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Asian shares edge off 7-year highs as Fed awaited
By Lisa Twaronite TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian stocks pulled back from a seven-year peak scaled on Tuesday as sentiment gave way to caution ahead of the Federal Reserve's policy two-day meeting scheduled to start later in the session. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down about 0.3 percent after earlier touching its highest level since January 2008. Japan's Nikkei stock index advanced 0.3 percent as on hopes of better shareholder returns after index heavyweight Fanuc Corp doubled its dividend payout ratio. On Monday, Wall Street ended lower after the benchmark S&P 500 index hit a record intraday high before reversing course, tempered by caution ahead the Fed meeting.

China iPhone sales boost Apple; shares up modestly
(Reuters) - Apple Inc beat Wall Street's revenue and profit forecasts on Monday as it sold more iPhones in China than the United States for the first time, but the company gave no sales figures for its new Apple Watch. Apple's iPhone sales in China soared, increasing its revenue in the country 71 percent to $16.8 billion, although that was helped by gift-buying for Chinese New Year. Chief Executive Tim Cook said that China's expanding middle class is fueling iPhone sales there, which is the bulk of the company's sales.

Exclusive: Time Warner Cable open to merger talks with Charter - sources
Time Warner Cable Inc is open to merger discussions with Charter Communications Inc following a failed $45 billion bid by Comcast Corp , according to people familiar with the matter. Friendly negotiations between the two companies would be in sharp contrast to their acrimonious exchanges in 2013 and early 2014 that ended with Time Warner Cable rejecting unsolicited approaches by Charter and instead finding a white knight in Comcast. While Charter has yet to make a formal offer, Time Warner Cable believes its smaller peer may be willing to make a bid that is more attractive compared with its takeover attempt two years ago, the people said. Time Warner Cable also views Charter's stock as a more valuable currency than it did last year given its stock performance since then, the people said.

Japans Amari plays down expectations on U.S. trade deal progress
Japanese Economy Minister Akira Amari played down the prospect of substantial progress in trade talks being announced after a summit meeting between Japan and the United States on Tuesday. Japanese public broadcaster NHK said a joint statement after the meeting would probably refer to "substantial progress" in negotiations between the two countries on a trade deal and would talk of them cooperating to move towards an agreement on the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact However, Amari told a news conference: "The most we could expect in a joint statement is to say there is 'welcome progress' (on a Japan-U.S. trade deal)." The trade negotiations between the two are seen as crucial for the wider TPP as their economies account for 80 percent of the group involved in the talks.

Petrobras writedown may give new ammunition to class-action suit
Brazilian oil company Petrobras' $17 billion write-down, announced last week, may have been meant to close the accounting on a sprawling corruption scandal, but could instead provide fresh ammunition for a U.S. class action lawsuit. The case, filed in Manhattan federal court in December by a group of large investors, alleges $98 billion of the company's American depository shares, or ADRs, and bonds were artificially inflated since 2010 by the company overstating the value of assets such as major projects. Petrobras has moved to have the case dismissed. The plaintiffs say Petrobras improperly inflated the project costs to fatten profits of suppliers and contractors, who in turn kicked cash back to Petrobras employees.

Mylan says Teva offer too low; criticizes stock, growth prospects
Mylan NV rejected Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd's $40 billion takeover offer on Monday, saying in a scathing letter that it grossly undervalued the company and that Mylan has no interest in payment in what it termed "high-risk" Teva stock. Teva, the world's biggest maker of generic drugs, quickly responded to Mylan's refusal with word that it was "fully committed" and would move forward with the $82 per share cash and stock offer. Teva said it had begun the regulatory approval process and that it expects to complete a deal by the end of 2015. The company will meet with Mylan shareholders this week, according to sources familiar with the situation.

French IT firm Cap Gemini to buy U.S. rival IGATE for $4 billion
By Emelia Sithole-Matarise and Cyril Altmeyer PARIS (Reuters) - Cap Gemini SA , a French information technology services company, said it will buy U.S.-based rival IGATE Corp for $4 billion in a deal that would make North America into its biggest market and hand IGATE's founders a $1 billion windfall. Cap Gemini also raised its 2015 sales forecast on Monday in a statement that was pushed up to coincide with the announcement of the deal. IGATE, which has strength in the financial services sector, has grown quickly since its 1996 stock market listing. Cap Gemini said IGATE has been recording double-digit growth and a 19 percent operating margin.

Microsoft phones infringe patents: U.S. International Trade Commission judge
By Andrew Chung NEW YORK (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp lost a round in a potentially costly patent battle when a U.S. International Trade Commission judge on Monday found that the software giant used InterDigital Inc's technology in its mobile phones without permission. The judge, Theodore Essex, said that Microsoft infringed two wireless cellular patents owned by InterDigital , a patent licensor, and said it would not be against the public interest to ban the Microsoft devices from being imported into the United States. Wilmington, Delaware-based InterDigital first accused Nokia Corp of infringing its patents in 2007.

Exclusive: Deutsches radical revamp foiled by ECB stress test
Deutsche Bank, Germany's biggest lender, has spent much of this year looking at ways of reconfiguring its business to boost returns and had narrowed the choice to two possible models. The bank's co-chief executives, Anshu Jain and Juergen Fitschen, originally favored shedding its entire retail business and becoming Europe's answer to Goldman Sachs , sources familiar with internal discussions told Reuters. The bank instead chose a less ambitious solution, selling only its Postbank retail arm, cutting investment bank assets and investing more in equities trading and wealth management.

Tokyo Electron shares sink after takeover by Applied Materials scrapped
Tokyo Electron Ltd shares plunged 15 percent on Tuesday to a six-month low after U.S. regulatory opposition forced the scrapping of its planned takeover by U.S.-based Applied Materials Inc . The all-share purchase - a rare foreign bid for a Japanese firm - would have combined the No.1 and No. 3 makers of the equipment that makes semiconductor chips into a group with a stock market value of more than $38.5 billion. Tokyo Electron shares fell as much as 14.8 percent in early trade to 6,555 yen, hitting their lowest level since late October, while the broader Tokyo market was up 0.6 percent. The slide came despite Tokyo Electron announcing it plans to buy as much as 120 billion yen ($1 billion) worth of shares, or 8.59 percent of its outstanding stock.

Bodyprint could let you unlock your phone with your ear print
An experimental system uses a smartphone's capacitive screen as a low-res sensor keyed to the user's body prints.

TPG or M2: Which company is iiNets perfect match?
iiNet now has two potential buyers in M2 and TPG, but what is the difference, and which would be better for iiNet customers?

ACCC forces EA to offer refunds for Origin digital downloads
The Australian competition watchdog has welcomed an enforced undertaking from gaming giant EA to provide refunds to customers downloading games on the Origin platform.

Acer readying Predator Android gaming tablet
The company looks to extend its gaming brand with a competitor to the Nvidia Shield that may launch in Q3 2015.

Swedish armored vehicles get F1-inspired active suspension
BAE Systems recently announced that it has adapted the active damping suspension originally made for F1 cars to a Swedish Combat Vehicle, the CV90. This is reportedly the first system of its kind for a ...