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  • LONDON, Dec 18- European stocks surged on Thursday, with the market supported by a rise in Greek shares after the leader of the main opposition party said he was committed to keeping Greece in the euro should his leftist party take power next year. The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares closed up 3 percent at 1,356.23 points, its biggest percentage rise...

  • Abu Dhabi's Etihad gets A380, complete with suite Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 12:17 PM ET

    ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates— Abu Dhabi's national carrier, Etihad, showcased on Thursday the arrival of its first Airbus A380, outfitted with "the only three-room suite in the sky." The A380 is the first of a fleet of 10 on order from Etihad Airways, which is to take delivery of four more of the double-decker jets next year. The airline also showcased Thursday its...

  • EU grain to enjoy spoils of Russian export curbs Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 12:05 PM ET

    *Australia, Argentina, Canada, Ukraine could also benefit. PARIS, Dec 18- European Union grain exporters will be the main beneficiaries of Russia's pullback from international grain markets as Moscow races to cool domestic prices in the face of economic crisis, analysts and traders said. "At current prices, it's clearly European wheat that will benefit," Andree...

  • NEW YORK, Dec 18- Global crude prices fell again on Thursday, a day after a short-covering rally, as traders placed new bets that the market would resume a six-month rout on worries about a supply glut. But in late morning trade in New York, benchmark Brent and U.S. crude fell more than $1 a barrel to session lows. "We're continuing to search for a bottom, and might even see...

  • *IAG keen on Aer Lingus's slots at London's Heathrow Airport. *Aer Lingus shareholders include Ryanair, Irish government. LONDON/ DUBLIN, Dec 18- Aer Lingus has rejected a takeover approach from the owner of British Airways, which is keen to gain control of the Irish airline's slots at London's Heathrow Airport.

  • Aer Lingus rejects bid by British Airways parent Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 11:24 AM ET

    DUBLIN— Irish airline Aer Lingus has rejected a takeover bid by the International Consolidated Airlines Group, the parent company of British Airways and Spain's Iberia. Those gains were sharply pared after IAG issued a statement confirming its proposal had been rejected by the Aer Lingus board, but the stock still finished Dublin trading up 9 percent at a...

  • LONDON, Dec 18- European stocks surged on Thursday, with the market supported by a rise in Greek shares after the leader of the main opposition party said he was committed to keeping Greece in the euro should his leftist party take power next year. The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 2.8 percent at 1,353.52 points, its biggest rise since...

  • Ferguson, television's kinetic Scottish cutup, on Friday brings to a close his decade-long run as host of CBS' "The Late Late Show." "CBS and I are not getting divorced, we are consciously uncoupling," he said, puckishly echoing the words of estranged Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin. This was no surprise since, weeks earlier, David Letterman had announced he was...

  • UPDATE 6-Oil pares gains after early jump to $63 Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 10:27 AM ET

    LONDON, Dec 18- Brent crude pared early gains on Thursday to trade back below $62 a barrel, giving up much of a 3 percent spike in London as traders assessed whether a price rout is done. Oil this week slumped as low as $58.50 and has almost halved since June as fast-growing U.S. shale output overwhelms demand, with losses accelerating after producer group OPEC...

  • Rise of the car-sharing apps poses threat to auto sector Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 10:15 AM ET

    The rise of the likes of car hire app Zipcar and car-pooling rival BlaBlaCar are expected to present new challenges to mass-market carmakers such as Ford, GM, Volvo, Renault and Volkswagen while presenting fresh opportunities for existing rental networks. Online taxi business Uber is another seeking a slice of the market with its UberPop operation, which...

  • LONDON, Dec 18- Shares in Irish airline Aer Lingus surged higher on Thursday, as the Financial Times reported that British Airways-owner International Consolidated Airlines Group was considering a takeover bid. Buying Aer Lingus would give IAG additional slots at Heathrow Airport, the main British Airways hub in London which is operating close to its...

  • LONDON, Dec 18- The Swiss franc tumbled on Thursday after its central bank announced a charge on deposits, wary of a flood of money exiting Russia and likely inflows from the euro zone if the ECB starts full-scale money printing early next year. The jitters of recent weeks calmed a touch as oil rose for a second day, although the pressure was still on Russia's rouble...

  • Botched cyberattack on Syria group blamed on IS Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 8:10 AM ET

    Internet watchdog Citizen Lab says an attempt to hack into systems operated by dissidents within the self-styled caliphate could be the work of hackers affiliated with the Islamic State group. Citizen Lab analyst John Scott-Railton said there is circumstantial evidence of the group's involvement, and cautioned that if the group has moved into...

  • FOREX-Interest rate cut shocks Swiss franc lower Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 8:00 AM ET

    LONDON, Dec 18- The Swiss franc hit a 28- month trough against the dollar and also fell against the euro on Thursday after the Swiss National Bank said it would introduce negative interest rates to stop further currency appreciation. Against the dollar, the franc fell to 0.9848 francs, a level not seen since August 2012, before recovering to 0.97865 francs, down 0.6...

  • *UK retail sales beat forecasts to rise 6.4 pct y/y in Nov. *GRAPHIC: UK retail sales http://link.reuters.com/raz24v. The Office for National Statistics said the volume of goods bought at British stores last month jumped by 6.4 percent from November 2013.

  • The watchdog announced sanctions totaling 345.2 million euros on cleaning products makers Colgate-Palmolive, Henkel, Unilever, Procter& Gamble, Reckitt Benckiser, Sara Lee, SC Johnson and Bolton Solitaire. It announced a further 605.9 million euros of fines relating to personal hygiene products against Colgate-Palmolive, Henkel, Unilever, Procter& Gamble,...

  • FRANKFURT/ LONDON/ WASHINGTON, Dec 18- The world's major central banks are scrambling to work through the implications of the near halving of the price of oil in the second half of 2014, and they are coming up with very different conclusions. Perhaps unsurprisingly, policymakers looking at robust economic recoveries such as in the United States and Britain are...

  • European court rules obesity can be a disability Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 6:43 AM ET

    LONDON— Obesity can be a disability, the European Court of Justice ruled Thursday— a decision that could have widespread consequences across the 28- nation bloc for the way in which employers deal with severely overweight staff. According to Jacob Sand, Kaltoft's lawyer, the ruling means employers will have an "active obligation" to cater to the needs of their...

  • LONDON, Dec 18- Team bonding is the theme for Christmas parties in London's financial district this year as managers tone down the annual knees-up and label it as staff development. Before the 2008 crisis, a specially erected marquee in London's Canary Wharf offered Christmas parties with sit-down dinner, free-flowing champagne and a band on stilts for banks...

  • UK air service to compensate airlines for glitch Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 6:10 AM ET

    LONDON— Britain's air traffic service says it will compensate airlines for last week's computer glitch that briefly shut down London's busy airspace. NATS says an unprecedented computer systems failure Dec. 12 touched off mayhem that caused delays and canceled flights for thousands of passengers. Chief executive Richard Deakin told British lawmakers...