By Ian Chua SYDNEY (Reuters) - Asian stocks stumbled to their lowest in five weeks on Monday after a batch of weak data out of China raised the spectre of a sharp slowdown in the world's second-biggest economy. The Australian dollar, considered a liquid proxy for China plays, also took a hammering and slumped to a six-month low. Data released on Saturday showed China's factory output grew at the weakest pace in nearly six years in August, while growth in other key sectors also cooled. "This confirms a slowdown in growth momentum in Q3 following the Q2 rebound," analysts at Barclays wrote in a note to clients, adding they have cut their 2014 growth forecast for China to 7.2 percent from 7.4 percent.
LONDON/AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch brewer Heineken HEIN.AS said on Sunday it was approached by larger rival SABMiller SAB.L about a potential takeover but that its controlling shareholder intended to keep the company independent. The maker of Heineken and Amstel beers said it consulted with its majority shareholder and concluded that SABMiller's proposal was "non-actionable". "The Heineken family has informed SABMiller, Heineken and Heineken Holding of its intention to preserve the heritage and identity of Heineken as an independent company," it said in a statement. The founding family owns just over 50 percent of Heineken via Heineken Holding HEIO.AS.
By Tom Polansek CHICAGO (Reuters) - Cargill Inc's [CARG.UL] lawsuit against Syngenta AG over rejections of genetically modified U.S. Trading giant Cargill said in court documents on Friday that it had lost more than $90 million because Syngenta sold Agrisure Viptera corn, known as MIR 162, to U.S. "If they can get it out there a growing season earlier, it's more money in the pocket, more money for the company, more money for the shareholders." Cargill filed its case as U.S.
By Lionel Laurent LONDON (Reuters) - Stock investors who recognize the risks of trading in anonymous "dark pools" but are unwilling to spurn them have found an alternative: club together. A growing number of European investment funds have signed up to use an electronic trading system designed by one of their own - Finland's Pohjola Asset Management - which offers the ability to dissect and control the way their market bets are routed to dark pools and other exchanges across the region. This might seem like little more than back-office tinkering to the uninitiated - after all, fund managers are paid to decide which stocks to buy, not the minutiae of where to trade them. "For many years, investment banks and other electronic brokers have provided electronic order-routing mechanisms ... But once an order goes behind a firewall it's very difficult to maintain total control over it," said Adam Conn, head of trading at Barings Asset Management, a user of the Pohjola router.