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TOP STORIES

ECB holds rates as it assesses inflation "danger zone"

FRANKFURT - The European Central Bank leaves interest rates at a record low, holding off fresh action for now while it assesses whether it needs to respond to cost-of-living numbers weak enough to raise concerns about deflation. (ECB/RATES (UPDATE 2), expect by 1500 GMT/10 AM ET, by Sakari Suoninen, 715 words)

+ See also:

- BRITAIN-BOE/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by William Schomberg and David Milliken, 400 words

Strong euro zone periphery run shows no sign of fading

LONDON - A strong rally in euro zone periphery bonds and stocks extends into a third day as investors, awaiting signals from the European Central Bank, bet on further economic improvements in the bloc. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/ (WRAPUP 5, GRAPHIC), moved, by Marc Jones, 760 words)

Turnarounds elusive at Tesco, M&S and Morrisons

LONDON - Tesco, Marks & Spencer and Morrisons, three of the biggest names in British retail, post heavy falls in Christmas sales, showing little sign of their much vaunted and costly turnarounds and ratcheting up pressure on their leaders.(BRITAIN-RETAIL/ (WRAPUP 2), moving shortly, by James Davey and Neil Maidment, 880 words)

+ See also:

- USA-RETAIL/DECEMBER, expect by 1400 GMT/9 AM ET, by Phil Wahba, 550 words

EU bank trading rules widen global gap in regulations

LONDON - Banks are pleased this week by news that Europe will impose less-restrictive rules on trading than the United States, but the announcement proves that global regulations are likely to remain inconsistent despite pledges to unify them. (G20-REGULATION/, moved, by Huw Jones, 770 words)

INSIGHT & EXCLUSIVE

Credit Suisse sticks with money-losing U.S. brokerage

NEW YORK - Credit Suisse Group is betting it can turn around its unprofitable U.S. private wealth business with new loan products and a focus on the ultra-rich, a strategy greeted with scepticism by some securities analysts and former officials at the bank. (CREDITSUISSE-WEALTH/REVAMP (INSIGHT, PICTURE), moved, by Jed Horowitz, 1,240 words)

Singapore Airlines-Tata JV orders Airbus A320s - sources

SINGAPORE/PARIS - Singapore Airlines has picked Airbus's A320 aircraft over Boeing's 737 for the launch of its Indian airline joint venture with Tata Sons, sources familiar with the decision say. (SIA-TATA/ (EXCLUSIVE, UPDATE 2), moved, by Siva Govindasamy and Tim Hepher, 840 words)

MARKETS

Growth, ECB outlook fuel demand for Spain, Portugal debt

LONDON - Investors snap up Spanish bonds at Madrid's first 2014 sale and show strong interest in an offering of Portuguese debt as an improved economic outlook feeds demand for higher-yielding euro zone bonds.(MARKETS BONDS/EUROPE, moved, by Emelia Sithole-Matarise, 600 words)

ECONOMY

Euro zone morale jumps, easing pressure on ECB to act

BRUSSELS - Euro zone economic sentiment rises more than expected in December and inflation expectations pick up, data shows, easing some pressure on the European Central Bank to loosen monetary strings further. (EUROZONE-ECONOMY/SENTIMENT (UPDATE 1), moved, by Martin Santa, 520 words)

German industry output rises more than expected in November

BERLIN - German industrial output rises slightly more than expected in November, gaining 1.9 percent on the month, and the Economy Ministry says production likely grew in the final quarter as a whole. (GERMANY-INDUSTRY/OUTPUT, moved, 200 words)

UK trade deficit edges down, helped by exports within the EU

LONDON - Britain's goods trade deficit narrows slightly in November, helped by a pickup in exports to recovering economies in Europe, official data shows. (BRITAIN-TRADE/, moved, 300 words)

China inflation hits 7-month low, eases tightening fears

BEIJING - China's annual consumer inflation slows more sharply than expected to a seven-month low of 2.5 percent in December, easing market fears of tighter monetary policy rates although the central bank is tapping the brakes on bank liquidity. (CHINA-ECONOMY/CPI (UPDATE 3), moved, by Aileen Wang and Kevin Yao, 600 words)

Greek industrial slump persists, jobless rate at record high

ATHENS - Greece's industrial slump deepens and unemployment ticked up to a record high, data shows, highlighting the ravages of a six-year recession even as the debt-laden economy shows tentative signs of an economic recovery elsewhere. (GREECE-UNEMPLOYMENT/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 300 words)

COMPANIES

Raiffeisen kicks off share sales by European banks

VIENNA - Austria's Raiffeisen Bank International has kicked off a year of capital raising by European banks keen to convince regulators and investors that they are robust enough to weather any more financial storms. (RAIFFEISEN-CAPITAL/ (UPDATE 2, PICTURE), moved, 600 words)

StanChart hit by finance chief's shock departure

LONDON - Standard Chartered's finance director is leaving as part of a reorganisation, depriving the Asia-focused bank of one of its key executives as it navigates a new era of weaker growth and tougher regulation. (STANCHART-RESTRUCTURING/ (UPDATE 4), moved, by Matt Scuffham and Steve Slater, 725 words)

ING to take 1.2 bln euro charge to ring-fence pension fund

AMSTERDAM - ING Group NV says it will make its defined-benefit pension fund financially independent, resulting in an after-tax charge of about 1.2 billion euros ($1.6 billion) and paving the way for a stock market listing of its insurance business. (ING-PENSION/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Sara Webb and Anthony Deutsch, 650 words)

RSA concludes accounting problems confined to Ireland

LONDON - British insurer RSA blames a handful of executives for an accounting scandal at its Irish unit, but signals a new risk to its dividend after extreme weather in late 2013 added to pressure on the business. (RSA/IRELAND (UPDATE 2), expect by 1400 GMT/9 AM ET, by Chris Vellacott, 500 words)

UBS likely mulling investment bank spin-off, says Mediobanca

ZURICH - UBS is likely weighing a spin-off for its investment bank as even stricter regulation looms, possibly resuscitating the venerable SG Warburg brand as an independent boutique, according to Mediobanca analysts. (UBS/, moved, by Katharina Bart, 400 words)

McKesson ups offer for Celesio to persuade Elliott

FRANKFURT - U.S. drugs wholesale group McKesson lifts its offer for German peer Celesio to 23.50 euros per share from 23 euros in a bid to win over hedge fund Elliott, a source familiar with the talks says. (CELESIO-MCKESSON/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Ludwig Burger, 300 words)

Rolls-Royce looked to buy out Finland's Wartsila

HELSINKI/BANGALORE - British engineering company Rolls-Royce makes a takeover approach to Finnish ship and power plant engine maker Wartsila but the talks end without a deal, the two companies say. (WARTSILA-ROLLSROYCE/ (UPDATE 3), moved, by Jussi Rosendahl and Karen Rebelo, 500 words)

Danone to sue NZ's Fonterra over baby formula recall

WELLINGTON/PARIS - French food group Danone says it will sue wholesale dairy exporter Fonterra and stop buying products from the New Zealand firm following a contamination scare that sparked the recall of infant milk formula across Asia. (DANONE-NEW ZEALAND/ (UPDATE 4, GRAPHICS), moving shortly, by Naomi Tajitsu and Geert De Clercq, 745 words)

Losing streak will test Man Utd's winning business model

LONDON - Manchester United's commercial strength means the English soccer champions can absorb the impact of a poor season on the pitch but a longer slump would strain a business model based on sporting success. (SOCCER-MANCHESTER UNITED/FINANCES, moved, by Keith Weir, 915 words)

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