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August 22, 2014 / 8:56 AM / 3 years ago

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TOP STORIES

Hot dollar, shares take breather ahead of Janet at Jackson

LONDON - The dollar takes a breather after its strongest week since March and world stocks hover near all-time highs as markets wait for fresh steers on the Federal Reserve and ECB’s diverging policy plans. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/ (WRAPUP 3), moved, by Marc Jones, 800 words)

London bourse plans $1.6 bln rights issue for Russell deal

LONDON - The London Stock Exchange Group says it will raise 938 million pounds ($1.6 billion) to part fund the acquisition of U.S. indexes group Frank Russell. (LSE-RUSSELL/ (UPDATE 1), expect by 0930 GMT/5.30 AM ET, by Pamela Barbaglia, 600 words)

Russian import bans a boon for food tycoons

MOSCOW - In the escalating dispute between Russia and the West over Ukraine, a group of businessmen with Kremlin connections are emerging as likely beneficiaries of the tit-for-tat sanctions. (UKRAINE-CRISIS/RUSSIA TRADE, moved, by Maria Kiselyova and Olga Sichkar, 900 words)

INVESTMENT

German share valuations cheapest for years against peers

PARIS/LONDON - After years of outperformance, German stocks are at their cheapest valuation levels relative to rest of Europe in almost a decade. Even though company fundamentals are still sound, the first signs of cracks in the German economy this summer are set to encourage tactical traders to chase a narrowing of the outsize valuation gap. (MARKETS-GERMANY-STOCKS/, expect by 1400 GMT/10 AM ET, by Blaise Robinson and Vikram Subhedar, 700 words)

Goldman wins big role in China’s preferred shares deals

HONG KONG - As Chinese banks prepare to raise $55 billion in the country’s first preferred share offers, foreign investment banks with experience in structuring such deals are ready to pounce on a potential $275 million in underwriting fees. (CHINA-BANKS/ISSUE (DEALTALK), moved, by Elzio Barreto, 830 words)

- (CHINA-BANKS/ISSUE (FACTBOX), moved, 76 words)

ECONOMY

Indonesia’s president-elect eyes fuel hike to boost budget

JAKARTA - President-elect Joko Widodo will sit down with Indonesia’s outgoing leader next week in the hope of reaching an agreement to raise fuel prices before the handover in October, a move that would help ease budget-sapping subsidy costs. (INDONESIA-POLITICS/ (UPDATE 2, PIX, GRAPHIC), moved, 500 words)

U.S. judge calls Argentina debt swap plan ‘illegal’

NEW YORK - U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa calls Argentina’s proposed debt restructuring plan “illegal” but stops short of holding the country in contempt, saying that would not help resolve the dispute that led to the nation’s second default in a dozen years. (ARGENTINA-DEBT/ (UPDATE 4), moved, 740 words)

Japan firms hit by labour crunch, many see profits squeezed

TOKYO - Some 60 percent of Japanese firms are finding it increasingly difficult to secure sufficient workers, hit by a pervasive labour shortage that is pushing up hiring costs and starting to eat into profits, a Reuters poll shows. (JAPAN-COMPANIES/ (PIX), moved, James Topham, 675 words)

Thailand’s junta upbeat on economy, but not out of woods yet

BANGKOK - Thailand’s junta wants to sell a positive story about its coup saving a troubled economy from recession, and while it seems to have business on board there is little evidence yet of a sustainable, broad-based recovery. (THAILAND-ECONOMY/, moved, by Orathai Sriring, 780 words)

COMPANIES

Co-Op Bank has lost 30,000 customers this year

LONDON - Britain’s Co-operative Bank says it has lost nearly 30,000 customers in the first half of 2014 following the near collapse of the bank last year and a drug scandal involving former chairman Paul Flowers. (COOP-BANK-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 2, expect by 0930 GMT/5.30 AM ET, by Matt Scuffham, 600 words)

Santos touts prospects with big gas find off Australia

MELBOURNE - Australian oil and gas producer Santos Ltd unveils a new gas find off Western Australia giving, the company new growth options alongside its holdings in the east of the country and Papua New Guinea. (SANTOS LTD-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Sonali Paul, 495 words)

Chinese firm sells insurance along with baby milk powder

HONG KONG - A Chinese consumer goods company has started selling insurance for its baby milk powder products, the country’s second-largest insurer tells Reuters, highlighting the unusual tactics companies are adopting to address heightened concerns over food safety. (CHINA-FOODSAFETY/MILK-INSURANCE, moved, by Clare Baldwin, Diana Chan, 365 words)

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