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TOP STORIES

With euro zone inflation disappearing, ECB poised to act

BRUSSELS - Euro zone inflation fell unexpectedly in May, all-but sealing the case for the European Central Bank to act this week with a batch of measures to stimulate the economy and keep it from the clutches of deflation. (EUROZONE-ECONOMY/INFLATION (UPDATE 2), moved, by Martin Santa, 730 words)

Europe stocks dip, euro gains as ECB seen poised to act

LONDON - European shares dip and the euro edges higher against the dollar after a fall in euro zone inflation cements the case for the European Central Bank to ease monetary policy later this week. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/ (WRAPUP 6), moved, by Nigel Stephenson, 695 words)

France says mooted BNP Paribas' $10 bln fine "unreasonable"

PARIS - France says it will defend the interests of its biggest bank BNP Paribas, calling a possible $10 billion-plus U.S. fine "unreasonable" and warning it could have a bearing on transatlantic free trade talks. (BNPPARIBAS-FRANCE/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by John Irish, Maya Nikolaeva and Nicholas Vinocur, 850 words)

Barclays cuts several hundred investment bank jobs - sources

LONDON - Barclays bank has cut several hundred jobs in its investment bank this week as part of its plan to shrink the business by 7,000 staff over the next three years to save costs, people familiar with the matter say. (BARCLAYS-EMPLOYMENT/, moved, 315 words)

ECONOMY

UK house price growth hits new 7-year high, bottlenecks seen

LONDON - Britain's house prices rose at their fastest annual pace in nearly seven years last month and signs of bottlenecks in the construction sector underscored the upward pressures on the market, surveys show. (BRITAIN ECONOMY/NATIONWIDE (UPDATE 1), moved, by Ana Nicolaci da Costa,500 words)

+ See also:

- BRITAIN-BADBANK/INTEREST RATE (UPDATE 2), moved, by Matt Scuffham, 475 words

EU watchdog censures S&P for French rating cut error

LONDON - Europe's markets watchdog has censured credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's for incorrectly announcing a cut in France's debt, compounding investor fears during the euro zone debt crisis. (ESMA-S&P/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Huw Jones and Chris Vellacott, 545 words)

China data fuel hope economy is stabilising

BEIJING - China's factory and services sectors had their best showings in months in May as demand rebounded, surveys show, fuelling optimism that its economy may be steadying after a weak start to the year. (CHINA-ECONOMY/PMI (UPDATE 2), moved, 550 words)

Turkish PM Erdogan criticises central bank over rates

ANKARA - Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, who has criticised the central bank for not cutting interest rates enough, says he did not accept Governor Erdem Basci's approach on rates and hopes the bank will act immediately to resolve the issue. (TURKEY-CENBANK/ERDOGAN (UPDATE 1), moved, 230 words)

Russia, China to create joint rating agency as ties grow

MOSCOW - Russia and China have reached an agreement to create a joint credit rating agency and are working on a series of measures to make trade easier, Russia's finance minister says, a sign of growing ties between the neighbours. (RUSSIA-CHINA/RATINGS (UPDATE 1), moved, 490 words)

COMPANIES

Pilgrim's Pride tops Tyson Foods' offer for Hillshire

Pilgrim's Pride Corp, the second largest U.S. chicken processor, raises its offer for Hillshire Brands Co, escalating a bidding war with Tyson Foods Inc for the maker of Jimmy Dean sausages. (HILLSHIRE BRANDS-OFFER/ (UPDATE 2), moved, 340 words)

EU asks Bulgaria to stop work on Gazprom's South Stream

BRUSSELS/SOFIA - European Union authorities have asked Bulgaria to suspend work on Gazprom's South Stream gas pipeline on the grounds that the project breaks EU law, a step that threatens to inflame tensions between Russia and the 28-country bloc. (EU-SOUTHSTREAM/BULGARIA (UPDATE 2), moved, by Barbara Lewis and Tsvetelia Tsolova, 600 words)

Total and E.ON to withdraw from TAP gas pipeline project

BAKU - France's Total and E.ON of Germany plan to withdraw from the Trans Adriatic Gas Pipeline (TAP) project designed to reduce Europe's reliance on Russian gas, Azeri state energy company SOCAR officials says. (ENERGY-GAS/PIPELINE/TAP (UPDATE 1), moved, by Nailia Bagirova and Margarita Antidze, 715 words)

Everland IPO seen smoothing path for Samsung succession

SEOUL - Samsung Everland Inc, a key holding firm within the sprawling Samsung Group, said it is planning an IPO - a move that could help heirs in the family-run conglomerate restructure the group and give them more leeway to pay potential inheritance taxes. (SAMSUNG GROUP-EVERLAND/IPO (UPDATE 2, PICTURE), moved, by Se Young Lee, 655 words)

Striking S.African mine union considers govt wage proposal

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) is considering a government proposal to resolve a five-month platinum strike and will table it to its members this week, union president Joseph Mathunjwa says. (SAFRICA-STRIKES/, moved, 200 words)