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Tue May 6, 2014 5:06am EDT

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TOP STORIES

Euro zone businesses enjoy good start to second quarter

LONDON - Euro zone businesses make a solid start to the second quarter of the year with activity picking up at its fastest pace in almost three years, surveys show, suggesting a broad-based recovery is taking hold in the bloc. (EUROPE-ECONOMY/, expect by 1030 GMT/6.30 AM ET, by Sumanta Dey and Jonathan Cable, 700 words)

+ See also:

- PMI/BRITAIN, moved, 300 words

Barclays profits fall after fixed income revenues crash

LONDON - Barclays says a crash in fixed income revenues that dragged down its first quarter profits from a year ago has continued into April, partly because the British bank has started to shrink and reshape its investment bank. (BARCLAYS-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 2), expect by 1000 GMT/6 AM ET, by Steve Slater and Matt Scuffham, 585 words)

UBS overhauls structure, offers investors extra cash

ZURICH - UBS will revamp its corporate structure to ensure it can be broken up more easily in a crisis, cutting the amount of money it must set aside for potential losses and allowing it to pay shareholders a special dividend. (UBS RESULTS/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Katharina Bart, 770 words)

+ See also:

- CREDITSUISSE INVESTIGATION/, moved, by Mark Hosenball and Aruna Viswanatha, 640 words

Dollar wilts to 6-1/2 month low, shares ride gains

LONDON - The dollar falls to a 6-1/2 month low as U.S. bond yields struggle to pull away from their recent troughs, despite signs the U.S. economy is emerging from a particularly harsh winter-induced slowdown. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/ (WRAPUP 5), expect by 1030 GMT/6.30 AM ET, by Marc Jones, 700 words)

+ See also:

- MARKETS-ASIA/STOCKS (ANALYSIS), moved, by Vidya Ranganathan, 900 words

ECONOMY

ECB seen on hold as inflation picks up, QE a way off

FRANKFURT - The European Central Bank will likely hold off policy action when it meets on Thursday, waiting for new forecasts from its staff in June before deciding whether to act to counter low inflation that has begun perking up. (ECB/RATES (PREVIEW), moved, by Paul Carrel, 800 words)

+ See also:

- ECB/POLICY (FACTBOX), moving shortly, 400 words

Spain gets jobs boost from recovery, Easter break

MADRID - The number of people registered as jobless in Spain falls sharply, data shows, as the service sector takes on tens of thousands of people to staff restaurants and hotels over the Easter break. (SPAIN-ECONOMY/JOBLESS (UPDATE 1), moved, 290 words)

More Chinese cities ease grip on housing as economy stutters

BEIJING - More Chinese cities are rolling out measures to encourage home purchases, in a sign that local governments are increasing efforts to safeguard an important driver of growth in China's faltering economy. (CHINA-ECONOMY/PROPERTY (UPDATE 1), moved, by Xiaoyi Shao and Koh Gui Qing, 700 words)

+ See also:

- CHINA-PROPERTY/FACTBOX (FACTBOX), moved, 540 words

COMPANIES

France's Hollande says GE must improve Alstom bid

PARIS - French President Francois Hollande says General Electric's bid for Alstom's energy business is not acceptable as it stands and that the government's aim is to get better offers. (FRANCE-ALSTOM/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by Mark John and Ingrid Melander, 400 words)

BMW says on track for record sales, pre-tax profit

FRANKFURT - German luxury car maker BMW AG says it is on track to hit record vehicle sales and pre-tax profit in 2014 after strong sales in China help it to post a 2.6 percent rise in first quarter operating profit as forecast. (BMW-RESULTS/Q1 (UPDATE 2), moving shortly, by Edward Taylor, 480 words)

Fiat Chrysler bets on Jeep, Alfa revamp to go global

DETROIT - Fiat Chrysler will build Jeeps in China and Brazil and is likely to invest billions of euros to revamp its battered Alfa Romeo sports-car brand in a bid to convince investors it can turn the newly merged automaker into a thriving global business. (FIATCHRYSLER/, moved, by Agnieszka Flak and Bernie Woodall, 700 words)

Adidas hit by sales drop at golf business

BERLIN - German sportswear company Adidas reports disappointing first-quarter results due to a big drop in sales at its TaylorMade golf business, but says a stronger second quarter is signalling a return to growth. (ADIDAS-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 350 words)

Aberdeen Asset Management profit hit by EM outflows

LONDON - British investment firm Aberdeen Asset Management posts a forecast-lagging three percent fall in interim pre-tax profit, sending shares tumbling, after clients pull money out of its core emerging market funds. (ABERDEEN ASSET/RESULTS (UPDATE 2), expect by 0900 GMT/5 AM ET, by Jemima Kelly, 500 words)

Africa output growth boost Glencore copper output

LONDON - Miner Glencore Xstrata meets market forecasts with a 24 percent increase in copper production in the first quarter of 2014, mainly due to output expansion at its African operations and to higher grades at its South American mines. (GLENCORE XSTRATA/PRODUCTION (UPDATE 2), moved, by Silvia Antonioli, 450 words)

Britain's Balfour Beatty CEO steps down after profit warning

LONDON - British infrastructure group Balfour Beatty warns its 2014 profits will be significantly lower than expected, prompting the immediate departure of its chief executive and a review of assets. (BALFOURBEATTY/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 250 words)

Lafarge confirms 2014 goals despite Q1 forex hit

PARIS - France's Lafarge, the world's largest cement maker, posts a drop in quarterly revenue after foreign exchange headwinds offset a rise in cement volumes and prices. (LAFARGE-EARNINGS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by Natalie Huet and Gilles Guillaume, 470 words)

Astra gets lift in Pfizer fight as U.S. okays heart pill

LONDON - AstraZeneca Plc has won U.S. approval for Epanova, a new pill for heart disease, providing a welcome - but relatively minor - piece of good news as it fights a $106 billion takeover approach from Pfizer Inc. (ASTRAZENECA-PFIZER/EPANOVA (UPDATE 1), moved, by Ben Hirschler, 300 words)

Lufthansa battles to make up strikes shortfall

FRANKFURT - Lufthansa, Germany's largest airline, is working hard in a weak market to recoup earnings lost through a series of strikes, it says. (LUFTHANSA-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 2), expect by 1000 GMT/5 AM ET, by Victoria Bryan, 500 words)

Solvay report surprise profit rise as margins widen

BRUSSELS - Belgian chemical company Solvay earns a surprise increase in profit in the first quarter as demand improves in Europe and Asia and savings measures drive margins sharply higher. (SOLVAY-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 2), expect by 1000 GMT/6 AM ET, by Philip Blenkinsop, 450 words)