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April 8, 2014 / 12:50 PM / 4 years ago

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TOP STORIES

Bruised stocks sag before U.S. earnings start

LONDON - A three-day sell-off in world stocks slows as investors settle into position for the start of the U.S. earnings season and gains in China add to signs of revived emerging-market demand. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/ (WRAPUP 5), expect by 1300 GMT/9 AM ET, by Marc Jones, 680 words)

Bundesbank says “low-flation” high on agenda at IMF meeting

FRANKFURT - Persistently low inflation in the euro zone and the resulting risks for the global economy will feature high on the agenda of the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the G20, Germany’s Bundesbank says. (IMF-BUNDESBANK/, expect by 1230 GMT/8.30 AM ET, by Eva Taylor and Paul Carrel, 450 words)

+ See also:

- ECONOMY-GERMANY/GDP-2015, moved, by Matthias Sobolewski, 300 words

Around one-in-three chance ECB to buy bonds outright

LONDON - There is slightly less than a one-in-three chance the European Central Bank will start buying bonds outright as it struggles to lift dangerously low inflation and support a lacklustre economic recovery, a Reuters poll finds. (ECB-POLICY/POLL, moved, by Jonathan Cable, 600 words)

Italy’s Renzi says has found funding for tax cuts

ROME - Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Tuesday insisted he had identified ways to finance his pledge to cut taxes by 10 billion euros this year ahead of a cabinet meeting which will approve his government’s latest economic targets (ITALY/, expect by 1430, by Gavin Jones, 400 words)

INVESTMENT

In low-yield world, recent defaulters get warm embrace

LONDON - From Greece to Ecuador to Pakistan, countries that not long ago saddled bondholders with multi-billion dollar defaults, are set to re-enter global markets, cashing in on a desperate investor need for higher-yielding assets. (EMERGINGMARKETS-DEFAULTERS/, expect by 1300 GMT/9 AM ET, by Sujata Rao, 750 words)

Zaoui takes top boutique spot in Europe after Lafarge deal

DUBLIN - Beware: the Zaouis are coming. Founded by Moroccan-born French bankers Yoel and Michael, Zaoui & Co has just become the number 1 mergers & acquisition boutique in Europe after marrying cement makers Lafarge and Holcim in a near $60 bln deal, Thomson Reuters data show. (ZAOUI-M&A/ (PICTURE), expect by 1300 GMT/9 AM ET, by Sophie Sassard and Anjuli Davies, 550 words)

China eases M&A rules in insurance sector

SHANGHAI/HONG KONG - China’s decision to partially relax mergers and acquisition rules in the insurance industry could see global insurance firms expand their footprint in the $288 billion market. (CHINA-INSURANCE/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Lu Jianxin and Pete Sweeney, 495 words)

ECONOMY

Germany ushers in renewable energy reform

BERLIN - Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet has approved a reform of Germany’s renewable energy law designed to curb a rise in the cost of electricity in Europe’s biggest economy driven by the rapid expansion of green power. (GERMANY ENERGY/, (UPDATE 1), moved, by Markus Wacket, 500 words)

+ See also:

- GERMANY-ENERGY/ (FACTBOX), moved, 350 words

UK economy shows more strength, IMF view awaited

LONDON - Britain gets a boost as its recovery from recession gathers new momentum ahead of an expected upgrade of its economic prospects by the International Monetary Fund. (BRITAIN-ECONOMY/MANUFACTURING (UPDATE 2), expect by 1300 GMT/9 AM ET, by William Schomberg and Ana Nicolaci da Costa, 700 words)

OECD points to positive outlook for advanced economies

PARIS - The growth outlook for advanced economies has stabilised at long-term trend levels but is deteriorating for most major emerging market countries, the OECD says. (OECD-ECONOMY/, moved, 255 words)

EU, Ukraine hold talks on risk of Russian gas cutoff

BRUSSELS - Officials from Kiev, the gas industry and the European Union hold crisis talks on energy security as fears grow over what Ukraine claims is a Russian-led plan to dismember it. (EU-CRISIS/ENERGY, expect by 1300 GMT/9 AM ET, by Barbara Lewis, 600 words)

+ See also:

- G20-AGENDA/UKRAINE, moved, by Lidia Kelly and Jan Strupczewski, 700 words

Bank of Japan keeps upbeat view despite Japan slowdown

TOKYO - The Bank of Japan sticks to its existing monetary stimulus, confident that it did not need further support measures to beat chronic deflation - even as a sales tax hike clouds the economic outlook. (JAPAN-ECONOMY/BOJ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Leika Kihara, 800 words)

EU court rules against requirement to keep telecoms data

BRUSSELS - The European Union’s highest court rules that an EU directive requiring telecoms companies to store the communications data of EU citizens for up to two years is invalid. (EU-DATA/RULING (UPDATE 1), moved, 285 words)

COMPANIES

Japan drugmaker Takeda to fight $6 bln damages in U.S.

SAN FRANCISCO/TOKYO - Takeda Pharmaceutical says it will contest $6 billion in punitive damages imposed by a U.S. federal jury in a case alleging that Japan’s largest drugmaker concealed cancer risks associated with its Actos diabetes drug. (TAKEDA PHARM-ACTOS/ (UPDATE 2, PICTURE), moved, by Daniel Levine and Edmund Klamann, 490 words)

Pricing probe threatens Britain’s ‘liberal’ energy market

LONDON/PARIS - An investigation into possible price collusion by British energy suppliers is likely to undermine the market framework that has helped make them more valuable than their European rivals. (BRITAIN-UTILITIES/ (ANALYSIS), moved, by Karolin Schaps and Geert De Clercq, 1,165 words)

British supermarket discount war not spooking suppliers

LONDON - Supermarket discount wars have long been the stuff of nightmares for grocery suppliers expected to slash their own prices in turn, but this time around in Britain many say they are sleeping just fine. (BRITAIN-RETAIL/SUPPLIERS, moved, by Neil Maidment and Martinne Geller, 970 words)

+ See also:

- BRITAIN-RETAIL/ (PICTURE), moved, by James Davey, 1,320 words

- BRITAIN-SPORTS DIRECT/ASHLEY, moved, by Neil Maidment, 600 words

UK insurers want independent probe into review disclosure

LONDON - Britain’s insurance industry has called for a fully independent inquiry into last month’s pre-release by the financial watchdog of plans for a review of aspects of the way the sector handles some of its pensions and savings clients. (BRITAIN-INSURANCE/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 415 words)

French IT services group Sopra to buy Steria

PARIS - Sopra says it plans to take over rival Steria in a friendly all-stock deal that would create a French IT services group with revenue of more than 3.1 billion euros ($4.3 billion). (GROUPE STERIA-SOPRA GROUP/ (UPDATE 2), moving shortly, 415 words)

Samsung’s lower Q1 estimate highlights smartphone challenges

SEOUL - Samsung Electronics says it is on track to post its second straight quarter of profit decline, as margins in the key smartphone business come under growing pressure from cheaper Chinese rivals. (SAMSUNG-EARNINGS/GUIDANCE (UPDATE 2, PICTURE), moved, by Se Young Lee, 650 words)

+ See also:

- NOKIA-MICROSOFT/CHINA (UPDATE 2), moving shortly, by Sakari Suoninen, 455 words

UK urges firms to sign up for swaps compensation

LONDON - Britain’s financial watchdog urges small businesses that were mis-sold interest rate hedging products to join its compensation scheme which has so far paid out less than 600 million pounds from more than 4 billion set aside by banks. (BRITAIN-BANKS/MISSELLING (UPDATE 2), expect by 1300 GMT/9 AM ET, by Matt Scuffham, 600 words)

Veolia sees growth as miners seek better water treatment

PARIS - France’s Veolia Environnement expects its revenue from treating waste water from the mining and metals industries to double to 1.5 billion euros ($2.1 billion) by 2020, as it seeks a growing share of an expanding market, its CEO says. (VEOLIA-MINING/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by Geert De Clercq, 450 words)

Eni in play as Italy prepares to shake up state firms

MILAN - The government of Matteo Renzi is looking to wipe the slate clean and seek new names at Italy’s main state-controlled groups, including oil major Eni, as top management comes up for renewal, government, political and industry sources say. (ENI-GOVERNMENT/APPOINTMENTS, moved, by Stephen Jewkes, 714 words)

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