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  • UK firms Aviva, Friends Life in $8.8B merger talks Saturday, 22 Nov 2014 | 7:46 AM ET

    LONDON— Britain's Aviva says it is in talks to buy another insurer, Friends Life for over 5.6 billion pounds in a deal that would create the country's leading insurance, savings and asset management company by number of customers. The companies issued a statement Friday announcing they had reached agreement on the financial terms of a transaction under which...

  • *China's first rate cut in 2 years helped spark rally. *Expectations grow for OPEC production cut at Nov. 27 meet. NEW YORK, Nov 21- Oil prices rose on Friday for their first weekly gain in two months with benchmark Brent crude returning to above $80 a barrel after a rally triggered by China's interest rate cut and speculation of an OPEC output cut.

  • LONDON, Nov 21- British insurer Aviva said on Friday it had agreed terms on a possible deal to buy rival Friends Life for 5.6 billion pounds, as British pension reform puts pressure on insurance companies to find new business. Aviva's all-share offer of 0.74 shares for every Friends Life share implies a 15 percent premium to the closing price on Friday.

  • Nov 21- British insurer Aviva said on Friday it had agreed terms on a possible deal to buy rival Friends Life for 5.6 billion pounds, as British pension reform puts pressure on insurance companies. Aviva's all-share offer of 0.74 shares for every Friends Life share implies a 15 percent premium to the closing price on Friday. Friends Life shareholders would also...

  • *OPEC watch continues as bets vary on a production cut. NEW YORK, Nov 21- Brent crude oil rose for a second straight day on Friday while U.S. crude turned lower as traders took profit on a rally triggered by China's interest rate cut and speculation that OPEC will cut output. The front-month contract for benchmark Brent crude was up 33 cents at $79.66 a barrel by...

  • *Venezuela urges OPEC to cut, says will reduce own output. NEW YORK, Nov 21- Oil jumped for a second straight day on Friday, with benchmark Brent crude returning above the $80 level after slipping below it last week, as top petroleum buyer China cut interest rates and speculation mounted that OPEC will cut output. "This market has been sold out so much that any kind of...

  • LONDON, Nov 21- Investment chiefs at the world's biggest asset managers this week unanimously forecast a stronger dollar in 2015, but they were far more cautious than many big banks on how far it would rise against the euro. Six months into a long-awaited rally for the dollar, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank are among those predicting that this is just the start of...

  • BEIJING, Nov 21- China cut interest rates unexpectedly on Friday, stepping up efforts to support the world's second-biggest economy as it heads towards its slowest expansion in nearly a quarter of a century, saddled under a mountain of debt. Beijing's first rate cut in more than two years comes as factory growth stalls and the property market, long a pillar of...

  • ECB drops Citi from FX contact group Friday, 21 Nov 2014 | 9:46 AM ET

    FRANKFURT, Nov 21- The European Central Bank has dropped Citigroup from its experts' working group on foreign exchange, days after the U.S. bank was fined by U.S. and UK regulators for failing to stop traders from trying to manipulate the currency market. A spokesman for Citi in London declined to comment. Citi's fines last week totaled $1.018 billion, made up of $358...

  • FOREX-Euro drops as Draghi raises stimulus hopes Friday, 21 Nov 2014 | 9:40 AM ET

    NEW YORK, Nov 21- The euro fell sharply on Friday after European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi said inflation expectations were declining to levels that were very low, keeping the door open for further monetary easing soon. "They have added significant liquidity to a global system that already has ample liquidity," said Lane Newman, director of foreign exchange...

  • *Shares soars as China cuts rates, Draghi talks bond buying. *Euro tumbles on Draghi, Aussie rises on China. LONDON, Nov 21- World shares surged on Friday as China surprised markets with its first interest rate cut in more than two years and the European Central Bank's Mario Draghi threw the door wide open to full scale money printing.

  • BRUSSELS, Nov 21- The dispute between Britain and Spain over Gibraltar threatens to hold up European Union plans to merge national air corridors, diplomats say. But a wrangle over the sovereignty of the isthmus that connects the British territory of Gibraltar to Spain could delay a deal even if all other issues are agreed upon, EU diplomats said.

  • BEIJING, Nov 21- China cut interest rates unexpectedly on Friday, stepping up a campaign to prop up growth in the world's second-largest economy as it heads towards its slowest growth in nearly a quarter century. "It's a surprise, another Friday night special," said Mark Williams, Chief Asia Economist with Capital Economics in London. The People's Bank of China said...

  • RUESCHLIKON, Switzerland, Nov 21- The Swiss National Bank is prepared to buy euros for francs when the exchange rate hits 1.20, a board member said on Friday, but the bank was silent about whether it has already been forced to do so to protect its cap on the safe-haven currency. "What we have to ensure is that in all foreign exchange markets- from Sunday night in Sydney to...

  • Nov 21- The People's Bank of China said on Friday it will lower its one-year benchmark lending rate by 40 basis points to 5.6 percent and cut its one-year benchmark deposit rate by 25 basis points, effective Nov. 22. It also said it would raise the ceiling for deposit rates to 1.2 times the benchmark level from the previous 1.1 times. VINCENZO LONGO, STRATEGIST AT IG.

  • Grocery chain's Christmas ad stirs tears, outrage Friday, 21 Nov 2014 | 5:56 AM ET

    "It is a somewhat brave decision on the part of Sainsbury's," said Leslie Hallam, the course director of the psychology of advertising program at the University of Lancaster. Big Christmas ads have become a tradition in Britain— an opportunity for companies to pull out all the stops to woo holiday shoppers and stamp their brands firmly on the consumer brain.

  • LONDON, Nov 20- Nigeria will have to adjust to oil prices heading lower for some time to come, Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said on Thursday in an interview in which she also cut the outlook for economic growth next year. Asked if she thought the 30 percent drop in crude prices since June might prove temporary, Okonjo-Iweala said Nigeria needed to adjust to...

  • Dutch move 122 tons of gold out of US Friday, 21 Nov 2014 | 3:17 AM ET

    AMSTERDAM— The Dutch Central Bank says it has recently shipped 122.5 tons of gold worth around 4 billion euros from safekeeping in New York back to its headquarters in Amsterdam. In a statement Friday morning the bank said that its 612.5- ton national gold reserve is now divided 31 percent in Amsterdam, 31 percent in New York, 20 percent in Ottawa, Canada and 18...

  • Duchess of Alba, an unconventional aristocrat, dies Friday, 21 Nov 2014 | 2:38 AM ET

    The Duchess of Alba, a flamboyant Spanish aristocrat known for her lifestyle, died on Thursday in her palace in Seville, the NYT reports.

  • Dow, S&P 500 push further into record territory Friday, 21 Nov 2014 | 1:35 AM ET

    Investors on Friday cheered news of an interest rate cut in China and the possibility that Europe's central bank will step up stimulus efforts in the region. "What it suggests is that these central banks are prepared to do even more to stimulate growth, to stimulate demand, and that always equates to better stock markets," said Quincy Krosby, a market strategist at...