $167 mln

JERUSALEM, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Israel Chemicals (ICL) said on Sunday it completed a sale of its 50 percent holding in water desalination firm IDE Technologies for $167 million.

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UPDATE 1-Global brewers line up bids for Vietnam's Sabeco sale - sources

* AB InBev, Japanese brewers also keen - sources (Adds context in paragraph 3)

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Global brewers line up bids for Vietnam's Sabeco sale - sources

SINGAPORE/LONDON, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Brewing groups including Thai Beverage, Anheuser-Busch InBev and Kirin Holdings are gearing up to bid for a stake in Vietnam's largest brewer, Sabeco, people familiar with the matter said, with the $5 billion sale process by the government opening this week.

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McDonald's Malaysia refutes Israel ties after boycott calls

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 10 (Reuters) - The Malaysian franchise of McDonald's Corp said it was "disappointed" with calls on social media to boycott the fast food restaurant chain in apparent retaliation to the United State's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

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Thyssenkrupp ready to make workers offer for Tata Steel deal: Bild am Sonntag

BERLIN (Reuters) - Thyssenkrupp is prepared to offer workers commitments on jobs and investments to get union backing for its deal with Tata Steel to merge their European steel operations, German weekly Bild am Sonntag reported, citing an internal memo.

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VW executive convicted in U.S. may seek transfer to Germany - Welt am Sonntag

BERLIN, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Volkswagen executive Oliver Schmidt, convicted in the United States this week for his role in the German carmaker's emissions scandal, may ask to serve his prison sentence in Germany, German weekly Welt am Sonntag reported, citing sources close to Schmidt.

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Peru's Kuczynski acknowledges having advised Odebrecht project

LIMA, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski acknowledged that he worked as a financial adviser for an irrigation project owned by the Brazilian builder Odebrecht on Saturday, contradicting his previous denials of having any links to the company.

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RPT-California wildfires send film, TV productions scrambling

LOS ANGELES, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Wildfires raging across Southern California are taking a toll on the region's iconic film industry, forcing producers of commercials, television shows and even student films to pause or seek alternate shooting locations.

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Pilatus jet development far exceeded planned costs - NZZ interview

ZURICH, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Swiss plane maker Pilatus's development costs of "well over 500 million Swiss francs" ($504 million) far exceeded the original budget for the company's first business jet, Chairman Oscar Schwenk told the Neue Zuercher Zeitung in an article published on Saturday.

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UPDATE 1-#NoRussiaNoGames: Twitter "bots" boost Russian backlash against Olympic ban

* But automated, semi-automated Twitter accounts amplify reach

cnn.com

Accuser's confidante: Trent Franks offered $5M for surrogacy

The head of a prominent conservative group was present last week when a woman who has accused Rep. Trent Franks of asking her to be a surrogate for his child in exchange for $5 million detailed her allegations to House Speaker Paul Ryan's staff.

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UPDATE 2-Uber agrees to settle U.S. lawsuit filed by India rape victim

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Uber Technologies Inc and a woman who accused top executives of improperly obtaining her medical records after a company driver raped her in India have agreed to settle a civil lawsuit the woman filed against Uber in June, according to a U.S. federal court filing on Friday.

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UPDATE 1-KKR's tender offer for Hitachi Kokusai succeeds by slight margin

* Elliot had bought 8.59 pct stake in Hitachi Kokusai (Recasts with announcement, background)

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UPDATE 1-Uber agrees to settle U.S. lawsuit filed by India rape victim

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Uber Technologies Inc has agreed to settle a U.S. civil lawsuit filed by a woman who accused top executives of improperly obtaining her medical records after a company driver raped her in India, according to a court filing on Friday.

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BRIEF-Liberty Property Trust Sets Quarterly Cash Dividend Of $0.40 Per Share

* SETS QUARTERLY CASH DIVIDEND OF $0.40 PER SHARE Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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Drug industry group sues to stop California drug price law

Dec 8 (Reuters) - The trade group representing U.S. drugmakers on Friday said it has a filed a lawsuit to stop California from implementing a law aimed at reining in prescription drug prices.

United States Politics and Government nytimes.com

Trent Franks, Accused of Offering $5 Million to Impregnate an Aide, Abruptly Resigns

Mr. Franks, Republican of Arizona, resigned earlier than expected after two women said he wanted to use sex as a means to impregnate them.

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Uber agrees to settle U.S. lawsuit filed by India rape victim

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Uber has agreed to settle a U.S. civil lawsuit filed by a woman who had accused top executives of improperly obtaining her medical records after a company driver raped her in India, according to a court filing on Friday.

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California wildfires send film, TV productions scrambling

LOS ANGELES, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Wildfires raging across Southern California are taking a toll on the region's iconic film industry, forcing producers of commercials, television shows and even student films to pause or seek alternate shooting locations.

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BRIEF-Boston Pizza Royalties ‍Announces Cash Distribution Of 11.5 Cents Per Unit For Nov​

* ‍ANNOUNCED CASH DISTRIBUTION TO UNITHOLDERS OF 11.5 CENTS PER UNIT FOR NOVEMBER 2017​ Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-‍MTY Files Restated Financial Statements For Year Ended Nov 30, 2016​

* ‍MTY FILES RESTATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS FOR YEAR ENDED NOVEMBER 30, 2016​

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Apple in talks to acquire music identification app Shazam - source

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Apple Inc is in talks to acquire Shazam Entertainment Ltd, whose software helps users identify songs by pointing their phone at an audio source, according to a person familiar with the situation.

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UPDATE 1-Lilly's stomach cancer drug meets main goal, but fails to improve survival rate

Dec 8 (Reuters) - Eli Lilly & Co said on Friday a late-stage trial testing its drug, Cyramza, as a gastric cancer treatment met the main goal of preventing the disease from advancing, but failed its secondary target of improving overall survival rates.

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UPDATE 3-Mexico says deepwater oil tender doomed by Brazil competition

MEXICO CITY, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Mexican national oil company Pemex on Friday blamed the cancellation of a potentially lucrative deepwater Gulf of Mexico project on weak investor appetite due to competition from recent auctions in Brazil and low oil prices.

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REFILE-Lilly's Cyramza meets main goal in gastric cancer study

Dec 8 (Reuters) - Eli Lilly & Co said on Friday a late-stage trial testing its drug, Cyramza, as a treatment for a type of gastric cancer met its main goal of preventing the disease from advancing.

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KKR's tender offer for Hitachi Kokusai ends in success - Nikkei

Dec 8 (Reuters) - KKR & Co LP has brought its tender offer for shares of Japan's chipmaking equipment Hitachi Kokusai Electric Inc to a successful end, the Nikkei reported on Friday, citing sources.

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Boston Herald files for bankruptcy protection to pursue sale

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 8 (Reuters) - The parent company of the Boston Herald filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Friday and will look to sell the newspaper to Gatehouse Media LLC, a move that underscores the hard times facing traditional print journalism.

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BRIEF-Silence Therapeutics Cuts Stake In Arrowhead Pharma To 3.7 Pct From 6.4 Pct

* SILENCE THERAPEUTICS PLC CUTS STAKE IN ARROWHEAD PHARMACEUTICALS TO 3.7 PERCENT AS OF DECEMBER 8 FROM A STAKE OF 6.4 PERCENT AS OF NOVEMBER 29 - SEC FILING Source text: (http://bit.ly/2BPqQSX) Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Leap Therapeutics Files For Resale Of Up To 3.73 Mln Shares Of Co's Common Stock By Selling Stockholders

* LEAP THERAPEUTICS INC FILES FOR RESALE OF UP TO 3.73 MILLION SHARES OF CO'S COMMON STOCK BY THE SELLING STOCKHOLDERS - SEC FILING Source text: (http://bit.ly/2jdjIfs) Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-CIT Group Inc Files For Potential Mixed Shelf Offering

* CIT GROUP INC FILES FOR POTENTIAL MIXED SHELF OFFERING; SIZE NOT DISCLOSED - SEC FILING Source text: (http://bit.ly/2y8rsAP) Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Noble Energy Says On Dec 7, Co Entered Into Letter Agreement With Wheeling Creek Midstream LLC

* NOBLE ENERGY INC SAYS ON DECEMBER 7, CO ENTERED INTO A LETTER AGREEMENT WITH WHEELING CREEK MIDSTREAM LLC - SEC FILING

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BRIEF-Oaktree Says Co's Portfolio Company Entered Amendment To Documents Governing Senior Revolving Credit Facility

* OAKTREE - ON DEC 8, CO'S PORTFOLIO COMPANY ENTERED AMENDMENT TO DOCUMENTS GOVERNING SENIOR REVOLVING CREDIT FACILITY

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BRIEF-Skyline Medical Files For Resale Of Up To 1.9 Mln Shares By Selling Stockholder

* SKYLINE MEDICAL INC FILES FOR RESALE OF UP TO 1.9 MILLION SHARES OF CO'S COMMON STOCK BY THE SELLING STOCKHOLDER - SEC FILING Source text: (http://bit.ly/2BQ55m2) Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Social Reality Says On Dec 4, Co Entered Into Settlement Agreement With tronc Inc And Tribune Content Agency LLC

* SOCIAL REALITY INC - ON DEC 4, CO ENTERED INTO A SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT WITH TRONC INC AND TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY LLC - SEC FILING

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BRIEF-Vulcan Materials - Unit Received Imminent Danger Order At Its Danley Quarry In Antioch, Tennessee

* VULCAN MATERIALS - UNIT RECEIVED IMMINENT DANGER ORDER AT ITS DANLEY QUARRY IN ANTIOCH, TENNESSEE

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BRIEF-Lilly's Cyramza meets Primary Endpoint in gastric cancer study

* LILLY REPORTS TOP-LINE RESULTS FROM CYRAMZA® (RAMUCIRUMAB) PHASE 3 STUDY IN FIRST-LINE ADVANCED GASTRIC CANCER

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BRIEF-Catalyst Midstream Partners Announces Binding Open Season for New Crude Oil Gathering System

* CATALYST MIDSTREAM PARTNERS, LLC ANNOUNCES BINDING OPEN SEASON FOR NEW CRUDE OIL GATHERING SYSTEM TO SERVE THE DELAWARE BASIN

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BRIEF-Capital Research Global Investors Reports 12.6 Pct Passive Stake In Bandwidth Inc As Of Nov 30

* CAPITAL RESEARCH GLOBAL INVESTORS REPORTS 12.6 PERCENT PASSIVE STAKE IN BANDWIDTH INC AS OF NOVEMBER 30 - SEC FILING Source text: (http://bit.ly/2kJzKOE) Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-CorMedix Enters Amendment To Existing Sales Agreement With B. Riley FBR To Replace MLV & Co As Sales Agent

* CORMEDIX SAYS ENTERED AMENDMENT TO EXISTING SALES AGREEMENT WITH B. RILEY FBR, INC. TO REPLACE MLV & CO. LLC AS SALES AGENT - SEC FILING

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BRIEF-Capital Research Global Investors Reports 11.1 Pct Passive Stake In Integra Lifesciences As Of Nov 30

* CAPITAL RESEARCH GLOBAL INVESTORS REPORTS 11.1 PERCENT PASSIVE STAKE IN INTEGRA LIFESCIENCES HOLDINGS CORP AS OF NOVEMBER 30 - SEC FILING Source text: (http://bit.ly/2jb88l1) Further company coverage:

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More 'Big Little Lies' on its way to television

LOS ANGELES, Dec 8 (Reuters) - "Big Little Lies," the Emmy-winning drama starring Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, is returning for a second season, HBO announced on Friday, with most of the cast expected to return.

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CANADA STOCKS-TSX posts 2-week high as industrials lead broad-based rally

TORONTO, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose to a two-week high on Friday, led by financial and industrial shares after solid U.S. jobs data boosted investor sentiment, while energy stocks climbed on higher oil prices.

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N.J. Governor Christie eyes nuclear power subsidies, sparks criticism

Dec 8 (Reuters) - New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said he would consider a bill in his last month in office that would subsidize the state's nuclear power plants to prevent them from retiring early, sparking criticism from some energy companies and environmental and public interest groups on Friday.

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BRIEF-Platform Specialty Products Announces Final Results Of Cash Tender Offer

* PLATFORM SPECIALTY PRODUCTS CORPORATION ANNOUNCES FINAL RESULTS OF CASH TENDER OFFER AND CONSENT SOLICITATION FOR, AND COMPLETION OF THE REDEMPTION OF, ANY AND ALL OF ITS OUTSTANDING 10.375% SENIOR NOTES DUE 2021 Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Consol Energy Says President Katharine Fredriksen Departed Co

* CONSOL ENERGY SAYS KATHARINE FREDRIKSEN, PRESIDENT, DEPARTED CO; JAMES BROCK, CO'S CEO, IS ASSUMING ADDITIONAL ROLE OF PRESIDENT - SEC FILING Source text for Eikon: (http://bit.ly/2jckzwJ) Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Qiao Zhongxing Reports 9.9 Percent Stake In UTStarcom

* QIAO ZHONGXING REPORTS 9.9 PERCENT STAKE IN UTSTARCOM HOLDINGS CORP AS OF NOVEMBER 28 - SEC FILING Source: (http://bit.ly/2jbYDCb) Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Oil-Dri Corp of America Qtrly Diluted Common Earnings Per Share $0.41

* OIL-DRI CORPORATION OF AMERICA SAYS QTRLY NET SALES ABOUT $66.7 MILLION VERSUS $66.6 MILLION - SEC FILING

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BRIEF-DCP Midstream Says, Co And Unit Entered Into Second Amended And Restated Credit Agreement

* DCP MIDSTREAM LP SAYS ON DEC 6, 2017, CO AND UNIT ENTERED INTO SECOND AMENDED AND RESTATED CREDIT AGREEMENT - SEC FILING

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BRIEF-S&W Seed Enters Fourth Amendment To Asset Purchase, Sale Agreement With Pioneer Hi-Bred

* S&W SEED CO SAYS ON DEC 4, 2017, ENTERED INTO FOURTH AMENDMENT TO ASSET PURCHASE AND SALE AGREEMENT WITH PIONEER HI-BRED INTERNATIONAL - SEC FILING

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UPDATE 1-Retailers' Dec. imports to rise on last-minute restocking -NRF

Dec 8 (Reuters) - Imports by retailers are estimated to rise 1.5 percent in December, indicating that companies are expecting strong sales through the holiday season, according to industry group National Retail Federation (NRF).

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UPDATE 3-Bitcoin drops after dramatic gains ahead of futures launch

(Updates prices, adds graphic, analyst comment) By Jemima Kelly and Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss LONDON/NEW YORK, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Bitcoin lost almost a fifth of its value in 10 hours on Friday, having surged more than 40 percent in the preceding 48 hours, sparking fears the market may be heading for a price collapse. In a hectic day on Thursday, bitcoin leapt from below $16,000 to $19,500 in less than an hour on the U.S.-based GDAX, one of the biggest exchanges globally, while it was

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Speculators increase net-short dollar bets to $4.28 billion -CFTC and Reuters

Dec 8 (Reuters) - Speculators increased their bearish, net-short bets on the U.S. dollar to $4.28 billion in latest week of trading, marking the 21st straight week of net-negative speculator dollar positioning, data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission calculated by Reuters showed.

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UPDATE 2-ED&F Man reviews physical grains trading, may exit business

* Sugar refinery in Israel be shut at the end of 2017 (Adds company comment)

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BRIEF-Baker Hughes, A GE Company Announces Pricing Of Tender Offers By Baker Hughes, A GE Company, LLC

* BAKER HUGHES, A GE COMPANY ANNOUNCES PRICING OF ANY AND ALL TENDER OFFERS BY BAKER HUGHES, A GE COMPANY, LLC

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Some Venezuela bondholders receive payments on PDVSA 2017N, 2010 bonds

CARACAS, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Some bondholders have received late interest payments on Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA's 2017N and 2020 bonds, three market sources said on Friday.

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BRIEF-NYX Gaming & Scientific Games Announce Sky Betting & Gaming Will Support Proposed Deal

* NYX GAMING GROUP AND SCIENTIFIC GAMES ANNOUNCE SKY BETTING & GAMING WILL SUPPORT PROPOSED ACQUISITION OF NYX

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MOVES-OppenheimerFunds, KPMG, Janus Henderson

Dec 8 (Reuters) - The following financial services industry appointments were announced on Friday. To inform us of other job changes, email moves@thomsonreuters.com.

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UPDATE 1-TIM expands high end broadband offerings in Brazil

SAO PAULO, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Brazilian telecoms provider TIM Participacoes SA launched an expansion of its fiber-to-the-home service outside the country's two biggest cities on Friday, adding to competition for Brazil's high-end broadband customers.

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PWC to sell government services practice -sources

WASHINGTON, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Global financial auditing and consulting company PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP is exploring the sale of its government consulting practice, which could fetch about $500 million, four people familiar with the matter said this week.

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BRIEF-Maersk Line completes the divestment of Mercosul Line‍​

* MERCOSUL DEAL WAS SUBJECT TO BRAZIL REGULATORY APPROVAL AND CLOSING OF HAMBURG SÜD ACQUISITION, BOTH HAVE NOW BEEN FINALISED‍​ FURTHER COMPANY COVERAGE: (Copenhagen newsroom)

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BRIEF-Alta Park Capital Reports 5.95 Pct Passive Stake In Bandwidth

* ALTA PARK CAPITAL LP REPORTS 5.95 PERCENT PASSIVE STAKE IN BANDWIDTH INC AS OF NOV 30 - SEC FILING‍​ ‍​ Source text: (http://bit.ly/2yPOqjL) Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Toyota Announces Executive Leadership Appointments In North America

* TOYOTA ANNOUNCES EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP APPOINTMENTS IN NORTH AMERICA Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Government Of Canada Names Direct Energy Business As Their New Natural Gas Provider

* DIRECT ENERGY - GOVERNMENT OF CANADA NAMED CO THEIR NEW NATURAL GAS PROVIDER FOR CORRECTIONAL SERVICES CANADA, DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE

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UPDATE 2-Mexico says deepwater oil tender doomed by Brazil competition

MEXICO CITY, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Mexican national oil company Pemex on Friday blamed the cancellation of a potentially lucrative deepwater Gulf of Mexico project on weak investor appetite due to competition from recent auctions in Brazil and low oil prices.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-Destination Xl Group Entered Into Letter Agreement With Prescott Group Capital Management

* DESTINATION XL GROUP - ON DEC 6, CO ENTERED INTO LETTER AGREEMENT WITH PRESCOTT GROUP CAPITAL MANAGEMENT L.L.C. & AFFILIATES & THEIR ASSOCIATES

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BRIEF-Lombard Odier Asset Management Owns About 9.85% Issued & Outstanding Ordinary Shares Of Horizonte Minerals As At Dec 8

* LOMBARD ODIER ASSET MANAGEMENT - AS AT DEC 8, CO HAS OWNERSHIP OF ABOUT 9.85% OF ISSUED & OUTSTANDING ORDINARY SHARES OF HORIZONTE MINERALS Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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US STOCKS-November payrolls report lifts Wall St

* Dow up 0.34 pct, S&P 500 up 0.43 pct, Nasdaq up 0.46 pct (Updates to mid-afternoon, changes byline)

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UPDATE 1-KKR to buy tool components maker Hyperion from Sandvik

* KKR to buy tool components manufacturer Hyperion from Sandvik

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BRIEF-Stanley Furniture Says Board Voted To Decrease Number Of Directors By One - SEC Filing‍​

* STANLEY FURNITURE COMPANY - BOARD VOTED TO DECREASE NUMBER OF DIRECTORS BY ONE EFFECTIVE UPON GLENN PRILLAMAN’S RESIGNATION - SEC FILING‍​

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Venezuela's oil sales to U.S. fell in Nov to lowest level since 2003

HOUSTON, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Venezuela's crude oil exports to the United States fell in November to their lowest level since January 2003, when a strike knocked down the country's output, due to sanctions and a steep production decline, according to Reuters data.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-Coherus Says Judge Issued Under Seal Report & Recommendation In Relation To Patent Infringement Complaint

* COHERUS SAYS U.S. JUDGE RECOMMENDED COURT GRANT CO'S PENDING MOTION TO DISMISS AMGEN'S COMPLAINT FOR FAILURE TO STATE CLAIM

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BRIEF-KKR Has Brought Its Tender Offer For Shares Of Hitachi Kokusai Electric To A Close - Nikkei‍​

* KOHLBERG KRAVIS ROBERTS HAS BROUGHT ITS TENDER OFFER FOR SHARES OF HITACHI KOKUSAI ELECTRIC TO A CLOSE - NIKKEI‍​

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U.S. drillers add oil rigs for 3rd week in a row -Baker Hughes

Dec 8 (Reuters) - U.S. energy companies this week added oil rigs for a third week in a row, the longest string of increases since summer, as higher crude prices prompt drillers to return to the well pad after a break in the autumn. Drillers added two oil rigs in the week to Dec. 8, bringing the total count up to 751, the highest level since September, General Electric Co's Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday.

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BRIEF-Winnebago Industries Reprices Term Loan B Debt

* WINNEBAGO INDUSTRIES ANNOUNCES REPRICING OF ITS TERM LOAN B DEBT

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BRIEF-Atlantic Coast Pipeline Signs Project Labor Agreements

* ATLANTIC COAST PIPELINE SIGNS PROJECT LABOR AGREEMENTS WITH FOUR LEADING CONSTRUCTION TRADE UNIONS

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US STOCKS-Wall Street gains on robust Nov. hiring data

* Indexes up: Dow 0.38 pct, S&P 0.49 pct, Nasdaq 0.64 pct (Updates to early afternoon)

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WRAPUP 5-Strong U.S. job growth in November bolsters economy's outlook

WASHINGTON, Dec 8 (Reuters) - U.S. job growth increased at a strong clip in November, painting a portrait of a healthy economy that analysts say does not require the kind of fiscal stimulus that President Donald Trump is proposing, even though wage gains remain moderate.

companyNews reuters.com

Retailers' December imports to rise on last-minute restocking-NRF

Dec 8 (Reuters) - Imports by retailers are forecast to rise 1.5 percent in December year-over-year, indicating that companies are expecting strong sales through the holiday season, according to industry group National Retail Federation (NRF).

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-Cohbar Increases its Board Size To Six On John Amatruda's Appointment

* COHBAR INC - ON DEC, 6 BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF CO INCREASED NUMBER OF ITS DIRECTORS TO SIX AND APPOINTED JOHN AMATRUDA, AS A MEMBER OF BOARD-SEC FILING Source : ( http://bit.ly/2jaYtdY ) Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Boeing Provides Statement On Canadian Interim Fighter Capability Project

* BOEING STATEMENT ON THE CANADIAN INTERIM FIGHTER CAPABILITY PROJECT AND FREE AND FAIR COMPETITION

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BRIEF-Sigma Industries Retracts Revenue Projection

* SIGMA INDUSTRIES - ‍IS RETRACTING ITS REVENUE PROJECTION OF UP TO ABOUT $9 MILLION THAT WAS PUBLISHED IN ITS PREVIOUS PRESS RELEASE Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Materion Corp Announces Chair Transition And Succession

* MATERION CORP SAYS RICHARD HIPPLE WILL RETIRE AS THE CO’S EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, EFFECTIVE AS OF DECEMBER 30, 2017 - SEC FILING

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BRIEF-American Airlines Says Brief Technical Glitch With Server Certificate Rectified

* AMERICAN AIRLINES SAYS "WE HAD A MINOR TECHNICAL GLITCH WITH ONE OF OUR SERVER CERTIFICATES FOR A BRIEF PERIOD, AND THAT HAS NOW BEEN RECTIFIED" Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Phillips 66 Announces 2018 Capital Budget Of $2.3 Bln

* 2018 CAPITAL BUDGET OF $2.3 BILLION, WHICH INCLUDES $1.4 BILLION OF GROWTH CAPITAL AND $0.9 BILLION OF SUSTAINING CAPITAL

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BRIEF-WestRock Sees Fiscal 2018 Revenue Of At Least $16.3 Billion

* REITERATED FISCAL 2018 GUIDANCE FOR REVENUE OF AT LEAST $16.3 BILLION, ADJUSTED SEGMENT EBITDA OF MORE THAN $2.8 BILLION

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WestJet to gain market share with Delta joint venture -Moody's

Dec 8 (Reuters) - WestJet Airlines Ltd's joint venture with Delta Air Lines Inc will put the Canadian air carrier in a stronger position to gain market share, credit rating agency Moody's Investors Service said.

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EU regulators to warn Bayer about Monsanto bid - source

BRUSSELS, Dec 8 (Reuters) - EU antitrust regulators are expected to warn Bayer in the coming weeks that its planned takeover of U.S. seed maker Monsanto may hurt competition, a person familiar with the matter said on Friday.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-Dorman Products Enters Into A New Credit Agreement

* DORMAN PRODUCTS INC - ‍ ON DECEMBER 7, CO ENTERED INTO A NEW CREDIT AGREEMENT- SEC FILING

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UPDATE 1-Teva considering cutting up to 10,000 jobs - Bloomberg

Dec 8 (Reuters) - Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd is considering cutting up to 10,000 jobs as CEO Kare Schultz seeks to reduce $1.5 billion to $2 billion in costs over the next two years, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-Graco Announces 3-For-1 Stock Split And Increases Quarterly Dividend By 10.4 Percent

* GRACO ANNOUNCES 3-FOR-1 STOCK SPLIT AND INCREASES QUARTERLY DIVIDEND BY 10.4 PERCENT

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BRIEF-Cargill Invests Over $15 Mln In New Piglet Feed Production Line In Tianjin

* CARGILL INVESTS MORE THAN $15 MILLION IN NEW PIGLET FEED PRODUCTION LINE IN TIANJIN, CHINA

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BRIEF-Tucows, Units, Enter Interim Amendment To First Amended And Restated Credit Agreement

* SAYS ON DEC 5, CO, UNITS, ENTERED INTERIM AMENDMENT TO FIRST AMENDED AND RESTATED CREDIT AGREEMENT

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BRIEF-Linden Capital Reports A 5.1 Pct Passive Stake In Sucampo Pharmaceuticals

* LINDEN CAPITAL L.P REPORTS 5.1 PERCENT PASSIVE STAKE IN SUCAMPO PHARMACEUTICALS INC AS OF DECEMBER 6, 2017 - SEC FILING Source text : [http://bit.ly/2jz2syj] Further company coverage:

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GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks, dollar gain after strong U.S. job growth data

* Dollar index on pace for fifth session of gains (Updates with opening of U.S. markets; changes dateline from London)

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BRIEF-Edgepoint Investment Group Reports 10.6 Pct Passive Stake In Novelion Therapeutics

* EDGEPOINT INVESTMENT GROUP INC REPORTS 10.6 PERCENT PASSIVE STAKE IN NOVELION THERAPEUTICS INC AS OF NOVEMBER 30 - SEC FILING Source text : http://bit.ly/2yOFk6N Further company coverage:

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UPDATE 1-Trump says fines against Wells Fargo won't be dropped - Twitter

WASHINGTON, Dec 8 (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump took aim at the country's third-largest bank on Friday tweeting that government fines and penalties against Wells Fargo & Co could be "substantially increased" amid an on-going sales scandal.

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Pemex says Brazil competition and complexity doomed deepwater tender

MEXICO CITY, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Mexican national oil company Pemex on Friday blamed the cancellation of a potentially lucrative deepwater Gulf of Mexico project on geological complexity and weak investor appetite due to oil prices and competition from recent auctions in Brazil.

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UPDATE 1-CVS expects U.S. Justice Department to handle review of Aetna deal

WASHINGTON, Dec 7 (Reuters) - CVS Health Corp expects the U.S. Justice Department to do the antitrust review of its planned acquisition of health insurer Aetna Inc, a spokesman for the drugstore chain operator said.

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CVS expects U.S. Justice Department to handle review of Aetna deal

WASHINGTON, Dec 7 (Reuters) - U.S. drugstore chain operator CVS Health Corp expects the Justice Department to do the antitrust review of its planned acquisition of health insurer Aetna Inc, a spokesman said.

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#NoRussiaNoGames: Twitter "bots" boost Russian backlash against Olympic ban

* But automated, semi-automated Twitter accounts amplify reach

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Trump says fines against Wells Fargo won't be dropped - Twitter

WASHINGTON, Dec 8 (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday that government fines and penalties against Wells Fargo & Co will not be dropped and could be "substantially increased."

companyNews reuters.com

KKR to buy tool components maker Hyperion from Sweden's Sandvik

NEW YORK, Dec 8 (Reuters) - KKR & Co LP has agreed to buy industrial tool components manufacturer Hyperion from Sandvik, a deal the U.S. buyout firm said marked its first acquisition in the mid-market industrials sector.

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EMERGING MARKETS-LatAm currencies seesaw on mixed U.S. jobs data

By Bruno Federowski SAO PAULO, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies seesawed on Friday after U.S. job growth posted solid gains in November but wages rose less than expected. U.S. nonfarm payrolls rose by 228,000 jobs last month amid broad gains in hiring as the distortions from the recent hurricanes faded. Still, average hourly earnings rose 0.2 percent, less than the 0.3 percent consensus estimate. The figures left investors guessing over the pace of U.S. interest rate h

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WRAPUP 4-Strong U.S. job growth in November bolster economy's outlook

WASHINGTON, Dec 8 (Reuters) - U.S. job growth increased at a strong clip in November, painting a portrait of a healthy economy that analysts say does not require the kind of fiscal stimulus that President Donald Trump is proposing, even though wage gains remain moderate.

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UPDATE 2-City of London sticks to Brexit plans despite progress

* Barclays' McFarlane says key questions still open (Adds comment, detail)

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BRIEF-Eros International Says‍ Eros Now Has Partnered With Metrological

* EROS INTERNATIONAL PLC - ‍ EROS NOW HAS PARTNERED WITH METROLOGICAL; EROS NOW WILL BE AVAILABLE AS PART OF METROLOGICAL'S APP LIBRARY Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises with energy stocks; Kinder Morgan Canada jumps

TORONTO, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose on Friday, boosted by broad gains for energy stocks as oil prices moved higher, and as pipeline operator Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd jumped following a favorable regulator ruling.

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HNA looks to float Swiss Gategroup early next year -sources

FRANKFURT/ZURICH, Dec 8 (Reuters) - China's HNA Group, which has started selling off assets to allay liquidity concerns, is pushing for a flotation of its Swiss airline caterer Gategroup Holding early next year, people close to the matter said.

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BRIEF-Intercontinental Exchange Announces Election Of Sharon Bowen To ICE Board Of Directors

* INTERCONTINENTAL EXCHANGE ANNOUNCES ELECTION OF SHARON BOWEN TO ICE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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US STOCKS SNAPSHOT-Strong U.S. jobs growth data lifts Wall Street

Dec 8 (Reuters) - Wall Street's stock indexes opened higher on Friday after the latest jobs data showed strength in the U.S. economy and bolstered the case for a December interest rate hike.

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GLOBAL MARKETS-World stocks rise as Brexit deal adds to Asian cheer

* European stocks surge 0.8 pct, following Asian stocks higher

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UPDATE 1-Elliott Management seeks changes at Alexion - NYT

Dec 8 (Reuters) - U.S. hedge fund Elliott Management, which has built a stake in Alexion Pharmaceuticals, is urging the company to take more action to boost its stock price, including exploring a sale, the New York Times reported on Thursday.

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BRIEF-Manulife Financial Corp Files For Mixed Shelf Of Up To $5 Billion

* MANULIFE FINANCIAL CORP FILES FOR MIXED SHELF OF UP TO $5 BILLION– SEC FILING‍​ Source text - (http://bit.ly/2BhcmyL) Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Forest City Realty Trust Inc Files For A Potential Mixed Shelf Offering ‍​

* FOREST CITY REALTY TRUST INC FILES FOR A POTENTIAL MIXED SHELF OFFERING; SIZE UNDISCLOSED - SEC FILING ‍​ Source text - (http://bit.ly/2AYlmZj) Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-CVI Investments Inc Reports A 6.1 Pct Passive Stake In Myomo

* CVI INVESTMENTS INC REPORTS A 6.1 PCT PASSIVE STAKE IN MYOMO INC AS OF NOV 30 - SEC FILING Source text: (http://bit.ly/2y8iUcV) Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Aevi Genomic Medicine Files For Resale Of Up To 26.2 Mln Shares Of Co's Common Stock By Selling Stockholders

* AEVI GENOMIC MEDICINE INC FILES FOR RESALE OF UP TO 26.2 MILLION SHARES OF CO'S COMMON STOCK BY SELLING STOCKHOLDERS - SEC FILING Source text - http://bit.ly/2kEddlX Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Westmoreland Resource Partners Appoints Michael Hutchinson As Interim Chief Executive Officer

* WESTMORELAND RESOURCE PARTNERS LP SAYS ON DEC 5, BOARD APPOINTED MICHAEL HUTCHINSON TO SERVE AS INTERIM CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER - SEC FILING Source text - http://bit.ly/2kChp5Y Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Barnes Group Says ‍Elected Richard Hipple As Independent Director

* BARNES GROUP - ‍ELECTED RICHARD J. HIPPLE AS INDEPENDENT DIRECTOR OF CO; HIPPLE'S ELECTION INCREASES BOARD MEMBERSHIP TO TWELVE DIRECTORS - SEC FILING​ Source text - http://bit.ly/2AJ9v0n Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Gigcapital, Inc. Announces Pricing Of $125,000,000 Initial Public Offering

* GIGCAPITAL, INC. ANNOUNCES PRICING OF $125,000,000 INITIAL PUBLIC OFFERING

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-Arconic Divests Its Latin America Extrusions Business

* ARCONIC INC - ‍UNDER TERMS OF AGREEMENT, ARCONIC WILL RECEIVE APPROXIMATELY $10 MILLION IN CASH FOR LAE BUSINESS​

companyNews reuters.com

EU's Vestager to meet Google's unhappy shopping rivals

BRUSSELS, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Europe's antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager will meet with foes of Alphabet unit Google amid mounting criticism that the company's proposal to treat competitors equally was not working out.

companyNews reuters.com

US STOCKS SNAPSHOT-Futures add to gains on strong Nov. jobs data

Dec 8 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures extended gains on Friday after a Labor Department report showed job growth increased at a strong clip in November and wages rebounded.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-Amazon Music Unlimited Says Announces Its Expansion Into 28 Additional Countries

* AMAZON MUSIC UNLIMITED SAYS ANNOUNCES ITS EXPANSION INTO 28 ADDITIONAL COUNTRIES Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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Pfizer breast cancer drug superior to chemotherapy in Phase III study

Dec 8 (Reuters) - Patients with advanced breast cancer tied to an inherited gene mutation who were treated with an experimental Pfizer Inc drug went about three months longer before their disease worsened than those who received chemotherapy in a late stage study, according to data released on Friday.

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UPDATE 2-Singapore's ComfortDelGro buys majority stake in Uber unit

Dec 8 (Reuters) - Singapore's top taxi operator ComfortDelGro Corp will buy a 51 percent stake in a unit of Uber that runs a fleet of private hire vehicles, as the companies seek to bridge the gap with dominant ride-hailing firm Grab.

cnn.com

2016 email to the then-candidate and Trump Jr. offered what was purported to be a key to hacked documents

Candidate Donald Trump, his son Donald Trump Jr. and others in the Trump Organization received an email in September 2016 offering a decryption key and website address for hacked WikiLeaks documents, according to an email provided to congressional investigators.

worldNews reuters.com

South African court rules Zuma appointment of state prosecutor invalid

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's High Court ruled on Friday that President Jacob Zuma's appointment of a state prosecutor to decide whether to reinstate corruption charges against him was not valid and should be set aside immediately.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-Hexcel To Acquire Oxford Performance Materials Aerospace & Defense Business

* HEXCEL TO ACQUIRE OXFORD PERFORMANCE MATERIALS AEROSPACE & DEFENSE BUSINESS

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BRIEF-SNC-Lavalin Awarded Contract On The WestConnex M4 Project

* SNC-LAVALIN GROUP INC - WESTCONNEX M4 PROJECT WILL COMMENCE IN DECEMBER 2017 & IS EXPECTED TO BE COMPLETED IN JULY 2018 Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Impax Receives Tentative fda Approval Of Generic Coreg CR (Carvedilol Phosphate) Extended-Release Capsules

* IMPAX RECEIVES TENTATIVE FDA APPROVAL OF GENERIC COREG CR® (CARVEDILOL PHOSPHATE) EXTENDED-RELEASE CAPSULES

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BRIEF-First Cobalt Announces $25 Mln Bought Deal Private Placement Financing

* FIRST COBALT ANNOUNCES $25 MILLION BOUGHT DEAL PRIVATE PLACEMENT FINANCING

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UPDATE 1-UN calls on social media giants to control platforms used to lure African migrants

GENEVA, Dec 8 (Reuters) - The U.N. migration agency called on social media giants on Friday to control their platforms that it said are being used by smugglers to lure West African migrants to Libya where they face detention, torture and slavery.

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US STOCKS-Brexit deal helps U.S. futures bounce

Dec 8 (Reuters) - U.S. stock futures pointed to a higher opening for Wall Street on Friday, helped by gains for global stock markets after Britain secured EU agreement to move on from the first-round of Brexit negotiations.

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UPDATE 1-Lloyd's of London pushes ahead with Brexit plans

* TheCityUK says time running out (Recasts, adds industry comment)

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UPDATE 1-China imposes record fine on Guangfa Bank over guarantees for defaulted bonds

BEIJING, Dec 8 (Reuters) - China's banking regulator has confiscated illegal income and imposed fines on China Guangfa Bank Co totalling 722 million yuan ($109 million) for providing illegal guarantees for defaulted corporate bonds sold through an Alibaba-backed online finance platform, it said on Friday.

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BRIEF-Brookfield Real Estate Services Announces Acquisition Of Franchise Agreements

* BROOKFIELD REAL ESTATE SERVICES INC. ANNOUNCES ACQUISITION OF FRANCHISE AGREEMENTS

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BRIEF-ITG Releases Nov 2017 U.S. Trading Volumes And Provides International Trading Commission Update

* ITG RELEASES NOVEMBER 2017 U.S. TRADING VOLUMES AND PROVIDES INTERNATIONAL TRADING COMMISSION UPDATE

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Rosneft says Sistema allegations are "absurd" - Ifax

MOSCOW, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Russian oil giant Rosneft said on Friday it had not received a 330.5 billion rouble ($5.57 billion) lawsuit filed by conglomerate Sistema against it and considered the allegations "absurd", Interfax cited a Rosneft spokesman as saying. ($1 = 59.3203 roubles) (writing by Denis Pinchuk; editing by Dmitry Solovyov)

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COLUMN-The boldest market call for 2018? The consensus: McGeever

LONDON, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Credit markets should brace for a U.S. recession, the U.S. yield curve will invert and growth in America will reach President Trump's lofty and oft-derided target of 4 percent.

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CORRECTED-Elliott Management seeks changes at Alexion - NYT (Dec. 7)

Dec 7 (Reuters) - U.S. hedge fund Elliott Management, which has built a stake in Alexion Pharmaceuticals, is urging the company to take more action to boost its stock price, including exploring a sale, the New York Times reported on Thursday.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-PNM Resources' Management Announces 2018 And 2019 Ongoing Earnings Guidance

* PNM RESOURCES' MANAGEMENT ANNOUNCES 2018 AND 2019 ONGOING EARNINGS GUIDANCE

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PRESS DIGEST-Canada-Dec 8

Dec 8 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories from selected Canadian newspapers. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

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Liberty Specialty Markets to redomicile UK insurance company to Luxembourg

LONDON, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Liberty Specialty Markets said on Friday it planned to redomicile its UK insurance company to Luxembourg as a result of Britain's decision to leave the European Union.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-Giga Media Ltd CEO Cheng-Ming Huang Reports Open Market Purchase Of 55,070 Shares Of Co's Common Stock On Dec 6 At $2.9375 Per Share

* GIGA MEDIA LTD CEO CHENG-MING HUANG REPORTS OPEN MARKET PURCHASE OF 55,070 SHARES OF CO'S COMMON STOCK ON DEC 6 AT $2.9375PER SHARE - SEC FILING‍​ Source text: [http://bit.ly/2yOQita] Further company coverage:

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UPDATE 2-RBS CEO says U.S. settlement could slip into next year-Bloomberg

* Resolving case key to RBS's forecast profit in 2018 (Updates RBS response, adds analyst comment, more background)

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Lloyd's of London CEO says still planning Brussels subsidiary

LONDON, Dec 8 (Reuters) - The chief executive of UK insurance market Lloyd's of London said she was pleased about the progress of talks about Britain's exit from the European Union but was nonetheless pressing ahead with plans for a subsidiary in Brussels.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-Hess Corp Says Co,Certain Units Amended & Restated Existing 5-Year Credit Agreement Dated As Of Jan 21, 2015

* HESS CORP - ON DEC 1 CO,CERTAIN UNITS AMENDED & RESTATED EXISTING 5-YEAR CREDIT AGREEMENT DATED AS OF JANUARY 21, 2015 - SEC FILING

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U.N. calls on social media giants to control platforms used to lure African migrants

GENEVA (Reuters) - The U.N. migration agency called on social media giants on Friday to control their platforms that it said are being used by smugglers to lure West African migrants to Libya where they face detention, torture and slavery.

topNews reuters.com

Special Report: How Monsanto's GM cotton sowed trouble in Africa

BOBO-DIOULASSO, Burkina Faso (Reuters) - In 2000, farmers in Burkina Faso, Africa's top cotton grower, were desperate. Their cotton fetched top prices because its high-quality fiber lent a luxurious sheen to clothing and bedsheets. But pests – bollworms – were threatening the crop.

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UPDATE 1-RBS CEO says chance of U.S. settlement this year diminishing -Bloomberg

* Resolving case key to RBS's forecast profit in 2018 (Adds background, share price movement)

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BRIEF-Pearson Plc Appoints Michael Lynton To Board Of Directors

* APPOINTS MICHAEL LYNTON, CHAIRMAN OF SNAPCHAT AND FORMER CHAIRMAN AND CEO OF SONY ENTERTAINMENT TO BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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UPDATE 1-Singapore's ComfortDelGro buying majority stake in Uber unit for $218 mln

Dec 8 (Reuters) - Singapore's ComfortDelGro Corp said on Friday it is buying a 51 percent stake in private hire vehicle fleet owner Lion City Holdings from Uber Technologies' unit Mieten B.V. for S$295 million ($217.99 million) in cash, in a bid to tackle local rival Grab.

worldNews reuters.com

South Africa's high court rules Zuma appointment of state prosecutor invalid

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's High Court ruled on Friday that President Jacob Zuma's appointment of a state prosecutor responsible for deciding whether to reinstate corruption charges against him was not valid and should be set aside immediately.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-Himax Technologies Says Co Strongly Denies Citron Research Allegations Of Fraud​​

* SAYS "‍HIMAX TECHNOLOGIES STRONGLY DENIES CITRON RESEARCH ALLEGATIONS OF FRAUD"​

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CEE MARKETS-Forint touches new 2017 low after Nov inflation data

BUDAPEST, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Hungary's forint touched its lowest level for the year on Friday after November inflation data signalled no imminent change to maintaining the central bank's ultra-loose monetary policy stance. At 0918 GMT, the forint was a touch weaker on the day, rebounding from a 2017 low of 315.18 versus the euro. Hovering around the key 315 line, the forint has extended its losses for the year and is underperforming both the Polish zloty and the Czech crown . Anal

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China Guangfa Bank fined $109 million for rule violation - regulator

BEIJING, Dec 8 (Reuters) - China's banking regulator has fined China Guangfa Bank Co 722 million yuan ($109.12 million) for providing illegal guarantees for defaulted corporate bonds, it said on Friday.

companyNews reuters.com

Singapore's ComfortDelGro buying majority stake in Uber unit for $218 mln

Dec 8 (Reuters) - Singapore's ComfortDelGro Corp said on Friday it is buying a 51 percent stake in private hire vehicle fleet owner Lion City Holdings from Uber Technologies' unit Mieten B.V. for S$295 million ($217.99 million) in cash.

companyNews reuters.com

EU rules most U.S. "dark pools" out of MiFID II stock exchange pact

BRUSSELS, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Concerns about U.S. alternative exchanges known as "dark pools" have prompted the European Commission to cut the number which will have access to European Union markets when new rules come into force in January, documents seen by Reuters show.

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GLOBAL MARKETS-Sterling hits 6-month high, stocks up as Brexit deal adds to Asian cheer

* European stocks surge 0.9 pct, following Asian stocks higher

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BRIEF-Touchstone To Complete A $5 Million Private Placement And Increase 2018 Drilling Program To 10 Wells

* TOUCHSTONE TO COMPLETE A $5 MILLION PRIVATE PLACEMENT AND INCREASE 2018 DRILLING PROGRAM TO 10 WELLS

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BRIEF-Ardagh Announces Closing Of $850 Mln Asset-Based Credit Facility

* ARDAGH ANNOUNCES CLOSING OF US$850 MILLION ASSET-BASED CREDIT FACILITY

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UPDATE 1-SoftBank to invest $300 mln in food delivery firm DoorDash - Recode

Dec 7 (Reuters) - SoftBank Group Corp plans to invest around $300 million into DoorDash, a San Francisco-based food delivery startup, Recode reported.

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UPDATE 1-Toshiba, Western Digital aiming to settle chip dispute next week -sources

* Both sides aiming for final agreement by next week -sources

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METALS-Shanghai copper prices turn positive on China data

SYDNEY, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Shanghai copper futures turned positive on Friday after data showed a jump in imports of the metal into China, the world's top consumer of the commodity.

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GLOBAL MARKETS-Asia cheers China trade boost, bitcoin comes off heady heights

* Sterling twitchy as EU and UK makes breakthrough on border talk