August 19, 2014 / 9:05 AM / 3 years ago

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TOP STORIES

BHP unveils multi-billion spin-off, puts off buyback

LONDON/MELBOURNE - Top global miner BHP Billiton says it will spin off a roughly $14 billion company to shareholders but disappoints investors as it holds off announcing a highly anticipated buyback with its results. (BHPBILLITON-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 3), expect by 1030 GMT/6.30 AM ET, by Sonali Paul and Silvia Antonioli, 700 words)

UK inflation falls more than expected

LONDON - British inflation eased more than expected in July after hitting a five-month high in June, official data shows. (BRITAIN INFLATION/ (UPDATE 1), expect by 1000 GMT/6 AM ET, 500 words)

ECB in policy limbo, boxed in by its own plans

FRANKFURT - The European Central Bank is in a policy no man's land, bombarded by news of a stagnating euro zone economy but hesitant to move forward with new stimulus until measures announced in June work their way through in the months ahead (ECB-POLICY/ (ANALYSIS), expect by 1000 GMT/6 AM ET, by Paul Carrel and Eva Taylor, 1,000 words0

Stocks head higher as risk appetite returns

LONDON - Global stocks rose and core bonds barely move on renewed investor appetite for risk, buoyed by a lack of any escalation in the Ukraine crisis and upbeat U.S. housing data. (MARKETS-GLOBAL (WRAPUP 4), moving shortly, by Lionel Laurent, 600 words)

ECONOMY

UK's gas trading crown at risk as euro boosts Dutch appeal

LONDON - One area where Britain's dominance in Europe's financial sector has come under threat is natural gas trading where volumes on a Dutch trading hub are soaring, buoyed in part by European utilities who prefer to hedge their deals in euros. (GAS-TRADE/BRITAIN-NETHERLANDS/, expect by 1000 GMT/6 AM ET, by Henning Gloystein and Jason Neely, 630 words)

Australia's central bank ponders risks to economic outlook

SYDNEY - Australia's central bank sees significant uncertainties around the economic outlook, which was why interest rates were likely to stay at record lows for some time yet. (AUSTRALIA-ECONOMY/RBA, moved, 400 words)

+ See also:

- NEWZEALAND-ECONOMY/ENGLISH (UPDATE), moved, 550 words

INVESTMENT

Inflows to Hong Kong ETFs soar as foreigners bet on China

HONG KONG - Offshore investors are rallying behind China's undervalued equities by ploughing billions of dollars into Hong Kong's exchange-traded funds denominated in the yuan currency. (CHINA-OFFSHORE/RQFII, moved, by Michelle Chen, 710 words)

China allows three more banks to import gold - sources

SINGAPORE - China has allowed three more banks, including a foreign lender, to import gold into the country, three sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters, as the world's biggest gold buyer further frees up its market. (GOLD-CHINA/IMPORTS, moved, By A. Ananthalakshmi, 470 words)

COMPANIES

Maersk to buy back shares for first time in its history

COPENHAGEN - Danish shipping and oil group A.P. Moller-Maersk announces its first share buyback programme in its 110-year history, prompting its stock to rise more than 5 percent. (MAERSK-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 2), moving shortly, by Ole Mikkelsen and Teis Jensen, 600 words)

U.S. clears AstraZeneca over heart drug trial

LONDON - The U.S. government clears AstraZeneca over a major clinical trial used to win marketing approval for its important new heart drug Brilinta, following an investigation which had cast a shadow over its prospects. (ASTRAZENECA-BRILINTA/ (UPDATE 2), expect by 1000 GMT/6 AM ET, by Ben Hirschler, 600 words)

Standard Chartered nears deal over US compliance - source

NEW YORK - Standard Chartered bank is close to a deal to pay between $200 million and $300 million to resolve allegations by New York's banking regulator that it failed to review high-risk transactions, two years after agreeing to reform its practices, a person familiar with the matter says. (STANDARDCHARTERED FINE/, moved, by Karen Freifeld, 300 words)

Japan's JX eyes Indonesia, Vietnam for big refining push

TOKYO - JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp is looking at building refineries and petrol stations in Indonesia and Vietnam as fuel consumption slumps at home, in what would be its first major downstream oil investment in Asia outside Japan. (JAPAN-JX HOLDINGS/, moved, by Osamu Tsukimori, 760 words)

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