July 1, 2014 / 9:01 AM / 3 years ago

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Top Stories

France's BNP to pay $9 bln in U.S. sanctions case

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON/PARIS - French bank BNP Paribas has pleaded guilty to two criminal charges and agreed to pay almost $9 billion to resolve allegations it deliberately and persistently violated U.S. sanctions against Sudan, Cuba and Iran. (BNP-PARIBAS-SETTLEMENT/ (WRAPUP 1), moving shortly, by Joseph Ax, Aruna Viswanatha and Maya Nikolaeva, 1,400 words)

Asian factories pick up pace as euro zone stalls

LONDON/TOKYO - Manufacturing activity in Asia's industrial powerhouses China and Japan gain pace, fuelled by improving demand at home, but euro zone growth falters as its driving force, Germany, applies the brakes. (GLOBAL-ECONOMY, expect by 1030 GMT/6.30 AM ET, by Jonathan Cable and Tomasz Janowski, 700 words)

+ See also:

- JAPAN-ECONOMY, moved, by Leika Kihara and Tetsushi Kajimoto, 700 words

European, Asian stocks get second half off to solid start

LONDON - European and Asian stocks get markets off to a solid start to the second half of the year, helped by upbeat Chinese data and bets that record-low interest rates will stay for some time yet. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/ (WRAPUP ), moved, by Marc Jones, 800 words)

For Alibaba, a challenge is to turn mobile into money

BEIJING - Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd may have dominated online retail on personal computers, but is some way from replicating that leadership in shopping by smartphone and other mobile devices. (ALIBABA-GROUP-MOBILE, moved, by Paul Carsten, 1,050 words)

Insight

Truck by truck, Israel builds trade gateway to Arab world

HAIFA, Israel - Three years after Syria plunged into violence, Israel is reaping an unlikely economic benefit. The number of trucks crossing between Israel and Jordan has jumped, according to the Israel Airports Authority. The trade, though still small, is growing enough to encourage long-held Israeli hopes that the Jewish state can become a commercial gateway to the Arab world. (ISRAEL-TRADE (INSIGHT, PIX), By Ari Rabinovich and Tova Cohen, moved, 1,800 words)

Economy

South Africa engineering strike new blow to sickly economy

JOHANNESBURG - A strike by more than 220,000 South African engineering workers, hot on the heels of a crippling platinum stoppage that ended last week, will deal a fresh blow to a contracting economy. (SAFRICA-STRIKE (TV, UPDATE 2), expect by 1030 GMT/6.60 AM ET, by Stella Mapenzauswa and Tiisetso Motsoeneng, 600 words)

Delayed monsoon sours inflation outlook

MEWAT, India - As dairy farmers fret over the risk to earnings due to the vagaries of India's monsoon, the squeeze in supplies of milk is adding to inflationary pressures that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government inherited when it came to power in May. (INDIA-INFLATION/MILK, moved, by Manoj Kumar, 800 words)

Boom time for moneylenders as debt drags on Thai recovery

BANGKOK - Thai households are among the most indebted in Asia, and the official figures understate the problem due to the large sums also owed to loan sharks - estimated at as much as $74 billion. (THAILAND-ECONOMY/DEBT, moved, by Orathai Sriring, 1,100 words)

Companies

VW woos luxury buyers with new Passat

BERLIN - German carmaker Volkswagen is beefing up its Passat mid-range flagship car to help it compete against premium brands BMW and Mercedes-Benz and pull further away from mass-market rivals. (VW-PASSAT, expect by 1130 GMT/7.30 AM ET, by Andreas Cremer, 650 words)

"Connected" cars spark tech-investor interest

PARIS - Technology and telecoms firms could end up being the big winners of the burgeoning 'intelligent car' revolution set to transform the automobile business in the next few years, as investors look for potential winners to pick. (AUTOS-TECHNOLOGY, 1400 GMT/10 AM ET, by Blaise Robinson, 600 words)

Shares in Portugal's Banco Espirito Santo slump

LONDON/LISBON - Shares in Portugal's Banco Espirito Santo fall as much as 13 percent in early trading despite a short-selling ban on the stock and management attempts to clarify comments made to investors on a conference call on Monday. (BANCOESPIRITOSANTO/STOCKS), expect by 0900 GMT/5 AM ET, by Laura Noonan and Andrei Khalip, 500 words)

Conflict minerals law starts working despite poor response

LONDON - A U.S. law on conflict minerals is curbing the presence of African warlords around mines in Congo, campaigners say, but its full impact remains unclear, with most firms having failed to pinpoint the origin of their metals by a June deadline. (MINERALS-CONFLICT/ (PIX), moved, by Eric Onstad, 900 words)

Beijing crackdown on insider "rats" sparks industry exodus

SHANGHAI - A crackdown by Chinese regulators on insider trading in the country's $1.2 trillion mutual fund industry has sparked an exodus of fund managers from the industry. (MARKETS-CHINASTOCKS, by Lu Jianxin and Pete Sweeney, 1,000 words)

Microsoft says disrupts cybercrime rings

BOSTON - Microsoft Corp launches what it hopes will be the most successful private effort to date to crack down on cyber crime by moving to disrupt communications channels between hackers and infected PCs (CYBERCRIME-MICROSOFT (UPDATE 1), moved, by Jim Finkle, 500 words)

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