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TOP STORIES

Russian markets crash as Putin tightens grip on Crimea

MOSCOW/PEREVALNOYE, Ukraine - Russia pays a financial price for its military intervention in neighbouring Ukraine, with stocks, bonds and the rouble plunging as President Vladimir Putin's forces tighten their grip on the Russian-speaking Crimea region. (UKRAINE-CRISIS/ (WRAPUP 3, TV, PIX), expect by 1400/0900, by Lidia Kelly and Alissa de Carbonnel, 1,000 words)

+ See also:

- RUSSIA-MARKETS/ (UPDATE 4), moved, by Lidia Kelly and Vladimir Abramov, 950 words)

- UKRAINE-CRISIS/RUSSIA-ECONOMY, expect by 1600 GMT/11 AM ET, by Jason Bush, 1,000 words

- UKRAINE-CRISIS/BANKS, expect by 1500 GMT/10 AM ET, by Megan Davies, 900 words

- UKRAINE-BANKS/ (FACTBOX), moved, 780 words

- UKRAINE-CRISIS/GAS/EUROPE (GRAPHICS), moved, by Henning Gloystein and Michael Kahn, 490 words

Stocks hit by Ukraine war threat, gold, oil jump

LONDON - The rising threat of war between Ukraine and Russia sends investors scurrying for relative safety, pushing stocks down sharply - the Moscow market falls 11.5 percent - and lifting gold to a four-month high. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/ (WRAPUP 6), moved, by Simon Jessop, 1,055 words)

Global factory growth stutters as demand stalls

LONDON/BEIJING - Manufacturing activity across Europe and Asia stumbled last month, as falling demand from abroad hurt Chinese growth and European factory growth dipped from January's 2-1/2 year high. (GLOBAL ECONOMY/, expect by 1100 GMT/6 AM ET, by Jonathan Cable and Adam Rose, 700 words)

+ See also:

- PMI-MANUFACTURING/GERMANY, moved, 235 words

- CHINA ECONOMY/SERVICES PMI (UPDATE 1), moved, by Adam Rose, 250 words

- BRITAIN ECONOMY/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Andy Bruce and Ana Nicolaci da Costa, 745 words

Franco-German thinkers offer Euro-treaty alternative

PARIS - Do intellectuals matter in politics? New thinking from German and French groups advocating closer integration of the 18-nation euro zone area, with its own budget and parliament, may now gain traction in Berlin, Paris and Brussels. (EUROZONE/INTELLECTUALS (ANALYSIS), moved, by Paul Taylor, 1,000 words)

INSIGHT

As Boeing, Airbus factories hum, suppliers get rattled

NEW YORK - The world's largest plane makers are soaring these days, fuelled by historic demand for new jets, but their suppliers are not sharing in the bonanza. (BOEING-SUPPLIERS/ (INSIGHT, PICTURE), moved, by Alwyn Scott, 1,720 words)

ECONOMY

ECB readies back door step to loosen policy

FRANKFURT - The European Central Bank is poised to take action to loosen lending conditions and drag inflation out of a "danger zone" that threatens to stagnate the euro zone's fragile recovery. (ECB/POLICY (PREVIEW), moved, by Paul Carrel, 720 words)

U.S. consumer spending rises in January

WASHINGTON - U.S. consumer spending rose more than expected in January, likely due to chilly weather boosting demand for heating. (USA ECONOMY/SPENDING, moved, 100 words)

Financial services jobs in London jump 25 pct in Feb - study

LONDON - London's financial services sector created 25 percent more jobs in February than a year ago, new data shows, indicating the industry may be recovering from the restructuring and redundancies prompted by the financial crisis. (BRITAIN FINANCIALSERVICES/ (UPDATE 1), moving shortly, by Clare Hutchison, 555 words)

COMPANIES

Two top Microsoft execs to leave in reshuffle - reports

In the biggest management reshuffle at Microsoft Corp since Satya Nadella took over as its chief executive, two top executives, Tony Bates and Tami Reller, will leave the company while a former Clinton family aide will become its chief strategy officer, according to media reports. (MICROSOFT-EXECUTIVES/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 250 words)

Metro shares slide as Ukraine turmoil casts doubt on IPO

DUESSELDORF/FRANKFURT, Germany - German retailer Metro's plan for an imminent stock market listing of a stake in its Russian wholesale business is under threat because of market turmoil over the crisis in Ukraine, sources tell Reuters. (METRO-RUSSIA/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Matthias Inverardi and Arno Schuetze, 435 words)

Carmakers use smartphone tech to spruce up city cars

GENEVA - The Geneva Motor Show reveals cars aimed at wooing a younger tech-savvy audience. Even value brands now incorporate infotainment devices that are compatible with Apple and Google software systems. (AUTOSHOW-GENEVA/SMARTPHONE, moved, by Edward Taylor and Harro Ten Wolde, 650 words)

+ See also:

- PEUGEOT-CEO/SAVINGS (EXCLUSIVE, PICTURE), moved, 200 words

- EUROPE-CARS/SPAIN-FRANCE (UPDATE 1), moved, 460 words

- AUTOSHOW-GENEVA/FIAT-REVIVAL, moved, by Agnieszka Flak and Laurence Frost, 1,125 words

- AUTOSHOW-GENEVA/AUDI-LUXURY, moved, by Andreas Cremer, 765 words

- AUTOSHOW-GENEVA/FERRARI-CALIFORNIAT, moved, by Agnieszka Flak, 650 words

- AUTOS-USALES/ (UPDATE 1), expect by 1330 GMT/8.30 AM ET, by Bernie Woodall and Ben Klayman, 300 words

Tyco to sell South Korea unit to Carlyle for $1.93 bln

Tyco International Ltd, a maker of fire safety and security systems, says it will sell its South Korean security business to private equity firm Carlyle Group for $1.93 billion and take a charge in the second quarter. (TYCO-SALE/, moved,290 words)

Bank of Ireland back in profit as economy improves

DUBLIN - Bank of Ireland has become the country's first lender to return to profit since the start of Ireland's financial crisis and says it is confident of sustained economic recovery. (BANKOFIRELAND-EARNINGS/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Padraic Halpin, 645 words)

Roche halts study on experimental cancer drug MetMab

ZURICH - Roche has halted a study of an experimental lung cancer drug because it fails to help patients with the disease, a blow for the drug which has been seen as a potential big seller as treatment options for the disease are limited. (ROCHE-METMAB/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Katharina Bart, 500 words)

+ See also:

- SWISS-DRUGMAKERS/CHAIRMEN, expect by 1600 GMT/11 AM ET, by Caroline Copley, 900 words

Ecobank shareholders discuss reform at pan-African lender

LOME - Shareholders of troubled pan-African lender Ecobank hold an emergency general meeting to debate proposed governance reforms as pressure grows for the bank's Ivorian CEO Thierry Tanoh to step down. (ECOBANK/, expect by 1500 GMT/10 AM ET, by Matthew Mpoke Bigg, 650 words)