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  • *Russia needs $300 billion in 2017-2020 to keep budget balanced. *Source says Reserve Fund could disappear within three years. MOSCOW, Dec 4- Russia will face huge fiscal shortfalls in the next two decades unless it cuts spending, and it could wipe out its oil savings in as little as three years, according to sources and a strategy document obtained by Reuters.

  • *Exports, US freeze buoy wheat, Paris futures at 7- mth high. CHICAGO, Dec 4- U.S. soybean futures climbed 1 percent on Wednesday reversing two days of declines on technical buying and despite prospects for a huge soy output in South America.

  • Dec 4- Essex Property Trust Inc, a manager of residential properties on the U.S. West Coast, has offered to buy BRE Properties Inc for about $5 billion, Bloomberg reported, citing two people familiar with the matter. BRE Properties shares were up 13 percent in late morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

  • UPDATE 2-SPX to sell JV stake to focus on flow technology Wednesday, 4 Dec 2013 | 11:03 AM ET

    Dec 4- SPX Corp, which has been under pressure from its largest shareholder to boost its stock price, said it would sell its entire stake in an electrical equipment joint venture to partner Emerson Electric Co for $571 million. Ingersoll-Rand Plc has spun off its security business, while Timken Co is hiving off its steel division.

  • MEXICO CITY, Dec 4- Mexican lawmakers are poised to send a landmark energy bill to Senate committees to start debate on a cornerstone of President Enrique Pena Nieto's economic reform drive, a top ruling party lawmaker said on Wednesday.

  • UPDATE 1-S&P looking hard at UK rating after growth surge Wednesday, 4 Dec 2013 | 10:56 AM ET

    LONDON, Dec 4- Rating agency Standard and Poor's hinted on Wednesday that it could put Britain's AAA rating on a more stable footing if the country's stronger-than-expected growth looked to have become sustainable.

  • Rallying pound may be vulnerable to BoE warning shot Wednesday, 4 Dec 2013 | 10:55 AM ET

    LONDON, Dec 4- Sterling's rally to five-year highs against a basket of currencies on robust UK data could raise the risk of verbal intervention by the Bank of England, which wants to shift the economy towards more exports.

  • *Canada posts modest C $75 million trade surplus. OTTAWA, Dec 4- Canada unexpectedly posted its first trade surplus in 22 months in October but the surprise news was less upbeat than it looked at first, given that both imports and exports fell.

  • Dec 4- Bombardier Inc said on Wednesday that Iraqi Airways has signed a firm purchase agreement to acquire five of its larger CSeries jetliners, ending a six-month order drought for the new plane.

  • European shares fall for third day on US jobs data Wednesday, 4 Dec 2013 | 10:47 AM ET

    *Standard Chartered falls as it warns on profits. Standard Chartered was a stand out faller, dropping 6.3 percent in heavy volume as it warned that profit would probably drop this year after Asian growth slowed over the past five months. "We prefer HSBC for its more diversified earnings stream and higher dividend yield."

  • *Egypt needs Gulf aid, renewal of confidence in economy. CAIRO, Dec 4- Egypt promised on Wednesday to pay $1.5 billion of the $6 billion it says it owes foreign oil companies, aiming to restore investor confidence in an economy damaged by nearly three years of political turmoil.

  • SAO PAULO, Dec 4- Brazil's Copersucar expects a raw sugar warehouse at its fire-damaged terminal in Santos to resume shipping in January and additional export capacity to be available around May, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

  • *Only Germany, Austria have funds set aside for recapitalisation. BRUSSELS, Dec 4- Euro zone governments have set aside almost no money to make good on their promise to recapitalise ailing banks after a health check next year.

  • Mitsubishi cuts U.S. price of electric car by 20 pct Wednesday, 4 Dec 2013 | 10:36 AM ET

    DETROIT, Dec 4- Mitsubishi Motors Corp has cut the price of its i-MiEV subcompact electric car in the United States by 20 percent for the 2014 model year, joining the parade of automakers who have lowered EV prices to boost demand.

  • LONDON, Dec 4- Gold pared earlier losses on Wednesday after mixed U.S. economic data but stayed close to a 5- month low on uncertainty over when the Federal Reserve will exit its asset purchase scheme. U.S. gold futures rose 0.5 percent to $1,227.70 an ounce, while gold in euros dropped to its lowest since late July 2010 at 891.26 euros an ounce in earlier trade.

  • LONDON, Dec 4- As the political crisis in Ukraine continues, its severely depleted central bank reserves are putting it at serious risk of a balance-of-payments crunch, its metrics looking worse than almost every big emerging economy.

  • NEW YORK, Dec 4- U.S. stocks turned positive on Wednesday after data showed sales of new single-family homes recorded their biggest increase in nearly 33-1/ 2 years in October.

  • *Bank of Canada holds key rate at 1.0 percent. *Says risks of low inflation appear to have increased. OTTAWA, Dec 4- The Bank of Canada held its key interest rate steady on Wednesday but sounded a touch more dovish in its outlook, saying the risks of undesirably weak inflation appeared greater than they did six weeks ago.

  • FOREX-Dollar gains after data boosts Fed taper hope Wednesday, 4 Dec 2013 | 10:03 AM ET

    NEW YORK, Dec 4- The dollar rose against the euro and the yen on Wednesday after a batch of data boosted expectations the Federal Reserve may start scaling back its massive stimulus program sooner than expected.

  • U.S. new home sales surge in October, supply dwindles Wednesday, 4 Dec 2013 | 10:01 AM ET

    WASHINGTON, Dec 4- Sales of new U.S. single-family homes recorded their biggest increase in nearly 33-1/ 2 years in October, suggesting the housing market recovery remains intact despite higher mortgage rates. The Commerce Department said on Wednesday sales jumped 25.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 444,000 units.

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