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TOP STORIES

Households, trade boost U.S. fourth-quarter growth

WASHINGTON - Robust household spending and rising exports keep the U.S. economy on solid ground in the fourth quarter, but stagnant wages could chip away some of the momentum in early 2014. (USA-ECONOMY/ (WRAPUP 2), moved, by Lucia Mutikani, 760 words)

Stocks hit 3 1/2-month lows as emerging markets rout resumes

LONDON - Global equities hit 3 1/2-month lows, as a stimulus cut by the U.S. Federal Reserve and weak Chinese data fuels a selloff in emerging markets and pushes investors towards safe-haven bonds. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/ (WRAPUP 6), moved, by Toni Vorobyova, 600 words)

+ See also:

- MARKETS-EMERGING/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Natsuko Waki, 730 words

- EMERGING-GROWTH/, expect by 1500 GMT/10 AM ET, by Sujata Rao, 800 words

- RUSSIA-ECONOMY/ (POLL), moved, by Lidia Kelly, 800 words

Capital controls not on agenda as Turkey battles lira fall

ANKARA - Turkey is not considering any sort of capital controls as it battles to defend the lira, according to a senior government official, after Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan says an "out of the ordinary" economic package could be announced soon. (TURKEY-ECONOMY/ (UPDATE 2), expect by 1400 GMT/9 AM ET, by Orhan Coskun, 650 words)

Exxon Mobil 4th-quarter profit drops 16 percent

Exxon Mobil Corp, the world's most valuable publicly traded oil company, says its quarterly profit drops 16 percent as production falls. (EXXONMOBIL-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 1), moving shortly, 200 words)

+ See also:

- CONOCOPHILLIPS-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 200 words

- OCCIDENTALPETROLEUM-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 250 words

MARKETS

Italy's 10-year debt costs fall at auction, 5-year hit low

MILAN - Italy's benchmark 10-year debt costs fall to their lowest since August 2010 at auction with large redemption flows feeding demand for its bonds amid buoyant investor sentiment towards weaker euro zone countries. (ITALY-BONDS/AUCTION, moved, 200 words)

U.S. shale, tar sands to keep oil prices under pressure

Oil prices will drop further this year as a market awash with non-conventional production gets limited support from a tepid global economic recovery, a Reuters poll forecasts. (OIL-PRICE/ (POLL), moved, by Shruti Chaturvedi, 385 words)

ECONOMY

German data raises fears of weak euro zone price pressure

BERLIN - German EU-harmonised annual inflation holds steady in January at 1.2 percent, bucking expectations for a slight acceleration and raising pressure on the European Central Bank to take fresh action to counter the threat of deflation in Europe. (GERMANY-INFLATION/ (UPDATE 1), moving shortly, 360 words)

+ see also:

- GERMANY-UNEMPLOYMENT/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 250 words

Euro zone morale climbs as recovery strengthens

BRUSSELS - Optimism in the euro zone about its economic prospects continues to improve in January with a jump in morale in the bloc's two largest economies, Germany and France. (EUROZONE-ECONOMY/SENTIMENT, moved, 200 words)

Spanish economy gathers pace, minister says challenges ahead

MADRID - Spain's economy grows for a second straight quarter in the final three months of 2013, data shows, as the economy minister highlights challenges ahead, notably bringing down the country's high unemployment rate. (SPAIN-ECONOMY/GDP (UPDATE 2), moved, by Paul Day, 340 words)

China HSBC PMI dips to 6-month low as new orders weaken

BEIJING - Business conditions for China's manufacturers worsened in January as output and new order growth weakened, a private survey shows, pointing to a weak start for the economy in 2014. (CHINA-ECONOMY/PMI, moved, 500 words)

UK mortgage approvals hit highest since Jan 2008

LONDON - British lenders approve the highest number of mortgages in nearly six years in December, but another fall in business lending underscores the challenge for the economy in 2014, Bank of England data shows. (BRITAIN LENDING/, moved, 250 words)

ECB to hold interest rates unless market rates, euro rise

LONDON - Rising money market rates and a stronger euro would push the European Central Bank into easing monetary policy further, according to a slim majority of analysts polled by Reuters, but that won't happen any time soon. (ECB-RATES/POLL, moved, by Jonathan Cable, 600 words)

Europe to launch talks to upgrade ties with Cuba

BRUSSELS/MADRID - The European Union will agree next month to deepen ties with Cuba in its most significant overture to the communist island since the bloc lifted diplomatic sanctions in 2008, people close to the matter say. (EU-CUBA/ (EXCLUSIVE), expect by 1200 GMT/7 AM ET, by Robin Emmott and Fiona Ortiz, 640 words)

COMPANIES

Santander profit doubles as crisis eases

MADRID - Santander, the euro zone's biggest bank, nearly doubles annual profit thanks to diminishing charges against bad property loans, and signals earnings will continue growing as Spain's economic recovery gathers pace. (SANTANDER-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Sarah White and Jesús Aguado, 700 words)

Shell to cut spending, sell assets after profit warning

LONDON - Anglo-Dutch oil company Royal Dutch Shell plans to sell off assets, cut spending and freeze a controversial Arctic drilling programme in a new focus on returns following a major profit warning. (SHELL/RESULTS (UPDATE 3), moved, by Sarah Young, 700 words)

Visa profit beats Street on increased use of cards

Visa Inc, the world's largest credit and debit card company, reports a better-than-expected 9 percent rise in quarterly profit as more people used cards instead of cash to make payments. (VISA-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 340 words)

+ See also:

- COURT-MASTERCARD/ (UPDATE 2), moving shortly, by Foo Yun Chee, 525 words

Roche profits rise, payout level prompts M&A questions

BASEL - Roche offers shareholders a lower-than-expected dividend payout after reporting an 18 percent rise in full-year net profit, potentially a sign the Swiss pharmaceuticals group might be keeping its cash for deals. (ROCHE-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Caroline Copley, 800 words)

Embattled UK outsourcer Serco warns on profits again

LONDON - Britain's Serco says 2014 profit could be as much as 20 percent below forecasts, a sign that the cost of rebuilding the outsourcing group from high-profile government contract failures is continuing to take its toll. (SERCO-PROFIT/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Neil Maidment and William James, 650 words)

Diageo's sales growth slows on emerging markets weakness

LONDON - Diageo, the world's biggest distilled drinks company reports a slowdown in sales growth in the last six months after demand in China and some other important emerging markets dropped sharply. (DIAGEO-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 3), moving shortly, by Martinne Geller, 695 words)

Carlos Slim expected to swoop on Telekom Austria

LONDON/VIENNA - Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim's America Movil is expected to stay ahead of any transatlantic rush into European telecoms markets this year with a bid for majority control of Telekom Austria, bankers and industry sources say.(TELEKOM AUSTRIA-AMERICA MOVIL/ (DEALTALK), moved, by Anjuli Davies, Sophie Sassard and Georgina Prodhan, 995 words)

BP drops China refinery plan as fuel demand slows - sources

BEIJING - BP is dropping plans to invest in a refinery in China, three sources with direct knowledge says, the fourth refining project in recent months to fall foul of a slowdown in growth in the world's second-largest economy. (BP-CHINA/REFINERY (EXCLUSIVE), moved, by Chen Aizhu and Judy Hua, 580 words)

H&M profit hit by investment in online, new brands

STOCKHOLM - Heavy investment in its online offering and new brands depresses fourth-quarter profits at Hennes & Mauritz and the world's No. 2 fashion retailer says it will keep expanding into more markets and products like sportswear. (H&M/RESULTS (UPDATE 2), expect by 1400 GMT/9 AM ET, by Mia Shanley and Emma Thomasson, 600 words)

+ See also:

- H&M/SUSTAINABILITY (INTERVIEW), moved, by Emma Thomasson, 740 words

BSkyB strengthens pay-TV defence with HBO deal

LONDON - BSkyB has signed a new deal with U.S. producer HBO to secure exclusive access to blockbuster shows such as "Game of Thrones" until 2020 and strengthen its defence against an increasingly competitive BT. (BSKY/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Paul Sandle, 600 words)

Lenovo steps into ring against Samsung with Motorola deal

BEIJING - Lenovo Group, the Chinese technology company that earns about 80 percent of its revenue from personal computers, is betting it can also be a challenger to Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Apple Inc in the smartphone market. (LENOVO-MOTOROLA/, moved, by Paul Carsten and Matthew Miller, 870 words)