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  • LONDON, April 16- Gold slid below $1,200 an ounce on Thursday as the dollar pared losses after upbeat U.S. factory data and demand for physical metal stayed weak, though uncertainty over the timing of a Federal Reserve rate increase underpinned prices. Spot gold was down 0.5 percent at $1,194.95 an ounce by 1434 GMT, off an early high of $1,209.10, while U.S. gold for...

  • LONDON, April 16- The lead market is on a tear. The least sexy of the industrial metals traded on the London Metal Exchange has surged by over 20 percent from its March lows to a current $2,040 per tonne. The impact on spreads and positioning is still evolving, not least because of follow-on hits on LME inventory such as this morning's fresh 15,500 tonnes of...

  • LONDON, April 16- Default insurance markets show no obvious concern at the growing risk that Greece will leave the euro zone, suggesting investors can now contemplate a future for the currency union without Athens. Default probabilities derived from credit default swaps-- seen as the purest gauge of credit risk-- have fallen this year in Italy, Spain and Portugal...

  • BERLIN, April 16- Germany should use its strong fiscal position to lower taxes, leading German, Swiss and Austrian economic institutes said on Thursday in a report commissioned by the German government. The German government balanced its budget in 2014, a year ahead of schedule, and the institutes forecast that Berlin would achieve public budget surpluses of...

  • TEXT-Greek PM Tsipras's statement to Reuters Thursday, 16 Apr 2015 | 9:37 AM ET

    ATHENS, April 16- Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told Reuters he was "firmly optimistic" his government would reach an agreement with foreign creditors by the end of April despite disagreements on issues such as pension and labour reform. "The Greek government is working hard on every individual aspect of the negotiations, in Brussels just as much as in...

  • DUESSELDORF, Germany, April 16- German labour union Verdi is prepared for a long fight with U.S. online retailer Amazon.com Inc for better pay and conditions and expects more strikes this Christmas. Verdi has organised frequent strikes at Amazon since May 2013 as it seeks to force the retailer to raise pay for warehouse workers in accordance with collective...

  • ATHENS, April 16- Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told Reuters on Thursday he was "firmly optimistic" his government would reach an agreement with foreign creditors by the end of April despite friction over issues such as pension and labour reform. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, among Tsipras's harshest critics, went so far as to say on...

  • BERLIN, April 16- Leading economic institutes from Germany, Austria and Switzerland warned on Thursday there was a risk stock market bubbles could form as a result of the European Central Bank's money-printing stimulus. Under a quantitative easing programme which started in early March, the ECB aims to buy 60 billion euros of bonds a month until September 2016,...

  • Greek bond yields soar as debt default fears swell Thursday, 16 Apr 2015 | 7:34 AM ET

    LONDON— Mounting fears of a Greek debt default sent the country's borrowing costs surging higher Thursday and prompted one prominent U.K. bookmaker to stop taking bets on the possibility of Greece leaving the euro. Greece owes the IMF around 1 billion euros in repayments next month. "What is concerning is how quickly these' informal' talks could turn into serious...

  • European equities retreat from highs on Greek concerns Thursday, 16 Apr 2015 | 7:23 AM ET

    LONDON, April 16- European equities retreated on Thursday, with growing concerns about Greece's debt situation prompting investors to take some profits after the previous session's 14- year highs. Greece's ATG share index fell 0.8 percent as the Financial Times reported the International Monetary Fund had rebuffed a request from the country to delay loan...

  • Media stocks drag down European equities from highs Thursday, 16 Apr 2015 | 6:31 AM ET

    The STOXX Europe Media index dropped 1.3 percent, the top sectoral decliner, dragged down by a 3.6 percent fall in Pearson after a report saying the Los Angeles Unified School District was seeking a refund from Apple over a bungled $1.3 billion iPad plan with curriculum from Pearson. Around Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 index was down 0.3 percent and Germany's DAX...

  • Reports: VW board meeting amid leadership spat Thursday, 16 Apr 2015 | 6:26 AM ET

    BERLIN— The supervisory board of Volkswagen is meeting Thursday following a public spat within the carmaker's top leadership, German media report. News agency dpa reported, without citing sources, that the extraordinary meeting was called to discuss the row between board chairman Ferdinand Piech and CEO Martin Winterkorn. Piech was quoted Friday by Der...

  • LONDON, April 16- Euro zone government borrowing costs slid to new lows on Thursday, a day after the European Central Bank pledged to fulfill its 1 trillion euro bond-buying program, although regional stocks took a step back from this week's multi-year peaks. Investors also fretted about the deepening crisis in Greece. Credit rating agency Standard& Poor's...

  • ZURICH, April 16- Swiss cement maker Holcim said on Thursday it expects the first tranche of new shares in its tie-up with France's Lafarge to be listed on exchanges in Zurich and Paris in mid July. In an invitation to shareholders, Holcim proposed increasing share capital through issuing up to 264.237 million fully paid-in registered shares with a par value of 2...

  • *Vestager insists not swayed by EU governments, Google rivals. BRUSSELS, April 16- Google boss Eric Schmidt might have missed it in the uproar over the EU's antitrust charges against the U.S. tech giant, but European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager wants to congratulate him. It was a throwaway line in an hour-long press conference in Brussels as...

  • DIARY- Top Economic Events to April 28 Wednesday, 15 Apr 2015 | 8:01 PM ET

    WASHINGTON- European Central Bank Vice President Vitor Constancio speaks before the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College 24th Annual Hyman P. Minsky Conference on the State of the U.S. and World Economies- 1300 GMT. WASHINGTON- International Monetary Fund Deputy Managing Director Min Zhu, Central Bank of Malaysia Governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz, Turkey Deputy...

  • And Venezuela's oil minister Asdrubal Chavez met in Caracas with the local ambassadors of eight OPEC members plus Indonesia on Wednesday, the ministry said. Nearly four months of sub- $60 a barrel crude oil prices is weighing heavily on cash-strapped producers such as Venezuela and Russia, who failed to coax OPEC into cutting output last November.

  • WASHINGTON, April 15- Iraq's oil minister said on Wednesday his country's oil exports should hit a record of about 3.1 million barrels per day in April as output from the country's southern fields stays strong and weather conditions improve. Mehdi was in Washington with Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi on his first visit to Washington as leader.

  • *EU sends Google antitrust charge sheet over shopping searches. *Google says its products foster competition, help consumers. It also started another antitrust investigation into the Android mobile operating system, a key element in Google's strategy to maintain revenues from online advertising as people switch from Web browser searches to smartphone...

  • Airbus plans exceptional 10 pct buyback, new legal status Wednesday, 15 Apr 2015 | 5:23 PM ET

    PARIS, April 15- Airbus Group will ask shareholders to approve an exceptional share buyback of up to 10 percent of its capital at its annual meeting on May 27, the aerospace group said on Wednesday. Airbus is also pressing ahead with previously announced plans to adopt " European Company" status. Holding company Airbus Group N.V. would be renamed Airbus Group SE and...