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  • February proved to be a strong month for U.S. stocks, even though it ended in downbeat fashion. It also brought the Nasdaq composite within striking distance of its March 2000 high. But the S&P 500' s 5.5 percent performance marked its best monthly increase since October 2011, and a turnaround from its 3.1 percent slide in January.

  • LONDON, Feb 27- Global investors increased their bets on stocks during February as major equity markets broke through all-time highs, fuelled by the promise of more monetary stimulus, Reuters' monthly asset allocation poll showed. As around 20 central banks have cut interest rates since the start of 2015, and with the European Central Bank set to launch...

  • LONDON, Feb 27- European shares held steady at seven-year highs on Friday as investor confidence stayed buoyant ahead of the European Central Bank's monthly 60- billion-euro money-printing programme set to start in March. "The market's had a good run and it's the end of the month so we're going to see it drift lower today as people book some profit," ETX Capital's...

  • LONDON, Feb 25- A portfolio manger at PIMCO, the world's biggest bond investor, said on Wednesday fewer banks would be available to execute deals for asset managers in two years times, as regulation reduces the trading capabilities of many market makers. A lot of highly professional and experienced traders are being let go, "said Alex Struc, an executive vice...

  • LONDON— London- based Lloyds Banking Group passed a milestone Friday in its recovery from the financial crisis, reporting an annual profit and announcing plans to pay a dividend for the first time since it was rescued by British taxpayers. "This is a symbolic development that bears testament to our successful transformation and improved risk profile of the...

  • LONDON, Feb 27- Sterling dipped back below $1.54 on Friday, more than a cent below 8- week highs hit a day earlier, with a growing focus on political risks ahead of May elections helping cool the past month's stronger mood towards Britain. The pound was also 0.3 percent weaker against the euro after breaking below 73 pence per euro to a more than seven-year high on...

  • MUMBAI, Feb 27- Some staff at Indian conglomerate Sahara say they haven't been paid for several months, as the company tries to raise $1.6 billion to bail its boss Subrata Roy out of jail. Reuters interviewed 11 employees independently contacted in separate units in Delhi, Mumbai and Lucknow this week, and found workers at what was once one of India's highest...

  • LONDON, Feb 27- European shares rose to fresh seven-year highs on Friday, extending a two-month rally fuelled by the European Central Bank's money printing programme which starts in the coming weeks. About two-thirds of the way into Europe's earnings season, 55 percent of companies have met or beaten profit forecasts. Overall, fourth-quarter earnings are...

  • China, also the top producer of gold, feels its market weight should entitle it to be a price-setter for bullion and it is asserting itself at a time when the established benchmark, the century-old London fix, is under scrutiny because of alleged price-manipulation. If the Chinese fix takes off, it could add to the pressure on the London benchmark, which is used...

  • IAG, in the process of trying to acquire Ireland's Aer Lingus, on Friday reported 2014 operating profit of 1.390 billion euros, ahead of a company-supplied consensus forecast of 1.373 billion euros. IAG, which owns low-cost Vueling in Spain as well as British Airways and Iberia, wants to add Aer Lingus to its portfolio but its 1.36 billion euros approach is yet to...

  • DUBLIN, Feb 26- Malin, an Irish company set up by a number of former Elan executives to invest in privately held life science assets, said it plans to raise between 275 million and 325 million euros in one of Europe's biggest biotechnology IPOs. Former Elan chief executive Kelly Martin and chairman Bob Ingram, who sold the Irish stock market stalwart to Perrigo for...

  • LONDON, Feb 27- The stark choice faced by Britons in May's national election is summed up nowhere more clearly than by the two men vying to be finance minister. The Conservatives' George Osborne, 43, and Labour's Ed Balls, 48, have helped define what their parties stand for. "We are getting a genuinely significant choice," said Paul Johnson, director of the Institute...

  • WASHINGTON, Feb 27- A significant majority of Americans say combating climate change is a moral issue that obligates them- and world leaders- to reduce carbon emissions, a Reuters/ IPSOS poll has found. The result of the poll suggests that appeals based on ethics could be key to shifting the debate over climate change in the United States, where those demanding...

  • DIARY-Top Economic Events to March 12 Thursday, 26 Feb 2015 | 7:01 PM ET

    NEW YORK- Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President Loretta Mester, Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley, Federal Reserve Vice Chair Stanley Fischer, former Federal Reserve chair Ben Bernanke and Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Hiroshi Nakaso participate in the U.S. Monetary Policy Forum 2015 Annual Conference sponsored by the...

  • OXON HILL, Md.— Wisconsin Gov. The likely Republican presidential contender sparked pointed criticism from labor union leaders across the country after remarks delivered on the first day of the Conservative Political Action Conference in suburban Washington. Islamic State militants have captured large parts of Iraq and neighboring Syria over the last...

  • NEW YORK, Feb 26- Crude oil futures fell sharply on Thursday as rising inventories in the United States pressured both Brent and U.S. contracts and countered expectations for recovering demand. While Brent losses were tempered by those expectations for improving global demand and geopolitical concerns about energy supplies from Libya and Russia, U.S. crude...

  • NEW YORK, Feb 26- The dollar rose to a one-month high against a basket of currencies on Thursday as data on U.S. inflation and business orders revived confidence in the world's biggest economy and supported bets the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in the middle of the year. The greenback also received support from San Francisco President John Williams...

  • LONDON— Standard Chartered says its chief executive and chairman will stand down amid pressure from shareholders impatient with the board's leadership. CEO Peter Sands will leave in June and be replaced by former J.P. Standard Chartered shares rose 5.4 percent Thursday on investor optimism about the change in management.

  • NEW YORK, Feb 26- Crude oil futures fell on Thursday, as rising inventories in the United States pressured both Brent and U.S. contracts and countered expectations for recovering demand. Brent losses were tempered by those expectations for improving global demand and geopolitical concerns about energy supplies from Libya and Russia. Brent April crude was...

  • MILAN— Shape and color engaged designers on the second day of Milan Fashion Week of womenswear previews for next autumn and winter, featuring shows by Fendi, Max Mara, Just Cavalli and Prada. Some highlights from Thursday's shows:. Miuccia Prada explored cliches of beauty in her looks for next winter.