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TOP STORIES

IMF's Lagarde put under investigation in French fraud case

PARIS - IMF chief Christine Lagarde has been put under formal investigation by French magistrates for negligence in a political fraud affair dating from 2008 when she was finance minister. (IMF-LAGARDE/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Chine Labbé, 480 words)

European Commission wants speedy reforms from French govt

PARIS - The European Commission urges France's new government to speed up the pace of pro-growth economic reform while at the same time reining in a public deficit currently above EU limits. (FRANCE-POLITICS/ (UPDATE 2), expect by 1330 GMT/9.30 AM ET, by Ingrid Melander, 700 words)

ECB speculation drives down yields, weighs on euro

LONDON - Euro zone government bond yields plumb record lows and the euro falls to its weakest in a year against the dollar on expectations the European Central Bank will act soon to counter low growth and slowing inflation. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/ (WRAPUP 4), moved, by Jamie McGeever, 650 words)

+ See also:

- RUSSIA-MARKETS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 360 words

Dearth of oil finds threatens long-term supplies, price

STAVANGER, Norway - Energy firms have barely discovered any oil this year and could even cut their exploration budget next year to save on costs, a risk to long-term supplies and oil prices, energy executives say. (NORWAY-OIL/CONFERENCE-EXPLORATION, expect by 1400 GMT/10 AM ET, by Balazs Koranyi and Joachim Dagenborg, 1,100 words)

MARKETS

Divergent policies may signal end to low FX volatility

LONDON - After months of "abnormally" low volatility in global financial markets, signs are emerging in the currency market that quiet days might be ending as investors gear up for potential shifts in monetary policy in the world's major economies. (MARKETS-FOREX/OPTIONS, expect by 1500 GMT/11 AM ET, by Anirban Nag, 600 words)

ECONOMY

Italy says will cut growth forecast, consumer morale falls

ROME - Italy admits its hopes for a sustained recovery from recession has been too high and calls for a joint European solution to stubbornly low growth, as new data compounds the economic problems of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. (ITALY-ECONOMY/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Isla Binnie and Gavin Jones, 545 words)

+ See also:

- GERMANY-ECONOMY/GFK, moved, by Bethan John, 490 words

Ex-UK PM Brown sets aside feud to fight Scottish split

LONDON - Former British prime minister Gordon Brown set aside a long-running feud to urge Scots to reject independence in his first public appearance with Alistair Darling, the leader of the campaign to keep Scotland part of the United Kingdom. (SCOTLAND-INDEPENDENCE/BUSINESS (UPDATE 1), moved,400 words)

Turkey's surprise rate cuts have limited easing impact

ISTANBUL - Turkey's central bank cut its overnight lending rate by 75 basis points in a surprise move seen to have little easing impact and interpreted more as a signal to the government that it is supporting the economy. (TURKEY-CENBANK/RATES (UPDATE 2), moving shortly, by Daren Butler, 450 words)

Reuters quarterly housing market poll

LONDON - Reuters has surveyed over 70 analysts on the outlook for the United States, British and Canadian housing markets. (PROPERTY-POLL/USA, expect by 1320 GMT/09.20 AM ET, by Jason Lange, 600 words)

+ See also:

- PROPERTY-POLL/BRITAIN, expect by 1320 GMT/09.20 AM ET, by Jonathan Cable, 600 words

- PROPERTY-POLL/CANADA, expect by 1320 GMT/09.20 AM ET, by Anu Bararia and Deepti Govind, 600 words

Reuters poll on outlook for Kenya, Nigeria and Zambia

JOHANNESBURG - Reuters has polled more than 20 specialists on the outlook for the economies of Kenya, Nigeria and Zambia and asked about the impact of Ebola on the region. (ECONOMY-POLL/AFRICA, expect by 1320 GMT/09.20 AM ET, by Vuyani Ndaba, 600 words)

Poland to give more to poorest, defer defence spending hike

WARSAW - Poland will raise the lowest state pensions and boost tax benefits for families, but it plans to defer an increase in defence spending until 2016, the prime minister says, in a move aimed at boosting the government's support before elections. (POLAND-PENSIONS/ (UPDATE 2, PICTURE), moved, by Pawel Sobczak and Wiktor Szary, 565 words)

COMPANIES

Brazil telecoms battle heats up as Oi steps in

MADRID/PARIS - The battle over Brazil's telecoms market is heating up, with the country's biggest fixed-line firm Oi signalling it may make an offer for Telecom Italia's local mobile business. (TELEFONICA-GVT/ (UPDATE 3), moved, by Robert Hetz and Leila Abboud, 840 words)

RBS mortgage fine deals blow to boss McEwan

LONDON - Britain's financial regulator has fined Royal Bank of Scotland for selling mortgages without checking if customers could afford them, undermining Chief Executive Ross McEwan's efforts to repair the bank's image. (RBS-FINE/ (UPDATE 3), moved, by Matt Scuffham, 660 words)

Bondholders challenge Espirito Santos' insurance sale

LONDON/LISBON - A small group of bondholders is challenging the planned sale of the Espirito Santo group's Portuguese insurance company, a move that highlights the difficulties facing Banco Espirito Santo and its successor as they try to recover some of the family's massive debts. (PORTUGAL-BES/ASSET SALES, expect by 1500 GMT/11 AM ET, by Laura Noonan, 550 words)

Russian courts close 3 McDonald's branches in Moscow

MOSCOW - Russian courts order the temporary closure of three McDonald's restaurants in Moscow over breaches of sanitary rules, news agencies report, amid a standoff with the West over Ukraine. (RUSSIA-MCDONALDS/COURTS (UPDATE 1), moved, 200 words)

Ryanair scraps bag check-in fees for business travellers

DUBLIN - Ryanair is watering down its austere approach to air travel by ditching charges for checked-in bags on some fares in an attempt to attract business travellers who have tended to shun the airline. (RYANAIR-STRATEGY/, moved, by Conor Humphries, 570 words)

Jeweller Tiffany raises full-year profit forecast

Upscale jeweller Tiffany & Co raises its full-year profit forecast for a second time following a better-than-expected quarterly profit, driven by strong sales in the Americas and Asia-Pacific regions. (TIFFANY-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 250 words)

ASOS shares jump on report of U.S. bid interest

LONDON - Shares in British online fashion retailer ASOS, which have fallen sharply in recent months after profit warnings and a warehouse fire, jump on an unconfirmed report of a U.S. bid for a stake in the business. (ASOS-STOCKS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by Francesco Canepa and Neil Maidment, 570 words)

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