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  • ZURICH, Dec 18- Denise Anderegg is happy enough about the Swiss National Bank's decision to charge banks for deposits. Foreign banks that accept overseas deposits seeking a safe haven in Switzerland are likely to be hit hardest, according to bankers and economists. Credit Suisse, UBS and cooperative bank Raiffeissen have said they will not be affected by...

  • But the global context together with new reforms due to kick in next year are leading some to bet that France can achieve its 1 percent growth target for next year- modest by many standards but more than twice the 2014 growth estimate of 0.4 percent. "The chances of the government getting the 1 percent growth it based its budget on have risen quite substantially,"...

  • NEW YORK, Dec 18- U.S. stocks climbed more than 1 percent on Thursday, extending a rally from the previous session as tech shares gained with upbeat results from Oracle. The technology sector, up 2.2 percent, helped fuel the advance, buoyed by a gain of over 8 percent in Oracle Corp, a day after its quarterly results topped Wall Street expectations.

  • MEXICO CITY, Dec 18- Mazda Motor Corp's Mexican arm is recalling around 2,800 cars to check for possible defects in Takata air bags, the company said, the second such recall by an automaker in Mexico in as many weeks. Mazda will be contacting owners of the Mazda6 sold between 2006 and 2008 in Mexico for a voluntary review, the company said in a statement emailed late on...

  • *US, Cuba have agreed to restore diplomatic ties. GENEVA, Dec 18- The European Union, which once launched a lawsuit to try to break the U.S. economic embargo on Cuba, said on Thursday it still wanted the blockade lifted but it was prepared to wait. Obama has wide executive powers to further open up to Cuba, and the White House wants to see the trade embargo lifted by the time...

  • LONDON, Dec 18- European stocks surged on Thursday, with the market supported by a rise in Greek shares after the leader of the main opposition party said he was committed to keeping Greece in the euro should his leftist party take power next year. The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares closed up 3 percent at 1,356.23 points, its biggest percentage rise...

  • DETROIT, Dec 18- Ford Motor Co on Thursday expanded the recall of older-model Mustang cars that have driver-side Takata air bags with inflators, to include about 502,500 vehicles. Ford was one of five automakers asked by U.S. regulator National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last month to expand a recall of vehicles with possibly defective...

  • WASHINGTON, Dec 18- The United States was considering possible options on Thursday in response to a major cyber attack on Sony Pictures blamed on North Korea, amid calls for tougher sanctions on Pyongyang to cut it off from the global banking system. Hackers who said they were incensed by a film on the fictional assassination of North Korea's leader attacked...

  • NEW YORK, Dec 18- Pacific Investment Management Co expects global growth to accelerate in 2015 to around 2.75 percent from around plus 2.5 percent this year, on expectations that supply-driven declines in oil prices were fundamentally positive, the bond giant said on Thursday in its year-end Cyclical Forum outlook report. Pimco said its view that the outlook...

  • *Russia would have to raid "rainy day" funds. LONDON, Dec 18- Defending the rouble has cost Russia around $80 billion this year, and depending on who's doing the calculations, its usable hard currency reserves are now either starting to run low, or at a healthy $400 billion- plus. Russia's currency has lost about 45 percent against the dollar this year due to diving...

  • DAVENPORT, Iowa, Dec 18- Life-long Republican Bob Shelley neatly folds his newspaper and uses it as a coaster, placing his coffee mug over a photo of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who just announced he will explore a bid for the White House in 2016.. In Iowa, which holds the first presidential nominating contest in early 2016, voters are used to hearing out...

  • BP faces heavy hit from former prized asset Rosneft Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 12:08 PM ET

    *BP EPS could be cut to 5 cents due to first Rosneft loss. LONDON, Dec 18- BP faces a first and heavy loss from its stake in Russia's Rosneft due to plummeting oil prices and a crumbling rouble, potentially forcing it to write down the value of its once-prized asset. This would be the first loss since BP acquired its 19.75 percent stake in government-controlled Rosneft...

  • EU grain to enjoy spoils of Russian export curbs Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 12:05 PM ET

    *Australia, Argentina, Canada, Ukraine could also benefit. PARIS, Dec 18- European Union grain exporters will be the main beneficiaries of Russia's pullback from international grain markets as Moscow races to cool domestic prices in the face of economic crisis, analysts and traders said. "At current prices, it's clearly European wheat that will benefit," Andree...

  • Accenture raises revenue outlook after strong 1Q Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 12:02 PM ET

    Accenture raised its revenue forecast for fiscal 2015 after contract wins helped it post better-than-expected first-quarter earnings and revenue.

  • NEW YORK, Dec 18- Global crude prices fell again on Thursday, a day after a short-covering rally, as traders placed new bets that the market would resume a six-month rout on worries about a supply glut. But in late morning trade in New York, benchmark Brent and U.S. crude fell more than $1 a barrel to session lows. "We're continuing to search for a bottom, and might even see...

  • LONDON, Dec 18- Britain's Supreme Court has denied Rusal, the world's biggest aluminium producer, the right to appeal against a court ruling that allows sweeping reform of the London Metal Exchange warehousing system, and also ordered it to pay costs. That court also denied Rusal leave to appeal, but the company approached the Supreme Court directly.

  • NEW YORK, Dec 18- Pacific Investment Management Co expects global growth to accelerate in 2015 to around 2.75 percent from around plus 2.5 percent this year, on expectations that supply-driven declines in oil prices were fundamentally positive, the bond giant said on Thursday in its year-end Cyclical Forum outlook report. Pimco said its view that the outlook...

  • INTERVIEW-Tsipras vows to break Greece's "bad spell" Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 11:50 AM ET

    *Tsipras committed to keeping Greece in euro. In an interview at his party headquarters in a gritty Athens district, Tsipras sought to reassure markets wary of Syriza sweeping into power, saying he was committed to keeping Greece in the euro and keeping the budget balanced before debt costs. "The fear-mongering of 2012 and the fear today that if Syriza comes to...

  • MOSCOW, Dec 18- Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Thursday that a draft law that has been submitted to parliament on state support for banks would grant up to 1 trillion roubles to "systemically important" banks. "First of all, we will support systemically important banks, so that economic transactions will be provided for. are the main holders of...

  • NEW YORK, Dec 18- There are plenty of lists proclaiming "The Best Places to Retire." Designed by real estate information company Zillow.com for Reuters, it incorporates reams of data on more than 15,000 locales across the United States. For instance, if you find all of the screening categories to be very important, and you are looking for a reasonably-priced home,...