March 28, 2014 / 1:40 PM / 3 years ago

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TOP STORIES

Ukraine faces hard road to economic recovery with Moscow pushing back

KIEV - Smarting from Ukraine's U-turn towards Europe, Russia is likely to employ every weapon in its economic arsenal to ensure its neighbour's road to financial recovery is as painful as possible, even when paved with billions of dollars in Western aid. (UKRAINE-CRISIS/ECONOMY (UPDATE 2), moved, by Alessandra Prentice, 1,160 words)

+ See also:

- UKRAINE-CRISIS/IMF-TRANCHE (UPDATE 1), moved, 240 words

China's premier seeks to reassure markets with pledge of support for economy

BEIJING - China's Premier Li Keqiang seeks to reassure jittery global investors that Beijing is ready to support the cooling economy, saying the government has the necessary policies in place and will push ahead with infrastructure investment. (CHINA-ECONOMY/LI (UPDATE 3), moved, by Aileen Wang and Jonathan Standing, 750 words)

+ See also:

- CHINA-ECONOMY/PMI (PREVIEW), moved, by Adam Rose, 600 words

Spanish CPI shock flags euro deflation risks

LONDON - The euro slides to a three-week low and government bond yields across the euro zone fall as a surprise fall in Spanish inflation bolsters investors' bets the European Central Bank will ease policy next week to ward off the threat of a sustained bout of deflation. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/ (WRAPUP 5), moved, by Jamie McGeever, 800 words)

BlackBerry posts smaller-than-expected loss; shares rise

TORONTO - BlackBerry Ltd reports a much smaller-than-expected quarterly loss, sending its shares up nearly 7 percent, even as its smartphone sales continue to slide. (BLACKBERRY-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 3), moving shortly, by Euan Rocha, 450 words)

INSIGHT

Economic "honeymoon" between Germany and China fades

BERLIN - As Xi Jinping prepares to make the first trip to Germany by a Chinese president in eight years, lofty goals to boost trade between the world's top exporters look hopelessly out of reach, and German firms are beginning to rethink their aggressive push into China. (CHINA-GERMANY/ (INSIGHT), moved, by Noah Barkin and Andreas Rinke, 1,090 words)

INVESTMENT

Japanese markets face tough new fiscal year

LONDON - Japan's financial markets face a challenging new fiscal year as economic slowdown in China and other emerging trading partners and a looming sales tax hike make investors shy of risks and keep strong flows to cash-like assets. (INVESTMENT-JAPAN/ (ANALYSIS), expect by 1400 GMT/10 AM ET, by Natsuko Waki, 800 words)

ECONOMY

U.S. consumers step up spending in February, inflation remains muted

WASHINGTON - U.S. consumer spending rises in February, in the latest sign that the economy is regaining strength after being chilled by bad weather. (USA-ECONOMY/ (WRAPUP 1), moved, 450 words)

+ See also:

- USA-FED/EVANS (UPDATE 1), moved, by Saikat Chatterjee and Michael Flaherty, 430 words

German price data heightens euro zone deflation fears

BERLIN/FRANKFURT - A key measure of German inflation unexpectedly drops in March, adding to fears of deflationary pressure in the euro zone and raising pressure on the European Central Bank to act to counter risks. (GERMANY-INFLATION/STATES (UPDATE 1), moving shortly, 340 words)

OECD sees developed economies' debt topping post-war highs this year

PARIS - The combined debt burden of the biggest developed economies will surpass this year record levels seen at the end of World War II, adding pressure on governments as they roll over post-crisis debts, the OECD says. (OECD-DEBT/, moved, 300 words)

Surge in consumer confidence lifts euro zone economic sentiment

BRUSSELS - A surge in consumer confidence helps boost economic sentiment in the euro zone in March to its highest level since July 2011, data from the European Commission shows. (EUROZONE-ECONOMY/SENTIMENT (UPDATE 1), moved, by Martin Santa, 600 words)

UK and Germany say EU reform must be fair to non-euro members -FT

LONDON - Germany joins Britain in calling for European Union reforms that are fair to countries outside the euro zone, bolstering British Prime Minister David Cameron's attempts to placate eurosceptics at home. (BRITAIN-GERMANY/EU (UPDATE 2), moved, by Andy Bruce and William James, 540 words)

UK posts big current account deficit, household savings down

LONDON - Britain's current account deficit was much bigger than expected in the fourth quarter and households ran down savings to keep up their spending, reminders of the need to put the economy on a more balanced footing to maintain growth. (BRITAIN-ECONOMY/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by William Schomberg and Ana Nicolaci da Costa, 555 words)

+ See also:

- BOE-MARKETS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by Huw Jones, 585 words

- BRITAIN-CONSUMER/GFK, moved, 315 words

Spain consumer prices fall at fastest pace since Oct 2009

MADRID - Spanish national consumer prices fall at their fastest annual pace in almost four-and-a-half years in March, preliminary data shows, fueling concerns of deflation in the euro zone. (SPAIN-ECONOMY/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 370 words)

French consumer spending weaker than expected in February

PARIS - French consumer spending rises much less than expected in February, data shows, a day after a survey of household confidence recorded a surprise rebound this month. (FRANCE-ECONOMY/, moved, 270 words)

COMPANIES

Rusal posts steep 2013 loss, still in debt talks

HONG KONG - Russian aluminium producer United Company Rusal Plc posts a $3.2 billion loss for 2013, hurt by lower prices and restructuring charges, and says it is in still in talks to renegotiate part of its debt. (RUSAL-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 2), moving shortly, by Polina Devitt and Polly Yam, 660 words)

Intesa posts $6 bln loss in balance sheet clean-up

MILAN - Intesa Sanpaolo, Italy's biggest retail bank, posts a surprise net loss of 4.55 billion euros ($6.25 billion) due to heavy writedowns on bad loans and impairments on some units, but says it is now on course to rebuild profits. (INTESASANPAOLO/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Silvia Aloisi, 560 words)

UK regulators to review banks' IT systems after network crashes

LONDON - Britain's financial regulators will examine whether computer systems used by the country's banks and building societies are fit for purpose, after a succession of problems which left millions of customers unable to get any cash. (BRITAIN-REGULATOR/BANKS (UPDATE 1), moved, by Huw Jones, 335 words)

Russian carmaker Avtovaz reports loss for 2013

MOSCOW - Russia's biggest automaker Avtovaz falls to a net loss of 7.9 billion roubles ($222 million) in the past year and said its main goal for 2014 is to make the company profitable. (RUSSIA-AVTOVAZ/ (UPDATE 2), moving shortly, 400 words)

Spain's Santander says seeking further growth

SANTANDER, Spain - Santander, the euro zone's biggest bank, is ready to seize any chance it gets to further expand, Chairman Emilio Botin says, adding that the lender's Spanish home market will help drive a profit recovery in the coming years. (SANTANDER-OUTLOOK/ (UPDATE 1, PICTURE), moved, 470 words)

GM unit Opel to make Buick vehicles for U.S. in Germany

FRANKFURT - General Motors unit Opel will make two additional vehicles at its plant in Ruesselsheim, Germany, including a Buick destined for the United States, it says. (GENERALMOTORS-GERMANY/OPEL (UPDATE 1), moved, 270 words)

Lufthansa pilots announce three-day strike for next week

FRANKFURT - Pilots at Lufthansa, Germany's largest airline, will hold a three-day strike from April 2 to April 4, their union says, as they seek to pressure the German airline in pay and contract negotiations. (GERMANY-STRIKE/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 280 words)

A string of mega deals drives global M&A recovery in Q1

LONDON - A string of large transactions drove the value of global mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity up by 54 percent in the first quarter compared to the same period last year, reflecting greater deal-making confidence among chief executives. (M&A-Q1/, moved, by Sophie Sassard and Anjuli Davies, 1,200 words)

Denmark's OW Bunker shares jump in debut

COPENHAGEN - Shares in Danish ship fuel supplier OW Bunker open 17.9 percent above the initial public offering (IPO) price of 145 crowns. (OWBUNKER-IPO/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Ole Mikkelsen, 415 words)

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