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  • BRUSSELS, Dec 19- The European Union launched a case against Brazil at the World Trade Organization on Thursday over Brasilia's taxes on imports ranging from cars to computers, but insisted the dispute should have no bearing on delicate free-trade talks.

  • LONDON, Dec 19- European shares climbed to a two-week high on Thursday in a broad market rally, with cyclical stocks racing higher after a modest stimulus cut by the Federal Reserve and signals it would keep rates low for a longer period.

  • STOCKHOLM, Dec 19- Shares in Swedish aerospace firm Saab leapt by a quarter on Thursday after it beat U.S. and French rivals to win a $4.5 billion fighter deal with Brazil, strengthening its hand in competing for export orders for years to come.

  • Vodafone gets $604 mln India tax demand Thursday, 19 Dec 2013 | 6:31 AM ET

    Dec 19- Vodafone Group Plc has received a final tax demand of about $604 million from Indian authorities, adding to its tax disputes in the country since it bought Hutchison Whampoa's mobile business there in 2007..

  • PARIS, Dec 19- The French and German finance ministers sought on Thursday to reassure that a European plan to deal with failed banks would be sufficient, hours after a deal was reached in Brussels.

  • *Germany, Britain and Spain upbeat; others still gloomy. BERLIN/ PARIS, Dec 19- Retailers in Europe are predicting their best Christmas since the financial crisis, though optimism is laced with caution in the face of rising e-commerce and early discounting in a fragile economic recovery.

  • MUMBAI, Dec 19- It took months of arm-twisting and assurances from New Delhi to persuade British retailer Tesco Plc to take the plunge and become the first foreign player to set up a chain of supermarkets in India.

  • LONDON, Dec 19- Copper dipped on Thursday, slipping further from near two-month highs hit this week as investors digested the U.S. central bank's decision to trim its massive stimulus programme on a brightening U.S. economic outlook.

  • WASHINGTON, Dec 19- About half of the raw chicken breasts in a nationwide sampling carried antibiotic-resistant "superbug" bacteria, a U.S. consumer group said on Thursday, calling for stricter limits on use of the medicines on livestock.

  • For three hours Yanukovich cajoled and bullied anyone who pushed for Ukraine to have closer ties to Russia. A handful of deputies from his Party of Regions complained that their businesses in Ukraine's Russian-speaking east would suffer if Yanukovich didn't agree to closer ties with Russia.

  • NEW DELHI, Dec 19- India has added Italy's ENI to a list of foreign firms that can sell crude oil at official prices to state refiners, sources said, in the first such revision to the list since 2001..

  • Federal Reserve's decision to cut bond-buying and the UK currency's biggest daily rise in a month against the dollar. Sterling was last trading 0.1 percent lower on the day at $1.6370, compared with $1.6386 before the UK retail sales data was released.

  • KIEV, Dec 19- Ukraine expects economic growth of 3 percent in 2014, a draft budget showed on Thursday, days after Russia offered a $15 billion lifeline to help revive its smaller neighbour's economy and keep the country in its orbit.

  • *Gold grinds against support at $1,200/ oz. LONDON, Dec 19- Gold slid more than 1 percent on Thursday to its lowest since late June after the U.S. Spot gold was down 1.2 percent at $1,203.85 an ounce at 1000 GMT, having earlier touched a low of $1,200.25.

  • ROME, Dec 19- Italy's main business lobby group Confindustria warned on Thursday that the country was "on a razor's edge", facing an increasing risk of social breakdown despite signs that its two-year recession was coming to an end.

  • DETROIT, Dec 19- Honda Motor Co will introduce a new version of its subcompact Fit and the automaker's luxury brand Acura will show its TLX midsize sedan as a prototype at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next month.

  • BEIJING, Dec 19- The Chinese government has renewed the press accreditations for journalists from Bloomberg News and several New York Times reporters, a journalists' group said on Thursday.

  • LONDON, Dec 19- Brent crude oil futures held steady at over $109 a barrel on Thursday as the market shrugged off a move by the U.S. Brent crude was down 17 cents to $109.46 a barrel by 0922 GMT, after ending $1.19 higher on Wednesday. U.S. oil fell 3 cents to $97.77, after ending 58 cents up.

  • LONDON, Dec 19- Global regulators have softened proposed new rules for securitisation in a bid to help to kick start a financing method tarnished by the financial crisis. Securitisation in Europe has dropped from $1.2 trillion in 2008 to $322 billion last year, according to Bank of England figures.

  • *Putin portrays Ukraine bailout as brotherly love. MOSCOW, Dec 19- President Vladimir Putin on Thursday portrayed Russia's bailout of Ukraine as an act of brotherly love to stave off economic crisis and said it was not designed to keep its big neighbour out of Europe's clutches.

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