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Market gains...Housing report due...China against hacking by nations

By The Associated Press | Posted - Dec. 22, 2014 at 4:40 a.m.



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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — International stock markets were mostly higher today after the Fed's pledge not to rush to raise interest rates prompted investors to add risky assets ahead of the year-end holiday. A rise in the price of oil boosted energy stocks. Futures point to opening gains on Wall Street. Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose but remains under $58 a barrel. The dollar gained against the yen and fell against the euro.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The economy is continuing to show improvement and investors will be looking this week at how the housing market is faring. The National Association of Realtors will report on November's existing home sales today. On Tuesday, the Commerce Department will release new home sales data for November. Freddie Mac will report weekly mortgage rates on Wednesday.

BEIJING (AP) — China's foreign minister isn't blaming North Korea for the Sony hacks or directly condemning them. But he has told Secretary of State John Kerry Beijing is against cyberattacks and opposes any nation or individual launching such attacks from a third country. The Foreign Ministry also warns against suggesting that China was used as a platform for the attacks without sufficient evidence.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea lowered its growth forecast for next year, citing persistently weak sentiment among consumers and businesses. But the government predicted that overall economic conditions will improve from this year thanks to government measures, recovery in the U.S. economy and the fall in oil prices. The finance ministry says Asia's fourth-largest economy will expand 3.8 percent in 2015. Six months ago, it forecast growth of 4.0 percent.

NEW YORK (AP) — The latest skirmish over subscription fees paid by networks to cable and satellite providers has cut Fox News Channel and the Fox Business Network from Dish Network set top boxes. Dish has more than 14 million satellite TV customers. Fox is urging viewers with emails and tweets to switch to another TV provider. Both sides are blaming each other.

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The Associated Press

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