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(MENAFN - AFP) Tokyo's benchmark index closed above 20,000 on Wednesday for the first time in 15 years as hopes for strong Japanese corporate earnings overshadowed a weak lead from Wall Street.

The Nikkei 225 index added 1.13 percent, or 224.81 points, to finish at 20,133.90. It last closed above the psychologically important level in April 2000.

The broader Topix index ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) India's government took Al Jazeera news channel off the air on Wednesday for five days after officials insisted it had repeatedly shown wrong maps of disputed Kashmir.

Al Jazeera in India showed a blue screen on Wednesday with a sign saying "as instructed by the ministry of information and broadcasting, this channel will not be available".

An official ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Mining giant BHP Billiton on Wednesday said total iron ore production for the nine months to March jumped to a new high as prices remained near a decade-low, but deferred a project to boost output of the commodity to save costs.

In an operational review for the nine-month period, the world's biggest miner said it expected iron ore output for the 2015 financial ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Britain's biggest retailer, supermarket group Tesco, announced Wednesday that it had plunged massively into the red last year as it took a hit on the value of its property.

Tesco, which was hit by a major crisis last October after accounting errors that overstated profits, reported a loss after tax of £5.74 billion ($8.58 billion, 8.0 billion euros) in the ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) A Chinese power equipment maker has become the first state-owned firm to default on a bond payment in modern China, state media said on Wednesday, as the government takes a more hands-off approach.

Baoding Tianwei Group Co., Ltd. said in a filing on Tuesday with the Shanghai Clearing House that it has failed to make this year's coupon payment worth 85.5 million ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Japanese shares ended at a 15-year high on Wednesday after the country recorded its first trade surplus in three years, while the euro weakened on growing concerns that Greece will not reach a bailout reform deal with its creditors.

With few catalysts to spur business in Asia, most other markets fell following a broadly negative lead from Wall Street.

Tokyo ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) The European Commission on Tuesday urged EU members to tackle the health challenges posed by the influx of asylum seekers in the Mediterranean, including sharing hospital resources.

"The emergency is there, now, it's concrete," Commission official Ladislav Miko told reporters in Latvia's capital Riga.

There was "suffering which needs to be addressed ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Alerts about hit-and-runs and kidnappings in Los Angeles will soon pop up on traffic app Waze, along with road closure information, the West Coast city's mayor said.

The agreement is part of a data-sharing partnership between LA and the Google-owned tech company announced by Mayor Eric Garcetti.

The app has already begun showing street closures and will ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Yahoo reported Tuesday a 93 percent slide in quarterly profit from a year ago, while revenues rose modestly in disappointing quarterly results for the struggling Internet pioneer.

Net profit for the first quarter tumbled to $21.1 million from $312 million in the same period last year, amid what chief executive Marissa Mayer called "encouraging revenue growth" ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) A "perfect" 100-carat diamond originally mined in South Africa sold for $22.1 million in New York on Tuesday in three minutes of bidding, Sotheby's said.

The auction house had valued the jewel, which weighs 100.20 carats, at $19-25 million, calling it "the largest perfect diamond with a classic Emerald cut ever to be offered at auction."

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