February 3, 2014 / 9:51 AM / 4 years ago

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TOP STORIES

China, France drag on global manufacturing revival

LONDON/BEIJING - Manufacturers around the world enjoy a solid start to the year as order books swell, surveys show, marred only by Chinese factories struggled for growth and an ongoing downturn in France. (GLOBAL-ECONOMY/, expect by 1100 GMT/6 AM ET, by Jonathan Cable and Koh Gui Qing, 700 words)

+ See also:

- CHINA-ECONOMY/SERVICES-PMI (UPDATE 1) , moved, 500 words

- PMI-FINAL/GERMANY, moved, 35 words

- PMI-MANUFACTURING/FRANCE, moved, 330 words

- PMI-MANUFACTURING/BRITAIN, moved, 395 words

ECB set to reveal further detail of bank health checks

FRANKFURT - The European Central Bank will reveal more details on how it plans to go about checking that top euro zone banks have the risks on their balance sheets under control. (ECB/BANKS (UPDATE 1), expect by 1130 GMT/6.30 AM ET, by Eva Taylor, 600 words)

Lloyds delays dividend prospect after mis-selling charge

LONDON - Lloyds Banking Group says it won't ask Britain's financial regulator to allow it to start paying dividends again until the second half of the year, disappointing investors who had hoped for a payout on 2013 earnings. (LLOYDS-DIVIDEND/ (UPDATE 3), expect by 1000 GMT/5 AM ET, by Matt Scuffham and Chris Vellacott, 600 words)

Euro dogged by ECB talk, EM sell-off grinds on

LONDON - Growing pressure for another policy easing in the euro zone pins the euro near a 10-week low, as ongoing emerging market tensions drive Hungary's forint to a 10-month trough and weighs on global stocks. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/ (WRAPUP 4), expect by 1015 GMT/5.15 AM ET, by Marc Jones, 800 words)

ECONOMY

Hungary, Russia in firing line for next interest rate hikes

LONDON - After India, Turkey and South Africa, Hungary and Russia's central banks may become the next ones to tighten monetary policy to defend their currencies as investors dramatically reprice interest rate expectations. (EMERGING-RATES/, expect by 1500 GMT/10 AM ET, by Natsuko Waki, 800 words)

+ See also:

- TURKEY-INFLATION/ (UPDATE 1), moving shortly, 300 words

Inflation slump tests ECB's readiness to act

FRANKFURT - The spectre of deflation gripping the euro zone hangs over European Central Bank policymakers meeting this week and may even jog them into fresh action to pep up the bloc's weak economic recovery. (ECB/RATES (PREVIEW), moved, by Paul Carrel, 725 words)

After rocky January, markets eye data and central banks

LONDON - This week will go a long way to determining whether the uncertainty hanging over the world economy and markets fades after a rocky January or lasts further into the year. (GLOBAL ECONOMY WEEKAHEAD/, moved, by Andy Bruce, 760 words)

COMPANIES

Ryanair sees pricing pressures ease after service overhaul

DUBLIN - Ryanair reports strong forward bookings and an easing of intense price competition among European airlines, raising hopes it can quickly regain height with a new customer-friendly image after a profit warning spooked markets last year. (RYANAIR-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Conor Humphries, 435 words)

Smith & Nephew buys devices firm ArthroCare for $1.7 bln

LONDON - Artificial knee and hip maker Smith & Nephew says it has agreed to buy medical devices company ArthroCare Corp for $1.7 billion in cash to strengthen its sports medicine business. (S&N-ARTHROCARE/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 190 words)

Ablynx signs Merck deal worth up to 1.7 bln euros

BRUSSELS - Belgian biotech company Ablynx has signed a deal with Merck & Co worth up to 1.7 billion euros ($2.29 billion) to develop potential new treatments for cancer. (ABLYNX-MERCK/, moved, 200 words)

Rexam to sell most of healthcare business for $805 mln

BANGALORE/LONDON - Packaging maker Rexam says it will sell the bulk of its healthcare business to Montagu Private Equity for $805 million in cash. (REXAM-DISPOSAL/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 240 words)

Spain's Bankia shows revenue turnaround as losses fade

MADRID - Spain's bailed-out Bankia closed out the first year of its turnaround with better-than-expected net lending revenue in the fourth quarter, putting it on track for a stronger 2014 in which the state could start selling down its holding. (BANKIA-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by Sarah White, 455 words)

Julius Baer misses profit views as U.S. probe costs weigh

ZURICH - Julius Baer suffers a double blow as yearly earnings falls short of expectations and clients transferring from recently acquired Merrill funds are set to reach only the low end of its target range. (JULIUSBAER/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Katharina Bart, 270 words)

Russia's Lenta says to float in London

MOSCOW - Russian hypermarket chain Lenta, part-owned by U.S. private equity firm TPG, says it will float in London, tapping demand from investors for consumer-focused stocks buoyed by a rising middle class. (RUSSIA-LENTA/ (UPDATE 2), expect by 0930 GMT/4.30 AM ET, by Megan Davies and Maria Kiselyova, 750 words)

Etihad and Alitalia tie-up deal enters home straight

ABU DHABI - Etihad Airways and Alitalia are in the final phase of due diligence for a possible investment by the Abu Dhabi carrier in the troubled Italian airline, the companies say. (ETIHAD-ALITALIA/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Stanley Carvalho, 575 words)

Randgold produces record gold as profit stung by price

LONDON - Randgold Resources produced a record amount of gold last year, but a lower price meant earnings were below analyst expectations, the Africa-focused miner says. (RANDGOLD/RESULTS (UPDATE 1), moved, 295 words)

+ See also:

- SAFRICA-ECONOMY/GORDAN, moved, 100 words

- AMPLATS/, moved, 230 words

- HARMONYGOLD/, moved, 200 words

Carmakers scour India's back roads in search of dream market

MUMBAI - As economic torpor suffocates demand for new cars in India's megacities, incomes are growing faster in small towns and rural areas. That's pushing the likes of General Motors and Honda to fan out in search of buyers in places where fewer than 20 people in every thousand own a car - for now. (INDIA-AUTOS/FOREIGN, moved, by Aradhana Aravindan, 1,200 words)

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