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  • LONDON, Oct 2- European shares fell sharply on Thursday, with Italy's benchmark index recording its biggest one-day percentage drop in 19 months, after the European Central Bank gave fewer details than the market had expected about its plan to buy secured debt. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closed 2.4 percent lower at 1,335.11 points, the biggest...

  • LONDON, Oct 2- European shares fell sharply on Thursday, with Italy's benchmark index recording its biggest one-day percentage drop in 18 months, after the European Central Bank gave fewer details than the market had expected about its plan to buy secured debt. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closed 2.4 percent lower at 1,335.11 points, the biggest...

  • FRANKFURT, Oct 2- To its detractors, Rocket Internet, which on Thursday completed Europe's largest e-commerce flotation in a decade, is either a shameless copycat of others' business ideas or, more harshly, an apocalyptic harbinger of the next tech bubble. Over the years, the Samwers have built and sold German versions of eBay, Facebook, Groupon and others.

  • Tesla rises as Musk tweets about the 'D' Thursday, 2 Oct 2014 | 11:30 AM ET

    NEW YORK— Shares of Tesla Motors jumped almost 4 percent Thursday after the electric car maker's CEO hinted at introducing new technology next week. Elon Musk took to Twitter late Wednesday with a message that said: "About time to unveil the D and something else." Tesla Motors Inc., based in Palo Alto, California, currently makes one vehicle— the Model S sedan which...

  • *BMW offers 4- series coupe in 4 trims; i8 in 3 packages. PARIS, Oct 2- Premium carmakers Mercedes-Benz and BMW are aiming to sell more standardised cars and services to boost profit margins and simplify the complex list of options for buyers-- while also given them the choice of a bespoke car if they want. Ian Robertson, BMW board member responsible for sales and...

  • Oct 2- Wayfair Inc's shares rose as much as 27 percent in their market debut on Thursday, valuing the online home furnishings retailer at about $3.06 billion. The company's debut comes after the blockbuster listing of Chinese e-commerce juggernaut Alibaba Group Holding Ltd in New York and the strong debut of Europe's largest online fashion retailer Zalando...

  • *Fewer green sports cars at Paris show vs Frankfurt 2013. PARIS, Oct 2- High-performance sports cars are muscling greener competitors off the exhibition stands at this week's Paris auto show. Fiat SpA's Ferrari, Volkswagen AG's Lamborghini and Bentley and Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz are all unveiling new sporting models in Paris-- a marked departure from last...

  • German train drivers vote for strikes Thursday, 2 Oct 2014 | 11:03 AM ET

    BERLIN— A union representing train drivers at Germany's national railway says its members have voted overwhelmingly to strike over a pay dispute. According to news agency dpa, GDL union spokeswoman Gerda Seibert said Thursday that 91 percent of members voted in favor of strike action in a ballot. No date was immediately set for walkouts though union leader...

  • UPDATE 2-Allianz CEO Diekmann to step aside in May Thursday, 2 Oct 2014 | 11:02 AM ET

    FRANKFURT, Oct 2- Allianz will replace its chief executive earlier than expected, promoting insider Oliver Baete from May as the insurer seeks to restore order at Pimco, its U.S. funds business beset by investor and executive defections. Baete, 49, had been seen as front runner for the job, and is currently serving as Allianz's board member for insurance...

  • Air industry battles Ebola with heat scans and handwash Thursday, 2 Oct 2014 | 10:58 AM ET

    BERLIN, Oct 2- Airlines and airports handling travel to countries worst hit by the Ebola epidemic are trying to prove that flying to West Africa is safe, following concerns that the first case diagnosed in the United States could curtail worldwide services. Some airlines have already suspended or cut back flights since the summer, and only one European carrier...

  • *No EU concerns about Eli Lilly, Novartis deal. In contrast, U.S. drugmaker Eli Lilly's proposed $5.4 billion takeover of Swiss peer Novartis's animal health business triggered no such worries and will be cleared unconditionally, the sources said. Eli Lilly is buying the Novartis unit to strengthen and diversify its Elanco unit.

  • European car chiefs 'reeling' from Ford warning Thursday, 2 Oct 2014 | 10:09 AM ET

    PARIS— Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne says fellow car bosses "are still reeling" from the profit warning that rival Ford announced on the eve of the biennial gathering in Paris. Marchionne says that while he's "incredibly hopeful" that Russia's collapsing car market "will sort itself out," he doesn't expect a return to normal market conditions there until...

  • German insurer Allianz appoints new CEO Thursday, 2 Oct 2014 | 9:43 AM ET

    BERLIN— German insurer Allianz SE says board member Oliver Baete will take over as chief executive in May when current CEO Michael Diekmann steps down after more than a decade in charge. Allianz said Thursday that its supervisory board accepted Diekmann's request not to remain as CEO beyond the company's standard age limit of 60. Diekmann has been in charge...

  • *Interest rates on hold at record lows. NAPLES, Italy, Oct 2- The European Central Bank will buy bundles of loans and other forms of secured debt from mid-month in an attempt to kick start a languishing euro zone economy, despite misgivings in Germany and elsewhere. President Mario Draghi said the ECB would begin to buy covered bonds, a form of secured debt, from banks...

  • UPDATE 1-Maserati sees sales topping 35,000 this year Thursday, 2 Oct 2014 | 8:24 AM ET

    PARIS, Oct 2- Maserati expects to sell more than 35,000 cars this year and reach its 50,000 sales target in 2015, subject to the availability of a new sport utility vehicle to be launched late next year, the head of the brand said on Thursday. "For the end of the year we will be significantly beyond 35,000, but not beyond 40,000," Harald Wester told Reuters in an...

  • NAPLES, Italy, Oct 2- The European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged on Thursday, shifting focus to an asset-buying plan with which it hopes to revive the flagging euro zone economy and see off the specter of deflation. After cutting rates last month to what ECB President Mario Draghi said was "the lower bound," the ECB left its main refinancing rate at 0.05...

  • *VW doubts return to pre-crisis sales in Europe. *Ford says momentum in Europe has flattened a bit. Other executives shared his caution, particularly over Europe where a six-year sales slump has left demand around 20 percent below pre-crisis levels and sluggish economies have put a question mark over whether the gap will close anytime soon.

  • Russia dims hopes for European auto rebound Thursday, 2 Oct 2014 | 7:25 AM ET

    The European car market is seeing a fragile recovery after six years of decline, but CEOs in Paris are scaling back hopes that Russia could help drive the rebound as the sanctions imposed on the country for its involvement in the Ukraine crisis have dented confidence. Ford's new CEO, Mark Fields, told The Associated Press on Thursday that "weakness in Europe...

  • FRANKFURT, Oct 2- Shares in Rocket Internet plunged 14 percent within minutes of their stock market debut in Frankfurt on Thursday as investors gave Europe's largest internet listing since 2000 a cold welcome. By 1005 GMT, they were down 3.9 percent at 40.83 euros. Analysts said investors have been concerned about the Berlin- based company's lack of...

  • *German firms worry about Chinese grabbing Russia business. BERLIN, Oct 2- China is ready to seize any business opportunities in Russia resulting from Moscow's diplomatic showdown with Europe over Ukraine, Beijing's ambassador to Berlin said ahead of a meeting of German and Chinese leaders next week. Over 6,000 German firms are active in Russia and Germany is...