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Thu Apr 17, 2014 4:55am EDT

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TOP STORIES

QE debate sees ECB's Weidmann come in from the cold

FRANKFURT - Jens Weidmann presents a "kinder, gentler" Bundesbank as he opens up to the possibility of asset purchases to head off deflation, but underpinning his position is a firm logic based on both principles and pragmatism. (ECB-BUNDESBANK/WEIDMANN (INSIGHT), expect by 1200 GMT/8 AM ET, by Paul Carrel, 1,300 words)

Google, IBM cast shadow over global markets

LONDON - European stocks dip as negative after-hours news on U.S. tech giants Google and IBM dampens the previous session's upbeat tone on Wall Street, and the dollar weakens on dovish remarks from the U.S. Federal Reserve. (MARKETS-GLOBAL (WRAPUP 3), moved, by Carolyn Cohn, 750 words)

Britain's crisis-hit Co-op reveals 2013 loss of $4.2 billion

LONDON - Britain's Co-operative Group makes a loss of 2.5 billion pounds in 2013, in what the country's biggest mutual describes as a disaster and the worst 12 months in its 150-year history. (COOP-RESULTS (UPDATE 1), expect by 1000 GMT/6 AM ET, by Matthew Scuffham and Paul Sandle, 600 words)

Europe's car sales upturn fails to halt price war

PARIS - Europe's car sales recovery may be taking hold, according to registrations data, but a confidential industry survey shows the pickup is failing to halt a price war. (EUROPE-AUTOS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by Laurence Frost, 700 words)

ECONOMY

China's cooling property market a risk to economic growth

BEIJING - China's property market could threaten Beijing's plan to manage a slowdown in growth, as evidence mounts of a rapid cooling in what had been one of the few strong spots in the world's second-largest economy. (CHINA-ECONOMY/PROPERTY, moved, by Xiaoyi Shao and Jonathan Standing, 700 words)

+ See also:

- INDA-STOCKS/, moved, by Nishant Kumar and Lawrence White, 1,000 words

U.S. calls for more investment-friendly Indian government

WASHINGTON - The United States urges the Indian government that emerges from ongoing elections to follow economic policies that encourage investment, saying Washington would like to see bilateral trade grow to $500 billion a year (INDIA-ELECTION/USA), moved, by David Brunnstrom, 670 words)

Canny Australians build a bulwark out of housing debt

SYDNEY - The adage "safe as houses" has been an oxymoron since the global financial crisis. But it still has a resonance for Australians who use their homes as a piggy bank, salting away money by paying down their mortgages at a breakneck pace. (AUSTRALIA-MORTGAGES/, moved, by Wayne Cole, 1,000 words)

COMPANIES

GSK, facing bribery claims, battles to build new sales model

LONDON - Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline - hit by bribery claims in five countries - is to employ hundreds more doctors as members of staff as it seeks to build a new sales model designed to eliminate sharp marketing practices. (GSK-CORRUPTION/, expect by 1200 GMT/8 AM ET, by Ben Hirschler, 750 words)

Weibo valued at $3.46 bln after bottom-end IPO pricing

China's Weibo Corp values at a lower-than-expected $3.46 billion when it goes public on the Nasdaq, amid concerns about the microblogging service's slowing user growth and the country's highly censored media environment. (WEIBO-IPO/, moved, by Aman Shah and Arnab Sen, 400 words)

Diageo, Remy Cointreau get hammered by China crackdown

LONDON - An anti-corruption crackdown by the Chinese government continues to hammer spirits makers Diageo and Remy Cointreau, highlighting the risks for international companies moving deeper into emerging markets. (DIAGEO-RESULS/SALES (UPDATE 2), expect by 1030 GMT/6.30 AM ET, by Martinne Geller, 500 words)

SAP warns on strong euro as Q1 misses expectations

FRANKFURT - German business software maker SAP warns that it expects the negative impact of the strong euro to worsen in the second quarter after reporting lower-than-expected first-quarter results (SAP-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 3), expect by 0930 GMT/5.30 AM ET, by Harro ten Wolde, 700 words)

AkzoNobel blames currency effects as earnings miss

AMSTERDAM - Dutch paints and chemicals firm AkzoNobel blames adverse currency effects for lower-than-expected earnings, but says it is still on course to meet its 2015 targets despite a fragile economic environment. Its stock falls sharply in early trade (AKZONOBEL-RESULTS/Q1 (UPDATE 2), expect by 1130 GMT/7.30 AM ET, by Thomas Escritt and Sara Ledwith, 450 words)

Polish insurer PZU buys rivals from UK's RSA for $481 mln

WARSAW/LONDON - Central and eastern Europe's largest insurer PZU has bought three Baltic rivals and a stake in one Polish player for a total of 348 million euros, marking its largest acquisition ever. (POLAND PZU/MERGERS, moved, by Adrian Krajewski and Simon Jessop, 250 words)

Mulberry reverts to lower prices after new profit warning

LONDON - Britain's Mulberry is to scrap its strategy of hiking prices after the move away from its affordable roots results in its second profit warning in three months. (MULBERRY GROUP/ (UPDATE 2), by Kate Holton, expect by 0900 GMT/5 AM ET, 500 words)

In green car race, Toyota adds muscle with fuel-cell launch

TOYOTA CITY, Japan/IRVINE, Calif - In 1997, Toyota caught its competitors by surprise with the revolutionary Prius, the first commercially successful gasoline-electric hybrid car. Now, the Japanese firm is trying to do the same with a technology that seems straight out of science fiction. (AUTOS-HYDROGEN/TOYOTA MOTOR, moved, by Norihiko Shirouzu, Paul Lienert and Yoko Kubota, 1,700 words)