German star Nowitzki eyes 20th season

Dallas Mavericks icon Dirk Nowitzki plans to extend his remarkable NBA career into a 20th season at the age of 39.Nowitzki, who signed a two-year contract last year, told ESPN's TrueHoop Conversations podcast he planned to honor the deal and play until...

Natalie Portman gives birth to a girl

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Argentine games suspended as players strike

Footballers in Argentina pushed ahead with a strike on Friday over unpaid wages, forcing the year's first league games to be suspended despite a $22 million government payout, officials said.Friday evening's fixtures, Rosario Central versus Godoy Cruz ...

Slade reminds Jones of talents in Chiefs romp

Henry Slade shrugged off the disappointment of being dropped from England's Six Nations squad by scoring 14 points in Exeter's bonus point 34-15 win over Leicester Tigers in their Premiership clash on Friday.The 23-year-old kicker's contribution, which...

UK cinema-goers asked to become real-life 007s

British film icon James Bond has entertained audiences for over five decades, but now the country's foreign intelligence agency is asking cinema-goers to become spies themselves.MI6 on Friday unveiled a 58-second advertisement -- entitled "But She Can"...

Secret Uber software steers drivers from stings

Uber on Friday acknowledged the use of a secret software program to steer drivers away from trouble, including sting operations by local authorities to catch law-breakers.In the latest in a streak of damaging news for the ridesharing giant, Uber came f...

Russian, Syrian regime convoys enter northern Syria city

Russia and Syrian regime forces are moving "humanitarian" convoys carrying military equipment into the former Islamic State group's bastion of Manbij in northern Syria, the US Defense Department said Friday.The move would likely make it more difficult ...

Lyon’s Mammana holds Euro rivals Bordeaux

Emanuel Mammana headed in a late equaliser as Lyon held Euro rivals Bordeaux 1-1 in Ligue 1 on Friday.Lyon are fourth just ahead of Bordeaux in the race for European football next season.Valentin Vada had put the hosts ahead after 16 minutes under the ...

Leipzig slip off German title pace after draw

RB Leipzig suffered a German title setback on Friday when they were held to a 2-2 draw at Augsburg, handing champions Bayern Munich the chance to go seven points clear by the end of the weekend.The result kept Leipzig in second spot on 49 points but Ba...

US stocks up, dollar down as Yellen signals likely rate hike

US stocks edged higher but the dollar pulled back from recent gains Friday after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen signaled an interest rate hike was likely this month if current economic conditions hold.

Yellen told a Chicago business group that lifting benchmark interest rates "would likely be appropriate" if employment and inflation trends stay solid.

Yellen's remarks were the focus in a session that saw stock markets in Asia, Frankfurt and London retreat.

Paris gained 0.6 percent as centrist Emmanuel Macron has emerged as a leading rival that could derail Far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, who has vowed to take France out of the eurozone.

Yellen's remarks followed similar commentary from other Fed officials this week that left markets betting the US central bank will pull the trigger at the March 14-15 policy meeting.

The speech also came on a day when US data showed the services sector, the main driver of the economy, hit its fastest pace in 15 months in February.

For the moment, US investors are taking a sunny view of the Fed's stance.

"At some point, maybe later in the year or next year, the market may not look at a rate hike as a positive thing," said Tom Cahill of Ventura Wealth Management.

"But right now, the market is willing to see this as an indication that economic growth is accelerating."

While US stocks rose, the dollar actually retreated in a move seen as evidence of profit taking after the greenback climbed earlier in the week.

"While Janet Yellen was surprisingly direct, I don't think she really added too much to what the market already was thinking," said Omer Esiner of Commonwealth Foreign Exchange. "So in that respects, investors may be content to take money off the table ahead of the week end."

Among individual stocks, General Motors climbed 1.3 percent as it edged closer to a deal to sell its European subsidiary to French carmaker PSA. The supervisory board of PSA approved the purchase of the unit and an announcement was expected Monday, a source close the transaction told AFP.

In Japan, Nintendo jumped 3.7 percent as its new console went on sale with gamers queueing up outside stores around the country.

- Key figures around 2200 GMT -

New York - Dow: UP less than 0.1 percent at 21,005.71 (close)

New York - S&P 500: UP 0.1 percent at 2,383.12 (close)

New York - Nasdaq: UP 0.2 percent at 5,870.75 (close)

London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.1 percent at 7,374.26 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX 30: DOWN 0.3 percent at 12,027.36 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.6 percent at 4,995.13 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.5 percent at 3,402.19

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.5 percent at 19,469.17 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: DOWN 0.7 percent at 23,552.72 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.4 percent at 3,218.31 (close)

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0619 from $1.0560

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2292 from $1.2234

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 114.05 yen from 114.45 yen

Oil - Brent North Sea: UP 82 cents at $55.90 per barrel

Oil - West Texas Intermediate: UP 72 cents at $53.33 per barrel

Dior in blue jeans raises the black beret of revolt

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‘Apprentice’ host Arnold Schwarzenegger: I won’t be back

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England beat West Indies by 45 runs in first ODI

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Senegalese mayor faces investigation over $2.85m fraud

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