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DETROIT, May 12- General Motors Co has reassigned an executive who dealt with U.S. safety regulators probing defective ignition switches linked to at least 13 deaths, as part of a restructuring meant to improve vehicle safety, the automaker said on Monday.
*Ukraine situation remains in focus after referendum. The advance game despite ongoing geopolitical concerns in the Ukraine after pro-Russian rebels voted in favor of self-rule in eastern regions of the country in a referendum dismissed by Kiev and Western governments as illegal.
LONDON/ WARSAW, May 12- A quarter century after the Cold War ended, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will cut its growth forecasts this week as a new East-West standoff over Ukraine hurts many post-communist economies.
LONDON, May 12- European shares scaled six-year highs on Monday, led by Italian companies after strong results from the country's biggest bank, UniCredit, among other firms.
YOKOHAMA, Japan, May 12- Nissan Motor Co will prioritise boosting profit margins over market share, its CEO said on Monday, signalling a shift in emphasis after the Japanese automaker forecast the lowest operating margin among its peers for this financial year.
MUMBAI, May 12- India's central bank said on Monday that domestic banks will be allowed to offer structured derivatives through their overseas branches even if these products are currently not allowed in India.
May 12- Hillshire Brands Co will buy Pinnacle Foods Inc for $4.3 billion to add products such as Duncan Hines baking mixes and Bird's Eye frozen foods to its lineup that includes Jimmy Dean sausages and Sara Lee desserts. Hillshire's other products include Hillshire Farm luncheon meats, Aidells sausages and Gallo Salame salamis.
May 12- U.S. railroad company Union Pacific Corp said on Monday that a rail line on which a train derailed near the town of LaSalle in northern Colorado was back in service. The line, which is used about once a day, connects Windsor, where the oil originated, and other towns in the Niobrara oil shale formation in northeastern Colorado.
NEW YORK, May 12- U.S. stocks opened higher on Monday, putting the S&P 500 within striking distance of record levels, though geopolitical concerns in the Ukraine could cap gains.
DETROIT, May 12- U.S.-based automaker Chrysler Group LLC, a unit of Italian carmaker Fiat SpA, on Monday reported a first-quarter net loss of $690 million because of charges related to the merger of the two companies.
BRUSSELS, May 12- European Union foreign ministers hinted on Monday that any disruption of elections in Ukraine on May 25 could trigger new economic sanctions against Russia.
But Dovish comments from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and still low inflation are putting a curb on yield curve steepening.
May 12- Eli Lilly and Co said its type 2 diabetes treatment was as effective as Sanofi SA's approved drug Lantus in reducing patients' blood sugar levels in three late-stage trials.
*Gold breaks above 200- day moving average at $1,298.30/ oz. LONDON, May 12- Gold rose more than 1 percent on Monday, with its rally picking up steam after prices broke through chart resistance just below $1,300 an ounce, and as simmering tensions in Ukraine and a weaker dollar lent support.
DETROIT, May 12- U.S. safety regulators have opened an investigation into an estimated 37,656 Nissan Quest minivans after receiving complaints about stalling due to inaccurate fuel gauges.
*Markets focus on reaction to east Ukraine referendum. *Nickel, Oil rises on Ukraine concerns. Caution about unrest in eastern Ukraine, where rebels declared victory in a referendum on self-rule, had all but evaporated as U.S. trading neared.
LONDON, May 12- Brent crude oil climbed towards $109 per barrel on Monday as the deepening crisis between Russia and Ukraine unsettled investors.
May 12- Following is the executive summary of the latest confidential report by the U.N. Panel of Experts on Iran, which monitors compliance with the Security Council's sanctions regime on Tehran. The International Atomic Energy Agency has reported that, to date, Iran has fulfilled its "voluntary measures" agreed to under the JPA.
The latest report by the U.N. Panel of Experts, which monitors compliance with the Security Council's sanctions regime on Iran, said Tehran's attempts to illicitly procure materials for its disputed nuclear and missile programmes may have slowed down as it pursues talks on a long-term deal with world powers.
May 12- American International Group Inc's search for its next chief executive has narrowed down to two internal candidates, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.