UPDATE 1-Infineon raises 2017 outlook on stronger automotive orders
* Shares rise 8.5 pct to 15-year high at top of sector index (Adds detail, background, updates shares)
* Drought persists, intensifies in U.S. South
* High winds, heat, drive "massive crop losses"
By Carey Gillam
KANSAS CITY,, April 28 A devastating drought intensified across Texas over the last week, with high winds and heat causing "massive crop losses," with little relief seen any time soon, weather experts said Thursday.
The latest report from a consortium of national climate experts, dubbed the Drought Monitor, said drought worsened along the Texas border with Oklahoma, as well as in western, central and southern Texas.
Ranchers were struggling to feed and water cattle, and wheat farmers were left to watch their crops shrivel into the dusty soil.
There was a slight alleviation of drought in central and eastern Oklahoma as more than seven inches of rain fell during the past week, according to the Drought Monitor.
But for farmers farther south, there was no relief in sight. Forecasters predicted that for May 3 through 7, the odds favor warmer-than-normal weather across the Southwest and South and into the Southeast, along the Gulf Coast. <^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
National Drought Mitigation Center map of drought:
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March 24 Halliburton Co, the world's No. 2 oilfield services provider, warned that its first-quarter profit would likely miss analysts' expectations due to higher costs and weak demand in markets outside North America.