PRESS DIGEST-New York Times business news - March 20

March 20 Thu Mar 20, 2014 12:48am EDT

March 20 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories on the New York Times business pages. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* A growing field of technology experts, financial players and entrepreneurs believe that mainland China's unfavorable regulation of Bitcoin has created an opening for Hong Kong. David Shin, a Hong Kong investment banker, is building a stock exchange for Bitcoin-oriented companies. (r.reuters.com/nek77v)

* Toyota's $1.2 billion deal with the Justice Department over a sudden-acceleration defect that has caused injuries and deaths included an unusual admission of wrongdoing.

(r.reuters.com/pek77v)

* The U.S. Federal Reserve continued to curtail its economic stimulus, but it adjusted its guidance on interest rates, saying they would remain near zero "for a considerable time" after bond purchases ended. (r.reuters.com/huk77v)

* Just days after the United States lifted a ban on new oil and gas leases for BP, the company took full advantage of the opportunity. In an auction held in New Orleans on Wednesday, BP was the high bidder on 24 exploration blocks in the Gulf of Mexico for about $42 million, according to the Interior Department. (r.reuters.com/nuk77v)

* JPMorgan Chase announced that it had agreed to sell its physical commodities trading unit to the Mercuria Energy Group, a rapidly growing Swiss trading firm, for $3.5 billion in cash. (r.reuters.com/quk77v)

* According to a study prepared by experts from the Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing, federal regulators need to provide more oversight of the far-flung supply networks that build 787 Dreamliner jets and other new planes. (r.reuters.com/suk77v)

* Walmart plans to make a pointed, aggressive play for outdoor and garden business this spring for the first time, offering "Black Friday-like prices" on more than 60 items. The sale will begin Friday - spring officially begins Thursday afternoon - and last for about a week. (r.reuters.com/nyk77v) (Compiled by Ankush Sharma in Bangalore)