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Tue Mar 18, 2014 5:55am EDT

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TOP STORIES

German court confirms legality of euro zone bailout scheme

KARLSRUHE, Germany - Germany's Constitutional Court confirms the legality of the euro zone's bailout fund, upholding a preliminary ruling from the height of the debt crisis in 2012 that gave an initial green light to the European Stability Mechanism (ESM). (GERMANY-EUROZONE/COURT (UPDATE 1, PICTURE, TV), moving shortly, 300 words)

European shares dip with investors wary of Ukraine, Fed

LONDON - European shares dip and the safe-haven yen rises as investors keep a wary eye on the standoff over Crimea and a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting starting later on Tuesday. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/ (WRAPUP 5), expect by 1100 GMT/7 AM ET, by Nigel Stephenson, 670 words)

Russia says no capital controls as money flees

MOSCOW - Russia will not impose capital controls, easing concerns that restrictions could be introduced to stem capital flight following Moscow's seizure of Ukraine's Crimea region and support for its referendum (UKRAINE-CRISIS/RUSSIA-CAPITALCONTROLS, expect by 1100 GMT/7 AM ET, by Oksana Kobzeva and Lidia Kelly, 800 words)

+ See also:

- UKRAINE-CRISIS/RUSSIA-PRIVATISATION (UPDATE 1), expect by 1000 GMT/6 AM ET, 400 words

- RUSSIA-MARKETS/, (UPDATE 1), expect by 1200 GMT/8 AM ET, by Jason Bush, 800 words

Pressure on EU leaders to raise the pressure on Russia

BRUSSELS - The European Union has taken the first step in imposing sanctions on Russia over Crimea, but the measures have been widely dismissed as lacking bite. It is now up to EU leaders to decide on more meaningful measures when they meet on Thursday. (UKRAINE-CRISIS/EU-ESCALATION (ANALYSIS), expect by 1400 GMT/10 AM ET, by Luke Baker, 700 words)

ECONOMY

Currency market inches towards electronic fix

LONDON - Work is moving forward on a new way for the foreign exchange market to set its "fixing" benchmarks, senior bankers say, after another week of revelations in the row over alleged market manipulation which has rocked the industry. (FOREX-FIXING/, moved, by Patrick Graham and Anirban Nag, 1,380 words)

Bank of England gets revamp

LONDON - Britain announces a shake-up at the Bank of England, bringing in two new deputy governors as boss Mark Carney proceeds with an overhaul of the central bank. (BRITAIN-BOE/ (UPDATE 1), expect by 1015 GMT/6.15 AM ET, by David Milliken, 400 words)

Property firm's default risk exposes China fault lines

HONG KONG - The looming bankruptcy of a Chinese developer owing billions of yuan to domestic banks has raised worries that a softening property market is heightening risks for the financial system. (CHINA-BANKRUPTCY/PROPERTY (UPDATE 2), moved, by Umesh Desai and Clare Jim, 725 words)

Italy posts global trade surplus vs deficit a year ago

ROME - Italy posts a trade surplus with the rest of the world of 365 million euros in January, swinging from a deficit of 1.810 billion euros in the same month of 2013 as imports fell and exports grew slightly, data shows. (ITALY-ECONOMY/TRADE, moved, 200 words)

Swiss government sees economy gathering steam into 2015

ZURICH - The Swiss economy is likely to spring back from a weak fourth quarter and strengthen in the next two years, but some global economic risks remain, the government says, as it confirmed its growth outlook for 2015. (SWISS ECONOMY/FORECASTS (UPDATE 1), moved, 250 words)

Africa's rush to borrow stirs concern

JOHANNESBURG - Nearly a decade after Nelson Mandela and anti-poverty activists Bono and Bob Geldof persuaded the rich world to forgive Africa's crushing debts, many countries' debt levels are creeping up again, which could undermine the region's growth boom. (AFRICA-DEBT/SUSTAINABILITY (ANALYSIS, GRAPHIC), moved, by Tosin Sulaiman, 1,340 words)

+ See also:

- SAFRICA-STRIKES/, moved, by Ed Stoddard and Zandi Shabalala, 870 words

Obama manufacturing hubs face uphill struggle to create jobs

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio/WASHINGTON - Along the banks of the Mahoning River in the struggling Ohio steel town of Youngstown sits a once-abandoned furniture warehouse that has been converted into a sleek new laboratory. (USA-OBAMA/MANUFACTURING (FEATURE, PICTURE), moved, by Julia Edwards and Jason Lange, 1,280 words)

COMPANIES

Scania board members turn cold shoulder to VW bid

STOCKHOLM - Scania board members responsible for assessing a bid by Volkswagen for outstanding shares in the truckmaker recommend that shareholders reject the offer, underlining a deep rift within the Swedish company. (NPSCANIA-VOLKSWAGEN/ (UPDATE 2), moving shortly, by Niklas Pollard, 700 words)

Sainsbury's 9-year run of sales growth ends

LONDON - Sainsbury's 9-year run of sales growth ends - Britain's J Sainsbury ends a nine-year run of quarterly sales growth, underlining the tough trading momentum for the country's major grocers in the early months of 2014 which is set to intensify as pricing pressures increase (SAINSBURY'S-SALES/(UPDATE 2), expect by 1130 GMT/7.30 AM ET, by James Davey, 650 words)

Inditex quietly grooms cut-price brand for budget battle

ARROYOMOLINOS, Spain - At the Xanadu shopping mall in Madrid's suburbs, the indoor ski slope is busy with children but the designer stores are quiet. In this former mecca for high spenders, discount shop 'Lefties' looks like just another post-recession pop-up budget brand. (INDITEX/SPAIN, moved, by Sarah Morris, 950 words)

+ See also:

- ASOS-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 330 words

Rival firms race to develop new biotech asthma drugs

LONDON - Rival firms are racing to develop injectable biotech asthma drugs for patients with severe disease who don't respond well to traditional inhalers, opening up a potential $7.5 billion new market. (PHARMACEUTICALS-ASTHMA/, expect by 1400 GMT/10 AM ET, by Ben Hirschler, 750 words)

European car sales up for 6th month as crisis states recover

MILAN - European car sales rise 7.6 percent as a gradual economic recovery in Portugal, Spain and Italy boost demand for mass market brands, industry data shows. (ACEA-CARSALES/FEBRUARY (UPDATE 1), expect by 1030 GMT/6.30 AM ET, by Agnieszka Flak, 650 words)

SocGen announces buyout offer for Boursorama minorities

PARIS - Societe Generale, France's No. 2 listed bank, says it will offer to buy out minority holders of its online bank brand Boursorama, representing approximately 23 percent of the unit's ownership. (SOCIETEGENERALE-BOURSORAMA/ (UPDATE 2), moving shortly, by Lionel Laurent, 400 words)

Australia's Macquarie Group sells private equity unit

SYDNEY - Macquarie Group, Australia's top investment bank, has agreed to sell its private equity funds management division to the unit's three managers, a source with direct knowledge of the deal tells Reuters. (AUSTRALIA-MACQUARIE GROUP/PRIVATEEQUITY, moved, by Byron Kaye, 400 words)

Engineers' coup pays off with Japan Display listing

TOKYO - When Japan Display Inc lists on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, it will bring vindication - and $1.6 billion in cash - for a government-backed restructuring effort after other high-stakes attempts to help chipmakers flopped. (JAPAN DISPLAY-IPO/COUP (PICTURE), moved, by Reiji Murai and Edmund Klamann, 1,000 words)