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  • WASHINGTON, April 3- The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission is investigating high-frequency traders to see if they were breaching the derivatives regulator's rules, its chief said on Thursday.

  • RIO DE JANEIRO, April 3- Brazilian state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA suffered another setback in its effort to boost oil output last month when Italian contractor Saipem SpA dropped a 2.3 km steel pipe into the Atlantic Ocean.

  • *AbbVie drops lawsuits against European Medicines Agency. LONDON, April 3- AbbVie, one of the two U.S. companies trying to stop Europe's drugs regulator from releasing previously secret clinical trials data, said on Thursday it had withdrawn lawsuits against the watchdog.

  • NEW YORK, April 3- The euro dropped on Thursday after the European Central Bank kept interest rates on hold and pledged to use unconventional monetary measures if needed to battle low inflation in the euro zone.

  • PARIS, April 3- France's new government faced a first test of unity on Thursday as a power struggle broke out between Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and new Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg over control of trade policy.

  • Mexico and Panama sign free trade agreement Thursday, 3 Apr 2014 | 2:48 PM ET

    PANAMA CITY, April 3- The presidents of Mexico and Panama signed a free trade deal on Thursday, moving the smaller nation a step closer to joining a regional pact that includes several major Latin American economies.

  • *Gold exchange-traded fund holdings up tad Wednesday. NEW YORK/ LONDON, April 3- Gold fell on Thursday as the euro dropped against the dollar after the European Central Bank kept interest rates on hold and pledged to use unconventional measures to combat low inflation.

  • OTTAWA, April 3- The Supreme Court of Canada agreed on Thursday to hear an appeal by Chevron Corp of a lower-court decision that said Ecuadorean villagers could pursue in Ontario their $9.51 billion lawsuit for pollution in the Amazon jungle.

  • E-cig rule coming 'very soon,' U.S. FDA chief says Thursday, 3 Apr 2014 | 2:36 PM ET

    WASHINGTON, April 3- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is "pushing very hard" to release a proposed rule that would establish its authority over e-cigarettes, the head of the agency said on Thursday amid concerns the products pose a risk to children.

  • April 3- Federal authorities have opened a criminal investigation into a $400 million fraud involving Citigroup's Mexican unit, according to a person familiar with the matter.

  • NEW YORK, April 3- U.S. stocks fell on Thursday afternoon, led by a sharp drop in biotech and momentum stocks, including Facebook, Tesla and Netflix.

  • OTTAWA, April 3- Governments should require companies shipping crude oil by rail to carry enough liability insurance to make up for shortfalls in coverage carried by railways, the president of Canada's second-largest rail operator said on Thursday.

  • U.S. futures regulator CFTC probing speed traders Thursday, 3 Apr 2014 | 2:22 PM ET

    WASHINGTON, April 3- The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission is investigating high-frequency traders to see if they were breaching the derivatives regulator's rules, its chief said on Thursday.

  • So far only Ontario and British Columbia have signed on to the new regime, which provinces are not required to join. Ottawa has tried for decades to persuade Canada's 10 provinces and three territories to create a national regulator similar to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

  • WASHINGTON, April 3- The U.S. Senate's tax committee approved a package of special-interest tax breaks on Thursday, including three measures that were left off the list two days ago in a brief bipartisan nod toward fiscal reform.

  • *Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei to leave Barnes& Noble board. April 3- John Malone's Liberty Media Corp said on Thursday it has sold almost all of its stake in Barnes& Noble Inc, ending a nearly three-year bet that the struggling retailer would emerge as a dominant seller of e-books.

  • MILAN, April 3- U.S. fund manager BlackRock, which has been on a shopping spree in Italy over the past six weeks, is now the biggest shareholder in Italian cooperative lender Banco Popolare with a 6.85 percent stake.

  • PARIS, April 3- A French appeals court has upheld the choice of construction and telecoms conglomerate Bouygues to build a new judiciary complex in northern Paris, dismissing a suit by lawyers loath to leave the city centre. Bouygues won the order from the state over two years ago.

  • *Madrid's IBEX surges after strong Spanish PMIs. PARIS, April 3- European shares rose on Thursday, with some benchmark indexes hitting multi-year highs, after the European Central Bank opened the door for unconventional measures to thwart the risk of deflation. Madrid's IBEX rose 1.4 percent to 10,584.1 points, a level not seen in nearly three years.

  • LONDON, April 3- Britain plans to force tobacco firms to sell cigarettes in plain packets without branding to improve public health and cut the number of child smokers, a government minister said on Thursday, dismaying the industry and delighting anti-smoking campaigners.