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TOP STORIES

Russia bans Western food imports in sanctions retaliation

MOSCOW/KIEV - Moscow imposes a total ban on imports of many Western foods in retaliation against sanctions over Ukraine, a stronger than expected measure that isolates Russian consumers from world trade to a degree unseen since Soviet days. (UKRAINE-CRISIS/ (WRAPUP 1), moved, by Dmitry Zhdannikov and Natalia Zinets, 980 words)

+ See also:

- UKRAINE-CRISIS/RUSSIA-BANS, expect by 1500 GMT/11 AM ET, by Alexander Winning and Dmitry Zhdannikov, 750 words)

- UKRAINE-CRISIS/POLAND-SANCTIONS, expect by 1500 GMT/11 AM ET, by Wiktor Szary, 1,100 words)

ECB keeps rates low as Ukraine casts cloud over Europe

FRANKFURT - The European Central Bank holds borrowing rates as it pins its hopes on lending measures to bolster a struggling euro zone economy facing further damage from the Ukraine conflict. (ECB-RATES/ (UPDATE 2), moving shortly, by Eva Taylor and John O'Donnell, 690 words)

+ See also:

- BRITAIN-ECONOMY/BOE-DECISION, moved, by William Schomberg, 500 words

Bank of America said near $16 bln deal bonds settlement

NEW YORK - Bank of America Corp is close to a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice to pay more than $16.5 billion to end investigations into mortgage securities that the bank and companies it bought had sold in the run-up to the financial crisis, a person familiar with the matter says. (BANKOFAMERICA-USREGULATORS/ (UPDATE 3), moved, by Aruna Viswanatha, Karen Freifeld and Jonathan Stempel, 810 words)

Weak German industry output adds to signs of Q2 slowdown

BERLIN - German industrial output rose just 0.3 percent on the month in June, missing a forecast rise of 1.3 percent, as fears over the crisis in Ukraine weighed and adding to signals that Europe's largest economy may have stalled in the second quarter. (GERMANY-ECONOMY/OUTPUT (UPDATE 1), moved, by Alexandra Hudson, 350 words)

+ See also:

- FRANCE-ECONOMY/TRADE (TABLE) (UPDATE 2), moved, 335 words

SPECIAL REPORT

How scams and shakedowns brought Ukraine to its knees

KIEV - A Reuters examination of tax and extortion rackets in Ukraine finds the scams were so rampant, and the toll on the treasury so great, the state was mortally weakened and the stage set for the events that have embroiled the country in a separatist war. (UKRAINE-TAX/ (SPECIAL REPORT), moved, by Steve Stecklow, Elizabeth Piper and Oleksandr Akymenko, 2,840 words)

MARKETS & INVESTMENT

Russia puts the squeeze on Europe as focus turns to ECB

LONDON - The first Russian riposte in a sanctions tussle with the West over Ukraine keeps European shares and the euro under pressure, as markets wait to hear how the European Central Bank sees the crisis affecting the economy. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/, moved, by Marc Jones, 860 words)

+ See also:

- RUSSIA-MARKETS/ (UPDATE 2), moving shortly, 740 words

It may be too early to give up on bull market in equities

NEW YORK/LONDON - Investors fretting about the possibility of a big reversal in global stock markets may just want to borrow a slogan from the British - and just keep calm and carry on. (MARKETS-STOCKS/OUTLOOK (ANALYSIS), moved, by David Gaffen and Blaise Robinson, 1,600 words)

Corporate America's 'ABC' policy - Anything But Capex

LONDON - The U.S. economy continues to recover from the depths of the Great Recession, although its speed, trajectory and cruising altitude remain the subject of fierce debate. (MARKETS-INVESTMENT/CAPEX, moved, by Jamie McGeever, 775 words)

Spain sells 10-year debt at record low yield

MADRID - Spain beat the top end of its target at a bond auction, borrowing at a record low over 10 years as investors discouraged by the meagre returns offered on core euro zone paper respond to the country's economic recovery. (SPAIN-BONDS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 310 words)

ECONOMY

US jobless claims fall, four-week average lowest since 2006

WASHINGTON - The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, pointing to a further strengthening of labour market conditions. (USA-ECONOMY/EMPLOYMENT, moved, 240 words)

Australia jobless jumps to 12-year high, sparks rate talk

SYDNEY - Australia's jobless rate jumps to a 12-year high of 6.4 percent in July in what could be a major blow to consumer confidence, knocking the local dollar lower as markets price in a greater chance that interest rates could be cut again. (AUSTRALIA-ECONOMY/, moved, by Wayne Cole, 600 words)

+ See also:

- AUSTRALIA FOREX/POLL , moved, 500 words

COMPANIES

Deutsche Telekom rejects Iliad bid, door open to US sale

FRANKFURT - Deutsche Telekom rejects an offer from Iliad for its mobile business in the United States and says regulators there should help smaller players compete against bigger rivals if they are not allowed to merge. (DEUTSCHE-TELEKOM-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 4), moved, by Harro Ten Wolde, 925 words)

Goldman Sachs says alternative trading system being probed

Goldman Sachs Group Inc says it is being investigated for its U.S. alternative trading system and for the potential misuse and circulation of non-public information related to its corporate developments. (GOLDMAN-DISCLOSURE/ (UPDATE 1), moving shortly, 300 words)

Commerzbank speeds up asset clear out, net profit doubles

FRANKFURT - Commerzbank, Germany's second biggest lender, accelerated its turnaround by selling unwanted assets and posts a rise in second quarter earnings as it set aside less money to cover bad loans. (COMMERZBANK-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Arno Schuetze and Thomas Atkins, 580 words)

Investors dump S.Africa's Abil, fear losses too big to fix

JOHANNESBURG - Investors flee African Bank Investments, sending its shares tumbling to a near-20 year low, as the South African lender looks unable to plug a $790 million hole in its finances from a tide of unsecured loans that have gone bad. (SAFRICA-ABIL/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by David Dolan and Ed Cropley, 700 words)

Portugal BCP to repay 1.85 bln euros in state loans

LISBON - Portugal's largest listed bank Millennium bcp says it has obtained the go-ahead from the Bank of Portugal to repay 1.85 billion euros ($2.47 billion) in pricey state loans and will proceed with the reimbursement. (PORTUGAL-MILLENIUMBCP/LOANS (UPDATE 1), moving shortly, 400 words)

Rio Tinto's profits beat boosts hopes for cash return

MELBOURNE - Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto raises hopes it could boost cash returns to investors sharply in February after topping market forecasts with a 21 percent rise in first-half profit. (RIO TINTO-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 3), moving shortly, by Sonali Paul, 895 words)

Nestle announces share buyback as emerging markets pick up

ZURICH - Nestle, the world's biggest food group, announces an 8 billion Swiss franc ($8.8 billion) share buyback and stands by its full-year sales forecast, after revenue growth in emerging markets picked up in the second quarter. (NESTLE-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 3), moving shortly, by Silke Koltrowitz, 800 words)

Adidas spending on marketing, stores to hit margins

BERLIN - Adidas, the world's second-biggest sportswear firm, will ramp up spending on marketing following a profit warning last week as it seeks to halt the advance of market leader Nike. (ADIDAS-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 3), moved, by Emma Thomasson, 630 words)

Munich Re's profits rise despite jump in claims

FRANKFURT - Munich Re, the world's largest reinsurer, reports a 45 percent rise in its second-quarter net profit but disappoints investors with a surprise jump in claims and evidence of continued pricing pressures. (MUNICH-RE-DE-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Andreas Kröner, 500 words)

+ See also:

- RSA-INS-GRP-RESULTS (UPDATE 2), moved, by Simon Jessop, 495 words

- AVIVA-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 2), moving shortly, 300 words

- ZURICH-INS-GROUP-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Alice Baghdjian, 300 words

Samsung's next reinvention challenge: itself

SEOUL - As its smartphone sales stutter and a generational leadership succession looms, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd is under pressure to reinvent itself - to be more innovative, but not lose the rigor and focus that made it a global powerhouse. (SAMSUNG ELEC-CULTURE (INSIGHT, PICTURE, GRAPHIC), moved, by Se Young Lee and Sohee Kim, 1,200 words)

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