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TOP STORIES

Euro zone Q1 growth disappoints, puts pressure on ECB to act

BRUSSELS/BERLIN - The euro zone economy grew much less than expected at the start of the year and inflation remains locked in the 'danger zone' below 1 percent, increasing pressure on the European Central Bank to ease monetary policy at its next meeting in June. (ECONOMY/EUROZONE (WRAPUP 3, GRAPHICS), moved, by Annika Breidthardt and Ingrid Melander, 775 words)

+ See also:

- FRANCE-ECONOMY/, (UPDATE 3) moved, by Ingrid Melander, 760 words

- JAPAN ECONOMY/, moved, by Stanley White and Tetsushi Kajimoto, 600 words

- EASTEUROPE-GDP/ (WRAPUP 2), moved, by Krisztina Than, 685 words

ECB says ready to act as forecasters lower inflation outlook

BERLIN/KRAKOW, Poland - The European Central Bank is working on a broad range of policy tools and is determined to act if needed, top ECB policymakers say as forecasters surveyed by the bank cut their inflation projections. (ECB/POLICY, moved, by Michelle Martin and Karolina Slowikowska, 540 words)

UK's Dixons and Carphone agree $6 bln retail merger

LONDON - Britain's Carphone Warehouse and Dixons Retail have agree a 3.8 billion pound ($6.4 billion) all-share merger, seeking to tap into the increasing convergence of smartphones and consumer electronics products in people's lives. (DIXONS RETAIL/CARPHONE-MERGERS (UPDATE 2), moved, by James Davey, 735 words)

France boosts say on Alstom with foreign takeover law

PARIS The French government issues a decree allowing it to block foreign takeovers of French firms in "strategic" sectors, throwing up a potential roadblock to General Electric's $16.9 billion bid for Alstom's energy assets (FRANCE-TAKEOVERS/, (UPDATE 4), moving shortly, by Jean-Baptiste Vey and Benjamin Mallet, 600 words)

MARKETS

Stocks inch up, euro and yields fall on ECB easing bets

LONDON - European stocks edge higher while the euro and debt yields fall as weak euro zone growth data intensifies expectations that the European Central Bank will cut interest rates next month. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/ (WRAPUP 3), moved, by Natsuko Waki, 435 words)

OPEC must hit its output target to balance oil market-IEA

LONDON - OPEC needs to pump more oil this year to reach its target of 30 million barrels per day and meet rising demand as China builds its reserves and stocks in industrialised countries remain low, the International Energy Agency says. (IEA/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by Lin Noueihed and Christopher Johnson, 500 words)

SPECIAL REPORT & INSIGHT

Brazil's Rousseff sticks to her guns despite pressure

BRASILIA - Dilma Rousseff sometimes enters the cabin of her presidential plane, asks to see the flight plan and orders the pilot to fly around potential turbulence - even if it might add hours to the journey. (BRAZIL ELECTION/ROUSSEFF, moved, by Brian Winter, 1,440 words)

Despite deaths, crackdown, Sahara migrant trail thrives

AGADEZ - Niger's government says it has ended large-scale migrant smuggling. Migrants, smugglers and officials tell a different story. (EUROPE-IMMIGRATION/NIGER (SPECIAL REPORT, PICTURE, TV, GRAPHIC), moved, by David Lewis, 2,000 words)

+ See also:

- EUROPE-IMMIGRATION/ECONOMY (PICTURE, GRAPHIC), moved, by David Milliken, Annika Breidthardt and Leigh Thomas, 1,340 words

ECONOMY

U.S. consumer prices post biggest gain in 10 months

WASHINGTON - U.S. consumer prices recorded their largest increase in 10 months in April, pointing to some inflation in the economy. (USA ECONOMY/INFLATION, moved, 300 words)

+ See also:

- USA-ECONOMY/JOBS, moved, 300 words

- USA FED/EMPLOYMENT, moved, by Ann Saphir, 500 words

EBRD lending to Russia could drop, some shareholders uneasy

WARSAW - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development's lending to Russia could drop as the economy slows, the bank's president says, adding some of its shareholder countries are uneasy about Russia's dealings with Ukraine. (UKRAINE-CRISIS/EBRD (UPDATE 1), moving shortly, by Marc Jones, 470 words)

Bank of England's Broadbent sees no UK mortgage boom

LONDON - Bank of England policymaker Ben Broadbent says it is not surprising that Britain's housing market is recovering along with the rest of the economy and he does not see troubling levels of credit growth. (BRITAIN-BOE/HOUSING (UPDATE 1), moved, 275 words)

COMPANIES

Wal-Mart sales miss estimates as winter deters shoppers

Wal-Mart Stores Inc reports a 5 percent drop in quarterly profit as a severe winter in the United States keeps shoppers from its stores. (WALMART-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 20 words)

+ See also:

- WALMART-ASDA/ (UPDATE 1), moving shortly, 390 words

Reshaped Sanofi strong enough to resist pharma M&A fever

PARIS - France's Sanofi has drastically strengthened its drug pipeline and now has future blockbusters lined up that mean it does not need to take part in the M&A frenzy "overheating" the industry, the drugmaker's R&D chief tells Reuters. (SANOFI/ (INTERVIEW), expect by 1330 GMT/9.30 AM ET, by Natalie Huet and Noƫlle Mennella, 830 words)

Good cancer drug data helps AstraZeneca in Pfizer fight

New data showing an experimental AstraZeneca lung cancer drug shrinks tumours in more than half of patients gives the British group fresh ammunition to argue that Pfizer's takeover offer undervalues it substantially. (HEALTH-CANCER/ASTRAZENECA (UPDATE 1), moved, by Deena Beasley and Ben Hirschler, 745 words)

+ See also:

- ASTRAZENECA-PFIZER/LAWMAKERS, moved, by William James, 420 words

- ASTRAZENECA-PFIZER/SORIOT (INTERVIEW, UPDATE 2), moved, by Ben Hirschler, 760 words

- ELI LILLY-ACTAVIS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 200 words

Lloyds Bank not planning move from independent Scotland

EDINBURGH - Lloyds Banking Group is not currently preparing to leave Scotland if it votes for independence from the rest of the United Kingdom, its chairman told shareholders at the bank's annual meeting. (LLOYDS BANKING-AGM (UPDATE 1), moved, by Matt Scuffham, 235 words)

Manchester United say have finances in place to boost team

LONDON - English soccer club Manchester United reports a 60 percent increase in quarterly profit, saying it has the financial muscle to improve its squad after a poor season on the pitch. (MANCHESTER UTD-RESULTS/, moved, 350 words)

S.Africa miner Lonmin considers court action to end strike

MARIKANA, South Africa - South African platinum producer Lonmin says it might go to court in a bid to stop a 16-week strike because of the levels of violence faced by workers who want to return to work. (SAFRICA-STRIKE/ (UPDATE 2, PICTURE, TV), moved, by Zandi Shabalala, 690 words)

Intesa Sanpaolo returns to profit, loan losses stay high

MILAN - Italy's biggest retail bank, Intesa Sanpaolo, swings back to profit in the first quarter thanks to higher fees and further boosted its core capital ratios, already among the highest in the euro-zone's third biggest economy. INTESASANPAOLO/ (UPDATE 1), moving shortly, 350 words)

Generali closer to targets with prospective BSI sale

MILAN - Italian insurer Generali expects to meet key capital and asset sales targets ahead of time after kicking off talks with Brazil's BTG Pactual for a possible sale of Swiss unit BSI, a central plank of its 4-billion-euro disposal strategy. (GENERALI-RESULT/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Lisa Jucca, 600 words)

Richemont boosts dividend as sales growth stays robust

ZURICH - Cartier owner Richemont reports solid sales growth across most of its regions, including improved demand in China, and announces a dividend hike and share buyback that sends its stock up more than 4 percent. (RICHEMONT-RESULTS /(UPDATE 2), moved, by Silke Koltrowitz, 750 words)

Banks vie for fees as Nordic deal scene ignites

STOCKHOLM - Scandinavia has become a hot spot in Europe's corporate dealmaking scene this year, almost doubling its share of merger and acquisition activity and listing more companies than anywhere but Britain. (NORDIC-DEALS/ (GRAPHIC), moved, by Mia Shanley, 1,180 words)

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