April 3, 2014 / 1:15 PM / 3 years ago

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TOP STORIES

ECB to use all methods to fight prolonged low

FRANKFURT - The European Central Bank will use whatever unconventional measures it has available to ensure low inflation does not take hold for too long in the euro zone, ECB President Mario Draghi says. (ECB/RATES (UPDATE 2), expect by 1330 GMT/9.30 AM ET, by David Milliken and Eva Taylor, 780 words)

Price cuts aid first quarter growth for euro zone businesses

LONDON - Euro zone businesses starts 2014 with their best quarter in three years, but buoyant growth comes at a cost as they slash prices to drum up trade, which could further stoke deflation fears. (EUROPE-ECONOMY/ (WRAPUP 1), moved, by Jonathan Cable, 595 words)

+ See also:

- CHINA-ECONOMY/ (WRAPUP), moved, by Adam Rose and Xiaoyi Shao, 580 words

New French government seeks leeway on deficit deadlines

PARIS - France’s reshuffled government loses no time in announcing it will seek to renegotiate its budget deficit reduction deadline with the European Commission, setting it on a collision course with its EU partners. (ECONOMY-FRANCE/DEFICIT (UPDATE 2), moved, by Mark John and Leigh Thomas, 500 words)

Russia hikes gas prices for Ukraine, squeezes economy

MOSCOW - Russia increased the gas price for Ukraine to $485 per 1,000 cubic metres and urged Kiev on Thursday to pay its $2.2 billion debt, stepping up pressure on an economy already on the brink of bankruptcy. (UKRAINE CRISIS/GAS (UPDATE 2), expect by 1400 GMT/10 AM ET, 400 words)

+ See also:

- UKRAINE-CRISIS/RUSSIA-SANCTIONS (UPDATE 2), moved, by Jakub Iglewski and Megan Davies, 1,380 words

MARKETS

Unchanged ECB, euro zone PMIs halt stock rally

LONDON - Slightly slower growth in euro zone business activity last month and unchanged euro zone interest rates halt this week’s European stock market rally in its tracks. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/ (WRAPUP 6), moved, by Jamie McGeever, 775 words)

INSIGHT

Alibaba’s IPO architect lays out plan for e-commerce empire

HONG KONG/BEIJING - Alibaba, the world’s biggest e-commerce company, changes how China shops. Now the man driving its blockbuster U.S. stock sale wants to transform the rest of the country’s services industry, adding new users to the giant’s 300 million customers. (ALIBABA-TSAI/ (INSIGHT), moved, by Paul Carsten and Matthew Miller, 1,550 words)

FUNDS & INVESTMENT

New rules, lure of London’s rich fuel manager reshuffle

LONDON - A flurry of deals and hires this week mark the latest reshuffle of the UK wealth management ownership pack as tougher market rules force boardrooms across the fragmented industry back to the strategic drawing board. (WEALTH-M&A/, expect by 1400 GMT/10 AM ET, by Joshua Franklin and Simon Jessop, 680 words)

St James’s Place ends $12 bln mandate with Invesco Perpetual

LONDON - Investment group St James’s Place is transferring fund management mandates for 7.7 billion pounds ($12.81 billion) of assets from Invesco Perpetual, allocating nearly half to outgoing fund manager Neil Woodford’s new venture. (ST JAMES‘S PLACE/ (UPDATE 1), expect by 1230 GMT/8.30 AM ET, By Chris Vellacott, 500 words)

ECONOMY

U.S. jobless claims rise more than expected

WASHINGTON - The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, but the underlying trend continues to point to some strength in the labour market. (USA-ECONOMY/EMPLOYMENT, moved, 345 words)

Changes in UK manufacturing model may mute forex risk

LONDON - Britain’s economy is likely to weather the year-long rise in the pound even if some policymakers are worried that a further strengthening of the currency could hurt exports and frustrate a more sustainable recovery. (BRITAIN-TRADE/STERLING (ANALYSIS), moved, by Ana Nicolaci da Costa, 655 words)

+ See also:

- BRITAIN-BOE/CREDIT, moved, 425 words

Greece plans April bond market comeback from default-sources

LONDON - Greece is planning to return to the international bond market this month, four years after it became the first euro zone country to be bailed out and only two years since defaulting on its debts. (GREECE-DEBT/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Alex Chambers, 680 words)

Iran, Russia working to seal oil-for-goods deal - sources

LONDON/ANKARA - Iran and Russia have made progress toward an oil-for-goods deal that sources say could be worth up to $20 billion and enable Tehran to boost vital energy exports in defiance of Western sanctions, people familiar with the negotiations tell Reuters. (IRAN-RUSSIA/OIL (UPDATE 1), moved, by Jonathan Saul and Parisa Hafezi, 725 words)

World food prices jump again in March - U.N.’s FAO

ROME - Global food prices rise to their highest in almost a year in March, led by unfavourable weather for crops and political tensions over Ukraine, the United Nations food agency says. (FOOD-FAO/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by Naomi O‘Leary, 395 words)

A desperate moonlight economy in Zimbabwe’s ‘Sunshine City’

HARARE - On Harare’s hardscrabble streets, college graduates compete with peasants scratching out a living selling anything from mobile phone cards to herbal sex tonics, a measure of the decline of Zimbabwe’s “Sunshine City” under President Robert Mugabe. (ZIMBABWE-LIFE/ (PICTURE), moved, by MacDonald Dzirutwe, 1,030 words)

COMPANIES

Britain looks set to make plain cigarette packs mandatory

LONDON - Britain may well force tobacco companies to standardise cigarette packaging by May 2015, a minister says, and the opposition says there is no excuse for further delays. (BRITAIN-CIGARETTES/PACKAGING (UPDATE 2), moving shortly, by William James, 545 words)

Vivendi rebuffs shareholder group ahead of meeting on SFR

PARIS - French media and telecoms group Vivendi has rebuffed a new attempt by minority shareholders to get access to documents relating to its sale of French mobile operator SFR as the two rival bidders eye potential last minute changes to their offers. (VIVENDI-SFR/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by Leila Abboud, 775 words)

Credit Suisse increases provision for U.S. tax deal

ZURICH - Credit Suisse has increased the funds it has set aside to settle a U.S. tax dispute and avoid prosecution for helping wealthy Americans to hide cash from the taxman, raising the prospect it may be close to a settlement in the lengthy dispute. (CREDITSUISSE-LITIGATION/ (UPDATE 3), moved, by Caroline Copley and Oliver Hirt, 740 words)

Kingfisher in exclusive talks to buy France’s Mr Bricolage

LONDON - Kingfisher, Europe’s No. 1 home improvement retailer, has launched a 275 million euros ($378.62 million) takeover bid for France’s Mr Bricolage, moving to strengthen its position in its most profitable market. (KINGFISHER-MR BRICOLAGE/ (UPDATE 2), moving shortly, By James Davey and Dominique Vidalon, 700 words)

EU approves rules to shake up company book-keeping

LONDON - The European Union has approved some of the world’s toughest rules for accountants in a bid to avoid a repeat of banks being given a clean bill of health just before taxpayers had to rescue them after the financial crisis of 2007-2009. (EU-ACCOUNTS/, moved, by Huw Jones, 645 words)

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