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  • LONDON, Nov 21- Commercial banks' lacklustre appetite for its almost free money could leave the European Central Bank struggling to prime the fragile euro zone economy with another trillion euros as planned. Draghi has set a target of returning the ECB's balance sheet to its level of March 2012-- around 3 trillion euros, compared with the current 2 trillion.

  • *Market beginning to expect OPEC cut, analysts say. LONDON, Nov 21- Brent crude oil rose more than $2 to above $81 a barrel on Friday after China cut interest rates and on speculation that OPEC could agree next week to reduce oil production. The rate cut added to a positive mood among oil traders, many of whom expected an agreement by the Organization of the Petroleum...

  • BRUSSELS, Nov 21- The dispute between Britain and Spain over Gibraltar threatens to hold up European Union plans to merge national air corridors, diplomats say. But a wrangle over the sovereignty of the isthmus that connects the British territory of Gibraltar to Spain could delay a deal even if all other issues are agreed upon, EU diplomats said.

  • ISLAMABAD, Nov 21- The Chinese government and banks will finance Chinese companies to build $45.6 billion worth of energy and infrastructure projects in Pakistan over the next six years, according to new details of the deal seen by Reuters on Friday. The deal further cements ties between Pakistan and China at a time when Pakistan is nervous about waning U.S....

  • NEW YORK, Nov 21- U.S. stock index futures rose on Friday, setting major indexes up for a fifth week of gains, after China's central bank cut its benchmark interest rate for the first time in more than two years to boost its cooling economy. *The People's Bank of China said it was cutting one-year benchmark lending rates by 40 basis points to 5.6 percent.

  • MOSCOW, Nov 21- The rouble strengthened sharply in thin trade on Friday, heading for weekly gains of over 3 percent against the dollar, as oil prices recovered and exporters sold small amounts of foreign currency to meet their tax payments. "Exporters are selling as little as they can, but there simply isn't a strong foreign currency bid like there was before," said...

  • BEIJING, Nov 21- A flurry of private Chinese investment into Hollywood should prompt Beijing to loosen its restrictions on U.S. film imports, the mayor of Los Angeles said in China on Friday as he urged officials to raise the country's annual cap on foreign films. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who is leading a two-week trade mission across three Asian countries,...

  • NEW DELHI, Nov 21- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a long list of pro-growth measures to implement over the next four months, but time may have already run out to breathe enough life into the economy to meet the tough 2014/ 15 fiscal deficit target without cuts. After the session ends on Dec. 23, focus will turn to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's second budget,...

  • FRANKFURT, Nov 21- Volkswagen AG is to invest 85.6 billion euros in its automotive operations over the next five years on foreign expansion, models and technology to back its quest for global leadership, even as it carries out an austerity drive. Analysts at Evercore ISI said: "As expected, VW's five-year capex planning has not become a victim of the company's...

  • *Libya and Ecuador also call for lower OPEC output. *Market beginning to expect OPEC cut, analysts say. LONDON, Nov 21- Brent crude oil rose to near $81 a barrel on Friday after China cut interest rates and on speculation that OPEC could agree next week to reduce oil production.

  • WILLISTON, N.D., Nov 21- Halliburton Co's $35 billion takeover of Baker Hughes Inc will create an oilfield services powerhouse in North Dakota with more than half the cementing market and a leading position in fracking, according to data seen by Reuters. The deal, announced on Monday, will help Halliburton better compete with global leader Schlumberger NV, as well...

  • Nov 21- Television streaming service Aereo Inc filed for bankruptcy protection after a U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that the company's business model violated copyright laws. The ruling was a victory for broadcasters such as CBS Corp, Comcast Corp's NBC, Walt Disney Co's ABC and Twenty-First Century Fox Inc's Fox network. The filing is In re: Aereo Inc, U.S....

  • European shares extend rally after China rate cut Friday, 21 Nov 2014 | 6:48 AM ET

    PARIS, Nov 21- European stocks extended an early rally on Friday morning, led by mining shares after China's central bank cut its benchmark interest rate for the first time in more than two years in an attempt to lift its cooling economy. European mining shares, strongly affected by China's economic growth, featured among the top gainers, with Rio Tinto up 3.9...

  • *Novak, Rosneft's Sechin to fly to Vienna before OPEC meeting. Before OPEC meets next week, Russia has already spoken to members Venezuela and Saudi Arabia about the need to support the oil market, and Moscow expects to send a high-ranking delegation to Vienna before the meeting to press the message on prices. A price of at least $100 a barrel is needed to balance the...

  • *Telecom Italia board meeting on Brazil options. BARCELONA/ MILAN, Nov 21- Telecom Italia is set to sell mobile phone masts owned by its Brazilian unit for almost 900 million euros, sources said on Friday, as it considers possible acquisitions in the Latin American country. Two sources familiar with the matter said Telecom Italia was likely to sell its Brazilian...

  • YAMOUSSOUKRO, Nov 21- Ivory Coast is finalising production sharing agreements with oil company Exxon Mobil for two ultra-deepwater blocks in the Gulf of Guinea, a senior official with the country's energy ministry told Reuters on Friday. We expect to finish discussions before the end of the year, "said Ibrahima Diaby, director of hydrocarbons at the ministry,...

  • TV streaming provider Aereo files for bankruptcy Friday, 21 Nov 2014 | 6:29 AM ET

    Nov 21- Television streaming service Aereo Inc filed for bankruptcy protection after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June found that the company's business model violated copyright laws. Aereo, in which Barry Diller's IAC/InterActiveCorp has a 23.30 percent stake, filed for Chapter 11 protection to preserve the value of its estate, according to a court filing...

  • *Libya and Ecuador also call for lower OPEC output. *Market beginning to expect OPEC cut, analysts say. LONDON, Nov 21- Brent crude oil rose above $80 a barrel on Friday after China cut interest rates and on speculation OPEC could agree next week to reduce oil production.

  • UPDATE 1-Third Dutch chicken farm hit by bird flu Friday, 21 Nov 2014 | 6:25 AM ET

    AMSTERDAM, Nov 21- A Dutch bird flu outbreak has spread to a third farm, the government said on Friday, prompting inspections at dozens of other farms in the Netherlands, a leading exporter of eggs and poultry. The H5N8 strain has never been detected in humans, but it led to the destruction of millions of farm birds in Asia, mainly South Korea, after an outbreak earlier...

  • BEIJING, Nov 21- China's economy is still growing at a reasonable speed and there is no need to use any aggressive measures to stimulate growth, the Chinese central bank said on Friday after cutting interest rates for the first time in more than two years.