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World equities hit 2-week low as tech shares retreat

LONDON - Global equities slip to a two-week low, with an escalating selloff on Wall Street led by technology and biotech shares on concerns of stretched valuations spreading to Asia and Europe. (MARKETS-GLOBAL (WRAPUP 5), moving shortly, by Atul Prakash, 600 words)

+ See also:

- MARKETS-BONDS/EURO, moving shortly, by John Geddie, 490 words

Draghi takes slow road to QE with packaged-debt push

FRANKFURT - A European Central Bank mission to rehabilitate the debt market that was at the heart of the financial crisis will take too long to deal the 'shock and awe' blow to the euro zone's deflation risk that markets crave. (ECB/ABS (ANALYSIS), expect by 1000 GMT/6 AM ET, by Eva Taylor, 900 words)

Co-op Bank confident of raising funds to secure future

LONDON - Britain's Co-operative Bank is confident of raising the extra funds it needs to secure its future even without the backing of its parent, the Co-operative Group, despite confirming losses of 1.3 billion pounds for 2013. (COOP BANK-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 2), expect by 0930 GMT/5.30 AM ET, by Matt Scuffham, 600 words)

Heartbleed threat's impact spreads to firewalls and beyond

BOSTON - Email systems, firewalls and potentially even mobile phones could all be hacked by the "Heartbleed" computer bug, according to security experts, who warn the risks extend far beyond Web servers. (CYBERSECURITY-INTERNET/BUG, moved, by Jim Finkle, 700 words)


Hard work needed to exploit emerging market bounce

LONDON - Institutional investors returning to emerging markets may have to become nimble to grab short-term opportunities as simply buying cheap assets is unlikely to be a winning strategy. (EMERGING-BOUNCE (ANALYSIS), expect 1500 GMT/11 AM ET, by Natsuko Waki, 800 words)

Domestic UK stocks set to lag cheaper international peers

LONDON - A year-long outperformance by domestically focused British stocks is likely to evaporate this year, with their rich valuations prompting investors to switch to cheaper, globally exposed firms. (MARKETS-BRITAIN-STOCKS/DOMESTIC, expect by 1200 GMT/8 AM ET, by Atul Prakash, 640 words)

Investors see Africa as consumer of its own commodities

DAKAR/JOHANNESBURG - For centuries, merchants from West and East tussled for access to Africa's raw materials, but the continent's booming growth and swelling population give it an opportunity to shift away from the traditional raw material export model towards consuming and transforming its own commodities and selling them to its own expanding local markets. (AFRICA-SUMMIT/COMMODITIES/ (REUTERS SUMMIT), PIX, TV, expect by 1100 GMT/0700 AM ET, by Emma Farge and Helen Nyambura-Mwaura, 900 words)


Osborne touts UK recovery on return to sceptical IMF

LONDON - Finance minister George Osborne holds up Britain's recent strong pace of economic growth as vindication of his austerity programme that came under fire from the International Monetary Fund last year. (G20-ECONOMY/BRITAIN, moved, by William Schomberg, 450 words)

China consumer prices rise, but industry deflation persists

BEIJING - China's consumer inflation rate increases in March as fresh food prices jump, but persistent deflation in the industrial sector is another signal of weak demand and slowing growth in the world's second-largest economy. (CHINA-ECONOMY/CPI, moved, by Adam Rose, 500 words)

- CHINA-ECONOMY/PBOC, moved, 450 words

- CHINA-INVESTMENTGRADE/, moved, 450 words

Moody's cuts Turkey's outlook, Turkish assets down

ISTANBUL - Moody's cuts the outlook on Turkey's sovereign rating to negative, citing political turbulence, increased external financing pressure and weaker growth outlook, triggering losses in Turkish assets. (TURKEY-MOODY'S (UPDATE 2), expect 1000 GMT/6 AM ET, by Ece Toksabay and Seda Sezer, 600 words)

Israel gas breathe life into strained ties with neighbours

MILAN/LONDON - Israel's drive to export its newfound gas is helping to rebuild strained ties with old regional allies Egypt and Turkey, but could deprive Europe of a rare alternative to Russian gas. (ISRAEL-EGYPT/GAS, expect 1600 GMT/12 AM ET, by Oleg Vukmanovic and Ron Bousso, 900 words)

US may give up beef tariff demand for trade deal - Nikkei

TOKYO - The United States appears willing to accept a big cut in Japanese tariffs on beef imports rather than insist on scrapping the levy, the Nikkei business daily says, as the two countries seek a trade deal seen as vital to a broader regional pact. (APAN-USA/TPP, moved, by Linda Sieg, 500 words)


Top EU banks trim another 5,300 branches in 2014

LONDON - Europe's top banks slimmed down by another 5,300 branches last year and experts expect even bigger reductions in the near future as customers embrace speedy online banking over traditional face-to-face contact. (EUROPEAN-BANKS/BRANCHES, expect by 1200 GMT/8 AM ET, by Laura Noonan, 900 words)

Etihad moves closer to buying 49 percent of Alitalia -source

ROME - The prospects of Etihad buying nearly half of Italy's Alitalia have significantly increased after a meeting between CEO James Hogan and Prime Minister Matteo Renzi this week, which showed difficulties over future job cuts are not insurmountable. (ALITALIA-ETIHAD/ (UPDATE 1), expect 0900 GMT/5 AM ET, by Giselda Vagnoni, 500 words)

Raiffeisen Zentralbank core tier 1 ratio falls to 9.9 pct

VIENNA - Raiffeisen Zentralbank's core tier 1 capital ratio falls by a percentage point to 9.9 percent of risk-weighted assets as weaker eastern European currencies hit its balance sheet. (RAIFFEISEN-RESULTS, (UPDATE 2), expect by 1030 GMT/6.30 AM ET, by Michael Shields, 600 words)

Jupiter gets new money boost, flags potential payouts

LONDON - Jupiter Fund Management takes in fresh new money in the first quarter, gives a positive outlook and reaffirms its aim to "reward investors". (JUPITER/TRADING, (UPDATE 2), expect by 1100 GMT/7 AM ET, by Simon Jessop and Joshua Franklin, 320 words)


High-cost Australia may miss $180 bln LNG expansion wav

PERTH - Stung by soaring costs, the gas industry paints a gloomy outlook for new liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects in Australia, putting at risk $180 billion of developments from 2018 onwards. (AUSTRALIA-LNG/, moved, by Sonali Paul, 1,000 words)

Australia's Padbury Mining secures $6.5 bln port funding

SYDNEY - Australia's Padbury Mining Ltd says it has secured almost $6.5 billion in funding to build a new deepwater port and railway at Oakajee in Western Australia, potentially opening a new export hub for the region's iron ore riches. (AUSTRALIA-PADBURY/FUNDING, moved, 400 words)