September 4, 2014 / 8:57 AM / 3 years ago

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TOP STORIES

Draghi under pressure of own making to deliver ECB stimulus

FRANKFURT - The European Central Bank faces intense market pressure to take policy action and risks losing credibility if it fails to back up a dovish message delivered by President Mario Draghi late last month. (ECB-RATES/, moved, by Paul Carrel, 700 words)

+ See also:

- EUROZONE ECONOMY/REFORM, moved, 200 words

Stocks dip ahead of ECB meeting

LONDON - A month-long march higher for European and Asian stock markets stalls, with all eyes on a meeting of the European Central Bank charged with addressing rising concerns over growth. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/ (WRAPUP 4), moved, by Patrick Graham, 500 words)

+ See also:

- RUSSIA-MARKETS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 445 words

EU plans intervention to deal with Russian winter gas cut

LONDON - The European Union is preparing legislation to intervene in energy markets to ensure natural gas supplies this winter even if its biggest provider, Russia, suddenly cuts its exports, an internal document seen by Reuters shows. (UKRAINE-CRISIS/GAS-EU expect by 1100 GMT/7 AM ET, by Henning Gloystein and Barbara Lewis, 800 words)

Manulife to buy Standard Life's Canadian assets for $3.7 bln

TORONTO - Manulife Financial Corp says it has agreed to acquire the Canadian operations of Standard Life Plc for about C$4 billion ($3.7 billion) in cash, in a deal that significantly expands the insurer's presence in Quebec. (STANDARD LIFE-MANULIFE FINL/MERGERS (UPDATE 3), moving shortly, by Euan Rocha, Jeffrey Hodgson and Simon Jessop, 850 words)

Commerzbank close to settling U.S. sanctions probes

NEW YORK - German lender Commerzbank is nearing agreement with U.S. authorities over its dealings with Iran and other countries under U.S. sanctions, sources familiar with the matter say. (COMMERZBANK INVESTIGATION/USA (EXCLUSIVE), moved, by Karen Freifeld, 385 words)

ECONOMY

German orders rebound in strongest rise in over a year

BERLIN - German industrial orders rose far more than expected in July in their sharpest increase in more than a year, driven by robust demand for capital goods from abroad, and raising hopes for a rebound in Europe's biggest economy in the third quarter. (ECONOMY-GERMANY/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 335 words)

UK economy slows a touch in August - CBI

LONDON - Britain's economy slows in the three months to August, adding to expectations that the strong pace of recovery will lose a bit of its momentum in the second half of the year, one of Britain's business lobby groups says. (BRITAIN-ECONOMY/CBI, moved, 300 words)

Retail investors watch as Scottish independence vote narrows

LONDON - The prospect of major financial fallout from a "yes" vote in Scotland's independence referendum in two weeks time could have a big impact on retail investors, but there are no signs yet they are moving their money. (SCOTLAND-INDEPENDENCE/INVESTORS, moved, by Simon Jessop and Nishant Kumar, 675 words)

Japan's Kuroda stays upbeat on economy as policy on hold

TOKYO - The Bank of Japan maintains its massive monetary stimulus and suggests the sales tax should rise again to help government finances, despite market doubts over the strength of the economy and the central bank's ability to hit its inflation target. (JAPAN-ECONOMY/BOJ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Leika Kihara, 815 words)

Japan's First Lady speaks out on sales tax, nuclear power

TOKYO - Japanese First Lady Akie Abe - often called the "household opposition" for her penchant to speak out - said on Thursday the country should consider cutting wasteful spending and boosting the economy before going ahead with a rise in the sales tax to 10 percent, as her husband wrestles with just that decision. (JAPAN-FIRSTLADY/ (PICTURES), moved, by Linda Sieg, 870 words)

Sweden keeps interest rate at 0.25 pct, sees hike late 2015

STOCKHOLM - Sweden's central bank keeps its key interest rate unchanged at 0.25 percent as expected and sticks with its forecast that it will start to tighten policy at the end of next year. (SWEDEN-RIKSBANK/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 315 words)

China eases funding rules for listed property firms -sources

BEIJING - China is relaxing its financing rules for listed property firms by allowing those that qualify to sell medium-term notes in the interbank market, three sources with knowledge of the matter say. (CHINA-PROPERTY/BONDS (UPDATE 1), moved, 450 words)

COMPANIES

WSP Global buys Balfour Beatty's U.S division for $1.35 bln

LONDON - British building group Balfour Beatty is to sell its U.S. design and engineering business, Parsons Brinckerhoff, to Canada's WSP Global Inc for $1.35 billion, as it pushes ahead with its turnaround strategy. (PARSONS BRINCKERHOFF GROUP-OFFER/ (UPDATE 2), moving shortly, 445 words)

Bilfinger slumps after third profit warning

FRANKFURT - Shares in Germany's Bilfinger slump after the industrial services and construction group issues its third profit warning since the end of June, rattling investors. (BILFINGER-WARNING/ (UPDATE 1), expect by 1000 GMT/6.00 AM ET, by Georgina Prodhan, 600 words)

Rocket Internet creates emerging market online fashion group

BERLIN - German venture capital group Rocket Internet is bringing together its five emerging market fashion brands to create a group worth 2.7 billion euros ($3.6 billion) as it seeks to simplify its structure ahead of a likely stock market listing. (ROCKETINTERNET/KINNEVIK (UPDATE 1), expect by 1000 GMT/6 AM ET, by Emma Thomasson, 500 words)

Ex-Genentech boss Levinson resigns from Roche's board

ZURICH - Swiss drugmaker Roche says that Art Levinson has resigned from its board of directors with immediate effect, in order to avoid any conflict of interest given his role as chief executive at Google's Calico. (ROCHE-MOVES/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by Caroline Copley, 310 words)

+ See also:

- ROCHE-M&A/CHAIRMAN, moved, 275 words

EU court rejects French appeal against SNCM state aid ruling

PARIS - The Court of Justice of the European Union rejects an appeal by the French state against a ruling forcing France-Corsica ferry operator SNCM to pay back 220 million euros of illegal state aid, the court says in a statement. (VEOLIA-FERRY/, moved, 110 words)

Singapore's GIC gives private equity firms run for money

SINGAPORE - Singapore's GIC is taking the unusual step of investing directly in unlisted firms, a move bankers say will be mimicked by other sovereign wealth funds as low yields spur fund managers to adopt a more hands-on attitude in their search for higher returns. (GIC-PRIVATEEQUITY/, moved, Saeed Azhar and Rachel Armstrong, 1,050 words)

U.S. fast-food workers set for walkouts to demand wage hike

Fast-food workers in more than 150 U.S. cities are planning protests to press for a wage increase to $15 an hour and allow them to unionize jobs from the fry-basket at McDonald's to the cash register at Burger King. (USA-RESTAURANTS/PROTESTS, moved, by Barbara Goldberg, 350 words)

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