BERLIN— A senior European Union official says he opposes cutting back gas ties with Russia in the next few years but the bloc should work on diversifying supplies. Russia is a major European gas supplier, and mounting tensions over Ukraine have raised concerns about possible disruption.» Read More
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.
STOCKHOLM, Dec 19- Shares in Saab rose by a quarter on Thursday after Brazil said it would buy 36 Gripen fighter jets for around $4.5 billion in a move seen improving the Swedish firm's chances of more export contracts.
*Fed trims bond buying $10 bln to $75 bln, starting in Jan. Wall Street had ended at a record high and after big gains in Tokyo and some other parts of Asia, European stocks raced out of the blocks up 1.5 percent in their biggest jump in over two months.
*Euro just off almost two week low of $1.36495. LONDON, Dec 19- The dollar struggled to gain ground on Thursday after the Federal Reserve surprised many analysts by announcing its long-awaited first cut in bond-buying but couched it by promising interest rates would stay low for longer.
MOSCOW, Dec 19- President Vladimir Putin portrayed on Thursday Russia's bailout of Ukraine as an act of brotherly love to stave off economic crisis and said it was not designed to keep Kiev out of the European Union's clutches.
KYOTO, Japan, Dec 19- Japanese battery maker GS Yuasa Corp said suppliers should take a more active role to ensure their technologies work properly in new settings, after its batteries overheated and grounded Boeing Co's Dreamliner early this year. GS Yuasa makes the battery while France's Thales SA makes the related control systems.
LONDON, Dec 19- European shares hit a two-week high on Thursday, tracking gains on Wall Street and in Asia, in a broad rally after the Federal Reserve announced a modest cut in its stimulus and hinted it would keep rates low for a longer period.
NEW DELHI/ MUMBAI, Dec 19- India is better prepared than it was months ago to deal with the Federal Reserve's reduction of its monetary stimulus, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said on Thursday, as the rupee fell only slightly in the wake of the once much-feared decision.
KIEV, Dec 19- Ukraine's 2014 budget sees economic growth at 3 percent year-on-year, a draft document showed on Thursday, after Kiev said a $15 billion aid package from Moscow would help revive its ailing economy that has shrunk for the past five consecutive quarters.
MANILA, Dec 19- The Philippines will put two infrastructure projects worth 100.3 billion pesos up for tender in April and will push through about a dozen other projects before President Benigno Aquino steps down in three years' time, a government official said.
LONDON, Dec 19- AstraZeneca has agreed to buy Bristol-Myers Squibb's stake in the companies' diabetes joint venture for up to $4.1 billion in a deal that will help return the group to growth, sending its shares to an new high.
PARIS, Dec 19- European shares rose early on Thursday, mirroring sharp gains on Wall Street after the U.S. Shares in Saab AB were the top gainers in Europe, jumping 24 percent after Brazil awarded a $4.5 billion contract to Saab to supply the country's air force with 36 new Gripen NG fighters by 2020..
Dec 19- Royal Bank of Scotland's markets division has banned the use of multi-dealer online chat rooms, the bank said, joining rival banks that have taken similar action in response to regulatory scrutiny.
FRANKFURT/ OSLO, Dec 19- Bayer has won the backing of Algeta's board to take over its Norwegian partner for a new prostate cancer treatment after sweetening its offer to 362 Norwegian crowns per share, valuing Algeta at $2.9 billion. Algeta's board unanimously recommended that shareholders accept Bayer's sweetened offer, Algeta said in a statement on Thursday.
Dec 19- Hong Kong shares fell to a 5- week low on Thursday, underperforming most Asian markets on weakness in Chinese stocks and after the U.S. The Hang Seng Index ended down 1.1 percent at 22,888.75 points, while the China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong fell 1.7 percent.
*Gold fell 1 pct in previous session. SINGAPORE, Dec 19- Gold held steady on Thursday after overnight losses prompted by the Federal Reserve's decision to pare its stimulus, indicating investors may have largely priced in the U.S. central bank's move.
Dec 19- The Commodity Futures Trading Commission said the size of the overall swaps market was understated in the weekly reports it began publishing last month, due to technical errors at two swaps data repositories that are responsible for maintaining market data.
*Fed tapering may keep yen weak, support Japan CPI-analysts. TOKYO, Dec 19- The Federal Reserve's smooth start in dialing down its massive stimulus without disrupting markets removes one uncertainty for the Bank of Japan, giving it more time to decide whether further monetary expansion will be needed next year, analysts say.
Dec 19- Shanghai shares extended their losing streak to an eighth day in tepid trade on Thursday, as investors worried about rising funding costs hurting corporate profits after China's money rates spiked for a second day. Analysts said investors were disappointed after China's central bank declined to inject fresh funds during open market operations.