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Tokyo investors to eye Fed meeting next week

Tokyo investors will focus on the US Federal Reserve's policy meeting next week looking for for fresh trading cues following a big sell-off over the past week fuelled by fears over China's economy and the Ukraine crisis. The benchmark Nikkei-225 index lost 3.30 percent, or 488.32 points, to finish at 14,327.66 on Friday, losing 6.20 percent over the week, its biggest five-day drop in of the year. The Topix index of all first-section shares fell 3.22 percent, or 38.76 points, to 1,164.70, marking a weekly drop of 5.84 percent.

Fed seen as raising rates a bit earlier after jobs report

(Reuters) - U.S. short-term interest-rate futures contracts fell after a U.S. government report showed U.S. employers added more jobs than expected in February, prompting some traders to price in an earlier date for a rate hike from the Federal Reserve. The contracts show markets are now assigning a roughly 53 percent chance of a first Fed rate hike in June 2015, based on CME FedWatch, which tracks rate hike expectations using its Fed funds futures contracts.

Acting U.S. CFTC head pleads with Congress for more money

By Sarah N. Lynch WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The acting head of the U.S. derivatives regulator pleaded with federal lawmakers on Thursday to give his agency more funding, saying a tight pocketbook has prevented staff from completing compliance exams and threatened to hobble enforcement.

European shares slip on profit-taking, China worries

European stocks retreated Tuesday on profit-taking and worries about China, but the euro gained strength from revised higher growth forecasts for the European Union. London's benchmark FTSE 100 index closed 0.52 percent lower at 6,830.5 points, as investors locked in profits from a run that culminated in a 14-year high for the index on Monday. Mining companies listed in London also suffered because of their supply role to the slowing Chinese economy.

Futures firms' April-December net tumbles 67 pct

SEOUL, Feb. 24 (Yonhap) -- South Korean futures companies saw their earnings plunge nearly 70 percent in the April-December period from a year earlier, mainly due to a decrease in their brokerage commission income, the financial watchdog said Monday. The combined net income of seven local futures firms came to 3.4 billion won (US$3.17 million) during the cited period, compared with 10.4 billion won a year earlier, according to the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS).

Tokyo stocks down 0.68% by break

Tokyo stocks were down 0.68 percent Wednesday morning as the yen gained strength after surging the previous day on the Bank of Japan's decision to expand its lending to commercial banks. The benchmark Nikkei-225 index, which jumped 3.13 percent Tuesday, lost 100.88 points to 14,742.36, while the Topix index of all first-section shares slipped 0.55 percent, or 6.72 points, to 1,217.28.

Business Highlights

___ Weak US jobs report still provides cause for hope WASHINGTON (AP) — For a second straight month, weak U.S. job growth has raised concern that the economy has lost the vigour it showed late last year. A tepid gain of 113,000 jobs in January followed December's puny increase of 75,000 — far below last year's average monthly gain of 194,000. Yet the jobs report the government issued Friday offered cause for optimism. Solid hiring last month in areas like manufacturing and construction point to underlying strength.

Tokyo stocks end 0.62% lower

Tokyo stocks fell 0.62 percent Friday, wiping out gains in early trade that followed a brisk US market overnight, as the yen firmed against the dollar. The benchmark Nikkei-225 index slipped 92.53 points to 14,914.53 after trading in positive territories Friday morning. The Topix index of all first-section shares slumped 0.28 percent, or 3.45 points, to 1,220.64. kh/jom/st

Short-term U.S. rate futures little changed as Fed tapers

(Reuters) - U.S. short-term interest-rate futures contracts were little changed after the Federal Reserve reduced its monthly bond-buying program by $10 billion as expected, as traders kept bets the Fed won't raise rates until mid-2015. The contracts, which remained slightly up on the day, show markets are assigning a roughly 51 percent chance of a first Fed rate hike in June 2015, based on CME FedWatch, which tracks rate hike expectations using Fed funds futures contracts traded at CME Group Inc's Chicago Board of Trade.

Shares mixed as thin trading on New Year holidays brings roller-coaster 2013 to a close

TOKYO - Shares were mixed Tuesday in thin pre-holiday trading, with early gains in some markets succumbing to selling pressure as roller-coaster 2013 wound to a close. The French and British markets, which will trade for a half day on Tuesday, started on a positive note. The CAC-40 rose 0.2 per cent to 4,284.83 and the FTSE 100 inched up 0.1 per cent to 6,738.10. Germany's DAX was closed for the holiday. Futures suggested potentially modest New Year's Eve gains on Wall Street. Dow Jones futures rose 0.04 per cent while S
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