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Cricket-NZ win toss, to bat first in maiden day-night test

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ADELAIDE Nov 27 New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum won the toss and chose to bat first against Australia in cricket’s inaugural day-night test match at Adelaide Oval.

Australia, who lead the series 1-0, have already retained the Trans-Tasman trophy following the draw in Perth, but both teams will be eager to etch their names in the record books as the first side to win a test played under floodlights.

New Zealand also have a proud record to defend, having not been defeated in seven test series since 2013 under McCullum.

Although both teams have played warmups under lights with the specially developed pink ball, the match, the last in the three-match series, is something of a leap into the unknown for the players.

Batsmen have reported problems seeing the ball clearly at twilight and the bowlers will hope to exploit that during the later session. (Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

Source: R-Csports


New York's Thanksgiving parade draws huge crowd amid tight security

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NEW YORK Crowds of spectators watched the marching bands, floats and giant balloons of Macy’s annual Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday, held without incident under tight security almost two weeks after deadly attacks in Paris.

New York officials expected more than 3 million spectators to have lined the route for the city’s signature parade in its 89th year. They had urged residents and visitors to carry on with holiday plans, saying there were no credible threats to the United States’ most populous city.

President Barack Obama sought to reassure Americans on Wednesday they were safe to travel over the holiday..

Police, who were patrolling in record numbers, arrested a 41-year-old Russian tourist for flying a drone in Central Park near the parade route with his son, 14. No other incidents were reported, a spokeswoman said.

Police walked alongside many parade groups and helicopters hovered overhead amid enhanced security following the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris. Islamic State militants have claimed responsibility for the assault in which 130 people died.

Debbie Irey, 50, a tourist from Salem, Oregon, said security was on her mind as she and her husband watched the parade.

“You can’t live in fear,” said Irey, who works in the financial sector. “The police officers with guns in Times Square heightens your awareness.”

About 50 million people worldwide were expected to have watched the televised 2.5-mile (4-km) parade on a route ending at Macy’s flagship store. The show ushers in the U.S. holiday season and the busiest time of year to travel.

Crowds up to 80 people deep in places applauded baton twirlers, stilt walkers and giant helium balloons of such cartoon characters as Snoopy and Hello Kitty, which hovered over the parade route.

Children on their parents’ shoulders narrated the parade to those in the crowd unable to see. Some youngsters climbed onto police vans, adding to the holiday atmosphere.

Police had added members of a new counterterrorism unit to parade security. Officers guarded subway entrances and circulated through crowds under mostly sunny skies.

“The security is so stringent in NYC that it puts you at ease right from your arrival at the airport,” said Anne Marie Sheehy, 49, of Liverpool, England, who was watching the parade with her travel companion, Paula Deegan, 50.

A Reuters-Ipsos poll shows Americans have become more concerned about threats since the Paris attacks and identified terrorism as the most important problem facing the country.

(Additional reporting and writing by Victoria Cavaliere; Editing by G Crosse, Alan Crosby and Jonathan Oatis)

Source: R-Entertainment

Asia shares firm as traders add to ECB stimulus bets

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TOKYO Asian shares held firm and U.S. stock futures edged higher in early trade on Friday as expectations of additional stimulus from the European Central Bank underpinned appetite for riskier assets, while the euro hovered near seven-month lows.

Benchmark share indexes in Japan .N225, South Korea .KS11 and Australia <AXJO all rose around 0.2 percent, though the broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside of Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS was almost flat due to the dollar's strength.

U.S. stock futures ESc1 rose 0.4 percent to their highest level since Nov. 9 after a market holiday on Thursday for Thanksgiving Day.

Although the U.S. holiday thinned global financial trade, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 gained 0.9 percent on Thursday to end at three-month high, led by German shares.

The European Central Bank meets next Thursday and most in the market expect it to expand its asset purchase programme and lower its deposit rate, the rate at which banks park excess funds with it.

Traders are now speculating that the ECB could cut rates more than the previous market consensus of a 0.10 percentage point cut.

The euro’s three-month overnight indexed swap (OIS) rate EUROIS fell to a new low around minus 0.28 percent, more than 0.15 percent below the current fixing level of the Overnight Eonia rate EONIA=.

With keeping money in the euro seen increasingly costly because of negative interest rates, the common currency was on the defensive in the foreign exchange market.

The euro traded at $1.0606 EUR=, not far from Wednesday’s seven-month low of $1.0565. It also stood near a seven-month low against the yen, last fetching 130.07 yen.

“You keep losing money by holding the euro. It is hard to see the euro rising. True, it is already heavily shorted but I expect the euro to fall towards parity with the dollar,” said a trader at a Japanese bank.

The yen was little changed against the dollar at 122.63 per dollar JPY=, showing no response to a series of Japanese economic data including jobless rate, which unexpectedly fell to a two-decade low of 3.1 percent.

Oil prices edged lower, with U.S. stockpile data published on Wednesday doing little to ease concerns about a supply glut.

U.S. crude futures CLc1 fell 1.1 percent to $42.57 a barrel as traders also unwound some of buying they had made after Turkey had shot down a Russian warplane earlier this week.

Brent futures LCOc1 edged down to $45.62 a barrel on Thursday, compared to their two-week high of $46.50 hit earlier this week.

Battered metal prices also rebounded as hedge funds covered their short positions for now.

Benchmark copper on the London Mental Exchange CMCU3 rose 1.9 percent on Thursday to $4,636.15 per tonne, recovering 4.3 percent from Monday’s 6 1/2-year low of $4,443.50.

Zinc CMZN3 and Nickel CMNI3 also jumped sharply on Thursday, helped by expectations of output cuts in China.

(Editing by Kim Coghill)

Source: R-Business

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