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  • LONDON, April 4- The dollar was in demand on Friday, trading at a five-week high against a basket of currencies, as investors positioned for the possibility of an upside surprise in U.S. non-farm payrolls due later in the day. The dollar index was up at 80.532, its highest level since Feb. 27.

  • SINGAPORE, April 4- London aluminium was on track for its biggest weekly gain in 16 months on Friday, rising to its highest in more than five months as a series of capacity cutbacks by top producers underpinned the market. Copper rose 0.6 percent, recouping last session's decline which was driven by disappointment over China's stimulus measures.

  • *Deal could create a $23 billion drug company. *Meda confirms has had initial talks with Mylan- report. STOCKHOLM, April 4- Generic drug maker Mylan Inc is looking to buy Swedish rival Meda AB in a deal that would create a $23 billion pharmaceutical company, the Financial Times reported.

  • SHANGHAI, April 4- China shares closed higher on Friday, buoyed by strong financials and a surge in rare earths, as investors speculated in growth in the sector, following surges in the recently opened rare earths exchange.

  • LONDON, April 4- European shares looked set to rise for a ninth consecutive session and record their third straight weekly gain on Friday as traders bet on further support from U.S. jobs data due later in the day. Budget airline Easyjet rose 1.3 percent as it reported a 4.8 percent increase in passengers in March, in what traders describe as a positive update.

  • British engineer Kentz appoints Meg Lassarat CFO Friday, 4 Apr 2014 | 2:42 AM ET

    April 4- Kentz Corporation Ltd, a British engineer focused on the energy sector, said Meg Lassarat would replace Ed Power as chief financial officer. Lassarat was most recently the CFO of Houston- based engineering and field services company UniversalPegasus International. Power would stay on through August to facilitate a smooth transition, Kentz said.

  • MCDONALD'S SAYS HAS SUSPENDED WORK AT RESTAURANTS IN CRIMEA DUE TO "MANUFACTURING REASONS", OFFERS EMPLOYEES WORK IN UKRAINIAN RESTAURANTS.

  • ISTANBUL, April 4- Ratings agency Fitch cut its growth forecasts for Turkey on Friday, citing slower domestic lending growth and signs that consumer and investor confidence are moderating. Turkey targets medium-term economic growth of 5 percent, which the central bank has said it expects to achieve by mid-2015 after shortfalls in 2012 and 2013..

  • *Trade data due Apr 10, CPI Apr 11, GDP Apr 16. BEIJING, April 4- China is forecast to have grown at its slowest rate in five years in the first quarter, a Reuters poll shows, with the slow start to 2014 already prompting government action to steady the world's second-largest economy. Back then, Beijing unleashed a 4 trillion yuan stimulus package to shore up growth.

  • April 4- Billionaire investor Steve Cohen- owned SAC Capital Advisors LP's lawyers proposed to retain corporate adviser and former federal prosecutor Bart Schwartz as a compliance consultant while the hedge fund pleads guilty to insider trading charges.

  • MARIKANA, South Africa, April 4- Shad Mohammed's electronics and household store in South Africa's platinum belt has survived a series of mining strikes over the 14 years it has been serving customers in the dusty town of Marikana.

  • *Diageo says biomass an' integral part' of strategy. SPEYSIDE, Scotland, April 4- Scotch whisky distillers are burning their unwanted grain byproducts, wood chips and other types of biomass for a source of energy in remote areas of the Highlands, where gas links are scarce and fuel oil is pricey.

  • April 4- The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ordered that the many lawsuits that accuse Target Corp of failing to protect customers from a data breach will be consolidated in the retailer's home state Minnesota. District Judge Paul Magnuson in Minnesota.

  • SHANGHAI, April 4- China's yuan softened against the dollar on Friday after the central bank fixed its official midpoint at a six-month low. But the yuan appeared to stabilise this week as state banks, which are generally seen as doing the People's Bank of China's bidding, reduced demand for dollars and stopped quoting the yuan aggressively weaker, traders said.

  • EU lawmakers vote to end mobile roaming fees Friday, 4 Apr 2014 | 1:21 AM ET

    The European Parliament voted to end mobile phone roaming fees by 2016 and barred telecoms operators from prioritizing some Internet traffic over others.

  • *Tencent down 19 percent since March 3 peak. SHANGHAI, April 4- Hong Kong shares were mixed on Friday, with gains in Chinese shares listed in the city overshadowed by tech losses and weighed by a sharp fall in Internet giant Tencent Holdings.

  • *Russia hikes gas prices for Ukraine by 80 pct. SINGAPORE, April 4- Brent crude steadied above $106 a barrel on Friday, but stayed on track for its biggest weekly fall in three months as Libya's major oil ports could open in days and boost supplies.

  • HONG KONG, April 4- Aircraft leasing company GE Capital Aviation Services plans to raise about $700 million in an initial public offering in Hong Kong, IFR reported on Friday, citing sources familiar with the plans. GECAS has already filed a listing application with the Hong Kong stock exchange, IFR said. Citigroup was hired to manage the GECAS IPO.

  • By Lisa Twaronite and Ian Chua. TOKYO/ SYDNEY, April 4- The dollar traded close to a five-week high against a basket of currencies in Asia on Friday, as investors positioned for the possibility of an upside surprise in U.S. non-farm payrolls due later in the day.

  • ISTANBUL, April 4- Ratings agency Fitch cut its growth forecast for Turkey to 2.5 percent from 3.2 percent for 2014, and to 3.2 percent from 3.8 percent for 2015, citing slower domestic lending growth and signs of moderation in consumer and investor confidence. In a note released on Friday, Fitch affirmed Turkey's ratings at BBB- with a stable outlook.