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Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:05am EDT

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TOP STORIES

UK grows slightly more slowly than expected in 1st quarter

LONDON - Britain's economy grows slightly more slowly than expected in the first three months of 2014, but the year-on-year rate was its fastest in more than six years, official data shows. (BRITAIN-ECONOMY/, moved, 615 words)

+ See also:

- BRITAIN-BOE/CARNEY (UPDATE 1), moved, 310 words

EU imposes sanctions on 15 Russians and Ukrainians

BRUSSELS - The European Union imposes asset freezes and travel bans on 15 Russians and Ukrainians, including Russian deputy prime minister, Dmitry Nikolayevich Kozak, over Moscow's action in Ukraine, but it steers clear of any sanctions on business leaders. (UKRAINE-CRISIS/NAMES (UPDATE 1), moved, by John O'Donnell, 275 words)

+ See also:

- RUSSIA-MARKETS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 355 words

Deutsche Bank opens door to equity capital hike

FRANKFURT - Deutsche Bank opens the door to a new rights issue, saying all options are on the table to strengthen its capital base in a year when earnings are falling and unknown costs for fines and new regulations weigh. (DEUTSCHEBANK-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 2), expect by 1000 GMT/6 AM ET, by Thomas Atkins, 600 words)

+ See also:

- NORDEA/ (UPDATE 2), moving shortly, by Mia Shanley, 600 words

BP ups dividend as profit beats in spite of Russia concerns

LONDON - British oil firm BP raises its quarterly dividend and says further share buy-backs are on the cards as it posts quarterly profit slightly above forecasts despite difficulties in Russia. (BP/RESULTS (UPDATE 2), expect by 0930 GMT/5.30 AM ET, by Sarah Young and Karolin Schaps, 600 words)

+ See also:

- STATOIL-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 2), moving shortly, 260 words

- ENI-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 290 words

MARKETS & INVESTMENT

Corporate news lifts stocks, tight money markets buoy euro

LONDON - European stocks rise, as optimism surrounding corporate earnings and merger moves eclipse the crisis in Ukraine, while rising euro zone money market rates and strong German consumer confidence supports the euro. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/(WRAPUP 5), expect by 1030 GMT/6.30 AM ET, by Jamie McGeever, 720 words)

Industry stocks cushion platinum price as strike grinds on

LONDON - Platinum's sluggish performance in the teeth of a three-month-long mine strike in South Africa suggests that ample stocks of the metal lie in the hands of both suppliers and consumers, leaving investors betting on a supply-driven boost high and dry. (PLATINUM/STOCKS, expect by 1400 GMT/10 AM ET, by Jan Harvey, 800 words

SPECIAL REPORT & INSIGHT

How an alleged Turkish crime ring helped Iran

ISTANBUL - Police allege an audacious, multi-billion-dollar scheme, involving bribery and suspect food shipments, helped Iran. (IRAN-TURKEY (SPECIAL REPORT, PIX, GRAPHIC), moved, by Humeyra Pamuk, Steve Stecklow, Babak Dehghanpisheh and Can Sezer, 2,000 words)

Haircuts and beef bowls helping BOJ's Kuroda win converts

TOKYO - Rising prices for budget haircuts and bowls of beef and rice are helping Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda win over doubters in his own ranks of his ambitious drive to cast off deflation. (JAPAN-ECONOMY/BOJ (INSIGHT, PICTURE, GRAPHICS), moved, by Leika Kihara, 1,200 words)

ECONOMY

EU watchdog to publish details of test for bloc's top banks

LONDON - The European Union's banking watchdog will release what is expected to be its toughest test yet for the bloc's top lenders in another attempt to draw a line under the financial crisis. (EU-BANKING/STRESSTEST, expect by 0930 GMT/5.30 AM ET, by Huw Jones, 830 words)

German consumer morale at high level but Ukraine weighs

BERLIN - German consumer morale remains at its highest level in more than seven years heading into May but shoppers are more pessimistic about the prospects for Europe's largest economy due to the crisis in Ukraine, a survey shows. (ECONOMY-GERMANY/GFK, moved, 400 words)

London commuters battle Tube strike as firms lament losses

LONDON - Millions of London commuters struggle into work as Underground train workers stage their second 48-hour strike this year to protest at job cuts and office closures in a dispute that is expected to cost businesses millions of pounds. (BRITAIN-STRIKE, (UPDATE 1, PIX), expect to 1000 GMT/6 AM ET, 650 words, by Belinda Goldsmith)

Spanish unemployment rate inches up to 25.9 percent

MADRID - Spain's unemployment rate edges higher in the first quarter, official data shows, as a slow economic recovery fails to offset a traditionally bad period for job creation in the tourism-dependent economy. (SPAIN-ECONOMY/UNEMPLOYMENT (UPDATE 1), moving shortly, 415 words)

Euro zone private sector loans contract further - ECB

FRANKFURT - Lending to households and firms in the euro zone declined further in March and money supply growth slowed despite the European Central Bank's ultra-loose monetary policy stance. (EUROZONE/M3, moved, 150 words)

COMPANIES

More cash, less stock seen key to winning AstraZeneca

LONDON - U.S. drugmaker Pfizer will need to raise its bid above $100 billion and increase the proportion of cash in the offer to win AstraZeneca, investors believe (ASTRAZENECA-PFIZER/, expect by 1230 GMT/8.30 AM ET, by Ben Hirschler, 700 words)

+ See also:

- USA-TAX/PFIZER (ANALYSIS), moved, by Kevin Drawbaugh, 1,200 words

Shire shares jump as sources say Allergan eyes new bid

LONDON - Shares in British drugmaker Shire Plc jump 4 percent after Reuters reports that Botox-maker Allergan Inc is preparing a new takeover approach. (SHIRE-ALLERGAN/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 360 words)

+ See also:

- SANOFI-EARNINGS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by Natalie Huet, 660 words

Spain's Santander launches buyout offer for Brazil unit

MADRID - The euro zone's biggest bank Santander launches a buyout offer for the remaining 25 percent of its Brazilian unit, cementing its grip on a key profit driver in a deal that could be worth up to 4.7 billion euros ($6.51 billion). (SANTANDER/ (UPDATE 2), expect by 1100 GMT/7 AM ET, by Sarah White, 450 words)

Nokia returns $3.1 billion to shareholders, Suri becomes CEO

HELSINKI - Finnish telecommunication gear maker Nokia reports higher-than-expected quarterly earnings and promotes Rajeev Suri, the head of its biggest division, to lead the company, news that boost its shares. (NOKIA/RESULTS (UPDATE4), expect by 0900 GMT/5 AM ET, by Sakari Suoninen and Jussi Rosendahl, 800 words)

Samsung tips Q2 pickup, smartphone challenge looms

SEOUL - Samsung Electronics Co Ltd says it expects stronger earnings in the second quarter as a pickup in sales of high-end televisions and smartphones spurs growth, after it posts its second straight fall in quarterly profit. (SAMSUNG ELEC-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 3, PICTURE, GRAPHIC, TV), moved, by Se Young Lee, 690 words)

ABB deepens power systems overhaul as profit falls

ZURICH - Swiss engineering group ABB says it will again overhaul its struggling power systems unit after posting an unexpected fall in first-quarter profit because of its weak orders and charges related to wind and solar power projects. (ABB-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 3, expect by 1000 GMT/6 AM ET, by Caroline Copley, 700 words)

Infineon sees revenue at top end of forecast range

FRANKFURT - German chipmaker Infineon tones up its outlook for the year as it publishes consensus-busting quarterly financial results, buoyed by robust demand from automotive and industrial customers and sending its shares higher. (INFINEON TECHNOL-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Maria Sheahan, 500 words)

Peugeot launches second stage of 3 bln euro capital hike

PARIS - PSA Peugeot Citroen launches the second stage of its 3 billion euro ($4.2 billion) capital increase to implement a tie-up with China's Dongfeng Motor and fund its recovery plan. (PEUGEOT-RIGHTSISSUE/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 175 words)