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U.N. resolutions on North Korea must be fully implemented: Guterres

TOKYO (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Thursday that United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding North Korea's nuclear and missile programs must be fully implemented by Pyongyang and other countries.

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UPDATE 1-Lexinfintech slashes U.S. IPO size as China reins in micro-lenders

* Beijing targeted online micro-lenders with new rules this month (Adds company response, background on firm and industry)

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BRIEF-Canadian Mining cancels Ghana gold property acquisition

* CANADIAN MINING CORP. CANCELS GHANA GOLD PROPERTY ACQUISITION

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U.S. solar installations to fall more than expected in 2017

Dec 14 (Reuters) - U.S. solar installations will fall more than expected this year, according to an industry report released on Thursday, due to weakened demand for residential systems and delays on large projects over concerns that President Donald Trump will impose tariffs on imported panels, increasing costs.

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BRIEF-Becle To Acquire Pendleton Whisky Brands For $205 Mln

* BECLE SA DE CV SAYS HAS ENTERED INTO A DEFINITIVE AGREEMENT TO ACQUIRE PENDLETON WHISKY BRAND ASSETS FROM HOOD RIVER DISTILLERS, INC

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BRIEF-EP Energy announces amendments to offers to exchange new senior secured notes

* EP ENERGY ANNOUNCES AMENDMENTS TO OFFERS TO EXCHANGE NEW SENIOR SECURED NOTES DUE 2024 FOR OUTSTANDING SENIOR NOTES DUE 2020, 2022 AND 2023

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BRIEF-Bristow Group Announces Pricing Of Convertible Senior Notes Offering

* BRISTOW GROUP ANNOUNCES PRICING OF CONVERTIBLE SENIOR NOTES OFFERING

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BRIEF-Yirendai Announces Strategic Investment In Lion Rock

* YIRENDAI LTD SAYS HAS MADE STRATEGIC INVESTMENT IN LION ROCK, THROUGH LION ROCK'S SERIES A FINANCING OF HK$50 MILLION Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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GM says former UAW Vice President Joe Ashton to resign from board

Dec 13 (Reuters) - General Motors Co said on Wednesday Joseph Ashton, a former United Auto Workers vice president who led the union's GM department, has resigned from the company's board.

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Pemex says worker found dead in Salamanca refinery

MEXICO CITY, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Mexican state oil company Pemex said on Wednesday that a worker was found dead at its Salamanca refinery in the central state of Guanajuato.

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U.S. appeals court vacates conviction of drug distributor over Botox

Dec 13 (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday vacated the conviction of the owner of a wholesale drug distributor accused of selling authentic Botox and other drugs with foreign labels, dealing another setback to the government, which has struggled at times to successfully prosecute similar such cases.

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BRIEF-Boston Properties Announces Redemption Price For 3.700% Senior Notes Due 2018

* BOSTON PROPERTIES ANNOUNCES REDEMPTION PRICE FOR 3.700% SENIOR NOTES DUE 2018

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Nikkei edges down, telecom shares slump as Rakuten mulls market entry

TOKYO, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average erased earlier modest gains on Thursday to edge down, while telecommunications shares withered on news that online retailer Rakuten is weighing entry into the mobile carrier market.

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BRIEF-Independent Bank Group, Inc. Announces Pricing Of Subordinated Notes Offering

* INDEPENDENT BANK GROUP, INC. ANNOUNCES PRICING OF SUBORDINATED NOTES OFFERING

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BRIEF-Proteostasis Therapeutics Prices Public Offering Of 8 Mln Shares At $5/Share

* PROTEOSTASIS THERAPEUTICS PRICES PUBLIC OFFERING OF COMMON STOCK

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UPDATE 1-Anti-pipeline group goes back to work against Keystone XL

SEWARD, Neb., Dec 13 (Reuters) - Nebraska's main anti-pipeline group is trying to rally opposition to the TransCanada Corp's Keystone XL project's recently approved route through the state, tracking down landowners it says were not given a voice in the regulatory process.

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U.S. shoemaker Rockport explores options including sale -sources

NEW YORK, Dec 13 (Reuters) - The Rockport Group is exploring its options, including a possible sale, after one of the U.S. footwear maker's major debtholders took ownership of the company, people familiar with the matter said Wednesday.

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Odebrecht paid firms linked to Peru's Kuczynski $4.8 mln -document

LIMA, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Brazilian builder Odebrecht transferred $4.8 million to companies linked to Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski between 2004 and 2012, some of which was paid to a company Kuczynski controlled when he held senior government roles, according to a document the company sent to Congress.

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GLOBAL MARKETS-Asia stocks edge higher after Fed meeting; dollar, US yields sag

TOKYO, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Asian stocks edged higher on Thursday after the Federal Reserve delivered a much-anticipated interest rate hike but flagged caution about inflation, tempering expectations for future tightening, which weighed on the dollar and Treasury yields.

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Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision plans to list unit's shares in Shanghai

TAIPEI, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, the world's largest contract electronics manufacturer, said it planned to list shares of a subsidiary in Shanghai.

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UPDATE 1-Australian jobs growth surges, unemployment near 5-year lows

* Aussie dlr pops up to a five-week high (Adds economist comment, more data metrics, milestones, updates A$ level)

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South Korea's Moon tries K-Pop and TV stars in China charm offensive

SEOUL, Dec 14 (Reuters) - South Korean President Moon Jae-in will unveil an array of TV talent and K-Pop celebrities at events, including a state dinner, in China on Thursday as he attempts to smooth out a year of difficult diplomacy with a star-laden charm offensive.

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Lexinfintech slashes U.S. IPO as Beijing reins in micro-lenders

HONG KONG, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Chinese consumer lending firm Lexinfintech has slashed the size of its initial public offering to between $108 million and $132 million - a move that comes in the wake of a crackdown by Beijing on fast-growing online micro-lenders.

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BRIEF-Denso, Blackberry partner to develop Integrated Automobile HMI Platform

* DENSO AND BLACKBERRY PARTNER TO DEVELOP WORLD’S FIRST INTEGRATED AUTOMOBILE HMI PLATFORM

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BRIEF-EastGroup Properties Says Acquired Gwinnett Progress Center In Atlanta For $29.2 Million

* EASTGROUP PROPERTIES ANNOUNCES RECENT INVESTMENT AND FINANCING ACTIVITIES

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BRIEF-Vornado Announces Public Offering Of $450 Mln 3.5 Pct 7-Year Senior Unsecured Notes Due 2025

* VORNADO ANNOUNCES PUBLIC OFFERING OF $450 MILLION 3.5% 7-YEAR SENIOR UNSECURED NOTES DUE 2025 AND CALLS FOR REDEMPTION ITS $450 MILLION 2.5% SENIOR UNSECURED NOTES DUE 2019 AND CALLS FOR REDEMPTION THE REMAINING $120 MILLION OF ITS 6.625% SERIES I CUMULAT

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BRIEF-Siyata Mobile Announces Increase Of CDN$1 Mln To Brokered Private Placement

* SIYATA MOBILE ANNOUNCES INCREASE OF CDN$1 MILLION TO BROKERED PRIVATE PLACEMENT RESULTING IN UP TO CDN$4 MILLION IN UNSECURED CONVERTIBLE DEBENTURES

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BRIEF-Boulevard Acquisition Says Institutional Investors Agreed To Private Placement Of New Estre Shares For About $130 Mln

* BOULEVARD ACQUISITION CORP. II AND ESTRE AMBIENTAL S.A. TRANSACTION UPDATE

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BRIEF-RewardStream Appoints Usama Chaudhry As CFO

* ‍EFFECTIVELY IMMEDIATELY, RALPH TURFUS HAS RESIGNED FROM BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND AS CHAIRMAN OF COMPANY

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BRIEF-Deutsche Bank Raises Prime Lending Rate To 4.50 Pct

* DEUTSCHE BANK- CO'S NEW YORK BRANCH, DEUTSCHE BANK NEW YORK, SUBSIDIARY DEUTSCHE BANK TRUST COMPANY AMERICAS RAISED PRIME LENDING FROM 4.25% TO 4.50%

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BRIEF-Conn's Inc Says Entered Into Agreement To Securitize Aggregate Of $669.3 Mln Of Consumer Receivables

* CONN'S- ‍ANNOUNCED THAT IT HAS ENTERED INTO AN AGREEMENT TO SECURITIZE AN AGGREGATE OF $669.3 MILLION OF CONSUMER RECEIVABLES Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Raging River Exploration Announces 2018 Capital Budget Of $335 Million

* RAGING RIVER EXPLORATION INC. ANNOUNCES DUVERNAY LIGHT OIL DISCOVERY, OPERATIONAL UPDATE AND ANNOUNCES 2018 CAPITAL BUDGET OF $335 MILLION

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BRIEF-BSM Technologies Qtrly Loss Per Share $0.014​

* ‍TOTAL REVENUE OF $15.7 MILLION, AN INCREASE OF 5% COMPARED TO $15.0 MILLION IN Q4 F2016​

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BRIEF-Mullen Group Approves 67 Pct Annual Dividend Hike To $0.60 Per Share​

* ‍BOARD HAS APPROVED A 67.0 PERCENT INCREASE IN ANNUAL DIVIDEND TO SHAREHOLDERS FROM $0.36 PER SHARE TO $0.60 PER SHARE​

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BRIEF-At&T Mobility, Communications Workers Of America Reach Tentative Agreement In Orange Contract Negotiations

* AT&T MOBILITY, COMMUNICATIONS WORKERS OF AMERICA REACH TENTATIVE AGREEMENT IN ORANGE CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS

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Turkish banker accused of helping Iran launder money seeks mistrial

NEW YORK, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Lawyers for a Turkish banker on trial in New York on charges that he helped Iran evade U.S. sanctions asked a judge on Wednesday to declare a mistrial, saying testimony by a former Turkish police investigator should not have been allowed in court.

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UPDATE 1-Ecuador court sentences VP to six years in jail in Odebrecht graft case

QUITO, Dec 13 (Reuters) - An Ecuadorean court on Wednesday sentenced Vice President Jorge Glas to six years in jail after finding him guilty of receiving bribes from Brazilian construction company Odebrecht in return for handing the scandal-ridden firm state contracts.

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BRIEF-Bristol-Myers Squibb Granted Exclusive License By Ono Pharmaceutical For Multiple Programs Targeting Immuno-Suppressive Factors In The Tumor Microenvironment

* BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB GRANTED EXCLUSIVE LICENSE BY ONO PHARMACEUTICAL FOR MULTIPLE PROGRAMS TARGETING IMMUNO-SUPPRESSIVE FACTORS IN THE TUMOR MICROENVIRONMENT

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EMERGING MARKETS-Mexico peso firms after Fed maintains U.S. rate outlook

By Bruno Federowski and Sheky Espejo Dec 13 (Reuters) - Mexico's peso currency and stocks firmed on Wednesday after the U.S. Federal Reserve raised the cost of borrowing, but did not signal that it could pick up the pace of rate hikes next year. Signs of quicker U.S. economic growth had prompted speculation that the Fed could have forecast more rate hikes next year. But the U.S. central bank's forecast of three hikes in 2018 and 2019 was unchanged from its projections in September.

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BRIEF-FDA Approves Pfizer's New Biosimilar To Remicade

* PFIZER INC - UNITED STATES FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION HAS APPROVED IXIFI AS A BIOSIMILAR TO REMICADE Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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CORRECTED-BRIEF-Hines Global REIT II Makes Second Public Offering Of Up To $2.50 Bln In Shares Of Its Stock

Dec 12 (Reuters) - Hines Global Reit II: HINES GLOBAL REIT II SAYS MAKING A SECOND PUBLIC OFFERING OF UP TO $2.50 BILLION IN SHARES OF ITS STOCK- SEC FILING

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Toronto airport requires extra security checks after 'customs breach'

TORONTO, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Some U.S.-bound flights from Toronto's main international airport were delayed on Wednesday afternoon due to an incident that prompted authorities to require some passengers to go through customs a second time, a spokeswoman said.

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BRIEF-Western Alliance Bancorp Says Ken Vecchione Will Be Promoted To CEO In Q1 2018

* WESTERN ALLIANCE BANCORPORATION DETAILS TIMING FOR CEO ROLE TRANSITION IN 2018

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BRIEF-Winnebago Industries Board Approve Qtrly Cash Dividend Of $0.10 Per Share

* WINNEBAGO INDUSTRIES BOARD OF DIRECTORS APPROVE QUARTERLY CASH DIVIDEND OF $0.10 PER SHARE Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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U.S. study sheds light on how Zika causes nerve disorder

CHICAGO, Dec 13 (Reuters) - A new study sheds light on how the mosquito-borne Zika virus causes a rare neurological condition, and the findings could have implications for companies working on Zika vaccines, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday.

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UPDATE 1-Disney deal set to value Fox at more than $75 billion -source

Dec 13 (Reuters) - Walt Disney Co's deal to buy film, television and international businesses from Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox Inc will value the latter at over $40 per share, or $75 billion, a person familiar with the matter said.

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BRIEF-Aqua America Announces Appointment Of Chris Franklin As Chairman

* AQUA AMERICA ANNOUNCES APPOINTMENT OF CHRIS FRANKLIN AS CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD

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BRIEF-Cheetah Mobile To Incorporate Microsoft's Ai-Based Technologies And Services Into Cheetah Mobile's Product Matrix

* CHEETAH MOBILE INC - ANNOUNCED A COLLABORATION TO INCORPORATE MICROSOFT'S AI-BASED TECHNOLOGIES AND SERVICES INTO CHEETAH MOBILE'S PRODUCT MATRIX Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-U.S. FDA Accepts Bristol-Myers Squibb’S Application For Opdivo (Nivolumab) Plus Yervoy (Ipilimumab)

* U.S. FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION (FDA) ACCEPTS BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB’S APPLICATION FOR OPDIVO (NIVOLUMAB) PLUS YERVOY (IPILIMUMAB) IN INTERMEDIATE- AND POOR-RISK PATIENTS WITH ADVANCED RENAL CELL CARCINOMA AND GRANTS PRIORITY REVIEW

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BRIEF-Hmg Courtland Properties says Jy-Tv Associates Entered Agreement With Cardone Real Estate Acquisitions

* HMG COURTLAND PROPERTIES - JY-TV ASSOCIATES ENTERED AGREEMENT WITH CARDONE REAL ESTATE ACQUISITIONS TO SELL APARTMENTS FOR ABOUT $50.3 MILLION-SEC FILING Source text: [http://bit.ly/2AAFuRH] Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Helix Biopharma Q1 Loss Per Share C$0.02

* Q1 LOSS PER SHARE C$0.02 Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Casi Pharmaceuticals Files For Stock Shelf Of Upto $100 Million

* CASI PHARMACEUTICALS INC FILES FOR STOCK SHELF OF UPTO $100 MILLION - SEC FILING Source text: [http://bit.ly/2zaieHQ] Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Jacobs And Ch2m Announce Ch2m Stockholder Approval Of Merger

* JACOBS AND CH2M ANNOUNCE CH2M STOCKHOLDER APPROVAL OF MERGER AND PRELIMINARY MERGER CONSIDERATION ELECTION RESULTS

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BRIEF-Sotherly Hotels Enters Hotel Purchase & Sale Agreement To Buy Hyatt Centric Arlington

* SOTHERLY HOTELS INC - ENTERED HOTEL PURCHASE & SALE AGREEMENT TO BUY HYATT CENTRIC ARLINGTON HOTEL FOR ABOUT $81 MILLION - SEC FILING Source text: [http://bit.ly/2j0oDwl] Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Chesapeake Utilities Says Unit Filed With FERC Uncontested Settlement Agreement

* CHESAPEAKE UTILITIES - UNIT FILED WITH FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION UNCONTESTED SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT ASSOCIATED WITH CURRENT RATE CASE PROCEEDING

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UPDATE 2-Lockheed Martin may top Boeing in race to supply Canada jets -experts

OTTAWA, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Canada's decision to make it harder for Boeing Co to win a major jet order hands rival plane maker Lockheed Martin Corp an advantage in capturing the contract, defense experts said on Wednesday.

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BRIEF-INTL FCStone Inc Q4 Loss Per Share $1.27

* REPORTS FISCAL FOURTH QUARTER AND 2017 ANNUAL FINANCIAL RESULTS

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BRIEF-Lexinfintech Holdings Ltd Sees U.S. IPO Of 12 Million

* LEXINFINTECH HOLDINGS LTD SEES U.S. IPO OF 12.0 MILLION AMERICAN DEPOSITARY SHARES REPRESENTING 24.0 MILLION CLASS A ORDINARY SHARES - SEC FILING

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BRIEF-General American Investors Announces Actions Taken By Board

* GENERAL AMERICAN INVESTORS COMPANY ANNOUNCES ACTIONS TAKEN BY THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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BRIEF-First Industrial Realty Trust To Issue $300 Mln Notes In Private Offering

* FIRST INDUSTRIAL REALTY TRUST TO ISSUE $300 MILLION OF UNSECURED NOTES IN A PRIVATE PLACEMENT OFFERING Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Nordson Corp Reports Q4 GAAP EPS $1.37

* ORATION REPORTS FISCAL YEAR 2017 FOURTH QUARTER AND FULL YEAR RESULTS

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CANADA STOCKS-TSX at record high close as gold miners gain

TORONTO, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index closed at a record high on Wednesday but well off its session highs, as sharp gains for gold miners were offset by losses among energy companies and a fall in grocery retailer Empire Company Ltd .

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UPDATE 1-Ford to shift midsize sedan production out of Mexico -sources

Dec 13 (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co has told suppliers it plans to shift production of midsize Fusion and Mondeo sedans out of Mexico and Spain in 2020 and move it to China, three sources said on Wednesday.

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BRIEF-Berkshire Hathaway Energy Announces Debt Tender Offer And Consent Solicitation

* BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY ENERGY ANNOUNCES DEBT TENDER OFFER AND CONSENT SOLICITATION

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BRIEF-Keycorp Raises Its Prime Lending Rate To 4.50 Percent

* KEYCORP RAISES ITS PRIME LENDING RATE TO 4.50 PERCENT Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Innovative Solutions & Support Reports Q4 Loss Per Share $0.01

* INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS & SUPPORT, INC. ANNOUNCES FOURTH QUARTER AND FISCAL 2017 FINANCIAL RESULTS

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CME Group veteran, post-trade head Taylor to retire at year-end

WASHINGTON, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Kim Taylor, CME Group veteran and post-trade head, will retire from the world's largest exchange group at the end of the year, she said in an email to Reuters.

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LPC: Banks provide US$650m of loans for SMG buyout

NEW YORK, Dec 13 (Reuters) - US venue management firm SMG's leveraged buyout by Canadian private equity firm Onex Corp will be backed by a US$650m loan package, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

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UPDATE 1-Lockheed Martin may top Boeing in race to supply Canada jets -experts

OTTAWA, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Canada's decision to make it harder for Boeing Co to win a major jet order hands rival plane maker Lockheed Martin Corp an advantage in capturing the contract, defense experts said on Wednesday.

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UPDATE 3-Three U.S. men plead guilty to crimes tied to 2016 botnet attacks

Dec 13 (Reuters) - A former Rutgers University student and two other men pleaded guilty to computer crimes related to the creation, sale and use of the Mirai botnet, a network of infected electronics equipment used to knock major websites offline in massive 2016 cyber attacks.

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Putin must nudge Syria into U.N. peace deal, mediator says

GENEVA (Reuters) - U.N. Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura urged Russia on Wednesday to convince its ally the Syrian government of the need to clinch a peace deal to end the nearly seven-year-old war.

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UPDATE 7-Oil slips as U.S. gasoline stock build overshadows crude draw

* U.S. crude stocks down 5.1 mln bbls, gasoline up 5.7 mln-EIA

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UPDATE 3-Ineos declares force majeure on North Sea oil after Forties shutdown

LONDON, Dec 13 (Reuters) - North Sea operator Ineos has declared force majeure on all shipments of crude oil, natural gas and condensates through its Forties pipeline system that has shut off vital energy supplies to Britain, according to a source familiar with the matter on Wednesday.

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BRIEF-Jetblue Airways says To Repurchase Up To $750 mln Shares

* AUTHORIZED TO REPURCHASE UP TO $750 MILLION OF SHARES OF STOCK OVER TWO YEARS, BEGINNING JAN 1 Source text : (http://bit.ly/2C2ucSq) Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Altice USA, Charter, Comcast Reach Agreement To Form New Interconnect In New York DMA

* ALTICE USA, CHARTER AND COMCAST REACH AGREEMENT TO FORM NEW INTERCONNECT IN THE NEW YORK DMA

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BRIEF-Citibank Says Raised Base Lending Rate To 4.50% From 4.25%

* CITIBANK SAYS RAISED ITS BASE LENDING RATE TO 4.50% FROM 4.25%, EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 14, 2017 Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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UPDATE 1-Delta may place order for 100 Airbus A321neo jets -sources

PARIS/NEW YORK, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Delta Air Lines looked close on Wednesday to placing an order for 100 Airbus A321neo jets in a boost for the European planemaker as it tries to narrow a 2017 order gap against Boeing, two people familiar with the matter said.

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UPDATE 1-France proposes age-of-consent rule for Facebook users

PARIS, Dec 13 (Reuters) - All French children under the age of 16 will have to seek parental approval to open an account on Facebook or any other social network under draft legislation presented on Wednesday.

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US STOCKS-Wall St extends gains slightly after expected Fed rate hike

* U.S. consumer prices rise 0.4 pct in Nov, in line with estimates

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UPDATE 2-Medtronic settles states' probe into Infuse marketing for $12 mln

BOSTON, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Medtronic Plc has agreed to pay $12 million to resolve claims that the company engaged in a deceptive marketing strategy to promote its Infuse bone graft product used in spinal surgery, the Massachusetts attorney general said on Wednesday.

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WRAPUP 3-U.S. core inflation slows, puts spotlight on 2018 interest rate outlook

WASHINGTON, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Underlying U.S. consumer inflation slowed in November, held down by weak healthcare costs and the biggest drop in apparel prices in nearly two decades, which could impact the pace at which the Federal Reserve raises interest rates next year.

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BRIEF-Gemalto Rejects Atos' Proposal To Buy Co

* GEMALTO REJECTS UNSOLICITED AND CONDITIONAL PROPOSAL BY ATOS

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UPDATE 2-Activist investor Primestone urges Tennant to merge with Nilfisk

COPENHAGEN/LONDON, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Activist hedge fund Primestone Capital on Wednesday urged U.S. cleaning equipment company Tennant and Danish peer Nilfisk to consider merging after building up minority stakes in both firms.

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Trump administration calls for government IT to adopt cloud services

WASHINGTON, Dec 13 (Reuters) - The White House said Wednesday the U.S. government needs a major overhaul of information technology systems and should take steps to better protect data and accelerate efforts to use cloud-based technology.

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U.S. stock funds attract most cash in 7 weeks -ICI

NEW YORK, Dec 13 (Reuters) - U.S. fund investors dashed into domestic stocks, pouring the most cash in seven weeks into the market, according to Investment Company Institute (ICI) data on Wednesday. The funds collected $6 billion in the seven days through Dec. 6, according to the trade group, as the market is poised to close 2017 with another strong year of gains under its belt. "We're in literally the longest amount of days since a 5 percent drawdown in 25 years," said Gary Droz, ma

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UPDATE 3-SAG nominations focus on indie movies, snubbing Streep and Day-Lewis

LOS ANGELES, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Small-town dramedy "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" led the 2018 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) nominations on Wednesday in a list that shut out veterans Meryl Streep and Daniel Day-Lewis as well as Steven Spielberg's press freedom movie "The Post."

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CORRECTED-(OFFICIAL)-UPDATE 3-Brazil Burger King operator may price IPO near top of range -sources

SAO PAULO, Dec 12 (Reuters) - The operator of the Burger King fast-food chain in Brazil, BK Brasil Operação e Assessoria a Restaurantes SA, is expected to price its initial public offering near the top of the suggested price range, three people with direct knowledge of the matter said on Tuesday.

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UPDATE 1-Medtronic settles states' probe into Infuse marketing for $12 mln

BOSTON, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Medtronic Plc has agreed to pay $12 million to resolve claims that the company engaged in a deceptive marketing strategy to promote its Infuse bone graft product used in spinal surgery, the Massachusetts attorney general said on Wednesday.

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UPDATE 2-Three men plead guilty to crimes tied to 2016 botnet attacks

Dec 13 (Reuters) - A former Rutgers University student and two other men pleaded guilty to computer crimes related to the creation, sale and use of the Mirai botnet, a network of infected electronics equipment used to knock major websites offline in massive 2016 cyber attacks, according to court documents.

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BRIEF-Axe Exploration Says It Intends to Redirect Business To Cryptocurrency

* TO EVALUATE NEW BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES, EVENTUALLY REDIRECT BUSINESS TO CRYPTOCURRENCY & BLOCKCHAIN Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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UPDATE 6-Oil slips as U.S. gasoline stock build overshadows crude draw

* U.S. crude stocks down 5.1 mln bbls, gasoline up 5.7 mln-EIA

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US STOCKS-Industrial stocks drive Wall St higher; Fed decision eyed

* U.S. consumer prices rise 0.4 pct in Nov, in line with estimates

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UPDATE 3-T-Mobile to launch new television service in 2018, acquire Layer3 TV

NEW YORK, Dec 13 (Reuters) - T-Mobile US Inc said on Wednesday that it will launch a new streaming television service next year after buying startup Layer3 TV for an undisclosed amount.

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UPDATE 1-Dassault ends Falcon 5X jet program with Safran, turns to Pratt & Whitney

PARIS, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Dassault Aviation said on Wednesday that it would drop a contract with Safran for the development of a Falcon business jet engine and that it would launch a new project powered by U.S. rival engine maker Pratt & Whitney.

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Seadrill confirms receiving rival bids for its debt restructuring

OSLO, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Drilling rig firm Seadrill confirmed on Wednesday it had received two rival bids for its debt restructuring from unsecured bondholders.

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UPDATE 2-CIBC sees proportion of profits from U.S. doubling in 3 years

* U.S. growth driven by PrivateBancorp acquisition (Adds comment from CEO on Caribbean business, capital forecast)

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Marcato likely to pull off win in proxy war with Deckers

Dec 13 (Reuters) - Deckers Outdoor Corp shareholders looked set to hand three board seats to Marcato Capital Management at the UGG boots maker's annual meeting on Thursday, capping a months-long bitter proxy contest.

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BRIEF-Fitch Says Overcapacity, Online Shift Differentiate EU, U.S. Retail

* FITCH SAYS OVERCAPACITY, ONLINE SHIFT DIFFERENTIATE EU, U.S. RETAIL

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Dassault Aviation to drop Silvercrest engine contract with Safran

PARIS, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Dassault Aviation said on Wednesday that it would drop a contract with Safran for the development of the Silvercrest business jet engine and that it would a launch a new project powered by U.S. airplane engine maker Pratt & Whitney.

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Austria gas blast exposes Italy weak link

MILAN, Dec 13 (Reuters) - A deadly gas explosion in Austria has exposed a weak link in European energy security -- in neighbouring Italy.

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BRIEF-Interactive Brokers to Accept Orders For Short Sales Of CFE Bitcoin Futures

* WILL NOW ACCEPT ORDERS FOR SHORT SALES OF CBOE FUTURES EXCHANGE BITCOIN FUTURES

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Top U.S. official calls for clarity on post-Brexit aviation safety

BRUSSELS, Dec 13 (Reuters) - The United States is urgently calling for clarity on which aviation safety regime the British aerospace industry will operate under after the country leaves the European Union, to avoid increased certification costs for airlines and manufacturers.

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BRIEF-CIBC sees 10-12 percent earnings growth in U.S.

* CIBC U.S. HEAD SAYS EXPECTS EARNINGS GROWTH OF 10-12 PERCENT IN NEXT THREE YEARS

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BRIEF-BMTC Group Says FY-End Will Change To Jan 31​

* BMTC GROUP INC - ‍CORPORATION'S FINANCIAL YEAR-END WILL CHANGE FROM DECEMBER 31 TO JANUARY 31​

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MOVES-Citi promotes Davison in FIG reshuffle in EMEA

LONDON, Dec 13 (IFR) - Citigroup has promoted Piers Davison to co-head its financial institutions group in Europe, Middle East and Africa, as part of a raft of changes in the FIG business at its corporate and investment bank.

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LPC: Banks optimistic on 2018 US CLO volume with Wells Fargo predicting record year

NEW YORK, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Wells Fargo is predicting record US Collateralized Loan Obligation (CLO) fund issuance of US$125bn in 2018 with little in sight to derail 2017’s strong momentum. JP Morgan sees a smaller increase and Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank expect issuance to match 2017’s robust volume.

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Supporters of Egypt presidential hopeful arrested, say security sources, family

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian security forces have arrested three supporters of presidential hopeful and former prime minister Ahmed Shafik, security sources and members of his party said on Wednesday.

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GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks worldwide reach highs; U.S. Treasury yields fall

* Fed widely seen hiking interest rates for third time in 2017

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US STOCKS-Wall St higher on tech gains; Fed decision awaited

* U.S. consumer prices rise 0.4 pct in Nov, in line with estimates

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WRAPUP 2-U.S. core inflation slows, puts spotlight on 2018 interest rate outlook

WASHINGTON, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Underlying U.S. consumer inflation slowed in November, held down by weak healthcare costs and the biggest drop in apparel prices in nearly two decades, which could impact the pace at which the Federal Reserve raises interest rates next year.

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Facebook says Russian-linked accounts spent just 97 cents on ads over Brexit

LONDON, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Russian-based operatives placed three adverts on Facebook in the run-up to Britain's 2016 referendum on EU membership, spending just 97 cents to raise the issue of immigration, the social media platform said on Wednesday.

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BRIEF-Limelight Networks Sees 2018 Non-GAAP EPS Between $0.11 And $0.15 Per Share

* SEES 2018 CAPITAL EXPENDITURES BETWEEN $22 MILLION AND $24 MILLION

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UPDATE 3-Honeywell sees higher 2018 profit, says tax bill could spur investment

* Shares up 1.6 percent (Adds CFO quotes from conference call and analyst comment; updates share)

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UPDATE 5-Oil mixed after U.S. crude stocks draw; Forties outage lends support

* Britain's biggest pipeline likely to be shut for several weeks

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UPDATE 2-T-Mobile to launch new television service in 2018, acquire Layer3 TV

NEW YORK, Dec 13 (Reuters) - T-Mobile US Inc will launch a new television service in 2018 and acquire television technology company Layer3 TV Inc for an undisclosed amount, the U.S. No. 3 wireless carrier said on Wednesday.

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BRIEF-Target To Buy Same-Day Delivery Platform Shipt Inc For $550 Mln

* TARGET CORP SAYS AGREED TO BUY SHIPT INC, AN ONLINE SAME DAY DELIVERY PLATFORM, FOR $550 MILLION IN CASH

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UPDATE 1-CIBC sees proportion of profits from U.S. doubling in 3 years

TORONTO, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce said on Wednesday it expected the proportion of its earnings coming from the United States to nearly double in the next three years, helped by the $5 billion acquisition of Chicago-based PrivateBancorp.

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BRIEF-EBay Signs Agreement to Acquire Terapeak

* SAYS HAS SIGNED AN AGREEMENT TO ACQUIRE TERAPEAK; FINANCIAL TERMS OF THE DEAL WERE NOT DISCLOSED‍​ Source text : http://bit.ly/2nXOaMh Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Elliott Issues Statement In Response To Qualcomm's Statement On Fair Value Of NXP

* ELLIOTT ADVISORS (UK) LIMITED ISSUES STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO QUALCOMM'S STATEMENT REGARDING THE FAIR VALUE OF NXP Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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PDVSA bonds initially valued at 19.25 cents at CDS auction

NEW YORK, Dec 13 (IFR) - Bonds of Venezuela's PDVSA were valued at 19.25 cents on the dollar in the first stage of an auction Wednesday to determine the payout on credit default swaps tied to the state-owned oil company.

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BRIEF-Grubhub Expands Partnership With The Cheesecake Factory

* GRUBHUB EXPANDS PARTNERSHIP WITH THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY TO DELIVER MENU FAVORITES FROM COAST TO COAST Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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UPDATE 3-Italian bonds, bank stocks hit as prospect of March election reignites political uncertainty

* Broader markets await Fed rate decision (Adds stocks market reaction, quotes)

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BRIEF-Comtech Telecommunications Receives $9.4 Million Order for Solid-State Power Amplifiers for In-Flight Connectivity

* COMTECH TELECOMMUNICATIONS-GOT ORDER FOR MORE THAN $9.4 MILLION FOR SOLID-STATE POWER AMPLIFIERSTO BE USED IN AIRBORNE, IN-FLIGHT CONNECTIVITY APPLICATION Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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UPDATE 2-Gas exports from Total's North Sea field halted until early Jan

LONDON, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Exports of natural gas from one of the North Sea's key fields have been halted for at least three weeks until early January, after the closure of Britain's largest oil and gas pipeline, field operator Total said on Wednesday.

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BRIEF-Facebook And WWE Launch Live In-Ring Series On Facebook Watch

* FACEBOOK AND WWE® LAUNCH LIVE IN-RING SERIES ON FACEBOOK WATCH

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BRIEF-Hive Blockchain Announces Expansion In Sweden, Up To $100 Mln Financing

* HIVE BLOCKCHAIN ANNOUNCES MAJOR EXPANSION IN SWEDEN, INCLUDING NEW BITCOIN MINING FACILITY, AND UP TO $100 MILLION FINANCING

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BRIEF-Element Fleet Management Comments On Media Reports Speculating Potential Deals Involving Co

* ELEMENT FLEET MANAGEMENT COMMENTS ON MEDIA REPORTS SPECULATING POTENTIAL DEALS INVOLVING CO

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BRIEF-Caterpillar's North America Machines Retail Sales For 3-Month Rolling Period Up 12 Pct

* CATERPILLAR - LATIN AMERICA MACHINES RETAIL SALES FOR 3-MONTH ROLLING PERIOD ENDED NOV. UP 48 PERCENT

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CANADA STOCKS-TSX hits all-time high in broad rally

TORONTO, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index hit an all-time high in early trade on Wednesday, boosted by broad gains led by its heavyweight financial and natural resources sectors.

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UPDATE 1-China's HNA says U.S lawsuit over failed deal 'baseless'

HONG KONG, Dec 13 (Reuters) - China's HNA Group said on Wednesday a U.S. lawsuit against the company and its Beijing-based unit Pactera Technology International Ltd over a failed acquisition was "baseless and without merit".

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Berlin regrets EU decision on airline Niki as insolvency looms

BERLIN, Dec 13 (Reuters) - The German government said it "greatly regrets" a decision by the European Commission to block Lufthansa's planned purchase of airline Niki and it signalled insolvency for the Air Berlin subsidiary and the grounding of its flights.

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BRIEF-Mercedes-Benz Financial ‍Completes Negotiations To Lease Facility At Alliancetexas In Fort Worth

* MERCEDES-BENZ FINANCIAL SERVICES USA - ‍COMPLETED NEGOTIATIONS TO LEASE NEW, BUILD-TO-SUIT, 200,000 SQUARE-FOOT FACILITY AT ALLIANCETEXAS IN FORT WORTH Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Heartland Financial USA Declares Special Cash Dividend

* HEARTLAND FINANCIAL USA, INC. DECLARES SPECIAL CASH DIVIDEND

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BRIEF-Cedar Realty Announces Partial Redemption Of 7.25% Series B Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock

* CEDAR REALTY TRUST ANNOUNCES PARTIAL REDEMPTION OF 7.25% SERIES B CUMULATIVE REDEEMABLE PREFERRED STOCK

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US STOCKS SNAPSHOT-Wall St rises at open as technology stocks gain

Dec 13 (Reuters) - Wall Street opened higher on Wednesday on gains in technology stocks while investors awaited the Federal Reserve's decision on an interest rate hike due later in the day.

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Airbus COO Bregier dismisses reports departure, focused on targets

TOULOUSE, France Dec 13 (Reuters) - Airbus chief operating offficer Fabrice Bregier dismissed media reports about his departure from the aerospace group, saying on Wednesday he was focused on achieving company targets.

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BRIEF-Nasdaq Says Experiencing Issues With Market Data Dissemination, Affecting Certain Nordic Indexes

* NASDAQ SAYS CURRENTLY EXPERIENCING ISSUES WITH MARKET DATA DISSEMINATION, AFFECTING CERTAIN NORDIC INDEXES

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Corporate news weakens Dubai and Saudi, Qatar jumps after budget

* Abu Dhabi's ADNOC Distribution rises from IPO price on debut

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UPDATE 1-Renault gears up for driverless cars by buying magazines

* Renault aims to put hands-off cars on road by 2021 (updates throughout)

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BRIEF-Helios And Matheson Analytics Announces Pricing Of $60 Mln Public Offering

* HELIOS AND MATHESON ANALYTICS ANNOUNCES PRICING OF $60 MILLION PUBLIC OFFERING

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UPDATE 2-Lilly's 2018 forecast beats on strength of new drugs

Dec 13 (Reuters) - Eli Lilly and Co on Wednesday forecast 2018 profit and revenue ahead of Wall Street estimates on strong demand for recently launched drugs such as Trulicity and Taltz.

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BRIEF-TD Ameritrade Announces Pricing Of Secondary Offering Of Common Stock

* TD AMERITRADE ANNOUNCES PRICING OF SECONDARY OFFERING OF COMMON STOCK

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BRIEF-Blackrock To Support Chairman Donald Brydon In London Stock Exchange-TCI Row- Source

* BLACKROCK TO SUPPORT CHAIRMAN DONALD BRYDON IN LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE-TCI ROW- SOURCE Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Trakopolis IOT Enters Into Agreement With Texas-Based Oilfield Services Company

* TRAKOPOLIS IOT CORP SAYS HAS ENTERED INTO AN AGREEMENT WITH A TEXAS-BASED OILFIELD SERVICES COMPANY

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BRIEF-Plains All American Pipeline Announces Open Season For Permian Basin To Corpus Christi Pipeline

* PLAINS ALL AMERICAN PIPELINE ANNOUNCES OPEN SEASON FOR PERMIAN BASIN TO CORPUS CHRISTI PIPELINE

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BRIEF-Primestone Capital Reports 5.2 Pct Stake In Tennant Co ‍​

* PRIMESTONE CAPITAL LLP REPORTS 5.2 PERCENT STAKE IN TENNANT CO AS OF DECEMBER 4, 2017 - SEC FILING‍​

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BRIEF-Titan Medical Gets Two Canadian Patents

* TITAN MEDICAL STRENGTHENS PATENT PORTFOLIO WITH ISSUANCE OF TWO CANADIAN PATENTS AND ALLOWANCE OF A JAPANESE PATENT Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-WestJet Reports November Traffic Up 12.1 Percent Year Over Year

* ‍REVENUE PASSENGER MILES (RPMS), OR TRAFFIC, INCREASED 12.1 PER CENT YEAR OVER YEAR IN NOVEMBER​

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BRIEF-South Atlantic Bancshares To Acquire Atlantic Bancshares

* SOUTH ATLANTIC BANCSHARES, INC. TO ACQUIRE ATLANTIC BANCSHARES, INC.

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BRIEF-Olympic Steel Increases And Extends Asset Based Credit Agreement To Support Future Growth

* OLYMPIC STEEL INCREASES AND EXTENDS ASSET BASED CREDIT AGREEMENT TO SUPPORT FUTURE GROWTH

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UK PM May says RBS branch closures are a commercial matter for the bank

LONDON, Dec 13 (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May said that branch closures announced by the Royal Bank of Scotland were a commercial matter for the bank, after she was asked to intervene to halt the closures.

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BRIEF-Seacor Holdings Inc. Announces Sale And Lease Of Sea-Vista Tanker

* SEACOR HOLDINGS INC. ANNOUNCES SALE AND LEASE OF SEA-VISTA TANKER

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BRIEF-Digital Power Corporation Creates Cryptocurrency Mining Division

* DIGITAL POWER CORPORATION CREATES CRYPTOCURRENCY MINING DIVISION

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UPDATE 1-ATM machine-maker Diebold's CEO steps down

Dec 13 (Reuters) - Diebold Nixdorf Inc, one of the world's largest ATM makers, said on Wednesday that President and Chief Executive Andreas Mattes is stepping down, effective immediately.

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CANADA STOCKS-Futures rise with oil prices

Dec 13 (Reuters) - Stock futures pointed to a higher opening for Canada's main stock index on Wednesday as oil prices rose after industry data showed a larger-than-expected drawdown in U.S. crude stockpiles.

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UPDATE 1-Natgas producer EQT sets 2018 capital spending budget at $2.4 bln

Dec 13 (Reuters) - EQT Corp on Wednesday said it expected to spend 60 percent more on its capital budget in 2018 after it became the biggest U.S. natural gas producer when it completed its acquisition of Rice Energy last month.

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Oil up on U.S. crude stocks draw, Forties outage supports

LONDON (Reuters) - Oil prices rose on Wednesday as industry data showed a larger-than-expected drawdown in U.S. crude stockpiles, while expectations for an extended shutdown of a major North Sea crude pipeline also continued to bolster markets.

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Honeywell sees fourth-qtr profit at top end of previous forecast

Dec 13 (Reuters) - Honeywell International Inc said on Wednesday its fourth-quarter earnings would be $1.84 per share, the top end of its previous forecast.

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BRIEF-Gain Capital Launches AI-Enhanced Trading App, Getgo

* SAYS ‍LAUNCHED GETGO, A FINANCIAL TRADING APP​ Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Renesola Secures Financing From Sequoia Economic Infrastructure Income Fund For Poland Projects

* RENESOLA SECURES PROJECT FINANCING FROM SEQUOIA ECONOMIC INFRASTRUCTURE INCOME FUND FOR 55MW OF PROJECTS IN POLAND

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BRIEF-Genesee & Wyoming Reports Traffic For November 2017

* ‍G&W'S TRAFFIC IN NOVEMBER 2017 WAS 271,912 CARLOADS, AN INCREASE OF 21,249 CARLOADS, OR 8.5 PCT, COMPARED WITH NOVEMBER 2016​

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BRIEF-EQT Announces 2018 Operational Forecast

* FORECASTS 2018 PRODUCTION SALES VOLUME OF 1,520 - 1,560 BCFE

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BRIEF-Teranga Gold Says Entered Into MoU With Sodim To Establish JV

* TERANGA GOLD SAYS HAS ENTERED INTO MOU WITH SODIM TO ESTABLISH JV FOR EXPLORATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF AFEMA LAND PACKAGE IN CÔTE D'IVOIRE

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BRIEF-Wesco International Renews Share Repurchase Program, Provides 2018 Outlook

* WESCO INTERNATIONAL, INC. REAFFIRMS 2017 OUTLOOK, RENEWS SHARE REPURCHASE PROGRAM, AND PROVIDES 2018 OUTLOOK

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BRIEF-W W Grainger Says Size Of Board Increased To 11 Directors On Dec 12 - SEC Filing

* W W GRAINGER INC SAYS WITH DEC 12 APPOINTMENT OF LUCAS WATSON TO BOARD, SIZE OF BOARD WAS INCREASED TO 11 DIRECTORS - SEC FILING Source text: (http://bit.ly/2z7kAY5) Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-PPDAI Group Posts ‍Q3 Net Loss $0.3150/ADS Attributable To Ordinary Shareholders ​

* - ‍QTRLY NET LOSS PER ADS ATTRIBUTABLE TO ORDINARY SHAREHOLDERS $0.3150​

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BRIEF-Empire Co Posts Q2 Adjusted Earnings Per Share C$0.27

* EMPIRE COMPANY REPORTS IMPROVED FISCAL 2018 SECOND QUARTER RESULTS

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BRIEF-LightInTheBox Holding Co Q3 Loss Per ADS $0.03

* ‍FOR Q4, COMPANY EXPECTS NET REVENUES TO BE BETWEEN $97 MILLION AND $100 MILLION​ Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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UPDATE 3-Gas supply from Austrian gas hub back to normal after deadly blast

* Cause of explosion investigated by two commissions (Adds statement on potential damage, Kremlin, details on killed person)

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UPDATE 1-British city of Sheffield gives Uber a welcome boost

LONDON, Dec 13 (Reuters) - The northern English city of Sheffield has lifted a suspension on Uber's operating licence after it provided satisfactory answers to questions about the taxi app's management, in a welcome boost to the firm's British operations.

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EMERGING MARKETS-U.S. political woes lift emerging stocks, FX ahead of Fed

LONDON, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Emerging stocks and currencies sailed higher on Wednesday ahead of an expected Federal Reserve interest rate hike, lifted by U.S. assets nursing losses after President Donald Trump's Republicans suffered an election defeat.

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BRIEF-Niiio Finance Group And ‍Thomson Reuters Launch Regional Partnership​

* ‍THOMSON REUTERS AND FINTECH NIIIO LAUNCH REGIONAL PARTNERSHIP​ Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage: (Gdynia Newsroom)

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Blackstone hires Bain dealmaker in Japan corporate buyout push - sources

* Bain's Toshiba chip deal is top PE-backed global deal this yr

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GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares eye record high as Fed heads for hat-trick

LONDON, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Global shares were within a whisker of another record high on Wednesday as markets traded on expectations of a third U.S. interest rate hike of the year, and waited to hear from the Federal Reserve how many more are likely in 2018.

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British city Sheffield lifts licence suspension on Uber

LONDON, Dec 13 (Reuters) - The northern English city of Sheffield has lifted a suspension on Uber's operating licence after it provided satisfactory answers to questions about the taxi app's management, the city council said on Wednesday.

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UPDATE 2-France's Sanofi pins hopes on new drugs after setbacks

* CEO says company on track to sell European generics unit (Adds details, shares)

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Kremlin says Austrian gas accident underlines Gazprom's projects importance

MOSCOW, Dec 13 (Reuters) - The explosion, which rattled Austria's main gas pipeline hub and led to gas supplies disruptions in Europe, has underlined the need for Gazprom's gas projects, a Kremlin spokesman said on Wednesday.

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UPDATE 1-European shares open on a cautious note ahead of Fed meeting

* Telecom Italia dips, CEO meets gvt (Adds more stocks, context)

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Gas exports from Total's UK Elgin Franklin platform halted until Jan. 2

LONDON, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Gas exports from Total E&P's Elgin-Franklin gas platform in Britain's North Sea have been halted until Jan. 2 due to the shutdown of the Forties oil pipeline, Total said in a market notice on Wednesday.

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UPDATE 1-Deutsche Boerse Xetra trading platform functioning again - website

* Exchange operator reported brief disruption before market open

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European shares open on a cautious note ahead of Fed meeting

LONDON, Dec 13 (Reuters) - European bourses opened on a cautious note on Wednesday despite gains on Wall Street and in Asia as investors await a U.S. Federal reserve meeting and assess the political implications of Donald Trump's setback in a bitter Senate election in Alabama.

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UPDATE 1-Debt-laden Carillion secures deal to sell part of UK healthcare unit

Dec 13 (Reuters) - Troubled British construction firm Carillion said on Wednesday it had reached a deal to sell a large part of its UK healthcare facilities management business to outsourcing group Serco, helping it cut its debt by 41.4 million pounds.

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UK's Wood Group sees 2017 core earnings of $590-$600 mln

Dec 13 (Reuters) - Oilfield services company John Wood Group Plc, which bought smaller rival Amec Foster Wheeler earlier this year, said on Wednesday it expects 2017 core earnings of between $590 million and $600 million.

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U.S. criticises Poland for fining U.S.-owned broadcaster TVN

WARSAW, Dec 13 (Reuters) - The United States criticised a decision by Poland's media regulator to slap a $415,000 fine on TVN, a U.S.-owned private broadcaster, saying the ruling appeared to undermine media freedom.

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UPDATE 2-European stock, bond futures open on Eurex after delay

LONDON, Dec 13 (Reuters) - The start of trading in government bond and stock market futures on the derivatives and futures exchange Eurex was delayed by around 50 minutes on Wednesday after the platform suffered "serious issues".

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BRIEF-‍Yandex, Sberbank enter into agreement for Yandex.Market joint venture​

* ‍YANDEX AND SBERBANK ENTER INTO BINDING AGREEMENT FOR YANDEX.MARKET JOINT VENTURE​

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Italy - Factors to watch on Dec. 13

The following factors could affect Italian markets on Wednesday.

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UPDATE 2-Oil prices recover on big US crude stock drawdown, pipeline shutdown supports

* Britain's biggest pipeline likely to be shut for several weeks

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Debt-laden Carillion secures deal to sell part of UK healthcare unit

Dec 13 (Reuters) - Troubled British construction firm Carillion said on Wednesday it had reached a deal to sell a large part of its UK healthcare facilities management business to outsourcing group Serco for about 47.7 million pounds ($63.55 million).

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RPT-UPDATE 1-Banks eye Paris airports operator in Macron privatisation drive -sources

LONDON/FRANKFURT, Dec 12 (Reuters) - Investment banks are vying to work with potential buyers or the French government on the sale of its majority stake in Aeroports de Paris (ADP) , sources close to the matter said, in one of the largest infrastructure deals expected to come to market in 2018.

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UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Dec 13

Dec 13 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 futures up 0.02 percent ahead of the cash market open on Wednesday.

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GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares up, dollar dips as Republicans lose Alabama Senate race

TOKYO, Dec 13 (Reuters) - U.S. stock futures, Treasury yields and the dollar dipped on Wednesday as Democrat Doug Jones beat Republican Roy Moore in a bitter U.S. Senate race in Alabama, while Asian shares gained as crude oil futures took back some lost ground.

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METALS-Copper edges higher ahead of expected U.S. rate hike

(Adds detail, updates prices) By Melanie Burton MELBOURNE, Dec 13 (Reuters) - London copper edged higher on Wednesday as the dollar eased after hitting one-month highs earlier on expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates for a fifth time since 2015. The dollar slipped against a basket of currencies after a Democrat won a bitter fight for a U.S. Senate seat in deeply conservative Alabama, reducing Republicans' already narrow Senate majority further. "Pr

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UPDATE 1-Toyota, Panasonic consider joint development of EV batteries

* Panasonic sees batteries as key to doubling auto biz revenue (Adds analyst comment, Toyota EV background, Panasonic battery background)

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RPT-Toyota and Panasonic eye joint development of new EV batteries

TOKYO, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Japan's Panasonic Corp and Toyota Motor Corp said on Wednesday they will consider jointly developing batteries for electric vehicles.

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BRIEF-Shire Says New Formulation Of Oncaspar Receives Marketing Authorization In Europe

* SHIRE PLC SAYS NEW FORMULATION OF ONCASPAR RECEIVES MARKETING AUTHORIZATION IN EUROPE FOR PATIENTS WITH ACUTE LYMPHOBLASTIC LEUKEMIA

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BRIEF-Zotefoams Announces Strategic Partnership With Nike

* STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP WITH NIKE TO DEVELOP FOOTWEAR TECHNOLOGY AND SUPPLY MATERIALS FOR GLOBAL FOOTWEAR, APPAREL AND EQUIPMENT COMPANY

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Russian gas flows to Italy have resumed

MILAN, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Gas flows from Russia, interrupted by a blast at the Baumgarten gas hub in Austria, resumed at 2000 GMT on Tuesday, a spokesman for Italian gas grid operator Snam said. (Reporting by Stephen Jewkes, editing by Louise Heavens)

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Nikkei dented by weaker tech shares; Shikoku Electric stumbles

TOKYO, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average ended lower on Wednesday after tech stocks lost ground as they tracked their weaker U.S. counterparts, while Shikoku Electric slumped after a court ruled against the restart of one of its nuclear reactors.

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UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Dec 13

Dec 13 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen to open 17 points lower at 7,309.8 on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers. * THOMAS COOK: Air Berlin's administrator said renewed talks with Thomas Cook have not led to a sustainable offer for the insolvent carrier's Austria-based Niki unit. * OIL: Oil prices rose in early Asian trade on Wednesday as industry data showed a larger-than-expected drawdown in U.S. crude stockpiles. * Gold prices were almost unchanged