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  • LONDON, March 19- CME Group will launch a physically delivered North American aluminium contract this May. It represents the most credible challenge to the London Metal Exchange's pricing franchise in the global aluminium market since... well, since the CME's previous aluminium contract. It's easy to forget now, but CME has been here before.

  • *BMW surges on profit outlook, boosts auto sector. LONDON, March 19- European shares edged higher in cautious trading ahead of an expected announcement of a further cut in U.S. monetary stimulus on Wednesday, with BMW leading auto stocks higher after delivering a bullish profit outlook.

  • SEVASTOPOL/ MOSCOW, March 19- Russian troops backed by unarmed volunteers stormed Ukraine's naval headquarters in the Crimean port of Sevastopol on Wednesday and raised the Russian flag, as Moscow tightened its control of the Black Sea peninsula.

  • PARIS, March 19- French luxury group LVMH is trying to push out smaller rivals from plush Place Vendome in Paris after buying one of its highest-profile buildings, illustrating the intensifying battle for Europe's prime retail locations.

  • French FM to visit Cuba in sign of warming EU ties Wednesday, 19 Mar 2014 | 7:55 AM ET

    PARIS, March 19- France's foreign minister said on Wednesday he would soon travel to Cuba, the first such visit in 30 years and a sign of the quickening pace of improving ties between the European Union and Havana.

  • SHANGHAI/ HONG KONG, March 19- A denial by China's central bank that it is involved in emergency talks to bailout a troubled property developer reinforced signals Beijing is now more willing to let banks and other investors take losses on loans. However, the reports "did not accord with reality", the People's Bank of China said in a post on China's Twitter- like Weibo.

  • Ukraine's new force seeks to harness 'Maidan' spirit Wednesday, 19 Mar 2014 | 7:48 AM ET

    *Some in eastern Ukraine resent new force. NOVI PETRIVTSI, Ukraine, March 19- The scores of recruits who turned out this week at an assault course training base an hour's drive from Kiev were a motley crew ranging from older veterans with security backgrounds to young people fresh from college with no combat skills at all.

  • Winter storms hurt FedEx Q3 results; shares down Wednesday, 19 Mar 2014 | 7:43 AM ET

    March 19- FedEx Corp, the world's No. 2 package delivery company, posted lower-than-expected profit on Wednesday, saying it was significantly hurt by winter storms. Shares of the company fell 2.2 percent to $135.59 before the markets opened. For the third quarter, the company earned $378 million, or 1.23 a share, on revenue of $11.3 billion.

  • LONDON, March 19- Oil fell towards $106 a barrel on Wednesday, close to a six-week low, as concerns eased about an escalation of the Ukraine crisis and on forecasts for a rise in U.S. oil inventories. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty on Tuesday making Crimea part of Russia again but said he did not plan to seize any other regions of Ukraine.

  • BRUSSELS, March 19- European Union antitrust regulators fined German engineering group Schaeffler, Sweden's SKF and three Japanese car parts makers a total 953.3 million euros for taking part in a ball bearings cartel.

  • BEIJING, March 19- A draft plan for a carbon market in Chongqing proposed that around 250 of its biggest companies be required to cut their carbon dioxide emissions by more than 4 percent per year starting in 2014..

  • *Tech shares in focus following Oracle, Adobe results. *Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a treaty to make it part of Russia, and while no violence was reported as pro-Russian forces took control of part of a Ukraine naval base, investors are concerned that tensions in the region could escalate.

  • HONG KONG, March 19- After a year of waiting, the man running what could be the biggest-ever technology IPO finally lost patience with Hong Kong. Joe Tsai, the Alibaba Group Holding executive in charge of plans for the highly anticipated deal, only abandoned hope of a Hong Kong listing in the last few weeks, according to people familiar with the matter.

  • Lawyers ply the Internet to score clients for GM lawsuits Wednesday, 19 Mar 2014 | 7:00 AM ET

    NEW YORK, March 19- General Motors may face lawsuits for millions of dollars over its recall of 1.6 million cars, but first lawyers have to find clients if they hope to get a foot in the courthouse door.

  • LONDON, March 19- Gold fell for a third session on Wednesday, with the dollar and European shares steadying as the market focus cautiously shifted from political tensions in Ukraine to a policy decision by the Federal Reserve later in the day.

  • BEIJING, March 19- China will keep economic growth at a reasonable rate while keeping inflation stable, state radio quoted Premier Li Keqiang as saying on Wednesday. Li also told a regular meeting of the State Council, or the cabinet, that China will continue to push forward reforms.

  • NEW YORK, March 19- U.S. investment bank JPMorgan has agreed to sell its physical commodities business to Mercuria, sources close to the deal said on Wednesday, catapulting the Swiss trade house into the top tier of commodities traders. JPMorgan in London declined to comment on the matter, while Mercuria could not be reached immediately for comment.

  • *Tencent Q4 net income up 12.9 pct to 3.91 bln yuan. BEIJING/ HONG KONG, March 19- Tencent Holdings Ltd posted the slowest quarterly income growth in almost two years as it spent big on attracting more users to its flagship mobile chatting app and its e-commerce sites amid intense competition with Alibaba Group Holding.

  • Tokyo firms over-achieve on emission targets: official Wednesday, 19 Mar 2014 | 6:27 AM ET

    March 19- Japanese companies covered by the Tokyo emissions trading scheme are on track to overshoot their targets after cutting carbon dioxide emissions by more than a fifth since the scheme began, a government official said.

  • *Yuan deviates 1 pct from mid-point for first time. HONG KONG, March 19- China's yuan fell beyond 6.20 to the dollar on Wednesday for the first time since April last year amid market speculation the central bank will keep the currency weak as economic growth slows.