February 4, 2014 / 10:11 AM / 3 years ago

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Top Stories

Shares plunge as U.S. slowdown adds to emerging market woes

LONDON - World shares slump to a near four-month low as signs the U.S. economy is stuttering compounds already frayed nerves following a sharp sell-off in vulnerable emerging markets. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/ (WRAPUP 6), expect by 1100 GMT/6 AM ET, by Marc Jones, 785 words)

+ See also:

- MARKETS-EMERGING/ (UPDATE 1), expect by 1030 GMT/5.30 AM ET, by Natsuko Waki, 700 words

UBS beats forecasts on tax gain, fewer risks

ZURICH - Switzerland's UBS swings to a larger-than-expected fourth-quarter profit and announces higher dividends and bonuses, some reward for bucking trends in order to shrink its investment bank and reduce riskier activities. (UBS-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 3), expect by 1100 GMT/6 AM ET, by Katharina Bart, 600 words)

BP Q4 profits hit by refining weakness, ups spill charge

LONDON - BP, the West's no.4 oil company, reports weaker quarterly profits after its refining business swung to a loss, and said it would increase the accounting provision for the 2010 U.S. oil spill by $200 million. (BP/RESULTS (UPDATE 2), moving shortly, 550 words)

+ See also:

- BG/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 300 words

-NESTE-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 280 words

Currency benchmark probe shifts focus to investment managers

LONDON - The investigation into alleged manipulation of daily currency benchmarks is likely to shift its focus to investment managers after so far failing to unearth clear evidence of widespread wrongdoing at banks, an industry umbrella group says. (FX/INTERVIEW, expect by 1030 GMT/5.30 AM ET, by Patrick Graham and Clare Hutchison, 700 words)

Markets

Euro likely to weaken be losses may be temporary

LONDON - The euro may weaken as investors brace for easier policy from the European Central Bank this week, but losses could be temporary if inflows from emerging markets surge and euro zone short-term market rates stay firm, making it a "pain" trade. (MARKETS-FOREX/EURO, expect by 1500 GMT/10 AM ET, by Anirban Nag, 750 words)

Economy

UK construction at 6-1/2 year high in January - PMI

LONDON - British construction activity unexpectedly picks up more speed in January, with growth reaching its highest level since the financial crisis, a survey of purchasing managers shows. (PMI CONSTRUCTION/BRITAIN, moved, 300 words)

Improving US budget picture may temper zeal for further cuts

WASHINGTON - New U.S. budget deficit estimates due on Tuesday will likely show a rapidly improving fiscal picture over the next few years, contributing to a waning appetite in Washington for further budget cutting. (USA-FISCAL/, moved, by David Lawder, 600 words)

Spain's jobless total up, but rate of rise slows

MADRID - The number of registered jobless in Spain rises in January for the first time since October, data shows, as the labour-heavy service sector shed workers following a busy Christmas holiday season. (SPAIN-ECONOMY/JOBLESS (UPDATE 1, PICTURE), moved, by Susana Vera and Paul Day, 600 words)

Australia central bank shuts door on rate cuts, A$ surges

SYDNEY - Australia's central bank keeps its main cash rate at a record low of 2.5 percent as widely expected but surprises some by saying further cuts are not in the cards, dropping its bias to ease policy. (AUSTRALIA-ECONOMY/RATES (UPDATE 1, PICTURE), moved, by Wayne Cole, 600 words)

+ See also:

- AUSTRALIA-MACQUARIEGENERATION/, moved, by Maggie Lu Yueyang, 700 words

IMF reaches agreement on Romania aid deal review

BUCHAREST - The International Monetary Fund reaches an agreement with Romania's government on its review of its 4 billion euros aid deal, it says. (IMF-ROMANIA/, moved, 100 words)

Companies

UK banks speed up payouts to small firms for mis-selling

LONDON - Britain's biggest banks have still paid out only a fraction of the more than 3.75 billion pounds ($6 billion) they have set aside to compensate small. (UK-BANKS-MISSELLING (UPDATE 2), moved, by Matt Scuffham, 615 words)

Toyota says expects record annual profit, maintains outlook

TOKYO - Toyota Motor Corp raises its operating profit forecast for the financial year by 9 percent to a record 2.4 trillion yen ($23.7 billion) as the yen, which has fallen against the dollar by some 9 percent this financial year, buoys profits of the export-oriented car maker. (TOYOTA-EARNINGS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by Yoko Kubota, 500 words)

Panasonic wins profit surge from auto parts, homes divisions

TOKYO - Japan's Panasonic Corp says its quarterly earnings more than triple, extending its renaissance as a maker of high-tech parts for cars and energy-efficient homes with few qualms about selling off legacy businesses that once dragged it into losses. (PANASONIC-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by Sophie Knight and Reiji Murai, 680 words)

New Microsoft CEO faces mobile, investor relations challenge

SEATTLE - As Microsoft Corp prepares to unveil insider Satya Nadella as its new chief executive, investors and analysts are weighing how effective the 22-year veteran will be in re-igniting the company's mobile ambitions and satisfying Wall Street's hunger for cash. (MICROSOFT-CEO/, moved, by Bill Rigby, 855 words)

KPN to cut more jobs as mobile revenue slides

BRUSSELS - Dutch telecoms group KPN will cut up to a further 2,000 jobs after frugal consumers and stiff competition drive down quarterly revenues in its mobile division, causing profits to miss expectations. (KPN-EARNINGS/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Robert-Jan Bartunek, 460 words)

Munich Re boosts dividend after surprise 2013 profit rise

HANOVER, Germany - The world's biggest reinsurer Munich Re raises its dividend after posting a surprise rise in 2013 net profit boosted by lower than expected damage claims and taxes as well as the release of reserve buffers built up to cover past claims. (MUNICHRE-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 290 words)

Smartphone slowdown hits ARM's royalties in fourth quarter

LONDON - British chip designer ARM Holdings misses fourth-quarter expectations for royalty revenue from the use of its processors in smartphones because of slower growth in sales by Apple and Samsung. (ARM/RESULTS (UPDATE 2), expect by 1015 GMT/5.15 AM ET, by Paul Sandle, 650 words)

+ See also:

- SAMSUNG-GALAXY/, moved, 300 words

Lenovo shares dive on Sony PC buy report, downgrades

HONG KONG - Shares in Lenovo Group Ltd slumps more than 16 percent after a weekend media report says the Chinese personal computer maker was in talks with Sony Corp about a possible joint venture to buy Sony's loss-making Vaio PC business outside Japan. (LENOVO-SHARES/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Denny Thomas and Clement Tan, 545 words)

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