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TOP STORIES

Ukraine nerves send European shares lower

LONDON - European stocks sink in early trade, more upbeat sessions on Wall Street and in some Asian markets failing to drown out concern over the situation in Ukraine and the potential for growth-sapping sanctions. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/ (WRAPUP 4), moving shortly, by Patrick Graham, 635 words)

EU steps up Russian sanctions rhetoric

BRUSSELS - Britain, France and Germany have stepped up their rhetoric, saying the European Union should toughen measures against Russia following the shooting down of a Malaysian aircraft carrying nearly 300 people over Ukraine. (UKRAINE-CRISIS/SANCTIONS, expect by 1000 GMT/6 AM ET, by Barbara Lewis, 800 words)

Tesco CEO Clarke to leave after profit warning

LONDON - Tesco says Chief Executive Philip Clarke will step down after Britain's biggest retailer warned it would miss first-half profit forecasts, bringing an end to a disastrous three years in charge. (TESCO-CEO/ (UPDATE 3), moving shortly, by James Davey and Martinne Geller, 725 words)

Philips sees higher H2 core profit on cost cuts

AMSTERDAM - Philips says it expects its core profit to rise in the second half of the year after cost-cutting measures, but said 2014 would still be a challenging. (PHILIPS-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 2), moving shortly, by Harro Ten Wolde and Thomas Escritt, 560 words)

ECONOMY

Is Germany still the champion?

BRUSSELS - A week on from its World Cup soccer victory, Germany may return to centre stage, though this time not with fan celebrations but concerns over the health of Europe's economic motor. (GLOBAL-ECONOMY/ (WEEKAHEAD), moved, by Philip Blenkinsop, 950 words)

UK overhauls pension schemes, offers more flexibility

LONDON - Britain's government will allow more employees to access their workplace pension savings early and spend them how they like, expanding reforms set out earlier this year that shook insurers' share prices. (BRITAIN-PENSIONS/REFORM (UPDATE 2), expect by 0930 GMT/0530 AM ET, by David Milliken and William James, 800 words)

"Europe's got talent", or how not to fill top EU jobs

BRUSSELS - If "Europe's Got Talent" were a television show, it would have been taken off the screen years ago as a slow-motion contest rigged to reward mediocrity. (EU-COMMISSION/TALENT (ANALYSIS), moved, by Paul Taylor, 1,075 words)

UK consumer confidence dips for first time in 2014 - Lloyds

LONDON - One measure of consumer confidence in Britain fell for the first time this year in June, the latest sign of a cooling in sentiment about the country's economic recovery. (BRITAIN-ECONOMY/CONFIDENCE, moved, 200 words)

China's rich look abroad as home prices fall

BEIJING - Rattled by falling home prices, some of the wealthiest Chinese are paring their property investments and turning to private equity or overseas holiday homes, a sign of fading hopes that the once red-hot market can bounce back any time soon. (CHINA-ECONOMY/PROPERTY, moved, by Xiaoyi Shao and Koh Gui Qing, 1,000 words)

COMPANIES

Amplats says to sell strike-hit South Africa mines

JOHANNESBURG - World no. 1 platinum producer Anglo American Platinum says it plans to sell its Union mine, Rustenburg operations and a joint venture in South Africa, a widely expected move after it was hit by a five-month strike. (ANGLO PLATINUM/RESULTS (UPDATE 2), expect by 1030 GMT/0630 AM ET, by Ed Stoddard, 600 words)

+ See also:

- SAFRICA-PLATINUM/UNIONS, moved, by Ed Stoddard, 930 words

Severstal sells US plants to AK Steel, Steel Dynamics

MOSCOW - Russia's Severstal says it has agreed to sell its U.S. subsidiaries in a $2.3 billion deal that concludes the review of its North American operations and may allow the steelmaker to pay an extra dividend and reduce debt. (SEVERSTAL-USA/ (UPDATE 3), moving shortly, 325 words)

Portugal's Espirito Santo appoints adviser on capital boost

LISBON - Banco Espirito Santo (BES), Portugal's largest listed bank by assets, is appointing a special financial advisor to help it boost its capital as it struggles with the fallout of large debts at the bank's founding family. (PORTUGAL-BES/ (UPDATE 1), expect by 10, by Axel Bugge, 500 words).

Julius Baer says to settle U.S. tax case in next few months

ZURICH - Julius Baer expects to strike a deal with U.S. authorities in a matter of months to settle a criminal probe into the Swiss bank's role in helping wealthy Americans evade their taxes, the bank's chief executive says. (JULIUS BAER-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 2), moving shortly, by Joshua Franklin, 900 words)

A Fox-Time Warner deal would give Murdoch new heft in China

Rupert Murdoch's plan to buy Time Warner will help the Twenty-First Century Fox chairman make larger inroads in China, a fast-growing market that media moguls are finding hard to crack. (TIMEWARNER-FOX/INTERNATIONAL (ANALYSIS), moved, by Ronald Grover, 950 words)

Huawei's H1 revenue up 19 pct year-on-year at $22 bln

TAIPEI - Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, the world's No. 2 telecom equipment maker, says it will achieve sustainable growth in 2014 after posting a 19 percent jump in first-half revenue to 135.8 billion yuan ($21.88 billion). (HUAWEI TECH-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 300 words)

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