Wed Jan 22, 2014 9:04am EST

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Sterling shines after UK data, Wall Street focus on earning

LONDON-Stocks hover near highs but sterling jumps to its highest level against the euro in a year as Britain's pace-setting economy heats the debate on its first post-crisis interest rate hike. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/ (WRAPUP 5 ), expect by 1415 GMT/9.15 AM ET, by Marc Jones, 800 words)

Britain in no rush to raise rates as unemployment plunges

LONDON - British unemployment plunged to within a whisker of the Bank of England's level for considering an increase in interest rates, data showed on Wednesday, but the central bank stressed it would be in no rush to act. (BRITAIN BANK/, moved, 300 words)

+ See also:

- BRITAIN-JOBS/ (UPDATE 3), moved, by William Schomberg and David Milliken, 400 words

EU's top court rejects UK challenge to short-selling law

BRUSSELS/LONDON - The European Union's top court has dismissed Britain's challenge to a law banning the short-selling of shares in market emergencies, dealing a blow to UK attempts to limit the influence of EU rules on the City of London. (EU-COURT/SHORTSELLING (UPDATE 2), moved, by John O'Donnell and Huw Jones, 720 words)

Iran's oil sales rise as sanctions pressure eases - sources

LONDON - Iran's oil exports have picked up modestly in January for the third consecutive month, according to sources who track tanker movements, adding to signs that the easing of sanctions pressure on Tehran is helping its oil exports to recover. (IRAN OIL/EXPORTS (EXCLUSIVE), moved, by Alex Lawler and Jonathan Saul, 1,100 words)


Lira, rouble, rand hold above multi-year lows versus dollar

LONDON - Emerging currencies from the Turkish lira to the Russian rouble hold just above multi-year lows against the dollar as a rally in Chinese equities helps boost fragile investor sentiment towards the asset class. (MARKETS-EMERGING/, moved, by Natsuko Waki, 500 words)

In age of market scrutiny, who wants in on the gold "fix"?

LONDON - Deutsche Bank's decision to put its seat at the gold fixing table up for sale has raised questions about the future of the price benchmark. (GOLD/FIX (UPDATE 1), moved, by Jan Harvey and Clara Denina, 1,020 words)

Daimler to launch 1st bond in China by non-financial firm

BEIJING/SHANGHAI - German automaker Daimler will become the first foreign, non-financial company to issue bonds in China's domestic market, two sources close to the deal tell Reuters. (CHINA-BOND/DAIMLER (UPDATE 1), moved, by Weihao Cao and Gabriel Wildau, 720 words)


Economic confidence rises, but plenty of worries in Davos

DAVOS, Switzerland - Business leaders gathering for their annual high-profile networking forum in Davos are feeling a bit better about their companies' prospects and a lot more so about the broader economic outlook. (DAVOS-CONFIDENCE/, moved, by Ben Hirschler, 700 words)

+ See also:

- BAESYSTEMS/CEO (UPDATE 2), moving shortly, by Brenda Goh, 450 words

- DAVOS-EGYPT/INVESTMENT (UPDATE 1), moved, by Mirna Sleiman, 650 words

- DAVOS-SABIC/SHALE (UPDATE 1), moved, 200 words


Bankers urge UK to forge closer ties with European Union

LONDON - Britain should build closer ties with the European Union and devote more resources to Brussels to influence financial market reform and benefit the economy, the country's leading banks say. (BRITAIN-EU/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by Steve Slater, 450 words)

EU sets out leaner 2030 climate and energy vision

BRUSSELS - The European Union set out new climate and energy goals for 2030, proposing less stringent targets than in the past in a reflection of tougher economic circumstances and a desire to limit rising energy costs. (EU-CLIMATE/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by Charlie Dunmore, 335 words)

With Yellen on deck, Fed's Bernanke to stick to low-rate vow

SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK - Federal Reserve policymakers will likely leave intact their delicately worded easy-money message when they meet next week, despite a surprisingly sharp drop in U.S. unemployment that threatens to make a central part of that message irrelevant. (USA-FED/ (PREVIEW), moved, by Ann Saphir and Jonathan Spicer, 840 words)

Irish economy to shine as euro zone periphery struggles on

LONDON - Ireland's economy is set to be one of the euro zone's brightest lights this year and next but rampant unemployment will impede progress towards a full recovery in Greece and Spain, a Reuters poll shows. (EUROPE-ECONOMY/POLL, moved, by Jonathan Cable and Ishaan Gera, 600 words)

Vatican bank asks Italy to normalise relations after reforms

VATICAN CITY - The Vatican bank asks Italy to resume normal financial relations that have been effectively frozen since 2010, saying it had made great progress with new anti-money laundering provisions the Italian central bank had demanded. (VATICAN-BANK/ (UPDATE 2, PICTURE), moved, by Philip Pullella, 550 words)


Steelmaker SSAB agrees to buy Rautaruukki for $1.6 bln

HELSINKI - Swedish steelmaker SSAB has agreed to buy Finland's Rautaruukki Corp for 10.1 billion Swedish crowns ($1.6 billion) to boost its competitiveness in a weak global steel market. (RAUTARUUKKI-SSAB/ (UPDATE 3), moved, by Ritsuko Ando and Sven Nordenstam, 550 words)

VMWare to buy mobile security firm AirWatch for $1.54 bln

Cloud software maker VMWare Inc says it will buy privately held mobile security company AirWatch in a deal valued at about $1.54 billion to tap into rising demand for software security, sending its shares up 3 percent in premarket trading. (VMWARE-ACQUISITION/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 400 words)

Austria's Raiffeisen aims for up to $3.9 bln in share sale

VIENNA/FRANKFURT - Raiffeisen Bank International kicks off a year of capital raising for European banks with a share sale that could raise as much as 2.9 billion euros ($3.9 billion) to strengthen its balance sheet and repay state aid. (RAIFFEISEN-CAPHIKE/ (UPDATE 3), moved, by Michael Shields and Arno Schuetze, 730 words)

ASML upbeat on demand for tablets, smartphones

VELDHOVEN, The Netherlands - ASML, the world's leading provider of tools for making computer chips, gives an upbeat outlook for the first half thanks to strong demand for tablets, smartphones and other consumer gadgets (ASML-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 3), expect by 1330 GMT/8.30 AM ET, by Sara Webb, 500 words)

United Technologies profit tops estimates; revenues miss

United Technologies Corp, the world's largest maker of elevators and air conditioners, reports a rise in fourth-quarter profit that tops Wall Street estimates, helped by stronger performances across its businesses. (UNITEDTECHNOLOGIES-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 150 words)

ABB warns on Q4 amid weak power demand, project delays

ZURICH - Swiss engineering group ABB tells investors it will miss fourth-quarter profit expectations due to weak orders at its power division and delays on wind projects in the North Sea. (ABB-OUTLOOK/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Katharina Bart, 800 words)

Insurer Zurich looks at deal to resolve Panama Canal dispute

PANAMA CITY/MADRID - The Panama Canal Authority (PCA), a Spanish-led consortium and insurer Zurich have come up with a possible financing deal to resolve the dispute threatening a project to expand one of the world's most important shipping routes. (SACYR/PANAMA-TALKS (UPDATE 3), moved, by Lomi Kriel and Sonya Dowsett, 650 words)