July 24, 2014 / 1:00 PM / 3 years ago

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TOP STORIES

EU targets state-owned Russia banks in sanctions draft

BRUSSELS - The European Union is to target state-owned Russian banks and their ability to finance Moscow’s faltering economy in its most serious sanctions so far over the Ukraine crisis under proposals being considered by EU governments, diplomats say. (UKRAINE-CRISIS/EU (UPDATE 1), expect by 1400 GMT/10 AM ET, by Barbara Lewis and Justyna Pawlak, 600 words)

Global economy starts second half on solid footing - PMIs

BANGALORE - China’s factory activity expands at its fastest in 18 months as new orders surge, while the euro zone’s private sector has also perked up, suggesting the global economy started the second half of 2014 on a solid footing. (ECONOMY-GLOBAL/ (WRAPUP 1), moved, by Sumanta Dey, 875 words)

+ See also:

- CHINA-ECONOMY/FLASH PMI (UPDATE 3), moved, 750 words

- PMI-FLASH/EUROZONE, moved, 400 words

European stocks rise on euro zone factory data

LONDON - European stocks hit 2 1/2-week highs and the euro rallys from eight-month lows against the dollar after the region’s private sector expands at its fastest rate in three months in July. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/ (WRAPUP 4), moved, by Carolyn Cohn, 650 words)

+ See also:

- RUSSIA-MARKETS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 285 words

France defends billion-euro guarantee demand in UBS probe

PARIS - A 1.1 billion euro ($1.48 billion) guarantee payment demanded by French judges of Swiss bank UBS reflects the size of the fine it could pay if found guilty of helping wealthy French customers avoid tax, the French prosecutor’s office says. (UBS AG-FRANCE/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by Chine Labbé, 470 words)

+ See also:

- UBS-NONCORE/ (INTERVIEW, PICTURE, GRAPHIC), moved, by Laura Noonan and Olivia Hardy, 1,000 words

- STANDARDCHARTERED-SUCCESSION/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by Steve Slater and Aashika Jain, 570 words

ECONOMY

U.S. jobless claims fall to lowest level since early 2006

WASHINGTON - The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level in nearly 8-1/2 years last week, suggesting the labour market recovery is gaining traction. (USA-ECONOMY/EMPLOYMENT, moved, 330 words)

+ See also:

- USA-FED/ (PREVIEW), moved, by Jonathan Spicer and Ann Saphir, 775 words

British manufacturing emerges from years in the shadows

CHELTENHAM, England - New business is coming from unexpected places to help power the whirring, high-tech lathes on the factory floor of Future Advanced Manufacture, one of the companies spearheading Britain’s manufacturing revival. (BRITAIN-MANUFACTURERS/ (PICTURE), moved, by Andy Bruce, 1,100 words)

+ See also:

- BRITAIN-RETAIL/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by Andy Bruce and William Schomberg, 590 words

Spanish unemployment falls as business picks up for banks

MADRID - A strong start to the tourist season helps Spain’s unemployment rate fall to its lowest in two years, while two banks with large local customer bases say business has picked up, fuelling hopes the country’s economic revival is gathering pace. (SPAIN-ECONOMY/ (UPDATE 2, PICTURE), moved, by Paul Day and Sarah White, 600 words)

+ See also:

- SPAIN-BANKS/ (WRAPUP 1), moved, by Sarah White, 365 words

ECB says website hacked, no sensitive data affected

FRANKFURT - The European Central Bank says its website has been hacked and some email addresses and other contact information stolen but insists no market-sensitive data were affected. (ECB-CYBERCRIME/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 200 words)

Asian economies to struggle on weak export demand

BANGALORE - The outlook for emerging Asia has dimmed further this year on weak demand for exports, although growth in India is expected to accelerate into 2015 even as China is held back in part by a slowing property market, Reuters polls show. (ECONOMY-ASIA/POLL (WRAPUP 1), moved, by Sumanta Dey, 690 words)

Bank settlements create US windfall, wrangling over spending

NEW YORK - U.S. authorities’ $8.9 billion settlement last month with French bank BNP Paribas for sanctions busting will pay for New York cops to get live computer feeds of street crime and for new carpets in the offices of prosecutors, among many other things. (USA-BANKS/SETTLEMENTS (FEATURE), moved, by Karen Freifeld and Edward Krudy, 1,350 words)

COMPANIES

GM’s profit falls on recall costs, victim compensation fund

DETROIT - General Motors Co reports a lower second-quarter profit due to numerous recalls and the expected cost of at least $400 million for its victims’ compensation fund for those killed or injured by a defective ignition switch linked to at least 13 deaths. (GM-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 1), moving shortly, 555 words)

+ See also:

- FORD-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by Bernie Woodall, 445 words

Italy to sell energy grid stake to China for 2 bln euros

MILAN - Italy’s Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) says it is in advanced talks to sell a 35 percent stake in energy grid holding company CDP Reti to China’s State Grid Corp in a deal that could be worth some two billion euros. (ITALY-CHINA/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Francesca Landini and Luca Trogni, 690 words)

Espirito Santo family patriarch brought before judge

LISBON - Ricardo Espirito Santo Salgado, patriarch of Portugal’s beleaguered Espirito Santo banking family and former chief of Banco Espirito Santo, is detained by law officials and brought before a judge, prosecutors say. (PORTUGAL-BES/SALGADO, (UPDATE 2, PICTURE), by Andrei Khalip, 630 words)

Britain files criminal charges against Alstom UK unit

LONDON - Britain’s leading fraud prosecutor charges a British subsidiary of French engineering group Alstom with three offences of corruption and three offences of conspiracy to corrupt after a five-year investigation. (BRITAIN-FRAUD/ALSTOM (UPDATE 1), moved, 200 words)

Swatch Group denies working with Apple on smartwatch

ZURICH - Swiss watchmaker Swatch Group has denied a media report saying it is working with technology company Apple on a smartwatch, a wearable device with interactive functions. (SWATCH-APPLE/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 310 words)

+ See also:

- APPLE-CHINA/ (PICTURE), moved, 950 words

Google under fire over response to EU privacy ruling

BRUSSELS - Google’s handling of “right to be forgotten” requests from European citizens will come under fire from the continent’s privacy watchdogs on Thursday, after the search engine restricted the removal of Internet links to European sites only. (GOOGLE-EU/PRIVACY, moved, by Julia Fioretti, 740 words)

GSK seeks approval for world’s first malaria vaccine

LONDON - GlaxoSmithKline says it is applying for regulatory approval for the world’s first vaccine against malaria, designed for use in children in Africa. (GSK-MALARIA/VACCINE (UPDATE 2), moved by Kate Kelland, 425 words)

Roche’s breast cancer drugs keep it on track to meet targets

BASEL - Swiss drugmaker Roche confirms its full-year sales and profit targets as growing momentum for its new breast cancer medicines and professional diagnostics products counter the effects of a strong Swiss franc. (ROCHE-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Caroline Copley, 560 words)

+ See also:

- LONZA GROUP-RESULTS/(UPDATE 2), expect by 1300 GMT/9 AM ET, by Joshua Franklin, 450 words

Nokia’s fortunes brighten on heavy network spending

HELSINKI - Nokia surprises investors with strong quarterly earnings and raises its full-year profit margin forecast as network operators install more powerful systems to cope with surging mobile data traffic. (NOKIA-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 3), moved, by Sakari Suoninen and Jussi Rosendahl, 750 words)

Tough pricing and slower emerging markets hit Unilever sales

LONDON - Unilever misses second-quarter sales expectations, citing a slowdown in emerging markets and declining prices in developed ones. (UNILEVER-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Martinne Geller, 330 words)

Repsol profit tops forecasts on surprise refining strength

MADRID - Spanish oil company Repsol, which is on the hunt for acquisitions, beat quarterly profit forecasts as a surprise surge in refining margins helps cushion production declines due to shutdowns in Libya. (REPSOL-RESULTS/(UPDATE 3), moving shortly, by Tracy Rucinski, 500 words)

BASF profit misses forecast as strong euro bites

FRANKFURT - BASF, the world’s largest chemicals maker by sales, becomes the latest euro zone company to suffer from the strength of the euro, posting lower-than-expected earnings growth even as sales volumes rose. (BASF-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by Ludwig Burger, 450 words)

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