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  • *North America a top priority in 2015. BERLIN, March 5- German sportswear company Adidas expects robust sales and profit growth in 2015 as consumer confidence improves around the world and it redoubles its efforts in North America, where it has fallen further behind fierce rival Nike. Adidas managed to slow its decline in North America in the fourth quarter, with...

  • March 5- Shares in SIM card maker Gemalto NV, hit last month by a report that U.S. and British spy services had stolen its SIM card encryption keys, fell again on Thursday following disappointing 2014 revenue growth figures. "Gemalto won't be able to put more pressure on operating spending so topline growth needs to be there in the months/years to come for the...

  • BRUSSELS— Spain has welcomed a new agreement to connect its energy network with those in Portugal and France as a major step toward breaking Europe's dependence on Russian gas supplies. He said the MIDCAT project linking gas infrastructure through Spain's northeast Catalonia region to southern France would help ensure that " Europe reduces its dependence...

  • BERLIN, March 5- Emirates has had extensive discussions with Airbus about the production of a revamped version of the A380 super jumbo with more efficient engines, the airline's president said on Thursday. Its first 90 A380 aircraft are supplied with engines from Engine Alliance, a joint venture between General Electric and Pratt& Whitney.

  • *ECB will likely avoid big decision on Greece. NICOSIA/ FRANKFURT, March 5- Keen to keep a low profile over the Greek crisis, the European Central Bank will focus on improved growth prospects on Thursday and unveil some but not all the details of its 1 trillion euros- plus bond buying plan. The ECB, meeting in Cyprus, will keep rates on hold and probably lift growth...

  • BERLIN— German factory orders, a key indicator for Europe's biggest economy, dropped much further than expected in January, led by a big drop in demand from other eurozone countries. Germany's factory orders data can be volatile. Economist Andreas Rees at UniCredit said that, despite January's orders setback, "there is no reason to worry."

  • BERLIN, March 5- Europe's largest dedicated online fashion retailer Zalando said on Thursday it plans to hire new employees on a large scale as it expands its fashion platform to support a target of 20-25 percent growth in 2015.. Zalando, which listed in Frankfurt last year, rushed out preliminary 2014 results last month after they beat analyst expectations,...

  • DIARY-Top Economic Events to March 18 Wednesday, 4 Mar 2015 | 7:01 PM ET

    TEXAS- Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher speaks on "Reflections on 10 Years at the Fed& Farewell, El Paso" before a community forum hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas El Paso Branch- 0000 GMT. SYDNEY- Reserve Bank of Australia Deputy Governor Philip Lowe speaks at the Goldman Sachs 10th Annual Global Macroeconomics Conference- 0130...

  • NEW YORK— Upscale hotel chain Mandarin Oriental says it is investigating a potential credit card breach at its hotels. Mandarin Oriental said it is coordinating with credit card agencies and forensic specialists. Mandarin Oriental operates hotels across the world including Paris, Shanghai, Hong Kong, London, New York, Miami, San Francisco, Prague, Boston, Las...

  • *Iran reiterates opposition to nuclear deal with timelines. NEW YORK, March 4- U.S. oil futures rose on Wednesday and benchmark Brent pared losses as OPEC member Iran stressed that it opposed a timeline for a freeze on nuclear activities, news that helped crude rebound from an early slide tied to swelling U.S. stockpiles. U.S. crude settled up $1.01 at $51.53 a barrel,...

  • NEW YORK, March 4- U.S. oil futures rebounded on Wednesday and benchmark Brent pared losses as OPEC member Iran reinforced its opposition to a nuclear deal with timelines, helping the market recover from an earlier price slide tied to big U.S. crude supplies. Brent was down 57 cents at $60.45 a barrel at 2:41 p.m. EST, off the day's low of $59.47.

  • LONDON, March 4- Britain on Wednesday told Russian oligarch Mikhail Fridman he had seven days to explain why he should be allowed to retain ownership of newly acquired oil and gas fields in the North Sea or face being forced to sell them. Upping the ante in a standoff that could deter other Russians from investing in Britain, Ed Davey, Britain's energy minister,...

  • NEW YORK, March 4- Oil prices fell on Wednesday after U.S. crude stock builds were more than twice levels forecast, although prices held off recent lows after Saudi Arabia's oil minister said he expected prices to recover soon from the selloff of recent months. "It's another bearish data point in an already bearish fundamental environment," said Dominick...

  • LONDON, March 4- Britain will not drop its opposition to Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman's purchase of North Sea oil and gas fields after cementing its objections at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister David Cameron, a government source told Reuters. But the British government has said that it is concerned that production at the fields could be halted if...

  • GENEVA— Carmakers have found their swagger against after years of worrying about making cars cheaper and more fuel efficient. Here's a look at what it was like at the car show in Geneva, where manufacturers put their best and latest on display. Photographers Laurent Cipriani, Martial Trezzini and Sandro Campardo contributed.

  • Euro weakness, exports lift southern Europe car output Wednesday, 4 Mar 2015 | 11:25 AM ET

    *FCA is turning the corner in Europe, CEO Marchionne says. GENEVA, March 4- While southern Europe is experiencing at best a patchy economic recovery, the outlook for the region's car makers is a little less bumpy thanks to the weak euro, cheaper oil and labour reforms. At the Geneva auto show, industry executives have warned against overoptimism about what might yet...

  • *Higher fund flows coming from eastern Europe to Dubai. Swiss-based but Abu Dhabi- owned Falcon would be open to deals covering its core target markets of the Gulf, Eastern Europe, Africa and South East Asia, according to Erich Pfister, who took up the role in January. The last major acquisition by Falcon, which manages around 16 billion francs of assets, was the...

  • *Saudi Arabia raises monthly prices for crude sales. LONDON, March 4- Brent crude oil extended losses to fall below $60 a barrel on Wednesday after a much larger-than-expected build in U.S. crude stocks, while Saudi Arabia's oil minister said he expected the market to balance itself and prices to recover. April Brent fell $1.46 to $59.56 by 1538 GMT, dropping below...

  • Vienna again tops survey of world's nicest cities Wednesday, 4 Mar 2015 | 10:02 AM ET

    VIENNA, March 4- Vienna, Austria's elegant capital on the Danube river, has again been commended as offering the best quality of life of any city in the world; Baghdad, once more, was deemed the worst to live in. Zurich, Munich, Duesseldorf and Frankfurt remained in the top 10.. New Zealand, Australia and Canada each have a city in the top 10..

  • Merkel dampen talk of 3rd Greek bailout Wednesday, 4 Mar 2015 | 9:44 AM ET

    BRUSSELS— German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the president of the European Union's executive branch cautioned Wednesday against speculation that Greece will need a third financial bailout. Greece and its creditors recently agreed a four-month extension to Athens' second bailout to June. De Guindos later said Greece will need a new accord or program if it...