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TOP STORIES

Faltering Germany casts cloud over fragile euro zone

BRUSSELS - Germany's faltering economy has cast further doubt over the euro zone's prospects for recovery this year, with no other big country strong enough to pick up the slack. (EUROPE-ECONOMY/, moved, by Martin Santa and John O'Donnell, 700 words)

Commerzbank may pay $600 mln-$800 mln over US probe -sources

NEW YORK - German lender Commerzbank is expected to pay between $600 million and $800 million to resolve investigations into its dealings with Iran and other countries under U.S. sanctions, sources familiar with the matter say. (COMMERZBANK-INVESTIGATION/USA (EXCLUSIVE), moved, by Karen Freifeld, 590 words)

+ See also:

- BANKS MONEYLAUNDERING/, moved, by Brett Wolf, 500 words

ECB keeps banks on tight leash with test results - sources

FRANKFURT - The European Central Bank aims to keep banks on a tight leash in the final phase of a balance sheet health check in October, giving them just 48 hours to review the test results before publishing them, two persons familiar with the matter tell Reuters. (ECB-SUPERVISION/ (EXCLUSIVE, UPDATE 3), moving shortly, by Andreas Kröner, 700 words)

Portugal's BES sees shares slide, trade suspended

LISBON - Trading in the shares of Portugal's Banco Espirito Santo are suspended after they plunge up to 19 percent on rising fears that financial difficulties at a holding company of the bank's founding family could contaminate its capital base. (ESPIRITOSANTO-ESFG/ (UPDATE 2), moving shortly, by Andrei Khalip and Daniel Alvarenga, 595 words)

+ See also:

- PORTUGALTELECOM-ESPIRITOSANTO/CMVM, moved, 410 words

MARKETS

Portugal woes sink European stocks

LONDON - Europe's debt-sodden periphery is back at the top of the list of financial concerns, troubles around Portugal's biggest listed bank pushing shares sharply lower and quelling demand for an issue of bonds by Greece. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/ (WRAPUP 6), moved, by Patrick Graham, 800 words)

Greece raises 1.5 bln euros from bond issue

ATHENS - Greece raised 1.5 billion euros from the issue of a three-year bond after facing lacklustre demand for its second debt sale since being bailed out by foreign lenders in 2010. (GREECE-BONDS/ (UPDATE 1), moving shortly, 300 words)

+ See also:

- MARKETS-BONDS/EURO, moved, by Marius Zaharia, 400 words

UAE bourses merger shelved as terms not agreed - sources

ABU DHABI - A planned merger of the Dubai Financial Market and the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) has been shelved for the foreseeable future as terms for the politically sensitive move could not be agreed, sources tell Reuters. (EMIRATES-EXCHANGE/MERGERS (EXCLUSIVE), moved, by Stanley Carvalho, 745 words)

SPECIAL REPORT

All work and no pay for thousands in the Balkans

ZITISTE, Serbia - In Europe's south east, some struggling companies stop paying workers for months on end. Employees keep toiling to hang on to their jobs in the hope that their salaries will turn up eventually. (BALKANS-SALARIES/ (SPECIAL REPORT, PICTURE, GRAPHIC), moved, by Zoran Radosavljevic and Aleksandar Vasovic, 1,900 words)

ECONOMY

U.S. jobless claims fall, point to healing in labour market

WASHINGTON - The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week to one of its lowest levels since before the 2007-09 recession, a sign of increasing health in the labour market. (USA-ECONOMY/JOBS, moved, 250 words)

+ See also:

USA-FED/POLITICS, moved, by Michael Flaherty and Alistair Bell, 470 words

UK keeps rates low, policymakers' views seen splitting soon

LONDON - The Bank of England holds interest rates at record lows but the pace of Britain's recovery looks likely to divide its policymakers soon over when to start weaning the economy off its support. (BRITAIN-RATES/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by William Schomberg and David Milliken, 640 words)

+ See also:

BRITAIN-BUDGET/OBR, expect by 1300 GMT/9 AM ET, by Andy Bruce, 400 words

UK watchdog sees rising requests for help on currency probe

LONDON - Britain's financial regulator says it expects to receive a rising tide of requests for help from its overseas peers as part of "unprecedented" global cooperation in an investigation into the vast foreign exchange market. (BRITAIN-FCA/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 325 words)

Modi budgets for Indian growth, aims to curb deficit

NEW DELHI - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's new government unveils a first budget that seeks to revive growth and curb borrowing, but left open questions on how it will reduce the fiscal deficit and restore investor confidence. (INDIA-BUDGET/ (UPDATE 6, PICTURE, TV), moved, by Manoj Kumar and Suvashree Dey Choudhury, 870 words)

Russia sets new banking rules for state firms amid downturn

MOSCOW - Russian state companies, the backbone of the economy, can only have accounts at banks with capital of no less than 10 billion roubles ($296 million) or at those with ties to the government, a senior finance ministry official say. (RUSSSIA-BANKING/REGULATIONS (EXCLUSIVE, UPDATE 1), moved, by Oksana Kobzeva, 425 words)

OPEC's oil market share set to shrink for third year in 2015

LONDON - OPEC expects its share of the world oil market to shrink in 2015 for a third year running, due in part to the U.S. shale oil boom, giving the exporter group little comfort from an acceleration in global demand. (OPEC-OIL/ (UPDATE 2), moving shortly, by Alex Lawler, 380 words)

COMPANIES

Adidas 2 Nike 0 in World Cup final but competition goes on

BERLIN - With Adidas sponsoring both teams in Sunday's World Cup final, the German sportswear brand has declared victory over U.S. rival Nike in the latest round of its battle to remain the biggest global soccer brand. (SOCCER-WORLD/BRANDS, moved, by Emma Thomasson, 800 words)

Britain moves to keep email, phone data for security

LONDON - Britain says it will rush through emergency legislation to force telecoms companies to retain customers' data for a year, saying the move is vital to protect national security following a decision by Europe's top court. (BRITAIN-SECURITY/DATA (UPDATE 2, PICTURE), moving shortly, by Michael Holden and William James, 640 words)

Family Dollar profit falls by a third

Discount retailer Family Dollar Stores Inc, under pressure from activist investor Carl Icahn to sell itself, says its profit fell by a third as the company cleared inventory ahead of store closures and competition intensified. (FAMILY DOLLAR ST-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 390 words)

M&S finance chief Stewart defects to Tesco

LONDON - Marks & Spencer's Chief Finance Officer Alan Stewart on Thursday quit to join Tesco, leaving one struggling British retail giant for another. (ESCO-FINANCE DIRECTOR/ (UPDATE 2), moving shortly, 230 words)

Boeing will 'fight' revamped Airbus A330, defends 787

LONDON - Boeing hit back at proposals by rival Airbus to revamp its A330 passenger jet, saying it would "fight" in the marketplace and was confident that its newer 787 Dreamliner was a more valuable plane. (BOEING-AIRBUS/, moved, 300 words)

Booming business at Primark prompts ABF to lift earnings forecast

LONDON - Another storming performance from Primark prompted owner Associated British Foods to raise its annual earnings guidance, after the discount retailer's new stores and warm-weather fashions lifted quarterly sales still higher. (ABF-SALES/(UPDATE 2), moved, by James Davey, 600 words)

+ See also:

- BURBERRY GROUPSALES/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Astrid Wendlandt, 575 words

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