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TOP STORIES

Disappearing euro zone inflation to heighten ECB concerns

BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT - Euro zone inflation drops to a five-year low in August, data shows, something likely to concern the European Central Bank but not force it into immediate policy action. (EUROZONE-ECONOMY/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Martin Santa and Eva Taylor, 785 words)

Euro rises, shares drift as ECB easing bets wane

LONDON - The euro lifts off its lows and the region's shares sag as a new five-year low in euro zone inflation is viewed as not extreme enough to force the European Central Bank back into its increasingly bare policy cupboard. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/ (WRAPUP 5), moved, by Marc Jones, 880 words)

Tesco slashes dividend after 2nd profit warning in two months

LONDON - Tesco will slash its dividend and investment spending to give its new boss more firepower to rebuild Britain's biggest retailer, after a second profit warning in two months showed the scale of the task he faces. (TESCO-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 3, PICTURE), moved, by Kate Holton and Neil Maidment, 930 words)

Scotland will spurn independence, say polls. Are they right?

LONDON - In under three weeks, Scotland will hold an independence referendum that could dismember the United Kingdom. The result, according to opinion polls, financial markets and bookmakers, is a given: "No" to independence. But what, if as Scots nationalists believe, the polls are wrong? (SCOTLAND-INDEPENDENCE/POLLS, expect by 1300 GMT/9 AM ET, by Andrew Osborn, 700 words)

SPECIAL REPORT

The billion-dollar fall of the house of Espirito Santo

LISBON - Portuguese regulators and prosecutors are examining company accounts, letters and other evidence to determine whether there was unlawful activity behind the fall of Portugal's Espirito Santo empire. The corporate meltdown also shines a light on Portuguese and Luxembourg regulators and the gaps that can open up when companies span different jurisdictions. (PORTUGAL-ESPIRITOSANTO/FAMILY (SPECIAL REPORT, PICTURE, GRAPHIC), moved, by Sergio Goncalves, Laura Noonan, Andrei Khalip, 2,900 words)

INVESTMENT

Share buybacks bittersweet for Europe recovery

LONDON - A raft of recent share-buyback announcements in Europe is bittersweet news for the economic recovery as healthier firms choose to return cash to shareholders rather than reinvest in a weak economic environment. (EUROPE-BUYBACKS/ (INVESTMENT FOCUS), expect by 1200 GMT/8 AM ET, by Lionel Laurent and Blaise Robinson, 700 words)

Investors turn cautious, book profits from surging stocks

LONDON - Global investors pull back from their equity allocations in August amid worsening international tensions and a growing sense that stock markets are topping out, a Reuters poll shows. (FUNDS-POLL/GLOBAL (WRAPUP), moved, by Chris Vellacott, 685 words)

Lights off on Singapore's billionaire row as prices plunge

SINGAPORE - There's an eerie silence at night in Sentosa Cove, the man-made island resort billed as Singapore's answer to Monte Carlo and the only place in the country where foreigners can buy landed property. (SINGAPORE-PROPERTY/ (PICTURE, GRAPHIC), moved, by Caroline Ng, 975 words)

ECONOMY

Draghi dials R for Reform. Line is busy

FRANKFURT - Two years ago, euro zone government leaders hung on Mario Draghi's every word. Now the European Central Bank chief is struggling to get through to them. What has happened to 'Super Mario's' mojo? (EUROZONE-ECONOMY/DRAGHI (ANALYSIS), moved at 0939, by Paul Carrel, 1,000 words)

Big-spending Britons drive economy, housing picture mixed

LONDON - Big-spending Britons power the economy in August as they become more confident about the recovery and their finances, though mixed house price data suggest the outlook for the property market is less clear-cut. (BRITAIN-ECONOMY/GFK (UPDATE 1), moved, by Andy Bruce, 570 words)

Italy's triple-dip recession confirmed, deflation looms

ROME - Italy's economy contracted in the second quarter as a drop in investments dragged the country back into recession, with falling consumer prices suggesting it also risked being sucked into a deflationary spiral. (ITALY-ECONOMY/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by Isla Binnie, 480 words)

Russian inflation, rates to stay high as sanctions bite

MOSCOW - Russia will miss its inflation target this year as a ban on Western food imports causes prices to rise, and economic growth will be minimal as Western sanctions over Ukraine bite, a Reuters poll shows. (RUSSIA-ECONOMY/ (POLL), moved, by Kira Zavyalova and Jason Bush, 585 words)

Japan household spending slumps, output flat

TOKYO - Japanese household spending falls more than expected and factory output remains anaemic in July after plunging last month, government data shows, suggesting that soft exports and a sales tax hike in April may drag on the economy longer than expected. (JAPAN-ECONOMY/ (UPDATE 3), moved, by Leika Kihara, Stanley White, 890 words)

Denmark's economy shrinks, hit by European slowdown

COPENHAGEN - Denmark's gross domestic product unexpectedly shrinks in the second quarter, reflecting the export-driven economy's vulnerability to a slowdown that has spread across much of Europe over the period. (DENMARK ECONOMY/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Sabina Zawadzki, 600 words)

Zimbabwe's Mugabe sets hopes on "old friend" China

HARARE/BEIJING - Snubbed by a U.S.-hosted gathering of African leaders this month, Zimbabwe's veteran President Robert Mugabe has turned again to "old friend" China, but even Beijing's support may not be enough to rescue his country's sinking economy. (ZIMBABWE-CHINA/ (ANALYSIS), moved, by Cris Chinaka and Michael Martina, 1,090 words)

China slips towards middle-income trap - study

SHANGHAI - Chinese productivity growth goes into reverse for the first time since the Cultural Revolution tore the country apart in the 1970s, according to a new study, highlighting the failure of recent reforms to set China on a sustainable development path. (CHINA-PRODUCTIVITY/, moved, by Pete Sweeney, 1,214 words)

COMPANIES

Tragedy-hit Malaysia Airlines to lose 6,000 jobs in revamp

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia Airlines (MAS) will slash nearly a third of its 20,000 workforce and cut back its global route network as part of a radical 6 billion ringgit ($1.9 billion) restructuring following the devastating impact of two jetliner disasters. (MALAYSIA AIRLINE-RESTRUCTURING/ (UPDATE 2, PICTURE, TV), moved, by Al-Zaquan Amer Hamzah, 830 words)

Fiat signals Chrysler merger on track

MILAN - Fiat signals its merger with U.S. affiliate Chrysler is on track as a tally of shareholders suggests most have chosen not to exercise an option that could derail the plan, a vital step in the Italian carmaker's turnaround efforts. (FIAT SPA-MERGERS/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Stephen Jewkes and Valentina Za, 425 words)

Morgan Stanley plans natgas exports in new commods foray

NEW YORK - Morgan Stanley has quietly filed plans to build and run one of the first U.S. compressed natural gas export facilities, the first sign the bank is plunging back into physical commodity markets even as it sells its physical oil business. (MORGANSTANLEY-NATURALGAS/ (EXCLUSIVE), moved, by Anna Louie Sussman, 1,310 words)

AstraZeneca boosted by start of new cancer drug trial

LONDON - Hopes for AstraZeneca's promising cancer drug pipeline are boosted by news the company has moved its immuno-oncology medicine MEDI-4736 into a mid-stage study in colorectal cancer. (ASTRAZENECA-CANCER/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by Ben Hirschler, 730 words)

Hermes forecasts drop in full-year margin on forex

PARIS - French luxury goods maker Hermes says that foreign exchange rates have hit profitability and will lead to a drop in its operating margin this year. (HERMES INTL-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 175 words)

Germanwings pilots strike as Lufthansa row rumbles on

BERLIN - Pilots at Lufthansa's budget carrier Germanwings stage a six-hour strike, disrupting travel plans of thousands of people returning from summer holidays and putting pressure on Lufthansa management in a pension scheme dispute. (GERMANY-STRIKE/LUFTHANSA (UPDATE 1), moved, by Victoria Bryan, 650 words)

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