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TOP STORIES

Euro sags, emerging markets steady after rout

LONDON - Emerging market stresses leave world shares facing their first monthly losses since August, while euro zone inflation data, which is likely to keep the pressure on the ECB for rate cuts, pegs the euro near a two-month low. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/ (WRAPUP 4), moving shortly, by Marc Jones, 800 words)

Turks hoard dollars fearing lira rout will continue

ISTANBUL - Strong demand for dollars from Turkish households and companies suggest they have little faith the lira will be spared an emerging markets sell-off despite a massive interest rate hike this week, signalling more market volatility in the run-up to elections. (MARKETS-TURKEY/, expect by 1200 GMT/7 AM ET, 500 words)

Drop in euro zone inflation adds to ECB's conundrum

BRUSSELS - Euro zone inflation bucks market expectations and drops in January on a sharp fall in energy prices and with unemployment stuck near record highs it is set to add to the European Central Bank's policy conundrum. (EUROZONE-ECONOMY/INFLATION, expect by 1005 GMT/5.05 AM ET, by Martin Santa, 400 words)

+ See also:

- ECB-NOWOTNY/, moved, 150 words)

EU watchdog outlines plans for banking stress tests

LONDON - Banks face their toughest probe yet in a bid to weed out the sector's weaklings, Europe's chief watchdog said, announcing stress tests that many hope will draw a line under the financial crisis. (EU-BANKS/STRESSTESTS, expect 1100 GMT/6 AM ET, by Huw Jones, 500 words)

BBVA, Spanish peers post 2013 earnings recovery

MADRID/BARCELONA - Spain's BBVA and two smaller peers say 2013 profits jumped as charges on their soured property loans fell, though bad debts still rose on the year, pointing to a patchy recovery for the country's banking sector. (SPAIN-BANKS/RESULTS, expect by 1030 GMT/5.30 AM ET, by Sarah White and Andres Gonzalez, 700 words)

INVESTMENT

Growth, investment at risk from emerging markets rate hikes

LONDON - A growth-crushing downward spiral looks imminent for emerging markets, threatening to turn back the tide of foreign investment that flooded into developing countries on the premise of fast economic expansion. (EMERGING-GROWTH/ (ANALYSIS), moved, by Sujata Rao, 890 words)

Emerging sell-off leaves Japan most exposed

LONDON - Japan may be the most vulnerable developed country from a brutal sell-off in emerging markets as its stock markets rely heavily on fickle foreign flows and the yen spikes in times of global risk aversion. (EMERGING-JAPAN/ (ANALYSIS), expect by 1400 GMT/9 AM ET, by Natsuko Waki, 600 words)

Reuters global asset allocation poll

LONDON - Reuters releases the latest findings from the monthly global asset allocation polls, which surveyed 51 leading investment houses in the United States, Japan, the euro zone and Britain. (FUNDS-POLL/GLOBAL (WRAPUP 1), expect by 1200 GMT/7 AM ET, by Natsuko Waki, 700 words)

Weak rand shines warmly on South African tourism

CAPE TOWN - South African policymakers have watched in horror as the rand has plunged against the dollar over the last year, bringing inflation and higher interest rates, but the tourism industry is happily raking in the extra dollars. (AFRICA-INVESTMENT/ (PICTURE), moved, by Stella Mapenzauswa, 870 words)

ECONOMY

German retail body sees 2014 sales rising by 1.5 pct

BERLIN - German retail sales will climb by 1.5 percent this year in nominal terms after growing by 1.1 percent in 2013, Germany's HDE retail association says. (GERMANY-RETAIL/, moved, 1500 words)

Japan inflation quickens to 5-year high, output rebounds

TOKYO - Japan's core consumer inflation rose at the fastest pace in more than five years in December and the job market improved, encouraging signs for the Bank of Japan as it seeks to vanquish deflation with aggressive money printing. (JAPAN-ECONOMY/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Leika Kihara and Stanley White, 650 words)

+ See also:

- JAPAN-ECONOMY/ (ANALYSIS), moved, by Leika Kihara, 660 words

Spanish prices rise less than expected January

MADRID - Spanish consumer prices rise slightly less than expected in January, preliminary data shows, although they remained high enough to dampen speculation about deflation, a key concern for the European Central Bank. (SPAIN-ECONOMY/PRICES (UPDATE 2), moving shortly, 380 words)

Britain and France set to clash over EU reform at summit

LONDON - British Prime Minister David Cameron is set to clash with France's President Francois Hollande over how to reform the European Union, souring an Anglo-French summit aimed at deepening defence and energy cooperation. (BRITAIN-FRANCE/SUMMIT, moved, by William James, 550 words)

Obama aide predicts drama-free U.S. debt ceiling increase

WASHINGTON - A top White House official voices confidence that Republicans will agree in the next few weeks to lift the country's borrowing limit without using the confrontational tactics that rattled financial markets in past years. (USA-FISCAL/BURWELL (EXCLUSIVE, PICTURE, TV), moved, by Mark Felsenthal, 865 words)

China's loan sharks circle in murky shadow bank waters

BEIJING - China's crackdown on risky lending has driven borrowers into an even darker place in their search for capital - underground banking. (CHINA-LOANS/UNDERGROUND, moved, 900 words)

COMPANIES

LVMH shares bounce as fashion and leather sales improve

PARIS - LVMH shares jump after the world's biggest luxury group says fashion and leather revenue accelerated in late 2013 and predicts cognac sales in China will improve in the current quarter. (LVMH-SHARES/, moved, by Astrid Wendlandt, 500 words)

Cable group Altice prices IPO in middle of range

PARIS - Cable group Altice set a price for its Friday stock market debut in the middle of the offer range in what it said was called the largest-ever listing of a cable operator in Europe, Africa or the Middle East. (ALTICE-IPO/ (UPDATE 2), moving shortly, by Sara Webb and James Regan, 420 words)

Ireland puts first bankers on trial since crisis

DUBLIN - Ireland, a country that was almost brought to its knees by a collapsing banking industry, starts its first trial of bankers for their actions in the financial crisis that forced it to a bailout. (IRELAND-BANKS/, expect by 1200 GMT/7 AM ET, by Sarah O'Connor, 500 words)

Honda cautious on emerging market but aims for record sales

TOKYO - Honda Motor Co sounds a note of caution about car demand in emerging markets especially Southeast Asia, but Japan's third-biggest carmaker by sales volume says it still aims to sell record 4.5 million vehicles or more in 2014. (HONDA-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 470 words)

S. Africa's Bidvest lifts Adcock stake in blow to Chileans

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's Bidvest says it raised its stake in drugmaker Adcock Ingram to just over 32 percent, enough to block a $1.2 billion Chilean bid and cement its chief executive's reputation as a canny dealmaker. (ADCOCK-CFR/ (UPDATE 2), expect by 1200 GMT/7 AM ET, by Tiisetso Motsoeneng, 600 words)

BT returns to revenue growth for first time since 2009

LONDON - Britain's BT returns to quarterly revenue growth for the first time in four and a half years, driven by record customer demand for superfast broadband and its growing new sports TV service. (BT/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 430 words)

Electrolux eyes European upturn after profit fall

STOCKHOLM - Electrolux saw inventory cuts and fierce price pressure through the U.S. holiday season weigh on earnings in the fourth quarter, taking the shine off a forecast for its European market to rack up a year of growing demand for the first time in three years in 2014. (ELECTROLUX/ (UPDATE 1), expect by 1030 GMT/5.30 AM ET, by Niklas Pollard, 650 words)

COMMODITIES

Political limbo to cap rebound in EU biodiesel output

PARIS - The introduction of anti-dumping taxes to block a flow of massive imports of biodiesel into Europe has prompted a regain in output but the industry revival will be capped by a reverse in public enthusiasm towards biofuels seen competing with food. (BIODIESEL-EUROPE/ (ANALYSIS), moving shortly, by Sybille de La Hamaide, 825 words)

Indonesia's export ban to curb China aluminium expansion

SYDNEY - China has found an inadvertent ally in its efforts to slim down a bloated aluminium sector, with Indonesia's ban on exporting metal ores set to boost costs of the raw material bauxite and pile more pressure on struggling smelters. (INDONESIA-CHINA/ALUMINIUM, moved, by Melanie Burton, 800 words)

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