Euro Zone

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U.S., euro zone activity up; China decline slows

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NEW YORK/LONDON - The U.S. manufacturing sector expanded in April and the euro zone private sector started the second quarter on its strongest footing since 2011, while the pace of decline in Chinese factory activity slowed, surveys showed on Wednesday.

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Chinese factories stalling as euro zone business picks up 2:16pm BST

LONDON/BEIJING - Chinese factory activity shrank for the fourth straight month in April but private businesses across the euro zone enjoyed their best month in nearly three years, surveys showed on Wednesday.

Bailout exit beckons for Portugal after record bond sale 2:02pm BST

LISBON/LONDON - Portugal sold benchmark debt at a record low yield on Wednesday in its first bond auction in three years, a vote of market confidence that boosts Lisbon's chances of making a clean break from its bailout next month.

Greek primary surplus in 2013 was 0.8 percent of GDP- Commission 11:33am BST

BRUSSELS - Greece had a primary surplus of 0.8 percent of GDP last year, the European Commission said on Wednesday, a result that paves the way for some form of debt relief from euro zone governments that are now the main creditors of Athens.

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Euro zone private sector on strong footing but still slashing prices - PMIs 11:04am BST

LONDON - The euro zone's private sector has started the second quarter on its strongest footing in nearly three years, but burgeoning new orders were again mainly buoyed by firms cutting prices, surveys showed on Wednesday.

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Momentum in French business activity recovery wanes in April - PMI 8:51am BST

PARIS - The French private sector expanded at a much slower rate in April, surveys showed on Wednesday, underlining the fragility of the recovery in the euro zone's second-biggest economy.

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Euro zone consumer confidence improves more than expected in April 22 Apr 2014

BRUSSELS - Euro zone consumer confidence rose 0.6 points month-on-month to -8.7 in April, beating market expectations, the European Commission said in its first estimate on Tuesday.

IMF board signs off on latest Portugal review 17 Apr 2014

WASHINGTON - The International Monetary Fund signed off on its latest review of Portugal's bailout on Thursday, and also extended the program until June to finish assessing the euro zone country's progress with getting its economy back on track.

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Did Europe misdiagnose debt crisis and make it worse? 17 Apr 2014

BRUSSELS - At the height of the euro zone debt crisis, with Portugal's economy nearing collapse, the European Commission told the government in Lisbon that it had to slash wages if it was ever going to boost competitiveness and grow again.

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Insight - ECB hardliner Weidmann comes in from the cold as deflation threatens 17 Apr 2014

FRANKFURT - As recently as last November, Jens Weidmann steadfastly opposed any move by the European Central Bank to print money to buy assets and buoy the euro zone economy. No longer.

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Germany's private sector expands faster in April - PMI

BERLIN - Germany's private sector expanded faster in April, recovering from a slight slowdown in growth in March, as both manufacturing and services industry activity rose more than expected, surveys showed on Wednesday.

France deficit plan treads fine line, betting on growth

PARIS - France outlined a slower roadmap on Wednesday to reduce its chronic deficit to the European Union's treaty limit next year, based on growth assumptions described by an independent watchdog as risky.

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BlackRock cuts stake in Italian lender Monte Paschi

MILAN - Asset manager BlackRock has cut its stake in Monte dei Paschi di Siena less than a month after becoming the Italian bank's single biggest shareholder, raising questions over who will buy into the lender's imminent capital increase.

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