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Fri Jan 3, 2014 4:45am EST

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TOP STORIES

Europe holds ground after Asia roiled by risk aversion

LONDON - European shares are battling to hold their ground after a turbulent day for Asia markets, as a sudden reversal in some very popular, and thus crowded, trades spark a bout of global risk aversion. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/ (WRAPUP 4), moving shortly, by Marc Jones, 715 words)

China services sector falls to four-month low

BEIJING - Growth in China's services sector falls to a four-month low as business expectations drop, a government survey shows, adding to evidence that the world's second-largest economy lost steam into the close of 2013. (CHINA-ECONOMY/PMI (UPDATE 1, PICTURE), moved, by Koh Gui Qing and Jonathan Standing, 400 words)

Next ups profit forecast on strong Christmas sales

LONDON - Next, Britain's second largest clothing retailer, looks set to emerge from the Christmas trading season as one of the clear winners after it raises its year profit forecast on the back of fourth quarter sales that smashed its expectations. (NEXT/ (UPDATE 2), expect by 1015 GMT/5.15 AM ET, by James Davey, 500 words)

+ See also:

- RETAIL-BRITAIN/FACTBOX, moved, 250 words

Economy a liability for Turkey's scandal-hit government

ISTANBUL - When a senior Turkish businessmen publicly criticised the central bank this week for failing to stabilise the tumbling currency, he was taking aim at a pillar of support for the government: its reputation for strong economic management. (TURKEY-CORRUPTION/ECONOMY (PICTURE, GRAPHIC), expect by 1200 GMT/7 AM ET, by Andrew Torchia, 1,000 words)

INVESTMENT

Fed administers bitter medicine to heal emerging markets

LONDON - If the medicine tastes bad, it's probably doing you good. Or so emerging economies could console themselves as they are buffeted by market storms and capital exodus linked to the end of U.S. stimulus. (EMERGING-FED/, expect by 1300 GMT/8 AM ET, by Sujata Rao, 800 words)

ECONOMY

Mitterrand's shadow looms as Hollande seeks to revive France

PARIS - Francois Hollande's admiration for Francois Mitterrand is known to run deep, with the French president taking inspiration from his Socialist predecessor for his policies and even turns of phrase. (FRANCE-ECONOMY/, expect by 1200 GMT/7 AM ET, by Leigh Thomas, 850 words)

UK mortgage approvals hit 5-year high, business loans slump

LONDON - British lenders approved the highest number of mortgages in more than five years in November but business lending slumps, Bank of England data shows, raising doubts about the sustainability of growth. (BRITAIN LENDING/, moved, 300 words)

+ See also:

- BRITAIN-PROPERTY/NATIONWIDE, moved, by David Milliken, 475 words

Euro zone private loans contraction accelerates

FRANKFURT - Lending to households and companies in the euro zone contract further in November, piling pressure the European Central Bank to do more to revive the economy. (EUROZONE/M3, moving shortly, 150 words)

Spain's jobless down 2.24 pct in sign of tepid recovery

MADRID - The number of registered jobless in Spain falls by 2.24 percent in December, the biggest drop ever for that month in what may be another glimmer of hope for the nation's lacklustre economy. (SPAIN-ECONOMY/JOBLESS (UPDATE 1), moved, 300 words)

+ See also:

- SPAIN-ECONOMY/PRICES, moved, 100 words

Shanghai pays price of China's campaign against pollution

BEIJING - Chinese steel production is moving from its heartland in Hebei province in the wake of government efforts to tackle pollution near Beijing, but Shanghai could be paying the price as steel mills around the commercial capital ramp up output. (CHINA-STEEL/POLLUTION, moved, by David Stanway, 900 words)

COMPANIES

Telefonica readying joint offer for TIM Brasil

MILAN - Telecom Italia shares touch two-month highs after a report its main shareholder Telefonica is working on a joint offer for the Italian group's Brazilian unit to resolve a competition issue. (TELEFONICA-TIM/TELECOMITALIA (UPDATE 1), expect by 1040 GMT/5.40 AM ET, by Stephen Jewkes and Valentina Za, 450 words)

Remy Cointreau CEO resigns after 3 months in the job

PARIS - French spirits group Remy Cointreau says its Chief Executive Officer Frederic Pflanz has resigned, for personal reasons, after only three months in the job. (REMY-CEO/RESIGNATION (UPDATE 1), moved, 200 words)

Future of F1 boss Ecclestone could be settled in court

LONDON - Bernie Ecclestone risks losing his decades-old grip on Formula One motor racing this year, when legal action stemming from the sale of a stake in the sport eight years ago reaches a climax. (BRITIAN-ECCLESTONE/CASE, moved, by Keith Weir, 670 words)