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TOP STORIES

Germany's E.ON posts profit fall from Russian business

FRANKFURT - Germany's biggest utility E.ON posts a 12 percent drop in first-half core profit, hit by a weakening economy in Russia and says it is concerned about the impact of the Ukraine crisis on its most important foreign market. (E ON-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Christoph Steitz, 450 words)

Japan suffers biggest slump since quake as tax hike bites

TOKYO - Japan suffers its biggest economic contraction since the devastating March 2011 earthquake in the second quarter as a sales tax hike takes a heavy toll on household spending, keeping policymakers under pressure to expand fiscal and monetary stimulus should the recovery falter.(JAPAN-ECONOMY/GDP (UPDATE 3), moved, by Leika Kihara and Tetsushi Kajimoto, 1000 words)

Bank of England to publish latest outlook on UK economy

LONDON - Bank of England Governor Mark Carney is likely to give little away on when he is pressed on how soon the central bank will start to raise interest rates, as the central bank releases its latest forecasts. (BRITAIN-BOE/, expect by 0930 GMT/5.30 AM ET, by David Milliken, 500 words)

+ See also:

- BRITAIN-JOBS/, expect by 0900 GMT/5 AM ET, by Moriah Costa, 600 words)

Swiss Life net profit rises on strong home demand

ZURICH - Swiss Life says it is expanding its operations in real estate asset management through the purchase of a German real estate firm, underscoring its commitment to asset management.(SWISS LIFE HLDING-RESULTS/ UPDATE 2), expect by 0930 GMT/5.30 AM ET, 500 words)

MARKETS

Stocks firmer as oil prices plumb 13-month low

LONDON - World stock markets tick higher as brighter corporate results offset gloomy economic news from Asia and as oil prices plumb 13-month lows even in the face of political tensions in the Middle East and eastern Europe. (MARKETS-GLOBAL (WRAPUP 4), expect by 0845 GMT/0345 ET, by Mike Dolan, 650 words)

ECONOMY

Reuters issues poll on U.S. and euro zone economies

BANGALORE - More than 100 economists surveyed by Reuters give their outlook for the U.S. and euro zone economies, with data on GDP, inflation, unemployment, wage growth and monetary policy.(ECONOMY-POLL/EUROZONE, expect by 1220 GMT/8.20 AM ET, by Sumanta Dey, 600 words)

+ See also:

- ECONOMY-POLL/USA, expect by 1220 GMT/8.20 AM ET, by Moriah Costa, 600 words)

Australian consumers cheer up, but wages a drag

SYDNEY - A measure of Australian consumer sentiment rises strongly in August as households grow more optimistic on the near-term economic outlook and fret less about their finances, even as wage growth stays stuck at 16-year lows. (AUSTRALIA-ECONOMY/CONSUMERSENTIMENT (UPDATE 1), moved, 500 words)

COMPANIES

Alibaba bonus scheme strengthens Ma's control

BEIJING - Jack Ma, founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group Holding, holds deep sway over executive and board appointments at China's biggest e-commerce company, and that influence is set to strengthen further at the firm, which is heading towards an initial share sale in New York that could raise more than $15 billion later this year. (ALIBABA-BONUSES, moved, pix, graphics, 900 words)

Australian gamer Echo in long contest for clientele with rival Crown

SYDNEY - Australian gaming firm Echo Entertainment Group is braced for a five-year battle over rich Asian punters with billionaire James Packer's Crown Resorts as its rival builds a luxury casino a mile from its key Sydney asset.(ECHO ENT GROUP-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 2), moved, 500 words)

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