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May 8, 2014 / 1:10 PM / in 3 years

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TOP STORIES

ECB holds rates, markets watch Draghi for hints of action

BRUSSELS - The European Central Bank leaves interest rates unchanged, waiting for updated forecasts from its staff in June before deciding whether to take fresh action to counter low inflation that ticked up last month.(ECB/RATES (UPDATE 2), expect by 1300 GMT/9 AM ET, by Jan Strupczewski, 700 words)

+ See also:

- BRITAIN-ECONOMY/BOE (UPDATE 1), moved, by William Schomberg and David Milliken, 600 words

Barclays axes 19,000 jobs, reins in Wall Street ambitions

LONDON - Britain’s Barclays bank reins in its ambitions to be a Wall Street powerhouse and signals a return to its retail roots with a plan to hive off much of its investment bank and axe one in four jobs at the division. (BARCLAYS-RESTRUCTURING/ (UPDATE 4), moved, by Steve Slater, 1,050 words)

+ See also:

- SWEDEN-REGULATIONS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 385 words

EU likely to block any UK attempt to intervene in Astra deal

LONDON - The European Commission would be likely to block any attempt by the British government to intervene in Pfizer’s takeover of AstraZeneca as it would have the final say on a deal of that size, competition lawyers say. (ASTRAZENECA-PFIZER/PUBLIC-INTEREST, expect by 1400 GMT/10 AM ET, by Kate Holton, 800 words)

+ See also:

- ASTRAZENECA-PFIZER/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Ben Hirschler, 480 words

- ASTRAZENECA-PFIZER/CANCER, moved, 240 words

MARKETS & INVESTMENT

Euro buoyant as European Central Bank hold rates

LONDON - The euro is back at a two-month high as the European Central Bank resists calls for a rate cut to cool the currency. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/, moving shortly, by Marc Jones, 920 words)

S.Africa to Turkey, emerging bonds gain from Russian losses

LONDON - Bond markets in South Africa, Hungary and Turkey are enjoying an upsurge of popularity with investors who are dumping once-hot rouble bonds and taking their cash well away from sanctions-hit Russia. (RUSSIA-EMERGING/BONDS, expect by 1530 GMT/1130 AM ET, by Sujata Rao, 750 words)

Spain easily beats target at triple bond auction

MADRID - Spain beat the top end of the target range at a triple bond sale as appetite for relatively high-yielding euro zone debt remained high ahead of the European Central Bank’s monthly monetary policy decision. (SPAIN-BONDS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 330 words)

INSIGHT

End of oil boom threatens Norway’s welfare model

OSLO - Norway’s energy boom is tailing off years ahead of expectations, exposing an economy unprepared for life after oil and threatening the long-term viability of the world’s most generous welfare model. (NORWAY-ECONOMY/ (INSIGHT, PICTURE, GRAPHICS), moved, by Balazs Koranyi, 1,300 words)

+ See also:

- NORWAY-RATES/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 300 words

US green activist shifts from bomb thrower to team player

WASHINGTON - As Boston Red Sox fans streamed into Fenway Park last April for an early-season baseball game, a small plane circled above, towing a banner that read “Steve Lynch for Oil Evil Empire.” (USA POLITICS/STEYER, moved, by Andy Sullivan, 1,475 words)

ECONOMY

U.S. jobless claims fall, snap three-week rising streak

WASHINGTON - The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits falls more than expected last week, indicating the labour market is strengthening despite a run-up in applications in prior weeks. (USA-ECONOMY/EMPLOYMENT (UPDATE 1, GRAPHIC), moved, By Lucia Mutikani, 390 words)

China exports regain strength on demand from US and EU

BEIJING - China’s exports and imports return to slight growth in April, as orders to the United States and European Union surge, offering some positive signals for the world’s second-largest economy after a weaker-than-expected start to 2014. (CHINA-ECONOMY/TRADE (UPDATE 2, PICTURE, GRAPHIC), moving shortly, by Aileen Wang and Koh Gui Qing, 770 words)

UK housing market loses some steam, eyes still on BoE

LONDON - Britain’s housing market lost some of its heat in April, data shows, but the strength of the underlying price growth keeps pressure on the Bank of England to act to prevent a property bubble. (BRITAIN-PROPERTY/HALIFAX (UPDATE 1), moved, by Ana Nicolaci da Costa, 600 words)

Greek unemployment eases for fifth straight month

ATHENS - Greece’s jobless rate improved in February to its lowest rate in more than a year, data shows, in another sign the Greek economy is emerging from a crippling six-year slump. (GREECE-UNEMPLOYMENT/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 325 words)

Once preacher of Europe reform, Finland struggles at home

HELSINKI - Finland’s school-masterly advice during the sovereign debt crisis to struggling countries to cut spending may come to haunt the Nordic country as it finds it difficult to agree on reforms from taxes to pensions amid weak economic growth. (FINLAND-ECONOMY/ (PICTURE), expect by 1300 GMT/9 AM ET, by Sakari Suoninen and Jussi Rosendahl, 1,614 words)

COMPANIES

Spanish bank Santander to beef up capital with “CoCo” bonds

MADRID/LONDON - Spain’s largest bank Santander says it is to sell up to $2.5 billion worth of contingent convertible “CoCo” bonds, in a move that will help the bank beef up its capital base ahead of European stress tests this year. (SANTANDER/ISSUANCES (UPDATE 1), moved, 250 words)

UK banks pay only one fifth of swaps mis-selling funds

LONDON - Britain’s biggest banks have so far paid out only a fifth of the funds they set aside to recompense small businesses mis-sold interest-rate hedging products, a month before the compensation scheme is due to end. (BRITAIN-BANKS/MISSELLING (UPDATE 2), moved, by Matt Scuffham, 590 words)

Deutsche Telekom’s drive for subscribers weighs on profit

FRANKFURT - Deutsche Telekom reveals the cost of its successful drive to win customers in its main U.S. and German markets, as it posts a drop in first-quarter core profit. (DEUTSCHE TELEKOM-RESULTS (UPDATE 2), moved, by Harro Ten Wolde, 270 words)

Demand for broadband lifts BT to strong full-year results

LONDON - Strong demand for fibre broadband and television helps Britain’s BT Group Plc to report higher-than-expected full-year results and give a bullish outlook, sending its shares up more than 3 percent. (BT GROUP/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Kate Holton, 515 words)

Metro keeps profit target as cash-and-carry sales jump

BERLIN/DUESSELDORF - German retailer Metro AG reports a strong rise in April sales in its cash-and-carry business, underlying its confidence in its profit target despite a poor performance from its consumer electronics business. (METRO-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Emma Thomasson and Matthias Inverardi, 715 words)

Shanghai Electric buys 40 percent of Italy’s Ansaldo Energia

GENOA, Italy - Shanghai Electric Group agrees to pay 400 million euros ($557 million) for 40 percent of power engineering company Ansaldo Energia, the latest Chinese company to buy into Italy’s fledgling recovery. (ANSALDO ENERGIA-SHANGHAI ELEC (UPDATE 1), moved, by Elvira Pollina, 400 words)

After crash diet, oil majors may need new growth

LONDON - The global oil majors’ crash diets may be going too far. That at least is the view of a small number of critics who believe sweeping programmes of asset sales and the trimming of investment plans risk doing longer-term damage. (OIL-MAJORS/, moved, by Alex Lawler and Dmitry Zhdannikov, 1,150 words)

+ See also:

- OIL/CLIMATE, moved, by Ben Garside, 530 words

Glencore appoints ex-BP boss Tony Hayward as chairman

LONDON - Mining and commodities trading group Glencore Xstrata says it has appointed as its permanent chairman Tony Hayward, the former BP chief executive who has been serving as interim chairman for the past year. (GLENCORE XSTRATA/CHAIRMAN (UPDATE 2), moved, by Silvia Antonioli and Karolin Schaps, 375 words)

Adidas CEO faces down investor unrest over Nike advance

FUERTH, Germany - The long-serving chief executive of German sportswear company Adidas seeks to rebuff criticism of his leadership from shareholders, as the firm struggles to stop the advance of market leader Nike. (ADIDAS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by Joern Poltz, 500 words)

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