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TOP STORIES

Dollar holds firm as markets sniff risks of Fed hawkishness

LONDON - The dollar holds firm after a surprisingly high reading for U.S. inflation raises expectations that Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen could strike a more hawkish tone on the monetary policy outlook. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/ (WRAPUP 5), expect by 1030 GMT/6.30 AM ET by Marius Zaharia, 700 words)

Yellen, future tightening in spotlight as U.S. Fed meets

The U.S. Federal Reserve is widely expected to chop another $10 billion from its monthly bond purchases at a meeting on Wednesday but make few, if any, other concrete policy moves. (USA-FED/POLICY (UPDATE 1), moved, by Jonathan Spicer, 750 words)

CITIC Resources unable to secure all metal at China port; probe risks spread

SHANGHAI/SYDNEY - China's CITIC Resources Holding Ltd says a court has been unable to secure more than 100,000 tonnes of alumina stored at Qingdao port, deepening fears that firms exposed to a metals financing scam at the port could face big losses. (CHINA-QINGDAO/CITIC RESOURCES (UPDATE 2), moved, by Fayen Wong and Melanie Burton, 800 words)

H&M says June sales off to good start

STOCKHOLM - Hennes & Mauritz, the world's second-biggest fashion retailer, says sales in June had gotten off to a good start after reporting second-quarter profits in line with analyst forecasts. (HENNES & MAURITZ/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 320 words)

ECONOMY

ECB says basis for forex benchmarks can be too narrow

LONDON - Relying on just one set of data to compile a foreign currency benchmark does not ensure its reliability at any given time, the European Central Bank says in a briefing paper. (ECB-FOREX/REGULATIONS (UPDATE 1), expect by 0900 GMT/5 AM ET, by Huw Jones, 370 words)

China new home prices fall in May - first drop in two years

BEIJING - China's average home prices fall for the first time in two years in May and price weakness spread to more major cities, adding to signs of cooling in the property market which are posing a growing risk to the broader economy. (CHINA-PROPERTY/PRICES (UPDATE 2), moved, by Xiaoyi Shao and Koh Gui Qing, 770 words)

+ See also:

- CHINA-POLICY/, moved, 350 words

Japan exports disappoint, risks hitting economy hard

TOKYO - Japan's annual exports decline for the first time in 15 months in May as shipments to Asia and the United States fell, threatening to knock the economy hard at a time when domestic consumption is being crimped by a national sales tax increase. (JAPAN-ECONOMY/TRADE (UPDATE 2), moved, by Tetsushi Kajimoto and Leika Kihara, 825 words)

+ See also:

- ENERGY-JAPAN/MOF (UPDATE 1), moved, 350 words

South Africa Q1 spending growth at 2.7 pct

PRETORIA - Spending in South Africa expands at an annualised 2.7 percent in the first quarter of the year after falling 3.6 percent in the last three months of 2013 as the pace at which inventories are being run down slowed, the central bank says. (SAFRICA-SPENDING/, moved, 290 words)

COMPANIES

French biotech Cellectis surges as Pfizer signs cancer drug deal

U.S. drugmaker Pfizer, which failed last month in a $118 billion bid to buy AstraZeneca, says it has signed a deal with French biotech Cellectis to develop immunotherapy drugs in cancer. (PFIZER-CELLECTIS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 290 words)

Novartis says new focus should boost profitability

ZURICH - Swiss drugmaker Novartis says its recent business overhaul should boost profitability and speed up growth as it focuses on businesses with scale and higher margins. (NOVARTIS-FORECAST/, moved, 130 words)

Australia's Aquila bows to Baosteel's $1 bln bid

MELBOURNE - Australian iron ore developer Aquila Resources Ltd tells shareholders to accept a takeover offer led by Chinese steel giant Baosteel Resources valuing the company at $1.3 billion, in a surprise move after rejecting a higher rival bid. (AQUILA RSC-BAOSTEEL/, moved, 550 words)

Billionaire's stake shakes Woolworths buyout of David Jones

SYDNEY - Australian billionaire Solomon Lew reveals buying a 9.89 percent stake in David Jones, casting a shadow over a $2 billion buyout by South Africa's Woolworths Holdings. (DAVID JONES-WOOLWORTHS HLD/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by Byron Kaye, 490 words)

Big Tobacco squares up as EU rules aim to track every cigarette

BAYREUTH, Germany - It takes a British American Tobacco factory machine three minutes to load 4 million cigarettes onto a truck in northern Bavaria - but it can take a lot longer to figure out whether those cigarettes end up where they should. (TOBACCO-TRACKING/ (INSIGHT, PICTURE), moved, by Martinne Geller, 1,540 words)

Political change, China news spur spike in Q2 Asia business sentiment

SHANGHAI - Business sentiment among Asia's top companies hit its highest level in more than two years in the second quarter of 2014, rising sharply on supportive political changes around the region and positive signs from China, a ThomsonReuters/INSEAD survey shows. (ASIAPAC-COMPANIES/SENTIMENT (PICTURE, TV, GRAPHIC), moved, by Adam Jourdan, 1,500 words)

Wall Street's latest fad is built on sand

HOUSTON - Super-sized hydraulic fracturing jobs, which use vast amounts of sand to coax more oil and gas from shale, have led to astronomical returns for investors in companies that mine the tiny particles. (USA-FRACKING/SAND (ANALYSIS, GRAPHIC), moved, by Anna Driver, 790 words)

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