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Fri Jan 10, 2014 8:57am EST

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TOP STORIES

U.S. job growth weakest in three years

WASHINGTON - U.S. employers hired the fewest workers in almost three years in December, but the setback is likely to be temporary amid signs that cold weather conditions might have had an impact. (USA-ECONOMY/ (WRAPUP 2), moved, by Lucia Mutikani, 750 words)

Iran, Russia negotiating big oil-for-goods deal

LONDON/ANKARA - Iran and Russia are negotiating an oil-for-goods swap that would let Iran lift oil exports substantially, in defiance of the Western sanctions that helped force Tehran in November to agree a preliminary deal to end its nuclear programme. (IRAN-RUSSIA-OIL/ (EXCLUSIVE, UPDATE 1), moved, by Jonathan Saul and Parisa Hafezi, 430 words)

Chinese export growth slows, rosier 2014 seen

BEIJING - China's export growth slows more than expected in December due to a higher comparison base a year earlier and a clamp-down on speculative activities disguised as export deals, missing the official target on foreign trade. (CHINA-ECONOMY/TRADE (UPDATE 2, PICTURE), moved, by Xiaoyi Shao and Kevin Yao, 700 words)

+ See also:

- CHINA-TRADE/COMMODITIES (WRAPUP 1), moved, by Fayen Wong, 885 words

Standard Chartered's revamp suggests more changes ahead

LONDON/DUBLIN - Standard Chartered's top 500 bankers gather in Singapore next week for their annual strategy meeting with an unprecedented degree of uncertainty swirling around the former stock market darling. (STANDARDCHARTERED/, expect by 1400 GMT/9 AM ET, by Steve Slater and Carmel Crimmins, 700 words)

INVESTMENT & MARKETS

Contrarians bet against European periphery's stocks rally

LONDON/PARIS - Spanish, Italian and Portuguese equities have been the star performers of 2014 so far, but not everyone is convinced, with bets on a future retreat in so-called peripheral euro zone on the rise. (EUROPE-MARKETS/PERIPHERY, expect by 1500 GMT/10 AM ET, by Toni Vorobyova and Blaise Robinson,800 words)

Interest rate rises may not be so far off

LONDON - The era of money printing is drawing to a close and the start of the new interest rate hike cycle may arrive sooner than people expect. But investors may not need to panic. (INVESTMENT-RATES/(ANALYSIS), expect by 1400 GMT/9 AM ET, by Natsuko Waki, 800 words)

China a better bet than Japan for Asia hedge fund investors

HONG KONG - For investors in Asian hedge funds, it was China and not the region's hottest major market, Japan, that provided the best bang for the buck in 2013 - a result set to ensure greater capital inflows into steadily growing China-focused funds. (CHINA-HEDGEFUNDS/, moved, by Nishant Kumar, 750 words)

ECONOMY

Trio of weaker data reports takes shine off UK recovery

LONDON - Britain's economic recovery gets a "reality check" when data shows weaker-than-expected manufacturing output, a sharp fall in the construction sector, and a slowdown in retail sales growth. (BRITAIN-ECONOMY/MANUFACTURING (UPDATE 1), moved, by William Schomberg and David Milliken, 670 words)

French economy rebounded in late 2013, figures suggest

PARIS - French GDP likely grew strongly in the final quarter of last year and industrial output surged in November, figures show, marking a welcome turnaround for the euro zone's second largest economy. (FRANCE-ECONOMY/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 360 words)

Misleading information complicated bailout design - ECB

FRANKFURT - Incomplete or even misleading information hampered the European Central Bank's ability to advice bailout programmes for the countries receiving aid from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, the ECB says. (ECB/BAILOUTS-EUROPARLIAMENT (UPDATE 1), moving shortly, 400 words)

+See also:

- ECB/BANKS-REPAYMENTS, moved, by Eva Taylor, 350 words

German minister wants speedy crackdown on tax avoidance

BERLIN - Germany should consider its own measures to crack down on tax avoidance by global firms like Google and Amazon if an international initiative to tackle the problem does not produce results by the autumn, an influential state minister says. (GERMANY-TAX/AVOIDANCE (INTERVIEW), moved, by Noah Barkin, 370 words)

Spain's industrial output strongest in nearly three years

MADRID - Spain's industrial output rose in November, its biggest yearly jump in nearly three years, official data shows boosted by a favourable annual comparison after tax hikes last year. (SPAIN-ECONOMY/OUTPUT (UPDATE 1), moved, 170 words)

COMPANIES

UK banks paid out fraction of swaps mis-selling claims

LONDON - Britain's biggest banks have so far paid out only a fraction of the 3 billion pounds ($4.9 billion) they have set aside to compensate small firms mis-sold interest-rate hedging products, prompting suggestions businesses may be getting a raw deal. (BANKS-MISSELLING/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Matt Scuffham, 600 words)

VW poised for SUV go-ahead as U.S. slide threatens goals

BERLIN/DETROIT - Volkswagen is preparing to build sport utility vehicles in North America as it struggles to conquer a market whose resistance is threatening its bid to be world No.1. (AUTOSHOW/VW-US, moved, by Andreas Cremer and Bernie Woodall, 1,000 words)

+ See also:

- FIAT-CEO/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Agnieszka Flak, 700 words

Christmas on the UK high street: late, heavily discounted

LONDON - Rampant discounting dominated Christmas retail trade last year - but the clear winners were those who held out against price cutting and had both high-street and online stores to benefit from the last-minute surge in trade. (UK RETAIL SALES/, moved, by James Davey, 700 words)

Tiffany sales rise 4 pct in holiday season

U.S. jeweller Tiffany & Co reports a 4 percent rise in sales through November and December, helped by strong demand in America and Asia. (TIFFANY-RESULTS/HOLIDAY, moved, 150 words)

Swatch sees double-digit 2014 growth as China improves

ZURICH - Swatch Group, the world's biggest watch maker, says it expects double-digit sales growth this year on the back of stronger demand in China, easing concerns of a downturn in this key export market. (SWATCH-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 3), moved, by Silke Koltrowitz, 700 words)

+ See also:

- SWATCH-SMARTWATCHES/, moved, 250 words

Heathrow says new price cap threatens growth

LONDON - London's Heathrow warns it could struggle to grow its business after accusing the industry regulator of imposing a "draconian" cap on the prices Britain's biggest airport can charge airlines. (BRITAIN-AIRPORTS/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Kate Holton, 700 words)