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TOP STORIES

Legal bills hit Morgan Stanley profit

NEW YORK - Morgan Stanley reports a sharp fall in quarterly profit as the Wall Street bank is hit by $1.2 billion in legal bills, but its adjusted earnings beat market estimates. (MORGANSTANLEY-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 380 words)

+ See also:

- BNYMELLON-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 200 words

Shell warns of "significant" profit miss

LONDON - Royal Dutch Shell issues a "significant" profit warning, detailing across-the-board problems and the extent of the challenges facing the oil major's new boss Ben van Beurden, who took over two weeks ago. (SHELL-WARNING/ (UPDATE 3), moved, by Kate Holton, 900 words)

Deutsche quits gold price-setting as regulators investigate

LONDON - Deutsche Bank withdraws from gold and silver benchmark setting, or fixing, as European regulators probe suspected manipulation of precious metals prices by banks. (DEUTSCHE-GOLD/FIX (UPDATE 2), moved, by Eric Onstad, 800 words)

Shares add to highs as periphery rally grinds on

LONDON - European shares climb to new 5-1/2 year high as a third weekly gain on the spin for Portuguese and Spanish bonds fed improving sentiment in the region's Mediterranean rim. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/ (WRAPUP 5), moving shortly, by Marc Jones, 875 words)

INSIGHT

Goldman's low-cost Utah bet buoys its bottom-line

NEW YORK - Goldman Sachs Group Inc has been quietly moving thousands of jobs from pricey places like New York and London to cheaper cities like Salt Lake City in recent years, and executives say those efforts are finally starting to show up in the bank's results. (GOLDMAN-COMPENSATION/ (INSIGHT), moved, by Lauren Tara LaCapra, 900 words)

MARKETS INVESTMENT

Peripheral equity surge to stumble over earnings

LONDON - European fourth-quarter earnings are set to disappoint consensus expectations, according to the most accurate analysts, potentially threatening the new year stock rally focused on Spain and Italy. (MARKETS-EUROPE-STOCKS/EARNINGS, moved, by Alistair Smout, 750 words)

European equity options traders eye Q1 fall then later rally

LONDON - Expectations of solid gains for European equities this year mask a growing rush of bets on a weak first quarter, with investors piling into the options market to protect themselves. (MARKETS-EUROPE-STOCKS/OPTIONS, moved, by Sudip Kar-Gupta, 625 words)

Frontiers off to a good start as emerging markets suffer

LONDON - 2014 is shaping up to be a year of another juicy gains in frontier markets as the bigger emerging world feels the chill from the U.S. stimulus wind-down and developed counterparts already reach dizzy heights. (MARKETS-FRONTIER/ (ANALYSIS), expect by 1400 GMT/9 AM ET, by Natsuko Waki, 800 words)

Spain, Italy grab historic chance to lengthen life of debt

LONDON - Spain and Italy are grabbing a historic opportunity to lengthen the average life of their debt and pull themselves out of a dangerous spiral of ever-increasing short-term debt obligations. (MARKETS-DEBT/PERIPHERY, moved, by Marius Zaharia, 800 words)

High Street punters, banks eye spoils of London's China push

LONDON - London's ambitions of becoming Europe's main offshore hub for trading in China's currency look set to step up this year after a triple boost following two years of mixed success. (CHINA-CURRENCY/LONDON, expect by 1400 GMT/9 AM ET, by Simon Jessop and Steve Slater, 800 words)

ECONOMY

Cold weather likely dampened U.S. housing starts

WASHINGTON - U.S. housing starts fall less than expected in December, pausing after recent strong gains that had propelled home building activity to multi-year highs. (USA-ECONOMY/ (WRAPUP 1), moving shortly, 300 words)

Small stores help UK retail sales to grow fastest in 9 years

LONDON - Strong growth in sales in smaller stores help British retailers report the fastest annual sales growth in more than nine years last month, confounding more gloomy reports from bigger chains. (BRITAIN-RETAIL/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by David Milliken and Andy Bruce, 565 words)

+ See also:

- BRITAIN-BOE/BROADBENT, moved, 250 words

Portugal gets only modest ratings fillip as exit nears

LISBON - Standard & Poor's decides against downgrading Portugal's credit rating but keeps a negative outlook on the country's finances as it approaches the end of its EU/IMF bailout this year. (PORTUGAL-RATINGS/(UPDATE 2), moved, by Andrei Khalip, 540 words)

French bosses, unions meet on jobless benefits

PARIS - French unions and employers launch talks to reform the heavily indebted state jobless system, with labour leaders warning they will fight any move to cut back jobseekers' rights, among Europe's most generous. (FRANCE-UNEMPLOYMENT/, moved, by Nicholas Vinocur, 440 words)

COMPANIES

GE profit rises, helped by oil and gas business

U.S. conglomerate General Electric Co posts a slightly better-than-expected rise in revenue propelled by its businesses selling oil pumps and jet engines, and says its order backlog again swelled to a record. (GE-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 2), moved, 440 words)

ThyssenKrupp CEO tells investors needs time for overhaul

BOCHUM, Germany - Steel maker ThyssenKrupp's Chief Executive Heinrich Hiesinger asks shareholders to be patient as he completes what is proving to be a troublesome overhaul of the company. (THYSSENKRUPP-STRATEGY/SHAREHOLDERS (UPDATE 2), moved, by Maria Sheahan, 520 words)

Apple China Mobile launch could spark costly subsidy war

BEIJING - Apple Inc is finally launching its iPhone on China Mobile Ltd's vast network, opening the door to the world's largest carrier's 763 million subscribers and giving its China sales a short-term jolt. (APPLE-CHINAMOBILE/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by Paul Carsten, 700 words)

+ See also:

- NINTENDO-EARNINGS/ (UPDATE 2, PICTURE), moved, by Chang-Ran Kim, 600 words

S.Africa slams Big Pharma in generic drugs row

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa slams global drug firms over a covert campaign against its planned overhaul of intellectual property laws to favour cheaper generic drugs, accusing pharmaceutical companies of a "satanic" plot to commit "genocide". (SAFRICA-PHARMA/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by Tiisetso Motsoeneng, 560 words)

Areva, Gamesa in offshore wind turbine venture talks-sources

MADRID/PARIS - French state-controlled nuclear group Areva and Spanish renewable technology manufacturer Gamesa are in advanced talks over a joint venture in offshore wind turbines, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter says. (AREVA-GAMESA/ (EXCLUSIVE, UPDATE 1), moved, by Andrés González and Benjamin Mallet, 280 words)

RWE's DEA seen fetching less than hoped -sources

FRANKFURT - Bids due on Monday for the oil and gas exploration offshoot of German utility RWE AG will value the unit at some 4 billion euros ($5.4 billion), sources says, well below expectations and sending its shares lower. (RWE-DEA/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Arno Schuetze and Christoph Steitz, 540 words)

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