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  • PARIS, Feb 19- Europe's stock rally lost steam on Thursday, with a benchmark index retreating from a seven-year high, after Germany rejected a new proposal from Athens for an extension of its bailout programme. With the programme due to expire in a little more than a week, Greece urgently needs to secure a financial lifeline to keep the country afloat beyond late...

  • *Jitters persist after Germany rejects Greek bailout plan. NEW YORK, Feb 19- Stocks markets around the world clung to modest gains on Thursday, with European equities retreating from seven-year highs, after Germany rejected a Greek proposal to extend its bailout and as oil prices dropped. "At this point, investors think that even if a deal is reached, it won't mean...

  • WASHINGTON, Feb 19- The Obama administration believes China basically stopped intervening in currency markets after a July agreement with Washington to minimize this activity, a top Treasury official said on Thursday. Tensions over currency policy have been a perennial bugbear between Beijing and Washington and the United States has pressed China for...

  • ATHENS, Feb 19- Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and German Chancellor Angela Merkel held a "constructive" phone conversation on Thursday, a Greek government official told Reuters. "The conversation was held in a positive climate, geared towards finding a mutually beneficial solution for Greece and the euro zone," the official said. Greece formally requested...

  • DUBAI/ NEW YORK, Feb 19- An increasingly bitter trade row between U.S. and Gulf airlines deepened on Thursday when Dubai's Emirates rejected a Delta Air Lines apology for remarks perceived as linking Gulf carriers with the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States in 2001.. Asked about those counter-claims on CNN this week, Delta CEO Richard Anderson said: "It's a great...

  • NEW YORK, Feb 19- As a Citibank customer, I have been receiving my credit score on my statements since January. In the past year, however, more than 60 million Americans suddenly were able to get either their FICO score, provided by the Fair Isaac Corp, or their VantageScore, from a system developed by TransUnion Corp. Among the other financial institutions giving out...

  • *Reports Q4 rev of $1.68 bln vs est $1.7 bln. *Q4 adj EPS of $0.43/ shr vs est $0.41. Feb 19- Discovery Communications Inc, the owner of Animal Planet and the Discovery Channel, said better pricing would help its U.S. advertising revenue improve in 2015, and forecast continuing strong growth in its international networks.

  • MOSCOW/ KIEV, Feb 19- Russia started supplying gas to rebel-held eastern Ukraine on Thursday after Kiev had temporarily suspended deliveries because of damage to the networks from heavy fighting, which is continuing despite a ceasefire. Responding to an order from Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to supply gas to east Ukraine as humanitarian aid, gas...

  • TORONTO, Feb 19- Goldcorp Inc posted a hefty loss on Thursday as it took a $2.3 billion impairment charge on a new mine in Argentina, the second multi-billion dollar writedown from a top gold miner in as many days. The charge follows an even larger $2.8 billion writedown reported by Barrick Gold Corp, the world's top gold producer by production.

  • WASHINGTON, Feb 19- Freddie Mac saw $3.4 billion in quarterly derivative losses due to declining interest rates, the government-controlled mortgage finance company said on Thursday. Freddie Mac also said it will pay $851 million to the U.S. Freddie Mac Chief Executive Officer Donald Layton said a hefty derivative loss could require the company to draw money...

  • Feb 19- U.S. drinks can maker Ball Corp agreed to buy British rival Rexam Plc in a sweetened 4.43 billion pounds deal, creating an industry giant that can better manage capital spending and costs as aluminium premiums rise. "If you want global supply and global prices, you need a Rexam plus Ball, because neither Rexam nor Ball individually are global," said Jefferies&...

  • NEW YORK, Feb 19- American Express Co violated U.S. antitrust law by imposing rules that barred merchants from steering customers to use credit cards that have lower processing costs, a federal judge ruled on Thursday. The decision is the second major setback for American Express this month, following its loss on Feb. 12 of a lucrative co-branding relationship...

  • UCLA is offering those patients free home testing kits that it will later analyze. UCLA said the bacteria might have spread during procedures that used a specialized endoscope inserted down the throat to diagnose and treat pancreas and bile duct diseases. The Los Angeles Times reported that the outbreak occurred at UCLA's Ronald Reagan Medical Center.

  • TORONTO, Feb 19- Canadian police laid corruption charges against SNC-Lavalin Group Inc on Thursday, the first time the engineering company has been directly charged with alleged bribery as it conducted business in Libya over a ten-year period until 2011.. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police charged SNC and two units Thursday with offering C $47.7 million in...

  • Feb 19- Priceline Group Inc reported quarterly profit that beat Wall Street expectations on Thursday but forecast first-quarter revenue below estimates due largely to foreign exchange volatility. Priceline, the world's largest online travel services company by bookings, said fourth-quarter profit rose nearly 20 percent from the year-earlier period to...

  • Feb 19- The complex design of endoscopes that have been linked to a "superbug" outbreak at the UCLA Health System in California may hinder proper cleaning, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned on Thursday. The FDA said it wanted to raise awareness among healthcare professionals that the complex design of the devices- flexible tubes that are threaded...

  • *Priceline rallies after results, Wal-Mart down. NEW YORK, Feb 19- U.S. stocks fell modestly on Thursday with energy shares leading the drop amid a slump in oil prices, and investors remained cautious as uncertainty continued over the prospects of a debt deal with Greece. On the upside, Priceline Group rallied on its results, helping keep the Nasdaq slightly...

  • CARACAS, Feb 19- The U.S.-based owner of a supermarket chain taken over by Venezuela's socialist government hopes to recover his business despite accusations of hoarding goods to inflate shopping lines. Dia Dia owner Jose Vicente Aguerrevere, a Venezuelan who now lives in Boston after spending most of his life in Europe and the United States, told Reuters by...

  • *Output from Saudi Arabia may also be rising- PIRA. LONDON, Feb 19- Brent crude oil prices fell below $59 a barrel on Thursday after U.S. government data showed crude stocks hit a record high last week. Benchmark Brent crude futures for April were down $1.83 at $58.70 by 1618 GMT, having hit an intraday low of $57.80 earlier in the session, extending declines from...

  • ZURICH, Feb 19- Swiss lawmakers plan to question the country's financial watchdog about HSBC's Swiss bank to determine whether parliament needs to take a more active role in investigation of a trove of details on alleged tax evasion by some of the bank's wealthy clients. The Alpine nation's banking sector is back in the spotlight after media reports said that...