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TOP STORIES

Buoyant stocks await payrolls, ECB inaction spurs euro

LONDON - World shares are at a six-year high and heading for a fifth week of back-to-back gains as the ongoing tug-of-war over Crimea and uncertainty ahead of U.S. jobs data fails to sap market confidence. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/ (WRAPUP 5), expect by 1130 GMT/6.30 AM ET, by Marc Jones, 800 words)

Gains in U.S. job growth expected, but weather may weigh

WASHINGTON - U.S. hiring likely picked up enough in February to keep the Federal Reserve on track in reducing its monetary stimulus. (USA-ECONOMY/ (WRAPUP 1), moved, by Lucia Mutikani, 670 words)

Chaori default sets landmark precedent for Chinese debt

SHANGHAI - China records its first domestic bond default as expected when loss-making solar equipment producer Chaori Solar misses an interest payment, setting a landmark for market discipline in the world's second-largest economy. (CHAORISOLAR-BONDS/ (UPDATE 1, PICTURE), moved, by Gabriel Wildau, 700 words)

+ See also:

- CHINA-DEBT/LOCAL, moved, 350 words

- CHINA-DEFAULT/, moving shortly, by Gabriel Wildau, 750 words

Telecom Italia skips 2013 dividend, hits debt cutting target

MILAN - Telecom Italia skips its dividend for ordinary shares to fund much-needed network investment, it says, but Italy's largest phone company does manage to hit its debt reduction target. (TELECOMITALIA-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 300 words)

INVESTMENT

Emerging markets face carry pay-back time

LONDON - Emerging economies may be on the cusp of great unwinding of borrow-low invest-high carry trades, where an estimated $2 trillion -- double the size of previous yen carry deals -- have flooded mainly debt markets in the past five years. (EMERGING-CARRY/ (ANALYSIS), expect 1200 GMT/7 AM ET, by Natsuko Waki, 900 words)

Investors frustrated by rising bank bonuses

LONDON - Banks are failing to rein in excessive payouts for staff below the boardroom level despite a public backlash against a bonus culture blamed for contributing to the financial crisis, say leading investors. (BANKS-BONUSES/INVESTORS, moved, by Chris Vellacott, 1,085 words)

Week after Mt Gox collapse, Japan struggles to grasp bitcoin

TOKYO - A week after the collapse of Mt. Gox, Japan is still struggling to craft a response to the bitcoin phenomenon, saying the crypto-currency is not legal tender, though it might be taxable and subject to money-laundering controls. (BITCOIN-MTGOX/JAPAN (UPDATE 1), moved, by William Mallard, 390 words)

+ See also:

- BITCOIN-INVENTOR/ (PICTURE, TV, UPDATE 2), moved, by Aron Ranen and Brandon Lowrey, 850 words

- BITCOIN-MTGOX/BELIEVERS, moved, by Kevin Krolicki and Nathan Layne, 630 words

China's "land kings" under threat as tightening takes a toll

HONG KONG - The days of Chinese developers snatching up premium properties with record-breaking offers are coming to an end as cooling measures bite and sale prices are squeezed, ending the reign of a handful of "land kings" in the world's second-largest economy. (CHINA-PROPERTY/, moved, by Clare Jim and Yimou Lee, 850 words)

+ See also:

- CHINA-HAINAN/CASINO (PICTURE), moved, 400 words

ECONOMY

Patience wearing thin with French reform results

PARIS - France is facing pressure to deliver on long-promised, deep budget savings in the next couple of weeks to keep the increasingly strained faith of its EU partners, bond markets and ratings agencies. (FRANCE-DEFICIT/, moved, by Leigh Thomas, 900 words)

Germany producing at full blast, helped by subsidised power

LONDON/FRANKFURT - Germany's heavy industry is increasing its production capacity as orders rise and companies enjoy cheap, subsidised electricity paid for by soaring household bills. (GERMANY-INDUSTRY/POWER, moved, by Henning Gloystein and Vera Eckert, 815 words)

Britons increasingly see rate rise but lower price forecasts

LONDON - Britons' expectations for an interest rate hike over the next year are on the rise even as their inflation forecasts have fallen, a quarterly poll commissioned by the Bank of England shows. (BRITAIN-BOE/INFLATION, moved, 320 words)

Britain says Scotland split would risk Scottish pensions

LONDON - Scottish pensions will be put in danger if voters decide to split from Britain this year, a senior British minister will say in the government's latest attempt to persuade Scots to reject independence. (BRITAIN-SCOTLAND/PENSIONS, moved, by William James, 390 words)

+ See also:

- ALLIANCE TRUST/SCOTLAND (UPDATE 2), moving shortly, by Chris Vellacott, 470 words

China confident of making trade target - commerce minister

BEIJING - China is fully confident of achieving its target of 7.5 percent growth in total trade this year, the commerce minister say, citing an improving global economic environment and strong fundamentals in emerging markets. (CHINA-PARLIAMENT/TRADE (UPDATE 1), moved, 350 words)

Middle East drought blights 2014 food crop outlook

AMMAN - The Middle East's driest winter in several decades could pose a threat to global food prices, with local crops depleted along with farmers' livelihoods, U.N. experts and climatologists say. (CLIMATE-DROUGHT/MIDDLEAST (PICTURE), expect by 1230 GMT/7.30 AM ET, by Suleiman Al-Khalidi, 1160 words)

COMPANIES

Kazakhstan sues foreign oil majors over flailing Kashagan

ASTANA - Kazakhstan is suing foreign oil majors developing its huge Kashagan oilfield in the Caspian Sea, a tactic that has over the past decade won the government large stakes in every multinational project on its territory. (OIL-KASHAGAN/ECOLOGY (UPDATE 2), moving shortly, by Raushan Nurshayeva, 640 words)

Bouygues commits to preserve jobs after SFR offer - CEO

PARIS - Bouygues, the diversified French industrial group that has made an indicative offer for its telecommunications rival SFR, is aiming to complete the deal without having to cut staff, its head told Les Echos in an interview published. (BOUYGUES-SFR/, moved, 215 words)

Italy appeals court to rule in key Milan derivatives deal

MILAN - An Italian appeals court will decide whether to uphold a ruling that found four international banks guilty of fraud and mis-selling of derivatives to the city of Milan, in a case that highlighted the opaque finances of many Italian municipalities. (ITALY-DERIVATIVES/MILAN, moved, 305 words)

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