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Monday, 16 Dec 2013 | 4:56 AM ET

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Euro zone business recovery ends year on a high

LONDON - A fragile recovery in the euro zone's private sector is ending the year on a high as new orders flood in, but the chasm between the bloc's two biggest economies has widened, surveys show. (PMI-SERVICES/EUROZONE (UPDATE 1), expect by 1015 GMT/5.30 AM ET, by Jonathan Cable, 600 words)

Berlin supports Bundesbank's Lautenschlaeger for ECB

FRANKFURT - German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble says Bundesbank Vice President Sabine Lautenschlaeger would be a worthy candidate to succeed Joerg Asmussen on the European Central Bank Council's Executive Board. (ECB/LAUTENSCHLAEGER, expect by 1200 GMT/7 AM ET, by Eva Taylor, 750 words)

Abenomics scorecard: 'A' for early initiative, 'C' for follow-through

TOKYO/DAITO - One year into Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic revival plan the message from Japan's industrial heartland and economists is clear: he has yet to act on his pledge to stage the nation's comeback as a global economic dynamo. (JAPAN-ABENOMICS (GRAPHICS), moved, by Tomasz Janowski and Yoko Kubota, 1200 words)


Europe lifted by PMI data, China wobble hits Asia

LONDON- Robust German PMIs help Europe shrug off some mixed Asian data, though caution remains before what is likely to be a very close call on the fate of U.S. monetary stimulus. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/ (WRAPUP 4), expect by 1030 GMT/5.30 AM ET, by Marc Jones, 800 words)


Japan business mood hits 6-yr high as "Abenomics" takes hold

TOKYO - Japanese business confidence improves over the three months to December to its highest level in six years, a central bank survey shows, suggesting Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's "Abenomics" stimulus policies are gaining broader traction across the economy.(JAPAN-ECONOMY/TANKAN (UPDATE 2), moved, 800 words)

S.Korea in rush to pass 2014 budget, wary of hampering economic recovery

SEOUL - As if brinkmanship is what is required for taking decisions, South Korean lawmakers find themselves again in a last-minute rush to pass the government's 2014 spending bill to avert stunting an economic recovery that is finally gathering steam. (KOREA-ECONOMY/BUDGET, moved, 700 words)


BlackRock says it makes no Telecom Italia deals needing Italian disclosure

MILAN - U.S. money manager BlackRock says its voting stake in Telecom Italia was 7.789 percent as of Dec. 15, adding it had no agreements regarding the stake that required disclosure under Italian rules. (TELECOMITALIA/ (UPDATE 2), expect by 1200 GMT/7 AM ET, by Valentina Za, 500 words)

Carrefour to buy Klepierre shopping malls for 2 bln euros

PARIS - France's Carrefour is buying 127 shopping malls in France, Spain and Italy from real estate group Klepierre for 2 billion euros ($2.75 billion) in bid to help it revive its flagging European hypermarkets. CARREFOUR-KLEPIERRE, UPDATE 2, expect by 1100 GMT/6 AM ET, by Dominique Vidalon, 700 words)

UK regulator forces change in StanChart risk role

LONDON - The UK financial regulator is behind a move to strip one of Britain's most senior bankers of his responsibility for risk, showing the watchdog is taking a more intrusive approach to bank executives' responsibilities. (STANCHART-UK/RISK, expect by 1100 GMT/6 AM ET, by Steve Slater, 400 words)

Detroit of the East gives green light to Renault

BEIJING/SHANGHAI - Renault SA clinches full access to China's auto market by sealing a joint venture agreement with state-owned Dongfeng Motor Group in Wuhan, a city fast shaping up as China's own Detroit. (CHINA-AUTOS/WUHAN (UPDATE 1), moved, by Norihiko Shirouzu and Samuel Shen, 950 words)

Fight for cheap drugs shifts from AIDS to hepatitis pills

LONDON - A new battle is looming over access to antiviral medicines in developing countries - this time for treating hepatitis C - more than a decade after a global showdown over the price of AIDS drugs in Africa. (HEPATITIS-PRICE/ (GRAPHIC), expect by 1300 GMT/9 AM ET, by Ben Hirschler, 950 words)

Australia rolls the fluffy dice on stalling autos sector

SYDNEY - Diversification by Australia's auto manufacturing companies and solid growth in the aftermarket sector - supplying anything from fluffy dice to racing stripes - suggest fears that the collapse of the auto industry will trigger economic Armageddon are overplayed. (AUTOS-AUSTRALIA/AFTERMARKET (PIX) , moved, by Jane Wardell and Maggie Lu Yueyang, 1200 words)

After China Mobile sugar rush, Apple will fight for customers

BEIJING - For all the hype, Apple Inc's long-awaited iPhone agreement with China Mobile Ltd may deliver little more than a fleeting revenue jolt for the U.S. giant. (APPLE-CHINAMOBILE/ , moved, by Paul Carsten, 900 words)

GSK to spend $1 billion to raise stake in Indian unit

MUMBAI - GlaxoSmithKline Plc has decided to spend roughly $1 billion to raise its stake in its Indian pharmaceutical unit, betting on rising demand in emerging markets as sales in developed economies slow due to a wave of patent expirations.(GSK-INDIA/OPENOFFER (UPDATE 2), moved, by Sumeet Chatterjee, 600 words)


As America enjoys cheap gas, Asia's top buyers to pay more

SEOUL/PERTH - Asia's biggest economies face paying twice as much for some natural gas as old supply deals are renewed, with a North American shale glut years from helping to meet soaring demand in the region. (ASIA-GAS/ (PIX, GRAPHIC) , moved, by Meeyoung Cho and Rebekah Kebede, 1000 words)

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