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Man charged with hoax near marathon finish line

A member of the bomb squad inspects an object after a controlled detonation at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in Boston, Tuesday, April 15, 2014. Police have blown up two unattended backpacks found near the Boston Marathon's finish line on Tuesday. They say they've taken a man into custody in connection with them. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) BOSTON (AP) — A man taken into custody near the Boston Marathon finish line late Tuesday, the anniversary of the deadly pressure cooker bombings, had a rice cooker in his backpack and was being charged with possession of a hoax device, police said.


South Korea says 293 missing in ferry disaster

South Korean rescue helicopters fly over a South Korean passenger ship, trying to rescue passengers from the ship in water off the southern coast in South Korea, Wednesday, April 16, 2014. The South Korean passenger ship carrying more than 470 people, including many high school students, is sinking off the country's southern coast Wednesday after sending a distress call, officials said. There are no immediate reports of causalities. (AP Photo/Yonhap) KOREA OUT At least two people are confirmed dead after a ferry carrying 459 sank.


Nikkei surges, SoftBank jumps on Alibaba earnings

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average surged on Wednesday after a better performance on Wall Street the day before and comments from Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso that the market took to suggest more stock buying by the government's pension fund. Index heavyweight SoftBank soared after a strong earnings report from its Chinese e-commerce affiliate Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. The Nikkei share average rose 3 percent to 14,417.68, extending its rebound from a six-month low around 13,885 hit earlier this month. ...

If filed, plane lawsuits might not get heard in US

In this Saturday, April 12, 2014 photo, David Tang, a London-based lawyer working with U.K. firm Stewarts Law and an American firm, speaks during an interview at a hotel room in Beijing. Major disasters draw lawyers looking to sign up clients for big lawsuits, and the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 with mostly Chinese passengers aboard has been no exception, with lawyers from various firms descending on a Beijing hotel where relatives have stayed, and even traveling around China to visit them in their homes. Tang was in Beijing this past weekend meeting Chinese relatives at a hotel where they have been staying. when they meet, he shows the relatives an information sheet describing how insurance payments for loss of life differ according to nationality. (AP Photo/Andy Wong) BEIJING (AP) — Since Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went missing, some lawyers have claimed they can get several millions of dollars in damages for each lost passenger by taking the cases to the United States. But past lawsuits show U.S. federal courts are more likely to throw such cases out if the crashes happened overseas.


China's growth slows to 7.4 percent in 1Q

FILE - In this Tuesday, April 8, 2014 file photo, a worker walks past a container vessel docked in Qingdao port in east China's Shandong province. China's economic growth slowed to 7.4 percent in the first quarter, raising the risk of job losses and a potential impact on its trading partners. The figure reported Wednesday, April 16 by the government was down from the previous quarter's 7.7 percent. (AP Photo/File) CHINA OUT BEIJING (AP) — China's economic growth slowed further in the latest quarter but appeared strong enough to satisfy Chinese leaders who are trying to put the country on a more sustainable path without politically dangerous job losses.


China's growth slows to 7.4 percent in 1Q

FILE - In this Tuesday, April 8, 2014 file photo, a worker walks past a container vessel docked in Qingdao port in east China's Shandong province. China's economic growth slowed to 7.4 percent in the first quarter, raising the risk of job losses and a potential impact on its trading partners. The figure reported Wednesday, April 16 by the government was down from the previous quarter's 7.7 percent. (AP Photo/File) CHINA OUT BEIJING (AP) — China's economic growth slowed further in the latest quarter but appeared strong enough to satisfy Chinese leaders who are trying to put the country on a more sustainable path without politically dangerous job losses.


Combat vehicles in east Ukraine fly Russian flag

A column of combat vehicles with a Russian flag on the front one makes its way to the town of Kramatorsk on Wednesday, April 16, 2014. An Associated Press reporter said he saw a column of combat vehicles in an eastern Ukrainian city, occupied by pro-Russian insurgents and flying Russian flags. (AP Photo/ Evgeniy Maloletka) SLOVYANSK, Ukraine (AP) — A column of armored personnel carriers flying Russian flags drove into a Ukrainian city controlled by pro-Russia demonstrators on Wednesday. Some of the troops aboard said they were Ukrainian soldiers who had switched allegiance.


World shares rise, shrug off slower China growth

People stand at a barricade at the regional administration building that they had seized earlier in Donetsk, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 15, 2014. Several government buildings have fallen to mobs of Moscow loyalists in recent days as unrest spreads across the east of the country. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky) TOKYO (AP) — World stock markets rose Wednesday as China's slowdown in the first quarter was less severe than expected.


Egypt's tourism revenue drops by 43 pct in Q1: official

Tourists walk at an empty beach at the coast of the Red Sea of El-Gouna in Hurghada Egypt's tourism revenues dropped 43 percent in the first quarter of 2014 to $1.3 billion, Adela Ragab, the country's economic adviser to the Minister of Tourism, told Reuters on Wednesday. The tourism sector, which has been damaged by the political instability that followed a popular uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011, suffered another blow in February when a coach carrying Korean tourists was bombed by Islamist extremists. Ragab said around 15 countries issued travel warnings against Egypt after the incident, which contributed to a 30 percent drop in the number of tourists in the first quarter to two million people.


Troop carriers enter east Ukraine town bearing Russian, separatist flags

Armed men drive an armoured personnel carrier with a Russian flag seen on the top in Slaviansk By Thomas Grove SLAVIANSK, Ukraine (Reuters) - Six armored troop carriers entered the eastern Ukrainian town of Slaviansk on Wednesday carrying the Russian national flag and the banner of pro-Russian separatists, a Reuters eyewitness said. The vehicles stopped outside the town's city hall which has for several days been occupied by separatists. The second vehicle carried the emblem of the Donetsk People's Republic which a group of separatists proclaimed last week and which the Kiev authorities see as a first step to seeking to break from Ukraine and join with Russia. The men on top of the troop carriers, some of whom were masked, were armed with Kalashnikov rifles, grenade launchers, knives and pistols.


Global shares up on China relief, Ukraine strains remain

Men are reflected in a screen displaying a graph showing the movements of recent share averages outside a brokerage in Tokyo By Marc Jones LONDON (Reuters) - Share markets made broad gains on Wednesday after China reported economic growth a touch above forecasts, a relief for investors who had feared a much weaker outcome. China's economy grew 7.4 percent in the first quarter, from a year earlier, pipping forecasts of 7.3 percent. The relief rippled through Asian markets, with Japan's Nikkei ending up 3 percent - its biggest gain since February. "China is still on a downward path on growth but clearly the market took some relief in that number ... our basic view is that it will be a gradual slowdown rather than a hard landing." The mood had already been lifted by a late rally at the end of a rollercoaster session on Wall Street, thanks mainly to some solid earnings reports.


Asian shares up on China relief, Ukraine strains remain

A man looks at a stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo By Marc Jones LONDON (Reuters) - Share markets made broad gains on Wednesday after China reported economic growth a touch above forecasts, a relief for investors who had feared a much weaker outcome. China's economy grew 7.4 percent in the first quarter, from a year earlier, pipping forecasts of 7.3 percent. The relief rippled through Asian markets, with Japan's Nikkei ending up 3 percent - its biggest gain since February. "China is still on a downward path on growth but clearly the market took some relief in that number ... our basic view is that it will be a gradual slowdown rather than a hard landing." The mood had already been lifted by a late rally at the end of a rollercoaster session on Wall Street, thanks mainly to some solid earnings reports.


Global shares up on China relief, Ukraine strains remain

A man smokes a cigarette outside The London Stock Exchange By Marc Jones LONDON (Reuters) - Share markets made broad gains on Wednesday after China reported economic growth a touch above forecasts, a relief for investors who had feared a much weaker outcome. China's economy grew 7.4 percent in the first quarter, from a year earlier, pipping forecasts of 7.3 percent. The relief rippled through Asian markets, with Japan's Nikkei ending up 3 percent - its biggest gain since February. "China is still on a downward path on growth but clearly the market took some relief in that number ... our basic view is that it will be a gradual slowdown rather than a hard landing." The mood had already been lifted by a late rally at the end of a rollercoaster session on Wall Street, thanks mainly to some solid earnings reports.


Putin warns Ukraine on brink of civil war as Kiev sends army in

A Ukrainian soldier stands next to armoured personnel carriers (APC) near Izium on April 15, 2014 Izyum (Ukraine) (AFP) - Russian leader Vladimir Putin warned that Ukraine is on the verge of civil war, the Kremlin said Wednesday, after the Kiev government sent in troops against pro-Moscow separatists in the east of the country. "The Russian president remarked that the sharp escalation of the conflict has placed the country, in effect, on the verge of civil war," the Kremlin said in a statement on telephone talks between Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.


BOJ's Kuroda maintains positive view on economy

Bank of Japan Governor Kuroda gestures as he listens to questions during a news conference at the BOJ headquarters in Tokyo By Leika Kihara TOKYO (Reuters) - Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda on Wednesday affirmed the central bank's upbeat view of the economy, even as global financial markets wobble, stressing that growth will pick up around mid-year as the sting of a sales tax hike fades. Price rises will broaden as the economy continues to improve gradually, Kuroda added, reiterating his view that Japan is making headway towards the central bank's price goal of 2 percent inflation in about a year's time. The comments came a day after Kuroda met with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to discuss the economy, which drew some market speculation the BOJ may come under pressure to expand stimulus as a rebound in the yen and sliding Japanese share prices cloud the outlook for the world's third-largest economy. The latest Reuters poll showed a growing consensus building in the market that the BOJ will probably not ease until July, with no respondent predicting action at the next rate review on April 30.


Mini-sub aborts again in new setback for MH370 search

Operators aboard ADF Ocean Shield move Bluefin-21 into position for deployment in the search for MH370 on April 14, 2014 Perth (Australia) (AFP) - The hunt for a missing Malaysian plane suffered another setback Wednesday when a second seabed search by a mini-submarine was cut short due to "technical" troubles after the first also aborted in very deep water. Australia's Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) issued a brief statement which spoke of an unspecified "technical issue" with the unmanned Bluefin-21 sonar device. The first mission which began Monday night aborted automatically after breaching the machine's maximum operating depth of 4,500 metres (15,000 feet). "The Autonomous Underwater Vehicle, Bluefin-21, was forced to resurface this morning to rectify a technical issue," JACC said.


South Africa's rand recoups losses after Chinese data, remains vulnerable

New South African bank notes featuring an image of former South African President Nelson Mandela are displayed at an office in Johannesburg The rand firmed against the dollar on Wednesday after Chinese growth came in just above expectations, but it failed to take big strides as the data was not enough to quell fears about a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy. Investors are also waiting for domestic retail sales data due at 1100 GMT, which will give a clue about the growth prospects in South Africa's struggling economy.


Court to weigh challenge to ban on campaign lies

FILE - This Nov. 25, 2013 file photo shows Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine speaking in Steubenville, Ohio. Negative campaigning and mudslinging may be a fact of life in American politics, but can false accusations made in the heat of an election be punished as a crime? That debate makes its way to the Supreme Court next week as the justices consider a challenge to a controversial Ohio law that bars false statements about political candidates during a campaign. DeWine, says he has serious concerns about the law. His office filed two briefs in the case, one from staff lawyers obligated to defend the state and another expressing DeWine's personal view that the law "may chill constitutionally protected political speech." (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File) WASHINGTON (AP) — Negative campaigning and mudslinging may be a fact of life in American politics, but can false accusations made in the heat of an election be punished as a crime?


Grim images of Syrian dead leave U.N. council members speechless

This photo provided by the anti-government activist group Aleppo Media Center (AMC), which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows a Syrian man carrying the body of a child killed by a government forces airstrike in the Al-Ansari neighborhood, in Aleppo, Syria, Tuesday, April 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Aleppo Media Center, AMC) UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council fell silent Tuesday after ambassadors viewed a series of ghastly photographs of dead Syrian civil war victims, France's ambassador said. The pictures showed people who were emaciated, with their bones protruding, and some bearing the marks of strangulation and repeated beatings, and eyes having been gouged out.


Egypt clamps hold over mosques to control message

In this Friday, April 11, 2014, file photo, Egyptian worshippers enter Amr ibn al-Aas Mosque for Friday prayers, in Cairo, Egypt. Egyptian authorities are tightening control on mosques around the country, filtering out preachers and seeking to control the message, as the military-backed government cracks down on Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood following his ouster last summer. Some 12,000 clerics have been barred from preaching. The Religious Endowments Ministry, or Awqaf in Arabic, now sets strict guidelines for sermons, and anyone who strays from them in Egypt’s more than 100,000 mosques risks removal. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File) CAIRO (AP) — In his weekly sermon, Muslim cleric Ali Abdel-Moati preached to his congregation in a southern Egyptian city about the evils of making hasty judgments. That prompted a complaint to authorities from a judge, who accused him of criticizing a recent mass death sentence issued against supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.


China economic growth slows to 18-month low in first-quarter

A labourer works at a construction site in Hangzhou By Adam Rose and Xiaoyi Shao BEIJING (Reuters) - China's economy grew at its slowest pace in 18 months at the start of 2014, but did a touch better than expected and showed some improvement in March, suggesting Beijing will not rush to follow up recent steps to support activity. The economy grew 7.4 percent in the January-March quarter from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday. It was China's slowest annual growth since the third quarter of 2012, when the world's second-largest economy also grew 7.4 percent. "The slowdown of China's economy is a reflection of a transformation of the economic mode," said Sheng Laiyun, of the National Bureau of Statistics.


Police say 5 dead in Calgary stabbings

Police remove a body from the scene of a multiple fatal stabbing in northwest Calgary, Alberta, Tuesday, April 15, 2014. Police say five people are dead after the stabbing at a house party. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Larry MacDougal) CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — A recent graduate of the University of Calgary was charged in the fatal stabbing of five people at a house party that the police chief called the worst mass slaying in the western Canadian city's history.


End of NYPD Muslim surveillance program applauded

FILE - In this Aug. 16, 2013, file photo, visitors socialize after a Jumu'ah prayer service outside the Islamic Society of Bay Ridge and mosque in the Brooklyn borough of New York. The New York Police Department targeted the mosque as a part of a terrorism enterprise investigation beginning in 2003, spying on it for years. On Tuesday, April 15, 2014, the NYPD confirmed that it has disbanded the special unit that operated that surveillance program. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File) NEW YORK (AP) — Muslim groups and civil liberties advocates applauded the decision by New York Police Department officials to disband a controversial unit that tracked the daily lives of Muslims as part of efforts to detect terror threats, but said there were concerns about whether other problematic practices remained in place.


Defunct bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox files for liquidation -WSJ

A mock Bitcoin is displayed on a table in an illustration picture taken in Berlin (Reuters) - Defunct bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox has given up plans to rebuild under bankruptcy protection and has asked a Tokyo court to allow it to be liquidated, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the situation. Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles won't travel to the United States to answer questions about the bitcoin exchange's U.S. bankruptcy case, Mt. Gox lawyers told a federal judge this week.


ECB plan could boost shares in Europe's weakest companies

Structure showing the Euro currency sign is seen in front of the ECB headquarters in Frankfurt By Francesco Canepa LONDON (Reuters) - Shares in some of Europe's least profitable and most indebted companies are set to outperform in the coming months if the European Central Bank starts buying corporate bonds to fight the threat of deflation. The ECB has opened the door to the purchase of asset-backed securities such as secured corporate debt to revive economic activity in the euro zone, a move expected to give fresh impetus to a 20 percent rally in European shares since June. Buying corporate debt would lower borrowing costs where they are still elevated, such as in southern Europe, bringing relief to companies struggling with high debt piles and meager profits, such as Italian and Spanish banks and French car maker Peugeot . "The companies that tend to benefit from QE are those with very low levels of profits and high financial leverage because, ultimately, QE stimulates growth," Francesco Curto, a strategist at Deutsche Bank, said.


Bonds shine again as Great Rotation gives way to Asset Reflation

A man makes his way inside the reception hall of the Greek Stock Exchange in Athens By Jamie McGeever and Mike Dolan LONDON (Reuters) - Last Thursday morning investors queued around the block to buy the bonds of recent defaulter Greece, and by the end of the day were selling U.S. tech stocks furiously. Many stock markets around the world, including those in both developed and emerging countries, are at or near their highest levels ever thanks to central banks propping up the global economic recovery with their ultra-loose monetary policy. In the United States the S&P 500 has almost tripled its level since the post-crash trough in March 2009, while the Nasdaq Composite index weighted more towards technology stocks has gained almost 250 percent in that time. In its latest monthly poll of global fund managers, Bank of America-Merrill Lynch said the proportion of investors who think stocks are "over-valued" is now the highest since July 2000, just when the Nasdaq was in the early stages of collapse.


Asia shares rise, shrug off slower China growth

People stand at a barricade at the regional administration building that they had seized earlier in Donetsk, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 15, 2014. Several government buildings have fallen to mobs of Moscow loyalists in recent days as unrest spreads across the east of the country. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky) TOKYO (AP) — Shares rose Wednesday in Asia as positive sentiment from strong corporate earnings outweighed Ukraine's crisis and slower economic growth in China.


College Board provides a glimpse of new SAT

HOLD FOR RELEASE 12:01 AM ET WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16 Graphic shows difference between new and old SAT college entrance exam;; 2c x 4 inches; 96.3 mm x 101 mm; WASHINGTON (AP) — Anxious students — not to mention their parents — can get a heads-up for how the redesigned SAT might look in two years.


Boston police safely blow up suspicious backpacks

A member of the bomb squad inspects an object after a controlled detonation at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in Boston, Tuesday, April 15, 2014. Police have blown up two unattended backpacks found near the Boston Marathon's finish line on Tuesday. They say they've taken a man into custody in connection with them. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) BOSTON (AP) — Survivors, first responders and relatives of those killed in the Boston Marathon bombing marked the anniversary Tuesday with tributes that combined sorrow over the loss of innocent victims with pride over the city's resilience in the face of a terror attack.


Lululemon's status as yogawear's top dog at risk

To accompany feature Leisure Yoga By Phil Wahba NEW YORK (Reuters) - Still hurting from its see-through yoga pants debacle last year, Lululemon Athletica Inc is about to face a new headache: stepped up competition from rival yoga retailers, department stores and hot new brands. The company is facing aggressive competition from stores such as Gap Inc's Athleta, VF Corp's lucy and Macy's Inc and others selling activewear at lower prices at far more locations this year. Small but hot yogawear brands such as Sweaty Betty and Lorna Jane also pose a potential threat, but the biggest competition is expected to come from Athleta, which will open 35 stores in 2015, tripling its numbers to 100 stores in just two years. Lululemon shares are 38 percent below their 52-week high on investor concerns about growing competition, and the company is expected to update Wall Street at its analyst day on Thursday.


BOJ Kuroda says watching stock price moves carefully

Bank of Japan Governor Kuroda speaks during a seminar in Tokyo Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said on Wednesday that he did not think the central bank's extraordinary monetary stimulus was fuelling speculative moves in the market, although he added he will monitor stock price moves carefully. "Stock prices have risen compared with before new policies under 'Abenomics' were implemented. Market volatility may have heightened too, but that hasn't had a big negative impact on the economy," Kuroda told a parliamentary session. "I won't comment directly on stock price moves but hope to pay close attention to stock market moves," he said.


BOJ Kuroda says watching stock price moves carefully

Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said on Wednesday that he did not think the central bank's extraordinary monetary stimulus was fuelling speculative moves in the market, although he added he will monitor stock price moves carefully. "Stock prices have risen compared with before new policies under 'Abenomics' were implemented. Market volatility may have heightened too, but that hasn't had a big negative impact on the economy," Kuroda told a parliamentary session. "I won't comment directly on stock price moves but hope to pay close attention to stock market moves," he said.

Instant View: China GDP growth slows in first quarter

China's annual economic growth slowed to an 18-month low of 7.4 percent in the January to March quarter of 2014, just above market expectations, confirming the world's second-largest economy lost momentum at the start of 2014. The government has already taken some steps to stabilize the economy, and has said that this year's growth target of 7.5 percent is approximate. KEY POINTS Q1 GDP +7.4 pct y/y (forecast +7.3 pct, previous qtr +7.7 pct) Q1 GDP +1.4 pct q/q (forecast +1.4 pct) March industrial output +8.8 pct y/y (forecast +9.0 pct) March retail sales +12.2 pct y/y (forecast +12.1 pct) Jan-March fixed-asset investment +17.6 pct y/y (forecast +18.1 pct) COMMENTARY TOMMY XIE, ECONOMIST, OVERSEA-CHINESE BANKING CORPORATION, SINGAPORE: "Judging from quarter-on-quarter reading, the 1.4 percent has been the slowest since China officially released the quarter-on-quarter reading from the fourth quarter 2010. "Given China has already rolled out the mini fiscal stimulus back in March, it may take some time for the fixed investment to rebound from the low of 17.6 percent year-on-year in the first quarter.

Nikkei extends gains after Japan Fin Min Aso's comments

Man walks past an electronic stock quotation board, as cherry blossoms bloom, outside a brokerage in Tokyo TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average extends gains on Wednesday following vague comments from Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso on the country's $1.26-trillion government pension fund, which traders took to mean that it could step up stock buying. The benchmark Nikkei rose to as high as 14,334.46, or 2.4 percent above its previous close, after Aso told the parliament the pension fund will "make a move" in the stock market from June. (Reporting by Hideyuki Sano; Editing by Dominic Lau)


HKMA steps up supervision of banks' credit risk management

A security guard walks past a directory board of Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) in Hong Kong By Jacqueline Poh HONG KONG, April 16 (RLPC) - The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) is stepping up its supervision of Hong-Kong-based banks' credit risk management by asking banks to show stable funding requirements and agree to regular onsite examinations of credit underwriting processes and stress-testing, the HKMA said in a statement. These measures come after a steep rise in offshore lending to Chinese mainland companies by Hong Kong-based banks. Chinese onshore companies borrowed HK$2.276 trillion of customer loans at the end of 2013, excluding HK$313 billion of trade finance loans, according to the HKMA. "The increase in Hong Kong banking sector's mainland-related lending is a natural consequence of the growth of the mainland economy and development of mainland corporates," said HKMA, which reinforces Hong Kong's role as a significant international financial center.


China statistics bureau: Q1 GDP growth still within targeted range

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's economic growth in the first quarter was within range, and the employment situation remained stable and inflation under control, the statistics bureau said on Wednesday. "Although economic growth slowed in the first quarter, in general, it stayed in a reasonable range," said bureau spokesman Sheng Laiyun. The comments came at a media briefing following the release of data showing the economy grew 7.4 percent in January-March, slightly above expectations for 7.3 percent growth. (Reporting by Xiaoyi Shao, Aileen Wang and Jonathan Standing; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

China's growth slows to 24-year low of 7.4 percent

BEIJING (AP) — China's economic growth slowed to a 24-year low of 7.4 percent in the first quarter, raising the risk of job losses and a potential impact on its trading partners.

Fed should beef up low-rate vows, two officials say

A view shows the Federal Reserve building in Washington By Alicia Underlee Nelson and Richard Valdmanis FARGO, North Dakota/BANGOR, Maine (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Reserve ought not to raise interest rates until the economy is much closer to full strength, two of the Fed's most dovish policymakers said on Tuesday. "If you commit to keeping rates low even as the recovery is proceeding, even as we continue to recover, I think people have a sense, the Fed has the recovery's back," Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Narayana Kocherlakota said at North Dakota State University. "And that's the message that I think we need to do a better job of promoting." If households and businesses believe the Fed is close to raising rates, they may decide to save rather than to spend, inhibiting recovery, Kocherlakota said. But because inflation is so low, he said, the Fed can afford to remain accommodative even while the recovery strengthens, and it will likely need to raise rates only gradually when the time comes.


On edge for China growth data, Nikkei tries to rally

Men pass an electronic stock quotation board, as cherry blossoms bloom, outside a brokerage in Tokyo By Wayne Cole SYDNEY (Reuters) - Asian markets took some comfort from a late spurt by Wall Street on Wednesday as investors tensed for a reading on Chinese economic growth, while rising tensions in Ukraine kept safe-haven sovereign debt well bid. Japan's Nikkei managed to bounce 1.6 percent having found solid support around 13,885 for a couple of sessions. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was flat, with Australian stocks edging 0.2 percent up in early trade. China is expected to report its slowest growth in five years, with signs of waning strength already prompting government action to steady the ship.


Intel's quarterly net beats Street, CEO talks up tablets

An employee walks inside the Intel microprocessor assembly plant in Heredia By Noel Randewich SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Intel Corp's first-quarter net profit exceeded Wall Street's estimates as the chipmaker wrestles with slow demand for personal computers and its chief executive officer said an ambitious goal to stake out market share in tablets was on track. With personal computer shipments falling for eight straight quarters through March, some analysts believe the industry's decline is close to hitting bottom, potentially giving Intel breathing room as it struggles to develop better processors for mobile and wearable devices. Following its first-quarter report on Tuesday, Intel Chief Financial Officer Stacy Smith said the chipmaker continues to expects PC shipments to decline slightly in 2014. "You have an ageing install base of PCs and we're bringing exciting products to the market place and that's leading to the pockets of strength we're seeing in the PC market." In its report, Intel said revenue from its PC client group in the first quarter was $7.9 billion, down 1 percent from the year before.


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