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  • *FTSEurofirst 300 flat, Euro STOXX 50 down 0.1 pct. *Airlines down after volcano eruption in Iceland. LONDON, Aug 29- European shares were poised to end a positive August on a softer note on Friday after euro zone inflation data slightly cooled market speculation about fresh monetary stimulus by the European Central bank.

  • *Mobile is weak link in Sony's struggling electronics division. TOKYO, Aug 29- Japan's SoftBank Corp and its U.S. mobile carrier Sprint Corp will offer a Sony smartphone for the first time, sources with knowledge of the matter said, as the two technology titans confront daunting challenges in the U.S. market.

  • MOSCOW, Aug 29- The Ukraine conflict has evoked many memories of the Cold War, including a footloose attitude to the truth. But there are also some European powers, including Germany and France, who despite being on the opposite side of the crisis share Putin's desire not to paint it as an out-and-out war between Russia and Ukraine.

  • BERLIN, Aug 29- Pilots at Lufthansa's budget carrier Germanwings staged a six-hour strike on Friday, disrupting travel plans of thousands of people returning from summer holidays and putting pressure on Lufthansa management in a pension scheme dispute.

  • *FTSEurofirst 300, Euro STOXX 50 up 0.1 pct. *Euro STOXX 50 set for best monthly gain since Feb. LONDON, Aug 29- European shares trimmed their early gains on Friday as euro zone inflation data slightly cooled market speculation about fresh monetary stimulus by the European Central bank.

  • BRUSSELS/ FRANKFURT, Aug 29- Euro zone inflation dropped as expected to a fresh five year low in August, data showed on Friday, something likely to concern the European Central Bank but not force it into immediate policy intervention.

  • German economic fears growing but Merkel strong Friday, 29 Aug 2014 | 5:12 AM ET

    "She holds her line, and this gives the German electorate the impression she is doing a good job in the interests of Germany," said Nils Diederich, a political scientist at Berlin's Free University. Merkel's support stands at 65 percent according to the latest polls, and her party was also by far the most popular in Germany.

  • *Mobile is weakest link in Sony's struggling electronics division. TOKYO, Aug 29- Japanese wireless operator SoftBank Corp will offer a Sony smartphone for the first time, selling a soon-to-be-launched Xperia in Japan, and in the United States via its unit Sprint, sources with knowledge of the matter said.

  • Worrying eurozone inflation sags again to 0.3 pct Friday, 29 Aug 2014 | 5:03 AM ET

    FRANKFURT, Germany— Inflation in the 18 countries that use the euro sank to 0.3 percent in August, a worrying sign of economic weakness that is putting pressure on the European Central Bank to take drastic steps to save a stalling recovery.

  • *Share markets weak as Russia- Ukraine tensions swirl. LONDON, Aug 29- The euro was near a year low and on course for a fourth week of falls on Friday ahead of what was expected to be another stodgy euro zone inflation reading, and as tensions with Russia over Ukraine kept the region on edge.

  • Europe shares inch; Tesco sinks after warning Friday, 29 Aug 2014 | 4:30 AM ET

    *FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.3 pct, Euro STOXX 50 up 0.5 pct. PARIS, Aug 29- European shares rose in early trade on Friday, recovering some of the ground lost in the previous session as investors awaited inflation figures that may shed light on the European Central Bank's next policy move.

  • TOKYO, Aug 29- SoftBank Corp is to offer a Sony Corp smartphone for the first time, selling the upcoming Xperia handset both in Japan and through subsidiary Sprint Corp in the United States, sources with knowledge of the matter said.

  • Dozens of planes grounded in German pilot strike Friday, 29 Aug 2014 | 2:37 AM ET

    BERLIN— Thousands of passengers are feeling the impact of a pilots strike in Germany after negotiations between the country's biggest airline Lufthansa and the union representing pilots collapsed over a long-running dispute regarding wages and early retirement benefits.

  • Beer gardens helping Milwaukee County budgets Friday, 29 Aug 2014 | 1:40 AM ET

    MILWAUKEE— Oversized mugs of beer clink together as drinkers sitting under a canopy of trees in a Milwaukee public park listen to live accordion music and proclaim "Prost!"

  • *Decisions will help shape EU policy on economy, Ukraine. WARSAW/ BRUSSELS/ PARIS, Aug 28- Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk is seriously considering a proposal that he take the post of president of the European Council, a Warsaw government spokeswoman said on Thursday, linking his decision to the crisis in neighbouring Ukraine.

  • *EU leaders to hold jobs summit on Saturday in Brussels. BRUSSELS/ PARIS, Aug 28- Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has emerged as clear favorite for the key post of president of the European Council when EU leaders meet for a special summit on Saturday, several sources familiar with the selection process said.

  • LONDON, Aug 28- Copper prices fell on Thursday, under pressure from escalating tensions in Ukraine and worse-than-expected euro zone economic sentiment, while falls in aluminum prices were kept in check by tightening availability of near-term supplies.

  • Germany readies volcano outbreak measures Thursday, 28 Aug 2014 | 8:55 AM ET

    BERLIN— Germany has put a specialized aircraft and a network of laser measuring stations on stand-by in case Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano erupts. Germany's transportation minister, Alexander Dobrindt, said Thursday that the laser measuring stations can detect ash concentration up to an altitude of 12 kilometers.

  • BERLIN, Aug 28- After ramming austerity medicine down the throats of smaller euro zone countries for the past four years, Germany is showing clemency towards its closest ally, France.

  • *Supply rises by 90,000 bpd, led by Libya, Angola. LONDON, Aug 28- OPEC's oil production has risen in August from July, a Reuters survey found on Thursday, as a recovery in Libyan supply held up and Angola and Iran boosted supplies, outweighing a further decline in Iraq.