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TOP STORIES

Deutsche, Barclays lead banks rise as leverage rules eased

LONDON - Deutsche Bank and Barclays lead a rally by European bank stocks to their highest level for almost three years after regulators watered down new rules on leverage that aim to rein in risky balance sheets. (BANKS-LEVERAGE (UPDATE 1) expect by 1100 GMT/6 Am ET, by Steve Slater and Huw Jones, 500 words)

Stocks rise, dollar falls as Fed rate path reassessed

LONDON - World stocks rise towards a six-year high and the dollar and bond yields slip as last week's weak U.S. jobs data strengthens the case for the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates low for longer. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/ (WRAPUP 3), expect by 1030 GMT/5.30 AM ET, by Natsuko Waki, 600 words)

Metro sales hit by sluggish Christmas and forex impact

DUESSELDORF - German retailer Metro AG has reported a drop in sales in its fiscal first quarter, saying sales in the key Christmas period had been soft and its headline numbers have been hit by negative currency effects. (METRO-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Emma Thomasson and Matthias Inverardi, 600 words)

Wave of China IPO suspensions in setback for reforms

SHANGHAI - Five Chinese companies say they are postponing initial public offerings (IPOs), in a blow to Beijing's reformist drive to give market forces a "decisive" role in the country's stock exchanges. (CHINA-IPOS/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Pete Sweeney and Lu Jianxin, 600 words)

+ See also:

- CIMB-FUNDRAISING/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Denny Thomas and Al-Zaquan Amer Hamzah, 560 words

- HKELECTRIC-IPO/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Elzio Barreto, 550 words

INSIGHT

Gold mine stirs hope and anger in shattered Greece

OURANOUPOLI, Greece - A Canadian quest to mine for gold in the lush forests of northern Greece is testing the government's resolve to prove Europe's most ravaged economy is open again for business. (GREECE-GOLD/ (INSIGHT, PICTURE, GRAPHIC), moved, by Deepa Babington and Lefteris Papadimas, 1,360 words)

ECONOMY

Italy's three-year debt costs set to fall to low at auction

MILAN - Italy's three-year borrowing costs are set to fall to a new euro lifetime low as the European Central Bank's ultra-easy monetary policy and an improving growth outlook continue to stoke demand for higher-yielding euro zone debt. (ITALY-BONDS/AUCTION (UPDATE 1), expect by 1045 GMT/5.45 AM ET, by Valentina Za, 500 words)

+ See also:

- ITALY-ECONOMY/OUTPUT, moved, 300 words

Christmas sales, ratings blitz due after jobs jolt

BRUSSELS - Year-end U.S. shopping and manufacturing output figures and a Friday credit-rating blitz in Europe are expected to set the tone this week, showing the global economy's uneven recovery remains on track. (ECONOMY-GLOBAL/, moved, by Philip Blenkinsop, 785 words)

New London finance jobs rise for first time since early 2012

LONDON - The number of new financial services jobs in London rises for the first time in almost two years, research shows, which recruiters say is a sign that banks are starting to think about growth after years of restructuring. (BRITAIN-FINANCIALSERVICES/, moved, by Clare Hutchison, 600 words)

UK makes debt pledge ahead of Scotland independence vote

LONDON - The British government pledges to take responsibility for all British government debt should Scotland vote to leave the United Kingdom in a bid to head off any market jitters ahead of the September independence vote. (BRITAIN-SCOTLAND/DEBT (UPDATE 3), expect by 1015 GMT/5.15 AM ET, 700 words)

COMPANIES

Amec says offers to buy Foster Wheeler in $3 bln deal

LONDON - British engineering firm Amec says it has provisionally agreed to buy Foster Wheeler in a cash and share deal that values the Swiss-based engineer at 1.9 billion pounds ($3.13 billion). (AMEC-FOSTERWHEELER/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 285 words)

Total enters race to produce shale gas in Britain

LONDON - France's Total becomes the first oil and gas major to enter Britain's shale gas market by acquiring a 40 percent interest in two licences for up to $48 million. (BRITAIN-SHALE/TOTAL (UPDATE 1), moved, 435 words)

Sexy performance meets 'green' ethic at Detroit auto show

DETROIT - To look over the roster of racy new and future vehicles at the 2014 North American International Auto Show here, the initial impression is that U.S., European and Asian automakers want to turn back the clock to a time when performance and speed trumped concerns about energy and the environment. (AUTOSHOW-DETROIT/ (PREVIEW), moved, by Paul Lienert, 830 words)

+ See also:

- AUTOSHOW-DETROIT/VW-INVESTMENT (UPDATE 1), moved, by Edward Taylor and Laurence Frost, 330 words

- AUTOSHOW-DETROIT/GM-DIVIDEND (UPDATE 2), moved, 200 words

- AUTOSHOW-DETROITTHREE/JAPAN, moved, by Yoko Kubota, 1,050 words

- AUTOSHOW-DAIMLER/FACTORY, moved, 100 words

Sanofi to buy 12 pct of Alnylam, expands rare-disease deal

SAN FRANCISCO - French drugmaker Sanofi will buy a 12 percent stake in Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc for $700 million and deepen their partnership to develop drugs for rare genetic diseases. (SANOFI-ALNYLAM/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by Ransdell Pierson, 600 words)

Sports Direct seeks Debenhams link after 5 pct share buy

LONDON - Sports Direct, Britain's largest sporting goods retailer, has acquired a 4.6 percent stake in Debenhams and says it wants to explore options "at an operational level" to work with the country's No. 2 department stores group. (SPORTSDIRECT-DEBENHAMS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by James Davey, 420 words)

RESOURCES

Nickel miners rise as Indonesia pledges export tax

JAKARTA - Global nickel prices and mining shares rally a day after Indonesia bans unprocessed mineral exports, as the Southeast Asian nation pledges to introduce a progressive export tax to encourage domestic smelting for a range of ores. (INDONESIA-MINERALS/ (UPDATE 3, PICTURE), moved, by Wilda Asmarini, 815 words)

+ See also:

- INDONESIA-MINERALS/RULES (FACTBOX), moved, 150 words

- AUSTRALIA-NICKEL/ (INTERVIEW), moved, by James Regan, 550 words

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