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TOP STORIES

EU considers wider borrowing ban on Russian firms

BRUSSELS - The European Union is considering widening a ban on Russian government banks borrowing or raising capital in Europe to all Russian state-owned firms and also barring Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu from entering the EU, EU diplomats say. (UKRAINE-CRISIS/EU-SANCTIONS, moved, 280 words)

+ See also:

- EU-RUSSIA/SANCTIONS (UPDATE 2), moved, 410 words

Russian reserves enough to delay impact of sanctions on debt

LONDON/MOSCOW - Investors calculate how pressure from a mooted ban on Europeans buying Russian government bonds could impact Moscow's finances, if any, and what investment might be affected. (UKRAINE-CRISIS/RUSSIA-BONDS, expect by 1300 GMT/9 AM ET, by Chris Vellacott and Lidia Kelly name, 500 words)

QE hopefuls may be disappointed as Draghi plays for time

FRANKFURT - Expectations for further policy action at the European Central Bank's meeting on Thursday are running high after ECB President Mario Draghi pledges to use all available tools to keep prices in check. (ECB-POLICY/ (PREVIEW), moved, by Eva Taylor, 860 words)

UK fate in balance as support for Scottish split surges

EDINBURGH/LONDON - A poll showing support for Scottish independence at its highest ever level throws the fate of the United Kingdom into question, just two weeks before Scots vote on whether to secede. (SCOTLAND-INDEPENDENCE/, moved, by Alistair Smout and Guy Faulconbridge, 760 words)

+ See also:

- MARKETS-UK/SCOTLAND (UPDATE 1), moved, by Anirban Nag, 640 words

MARKETS & INVESTMENT

Risk appetite flickers in Europe, ECB speculation damps euro

LONDON - Risk appetite flickers back into life in financial markets with the dollar and European and Japanese shares rising while safe-haven bonds, the yen and gold all take a step back. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/ (WRAPUP 5), moved, by Marc Jones, 860 words)

Rekindling Europe's repackaged debt market will take years

LONDON - Reviving Europe's repackaged debt market to fund economic recovery will take years and hinge on a re-invention of the sector rather than quick regulatory tweaks, bankers and regulators say. (EU-ABS/, moved, by Huw Jones, 1,200 words)

European equity investors bet on new ECB stimulus

LONDON/PARIS - Traders are buying up 'call' options, betting on a gradual move higher in European stock markets as expectations grow of new stimulus measures from the European Central Bank. (MARKETS-STOCKS/OPTIONS, moved, by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Blaise Robinson, 700 words)

INSIGHT

Burger King has manoeuvred to cut U.S. tax bill for years

LONDON - Burger King may have taken a lot of flack in the past week for a deal that should curb its U.S. tax bill but in many ways it is consistent with the burger chain's aggressive tax-reduction strategies in recent years. (BURGER KING/TAX (INSIGHT, PICTURE), moved, by Tom Bergin, 1,735 words)

Insider traders in U.S. face longer prison terms

NEW YORK - U.S. judges are imposing increasingly long prison terms for insider trading, a Reuters analysis shows. The rise is at least partly driven by the bigger profits being earned through the illegal schemes, defence lawyers said. (INSIDERTRADING-PRISON/, moved, by Nate Raymond, 1,060 words)

ECONOMY

In countdown to UK election, rate hike moves to centre stage

LONDON - Britain's politicians and central bankers are watching one another even more closely than usual as the timing of a national election and a headline-making interest rate rise look set to converge. (BRITAIN-BOE/ (ANALYSIS), moved, by David Milliken, 735 words)

+ See also:

- BRITAIN-ECONOMY/CONSTRUCTION, moved, 300 words

Cheap energy pulls down euro zone producer prices in July

BRUSSELS - A drop in highly volatile energy prices depressed euro zone producer prices in July as expected, underlining disinflationary pressures in the single currency area ahead of the European Central Bank's monetary policy meeting on Thursday. (EUROZONE-ECONOMY/PRICES, moved, 290 words)

Reforms to dominate Greek talks in Paris

ATHENS - Greece hopes to assuage concerns it is slipping on reforms during talks with European and IMF inspectors in Paris this week, with debt relief talks unlikely to start until October, a senior Greek government official tells Reuters. (GREECE-ECONOMY/TROIKA, moved, by Lefteris Papadimas and Deepa Babington, 500 words)

Obama takes solace in U.S. economic turnaround

MILWAUKEE - Throughout much of his presidency, Barack Obama has been under siege about the state of the U.S. economy. But with economic growth now far more robust than when he took office, he is finding some measure of solace on the domestic front while a number of crises rage abroad. (USA-OBAMA/ (UPDATE 1, PICTURE), moved, by Steve Holland, 500 words)

Japan's "Abenomics" feared in trouble as challenges build

TOKYO - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's plan for Japan's economy to generate self-sustained growth on the back of his three policy "arrows" of massive monetary easing, spending and reform appears to be faltering - but no magic solution is in sight. (JAPAN-ECONOMY/ABENOMICS, moved, by Linda Sieg and Tetsushi Kajimoto, 1,000 words)

Swiss growth evaporates in second quarter as trade slows

ZURICH - Switzerland's economy unexpectedly stalled in the second quarter, showing zero growth as trade took a hit from stagnation in its main export market Europe and falling construction spending. (SWISS-ECONOMY/GDP (UPDATE 1), moved, by Caroline Copley, 480 words)

US business lobby says worried China antitrust probes unfair

BEIJING - Foreign companies are increasingly concerned they are being targeted by Chinese regulators, a U.S. business lobby says, as a Chinese antitrust agency defends probes into firms such as U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm Inc. (CHINA-ANTITRUST/NDRC (UPDATE 2), moved, by Michael Martina, 645 words)

+ See also:

- CHINA-AUTOPARTS/EU, moved, 350 words

Britain rejects London mayor's 'Boris Island' airport plan

LONDON - A plan to build a major new airport to the east of London is rejected by a government-appointed commission, dealing a blow to its high-profile backer, the city's mayor Boris Johnson. (BRITAIN-AIRPORT/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Sarah Young and William James, 555 words)

COMPANIES

"Back to normal" for AstraZeneca CEO, despite Pfizer rumours

BARCELONA - Though speculation is rife of a new Pfizer bid, AstraZeneca's chief executive is not holed up with advisers in London or New York. Instead, he has spent the last three days immersed in heart science in Barcelona. (ASTRAZENECA-PFIZER/ (EXCLUSIVE), moved, by Ben Hirschler, 700 words)

+ See also:

- HEALTH-HEART/COSTS (ANALYSIS), moved, by Ben Hirschler, 700 words

Dollar General sweetens Family Dollar bid, may go hostile

Dollar General Corp raises its bid for Family Dollar Stores Inc by 2 percent to $80 per share, or $9.1 billion, and warns it may turn hostile and appeal directly to shareholders if the new offer is rejected. (FAMILY DOLLAR ST-OFFER/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Sruthi Ramakrishnan, 370 words)

Select Income to buy Cole Corporate in $3 bln deal

Select Income REIT says it will buy office REIT Cole Corporate Income Trust in a $3 billion deal to expand its portfolio in the United States. (SELECT INCOME-M&A/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 250 words)

Luxottica founder says he and ex-CEO clashed

MILAN - Leonardo Del Vecchio, the 79-year-old founder of Italian eyewear maker Luxottica, decided to replace long-term CEO Andrea Guerra after Guerra rejected his plans to take a more active role in the firm to prepare for a handover to his offspring. (LUXOTTICA-MOVES/, moved, 485 words)

English clubs lead the way in summer spending spree

LONDON - English Premier League soccer clubs spent a record 835 million pounds ($1.4 billion) on hiring players during the summer transfer window as they reinvested cash from the latest round of broadcast deals. (SOCCER-EUROPE/SPENDING, moved, by Keith Weir, 550 words)

Novo Nordisk drops inflammatory disorder business

COPENHAGEN - Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk says it has decided to stop its activities within inflammatory disorders and only focus on the treatment and prevention of diabetes and obesity. (NOVO NORDISK-STRATEGY/ (UPDATE 2), moving shortly, by Stine Jacobsen, 575 words)

Aston Martin CEO hire adds to Renault-Nissan exodus

PARIS/TOKYO/FRANKFURT - Aston Martin says it has hired a senior Nissan executive to be its new boss, marking both a coup for the embattled British sports car maker and a worsening exodus at Carlos Ghosn's Renault-Nissan alliance. (ASTON-NISSAN/APPOINTMENT (UPDATE 2), moving shortly, by Laurence Frost, Yoko Kubota and Edward Taylor, 350 words)

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