Asian shares ride Wall Street optimism, dollar slips

(Reuters) – Asian shares edged higher on Friday, catching a lift from another record close on Wall Street, while the dollar groaned under the pressure of slumping U.S. yields. The S&P 500 index .SPX posted its third record closing high in four sessions, as investors shrugged off the first quarterly contraction of the U.S. economy in three years and focused on signs of a strengthening labor market. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan […]

Lifting oil export ban would spark U.S. economy: IHS

(Reuters) – In one of the most optimistic assessments about unlocking U.S. crude exports, the IHS report said gasoline prices would fall some 8 cents a gallon because overturning the ban would pour crude onto oil markets and lower global fuel prices. Government revenues from energy-related taxes and royalties would increase $1.3 trillion from 2016 to 2030. Jobs during that period, in both crude production and at oil field service companies, would rise an average […]

S&P 500 ends at record on mergers, ECB; small caps rise

(Reuters) – ECB chief Mario Draghi said on Monday the bank must be “particularly watchful” for any negative price spiral in the euro zone. His comments increased bets that the bank was ready to cut rates next week to counter low inflation and weak lending in the euro zone, keeping asset purchases as an option. U.S. markets, which were closed Monday for Memorial Day, had to digest the ECB news. “(It’s) a rate cut or […]

Hackers raid eBay in historic breach, access 145 million records

BOSTON (Reuters) – EBay Inc said that hackers raided its network three months ago, accessing some 145 million user records in what is poised to go down as one of the biggest data breaches in history, based on the number of accounts compromised. It advised customers to change their passwords immediately, saying they were among the pieces of data stolen by cyber criminals who carried out the attack between late February and early March. EBay spokeswoman Amanda […]

Credit Suisse escapes worst as it pleads guilty to U.S. charges

  (Reuters) – Credit Suisse on Monday became the largest bank in 20 years to plead guilty to a U.S. criminal charge, and will pay a $2.5 billion fine to authorities for helping Americans evade taxes, Attorney General Eric Holder said. But the Swiss bank escaped the worst for its business – its top management stayed in place, and the New York state bank regulator said it had decided not to revoke the bank’s license […]

AstraZeneca rejects Pfizer’s take-it-or-leave-it offer

(Reuters) – Britain’s AstraZeneca on Monday rejected a sweetened and “final” offer from Pfizer, undermining the U.S. drugmaker’s plan for a merger to create the world’s biggest pharmaceuticals group. The rebuff came nine hours after Pfizer said on Sunday it had raised its takeover offer to 55 pounds a share, or around 70 billion pounds ($118 billion) in total, and would walk away if AstraZeneca did not accept it. The rejection left some major shareholders fuming as […]

AT&T makes bet on video with $48.5 billion DirecTV bid

(Reuters) – AT&T Inc plans to pay $48.5 billion to buy DirecTV, in the latest sign that the wireless industry and the U.S. television market are set to converge as customers consume more video on their mobile devices. The deal, announced on Sunday, highlights AT&T’s pressing need for fresh avenues of growth beyond the maturing U.S. cellular business, which has become increasingly competitive. The combination with DirecTV, the No.1 U.S. satellite TV provider with 20 million customers, would […]

Japan March machinery orders soar, tax hike pain seen temporary

(Reuters) – The record 19.1 percent month-on-month rise in core orders, a leading indicator of capital spending in the coming six to nine months, blew past a 6.0 percent gain forecast by economists in a Reuters poll. Companies surveyed by the Cabinet Office forecast that core orders will rise 0.4 percent in April-June from the previous quarter, which would mark the fifth straight quarter of gains. In January-March, core orders rose 4.2 percent, the data […]

Kingdom Tower will soon be the world’s tallest building

The Kingdom Tower in Saudi Arabia, which will be the world’s tallest tower at 3,280 feet, is set for a December 2018 completion. Kingdom Tower will be 568 feet taller than Khalifa Tower, the current Guinness World Record holder in neighboring Dubai, once it is completed. Clem Orjaliza reports from the Middle East Bureau

GM to pay $35 million maximum penalty in U.S. transportation probe

(Reuters) – General Motors will pay a $35 million fine as part of the U.S. Transportation Department’s investigation into the handling of faulty ignition switches in some of its vehicles, the automaker and department officials said on Friday. As part of the agreement, GM also agreed to take part in “unprecedented oversight requirements,” including notifying federal transportation officials of any changes to the company’s schedule for completing repair parts by October 4, the department’s National […]