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  • PARIS, April 30- General Electric's overtures to the power business of France's former industrial beacon Alstom have shown again how the French state, for all its interventionist zeal, has limited room for manoeuvre against big business.

  • PRECIOUS-Gold drops slightly after Fed cuts stimulus Wednesday, 30 Apr 2014 | 2:46 PM ET

    NEW YORK/ LONDON, April 30- Gold fell on Wednesday after the U.S. Federal Reserve reduced its monthly bond purchases by another $10 billion, a sign of its confidence in the economy's health, disappointing bullion investors who had expected the central bank to slow tapering.

  • US STOCKS-Wall St holds near steady after Fed statement Wednesday, 30 Apr 2014 | 2:38 PM ET

    *Twitter hits record intraday low, eBay also down after results. Steady as she goes, "said Wayne Kaufman, chief market analyst at Rockwell Securities in New York. EBay remained the biggest negative influence on both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq.

  • *Events in Ukraine, Libya and Iran closely watched. NEW YORK/ LONDON, April 30- Oil fell below $108 per barrel on Wednesday on a strong supply outlook as inventories in the United States rose to a record high and traders anticipated increased exports from Libya.

  • Ford begins production of Transit vans in Missouri Wednesday, 30 Apr 2014 | 2:31 PM ET

    DETROIT, April 30- Ford Motor Co on Wednesday formally marked the end of a profitable half-century run for its E-Series commercial van, trumpeting the start of North American production of the replacement Transit van at its Kansas City assembly plant.

  • LISBON, April 30- Portugal's government expects to have room to start reversing public sector salary cuts from 2015 while maintaining its budget deficit reduction targets after the end of its international bailout next month.

  • TORONTO/ VANCOUVER, April 30- Outgoing Barrick Gold Corp founder and Chairman Peter Munk gave a spirited defense of his replacement, John Thornton, on Wednesday days after his successor was lambasted by a rival gold company and investors criticized his pay package.

  • SANTIAGO, April 30- A medium-sized earthquake struck central Chile on Wednesday afternoon, rattling buildings in the capital of Santiago but not causing any damage, according to the country's emergency office.

  • NEW YORK, April 30- The Federal Reserve on Wednesday looked past a dismal reading on first quarter U.S. economic growth and announced a cut in its massive bond-buying stimulus, a sign of its confidence in the economy's prospects. *Monthly bond purchases cut to $45 billion from $55 billion. WAYNE KAUFMAN, CHIEF MARKET ANALYST AT ROCKWELL SECURITIES IN NEW YORK.

  • Serco to raise cash as profit set to plunge Wednesday, 30 Apr 2014 | 2:09 PM ET

    April 30- British outsourcing firm Serco said it planned to raise 170 million pounds in emergency cash after revealing the full extent of its problems in its latest profit downgrade and the departure of its finance director.

  • By Howard Schneider and Michael Flaherty. WASHINGTON, April 30- The Federal Reserve on Wednesday looked past a dismal reading on first quarter U.S. economic growth and announced a cut in its massive bond-buying stimulus, a sign of its confidence in the economy's prospects.

  • U.S AND BRENT CRUDE OIL FUTURES HOLD LOSSES AFTER U.S.

  • PARABIAGO, Italy, April 30- The three brothers who own Fratelli Rossetti would consider selling part of the Italian luxury shoemaker to fund future expansion, while keeping the business founded by their father firmly under family control.

  • *Deal will help Exelon sell more power at regulated rates. *Exelon shares fall 5 pct, Pepco up 18 pct. April 30- Exelon Corp said it would buy Pepco Holdings Inc for $6.83 billion, helping it overtake Duke Energy Corp as the biggest power distribution company in the United States.

  • WASHINGTON, April 30- U.S. mortgage financiers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may require as much as $190 billion in additional taxpayer aid if the economy suffers a severe downturn, their regulator said on Wednesday.

  • "The more we learn about the challenges of cybersecurity and the costs of failure, the more apparent the importance of addressing this challenge with best efforts, including yours," Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, said at the cable industry trade show in Los Angeles.

  • April 30- Time Warner Inc raised its full-year earnings forecast after the box-office success of "The Lego Movie" and the popularity of HBO shows such as "Game of Thrones" and "True Detective" led to a near-doubling of quarterly profit.

  • UPDATE 2-Phillips 66 profit tops street, shale boom helps Wednesday, 30 Apr 2014 | 1:49 PM ET

    Phillips, based in Houston, had a first-quarter profit of $1.6 billion, or $2.67 per share, compared with $1.41 billion, or $2.23 a share, in the same quarter of 2013..

  • UPDATE 1-Fed board met on monetary policy ahead of FOMC Wednesday, 30 Apr 2014 | 1:47 PM ET

    WASHINGTON, April 30- The Federal Reserve Board disclosed that it met on Tuesday morning in an unusual gathering ahead of a two-day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, the U.S. central bank's official policymaking panel. The last time the Fed board held such a meeting was in December 2011.

  • African sugar producers says smuggling is a major problem Wednesday, 30 Apr 2014 | 1:47 PM ET

    MOMBASA, Kenya, April 30- Africa's sugar producers want governments to tighten border controls across the continent and tackle sugar smuggling, a problem they said was helping drive down local sugar prices.