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TOP STORIES

Disappointing China, Ukraine uncertainty halts stocks

LONDON - World stocks fall and the dollar steps back from its recent highs as surprisingly weak Chinese trade data rattle investors already on edge over the crisis in Ukraine. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/ (WRAPUP 4), expect by 1015 GMT/5.15 AM ET, by Marc Jones, 800 words)

China rates, yuan slide after exports surprise

SHANGHAI - Chinese short-term rates and the yuan fall following surprisingly weak exports data at the weekend, fuelling expectations Beijing is quietly easing monetary policy to buttress wobbly economic growth. (MARKETS-CHINA-MIDDAY/, moved, by Pete Sweeney, 920 words)

EU aims for deal on tackling failing banks

BRUSSELS - European Union governments and parliamentarians will try to reach a compromise this week on how to wind down failing banks in marathon talks intended to settle who decides to close banks and who picks up the bill. (EU-BANKS/RESOLUTON, moved, by Jan Strupczewski and Martin Santa, 850 words)

Allianz stuck for options in Pimco imbroglio

FRANKFURT - Allianz, Europe's biggest insurer, has stood by for more than a decade watching Pimco, the U.S.-based asset manager it owns, grow in size and importance. Given Pimco's success, granting it full autonomy has been, Allianz executives have said until recently, a measure of their wisdom. (ALLIANZ-PIMCO/, expect by 1600 GMT/11 AM ET, by Thomas Atkins, 850 words)

INSIGHT

Soft touch FX regulation falls under harsh glare

LONDON - In July 2006, during lunch at an upmarket restaurant overlooking the sprawling Smithfield meat market in the City of London, Bank of England officials and senior bank dealers discussed evidence of potential manipulation of the foreign exchange market. People at the lunch said the attempts to move the market meant the process of establishing official prices - known as "fixing" - was becoming "increasingly fraught". (BRITAIN-FOREX/MANIPULATION (INSIGHT, PICTURE), moved, by Jamie McGeever and Carmel Crimmins, 1,330 words)

Equatorial Guinea seeks to shake off "oil curse" image

MALABO - On land cleared of tropical forest, gleaming new office towers, apartment blocks, homes and highways dazzle the eye in Equatorial Guinea, Sub-Saharan Africa's No. 3 energy producer where oil and gas revenues have fed a frenzy of construction. (EQUATORIAL-IMAGE/ (INSIGHT, PICTURE), moved, by Pascal Fletcher, 2,060 words)

INVESTMENT

Global investor bet on European recovery picks up pace

PARIS - After being shunned by investors for years, the euro zone is attracting global funds at the fastest pace ever as its economic recovery beckons those fleeing emerging markets. (EUROPE-STOCKS-FLOWS/, expect by 1000 GMT/5 AM ET, by Blaise Robinson, 860 words)

Emerging debt loses driving seat to high-yield bonds

LONDON - Shove over emerging markets - high-yield debt has taken your place. Emerging market debt, the star performer of a year ago, has been eclipsed by high-yielding corporate debt, now the favoured haunt for investors searching for yield. (EMERGING-HIGHYIELD/, expect by 1500 GMT/10 AM ET, by Carolyn Cohn, 850 words)

Ireland in first bond auction in three years

LONDON - Ireland will be the main market focus in the primary euro zone debt market in the coming week with launch of its first bond auction since its 2010 international bailout. (EUROZONE-DEBT/OUTLOOK, moved, by Emelia Sithole-Matarise, 370 words)

+ See also:

- IRELAND-ECONOMY/COMPANIES, moved, by Padraic Halpin, 900 words

ECONOMY

Asian, European industrial health under scrutiny

LONDON - Europe's and Asia's industrial health will be closely watched in the coming week for an indication of how solid - or weak - a footing the global economy was on at the start of the year. (ECONOMY-GLOBAL/, moved, by Jonathan Cable, 830 words)

Euro zone sentix index hits near 2-year high

BERLIN - Euro zone sentiment rises to its highest level since April 2011 in March, driven by investors' upbeat view of current conditions, although a slight dip in the expectations sub-index indicated growth momentum might soon reach a plateau. (EUROZONE/SENTIX, moved, 200 words)

Japan growth, external balance suffer blow

TOKYO - Japan's economic recovery suffers a blow at the end of last year and the current account deficit ballooned to a record in January, raising fears of a stumble in the world's third-largest economy as activity wilts ahead of a sales tax increase in April. (JAPAN-ECONOMY/CURRENT (UPDATE 2), moved, by Stanley White and Tetsushi Kajimoto, 926 words)

French central bank sees Q1 growth of 0.2 percent

PARIS - France's central bank forecast meagre first quarter growth while the statistics office says industrial production starts the year on a weak footing, hurt by a slowdown in energy production. (FRANCE-GDP/ (UPDATE 1), moving shortly, 290 words)

Spain industrial output grows for third straight month

MADRID - Spain's calendar-adjusted industrial output rose 1.1 percent year-on-year in January, data from the National Statistics Institute shows, below forecasts for a 1.4 percent increase. (SPAIN-ECONOMY/OUTPUT, moved, 100 words)

"What bailout exit?" Portuguese ask as they face hardship

LISBON - Portugal's international bailout is expected to end in mid-May. That won't mean the end of hardship for the Portuguese. (PORTUGAL-BAILOUT/FUTURE (PICTURE), moved, by Andrei Khalip, 920 words)

COMPANIES

Bouygues to sell network to Iliad if SFR bid accepted

PARIS - France's Bouygues Telecom has agrees to sell its mobile network and much of its spectrum to smaller rival Iliad as a way to head off competition regulators' concerns about its pending bid for Vivendi's SFR. (BOUYGUES-ILIAD/, moved, by Leila Abboud and Gwénaëlle Barzic, 765 words)

+ See also:

- ILIAD-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Leila Abboud, 565 words

Hochtief offers $1.05 bln to raise Leighton stake to 74 pct

SYDNEY - German builder Hochtief plans to spend over $1 billion to lift its majority stake in Australia's Leighton Holdings Ltd, seeking to push through restructuring at a business that already delivers most of Hochtief's profit. (AUSTRALIA-LEIGHTON HLDGS/HOCHTIEF AG (UPDATE 2), moved, by Maggie Lu Yueyang, 650 words)

GSK pays $1 bln to lift Indian unit stake to 75 pct

LONDON - GlaxoSmithKline says it has paid 64 billion rupees ($1.05 billion) to increase its stake in its Indian pharmaceuticals unit to 75 percent, as it banks on rising demand for medicines in emerging markets. (GLAXOSMITHKLINE/INDIA (UPDATE 1), moved, 185 words)

Austria to talk with BayernLB about cleaning up Hypo mess

VIENNA - Austria to start talks with German state bank BayernLB on sharing the burden of winding down nationalised lender Hypo Alpe Adria after an advisory task force rules out having Hypo bondholders share the costs. (AUSTRIA-FINANCES/HYPO (UPDATE 2), expect by 1200 GMT/7 AM ET, by Angelika Gruber and Michael Shields, 600 words)

Chiquita buys Fyffes to create global top banana

DUBLIN - U.S. fruit distributor Chiquita Brands International Inc is to buy Irish rival Fyffes Plc in an all-stock deal valued at $526 million to create the world's biggest banana supplier. (FYFFES-CHIQUITA BRANDS/ (UPDATE 2), expect by 1200 GMT/7 AM ET, by Sam Cage, 500 words)

Travelex ponders stock market floatation, earnings rise

LONDON - Travelex, the foreign exchange provider majority-owned by private equity firm Apax Partners, says it is considering a stock market flotation and reports a 21 percent increase in its 2013 profit. (TRAVELEX-IPO/ (UPDATE 1), expect by 0945 GMT/4.45 AM ET, by Matt Scuffham, 300 words)

In World Cup year, Adidas and Nike fight for soccer crown

LONDON/BERLIN - With the soccer World Cup only three months away, Adidas and Nike are squaring up for a marketing battle to match the fierce on-field rivalry of nations like Brazil and Argentina. (SOCCER-WORLD CUP/KIT (PICTURE), expect by 1200 GMT/7 AM ET, by Keith Weir and Emma Thomasson, 850 words)

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