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Wed Apr 2, 2014 4:58am EDT

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TOP STORIES

Shares extend rally, euro firm ahead of ECB

LONDON - World share markets add to their recent rally as investors choose to focus on the positive in a mixed bag of global economic data, tipping the safe haven yen to a 10-week low. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/ (WRAPUP 4), expect by 0900 GMT/5 AM ET, by Marc Jones, 800 words)

France to announce new government line-up

PARIS - France's new prime minister, Manuel Valls, announces his government at 0915 GMT after a long night of negotiations between different factions of the ruling majority. (FRANCE/GOVERNMENT, pix, tv, expect by 0925 GMT/0525 AM ET, 400 words)

West's targeted Russian sanctions hurt investors

WARSAW/MOSCOW - Western investors face a quandary over how to deal with European and U.S. sanctions against Russia with the rules holding up payments, complicating trade finance and for Elektrobudowa, a Polish industrial group, potentially thwarting its ambition to expand. (RUSSIA/SANCTIONS (PICTURE), expect by 1100 GMT/7 AM ET, by Jakub Iglewski and Megan Davis, 900 words)

+ See also:

- STOCKMANN/RUSSIA (INTERVIEW), moved, by Sakari Suoninen, 700 words

United States probes Deutsche Boerse unit over Iran

FRANKFURT - Deutsche Boerse says its Clearstream Banking unit is being investigated by U.S. authorities over alleged violations of U.S. money laundering and Iran sanction laws, pushing its shares down. (DEUTSCHE BOERSE-IRAN/ (UPDATE 1), expect by 1000 GMT /6 AM ET, by Jonathan Gould, 200 words)

INSIGHT

Bitter times for chocolate factory in Russia-Ukraine crisis

LIPETSK, Russia - After three years of court cases involving authorities and competitors, Taisiya Voronina thought she had seen everything in Russia's rough and tumble business environment. (UKRAINE-CRISIS/RUSSIA-FACTORY (INSIGHT, PICTURE), moved, by Elizabeth Piper, 1,335 words)

Japan may only be able to restart third of nuclear reactors

TOKYO - Three years after the Fukushima disaster prompted the closure of all Japan's nuclear reactors, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is moving to revive nuclear power as a core part of the energy mix, but many of those idled reactors will never come back online. (JAPAN-NUCLEAR/RESTARTS, moved, by Mari Saito, Aaron Sheldrick and Kentaro Hamada, 1,300 words)

+ See also:

- JAPAN-NUCLEAR/KYUSHU, moved, by Taiga Uranaka and James Topham, 550 words

ECONOMY

Rapid UK construction growth maintained in March

LONDON - Surging growth among housebuilders helps Britain's construction firms maintain a rapid pace of expansion in March and optimism about the months ahead hit its highest level in more than seven years, a survey shows. (PMI-CONSTRUCTION/BRITAIN, moved, 300 words)

Greeks evoke past injustices to overcome bailout shame

ATHENS - Germany is footing much of the bill for Greece's 237 billion euro bailout but Athens-trained dentist Aristomenis Syngelakis feels no gratitude; Berlin owes his country billions in reparations for Nazi crimes during World War Two, he says. (GREECE-GERMANY/ (PICTURE), moved, by Harry Papachristou, 1,400 words)

Spain's jobless falls for second straight month in March

MADRID - The number of jobless in Spain falls in March, Labour Ministry figures show, while the workforce grows from a year earlier as the country shows signs of job creation in the midst of a slow return to growth. (SPAIN-ECONOMY/JOBLESS (UPDATE 1), moving shortly, 300 words)

Reuters April foreign exchange poll

LONDON - Reuters has surveyed more than 60 currency strategists on the outlook for dollar exchange rates against the euro, yen, sterling, Swiss franc, South African rand, Russian rouble and Turkish lira. The results will be published at 1220 GMT/8.20 AM ET. (MARKETS-FOREX-POLL/EURO, by Jonathan Cable, 600 words)

+ See also:

- MARKETS-FOREX-POLL/EMERGINGMARKETS, by Vuyani Ndaba and Seda Sezar, 600 words

Japan firms doubt BOJ price targets, new stimulus seen

TOKYO - Corporate Japan expects the consumer price index to be just 1.5 percent higher in a year from now, a Bank of Japan tankan survey finds -- a sign of how difficult the central bank could find meeting its 2 percent inflation goal by the April 2015 target date. (JAPAN-ECONOMY/PRICES (UPDATE 2), moved, by Stanley White, 750 words)

COMPANIES

GlaxoSmithKline throws in towel on lung cancer vaccine trial

LONDON - GlaxoSmithKline has stopped a high-profile clinical trial using a novel vaccine to fight lung cancer after deciding it is not possible to find a sub-group of patients who might benefit. (GSK-CANCER/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by Ben Hirschler, 425 words)

+ See also:

- AIDS-DRUG/VIIV, moved, 340 words

CEO Barra calls GM's actions on deadly defect 'unacceptable'

WASHINGTON - General Motors Co CEO Mary Barra calls her company's slow response to faulty ignition switches linked to at least 13 deaths "unacceptable," but could not give U.S. lawmakers many answers as to what went wrong. (GM-RECALL/CONGRESS (UPDATE 6, TV, PICTURE), moved, by Ben Klayman and Eric Beech, 1,185 words)

Chinese coal firms creak under heavy debt, tumbling prices

ORDOS, China - Slowing growth in China and a flood of cheaper imports have led to tumbling coal prices in the country, now at 6-year lows, and miners in Inner Mongolia and elsewhere are grappling with overcapacity, sluggish demand and shrinking bank credit. (CHINA-COAL/, moved, by Fayen Wong, 1,200 words)

+ See also:

- NOBLE GROUP-COFCO/ (UPDATE 3), moving shortly, by Rachel Armstrong, 745 words

- AUSTRALIA-BHP BILLITON/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 535 words

Retailers bid to take slice of mobile payments pie

BERLIN - The entry of retailers into mobile payments could help encourage sceptical shoppers to adopt the new technology, benefiting stores by cutting queues, reducing transaction costs and allowing more targeted marketing. (RETAIL-PAYMENT/ (ANALYSIS), expect by 1300 GMT/9 AM ET, by Emma Thomasson, 1,000 words)

Widow of Zurich CFO to confront insurer at AGM over suicide

ZURICH - Seven months after the suicide of Zurich Insurance finance chief Pierre Wauthier, his widow is set to confront the company over its handling of the tragedy, reopening a scandal that unsettled investors. (ZURICH-SUICIDE/ (EXCLUSIVE, PICTURE), moved, by Katharina Bart, 840 words)

Deutsche Post banks on emerging markets, e-commerce

FRANKFURT - Deutsche Post, the world's biggest postal and logistics group, is betting on emerging markets and an e-commerce boom to boost profits through 2020, it says in unveiling its new medium-term financial targets. (DEUTSCHEPOST-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 240 words)

Spain's Applus+ to raise at least 300 mln euros in debut

MADRID - Spanish testing and inspection company Applus+ aims to raise at least 300 million euros ($413.8 million) by selling new shares in its stock market debut and will use the money mainly to pay off debt, the company says. (SPAIN-APPLUS+/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 315 words)

Renesas in talks with Apple, others over display chip unit

TOKYO - Renesas Electronics Corp is talking with Apple Inc and other potential buyers of a stake in a smartphone display chip unit, as the struggling Japanese chipmaker restructures its business around the automotive industry, a person familiar with the matter says. (APPLE-RENESAS/OFFER (UPDATE 3), moving shortly, 400 words)

BP to close Australian refinery as Asia competition mounts

SYDNEY - BP is ceasing production at its Bulwer Island refinery in Brisbane, Australia by mid 2015, blaming competition from new mega-refineries in Asia that are cheaper to operate. (BP-AUSTRALIA/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by James Regan, Jane Wardell, Florence Tan, 450 words)

+ See also:

- PHILIPMORRIS-AUSTRALIA/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 290 words

Lufthansa pilots start 3-day strike over early retirement

FRANKFURT - Lufthansa pilots start a walkout that has prompted the German carrier to cancel about 3,800 flights, in what could become one of the biggest strikes ever to hit the airline. (GERMANY-STRIKE/ (UPDATE 1), moving shortly, 300 words)

+ See also:

- NORWAY-SALARY/STRIKE, moved, 210 words

ASOS profit falls on expansion costs

LONDON - British online fashion retailer ASOS posts a 22 percent fall in first half profit, reflecting its move to step-up the pace of infrastructure investment to meet future demand. (ASOS/ (UPDATE 2, PICTURE), expect by 1030 GMT/6.30 AM ET, by James Davey, 650 words)

FEATURE

Frustrated Kuwaitis ask, why is Kuwait falling behind?

KUWAIT - With a youthful, well-educated population, strong relationships with both neighbours and world powers, and a strategic location on the Gulf, major oil producer Kuwait should be as dynamic a hub for the region as Dubai or Doha. (KUWAIT-DECLINE/ (FEATURE, PICTURE), moved, by Sylvia Westall, 1,055 words)