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  • U.S. sees gradual sanctions relief in Iran nuclear deal Thursday, 19 Mar 2015 | 8:37 AM ET

    WASHINGTON, March 19- The United States will remove sanctions on Iran only in stages as part of a nuclear deal, tied to Tehran's "verifiable" steps in curbing its nuclear activities, a senior U.S. Iran and six world powers are seeking an agreement to curb Iran's most sensitive nuclear activities for at least 10 years in exchange for a gradual end to sanctions on...

  • BRUSSELS, March 19- European Union leaders look likely to keep economic sanctions on Russia in place until a Ukraine ceasefire deal is fully working, after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday it would be wrong to ease pressure on Moscow prematurely. Merkel's comments suggest Germany will strongly encourage leaders meeting at a Brussels summit...

  • WASHINGTON, March 19- The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose only modestly last week, indicating the labor market remained on solid footing despite slowing economic growth. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 292,000 for the week ended March 14, the Labor Department said...

  • U.S. Q4 current account deficit largest since 2012 Thursday, 19 Mar 2015 | 8:30 AM ET

    WASHINGTON, March 19- The U.S. current account deficit widened sharply in the fourth quarter and was the largest since 2012, as exports and the primary income surplus fell. The Commerce Department said on Thursday the current account gap, which measures the flow of goods, services and investments into and out of the country, increased to $113.5 billion from a...

  • BASEL, March 19- Bulgari is confident of double-digit sales growth in 2015 on a like-for-like basis, the head of luxury group LVMH's biggest watch and jewellery business said on Thursday. Bulgari, for which singer and ex-French first lady Carla Bruni Sarkozy is brand ambassador, is the world's third largest watch and jewellery brand behind Richemont's Cartier...

  • LONDON, March 19- Britain unveiled new laws to crack down on tax evasion on Thursday, one of which will make large corporations criminally liable for failing to prevent economic crime within their organizations. Danny Alexander, finance minister George Osborne's second-in-command, announced the measures a day after Osborne promised tough action on tax...

  • DUBAI, March 19- U.S. shale drilling may be slowing, but not fast enough for OPEC to change policy at its June meeting or to prevent oil prices maybe falling more, in the view of the group's Gulf members. At its last meeting in November, OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia persuaded fellow members to keep production unchanged, accelerating the sharp oil price drop to a low around...

  • MOSCOW, March 19- Russian development bank VEB is in talks with the Novatek gas producer about a loan of $1 billion for the Yamal LNG project, TASS news agency cited VEB's head as saying on Thursday.

  • *Greenback higher vs euro after biggest fall in six years. LONDON, March 19- The dollar fought back across the board on Thursday after posting its biggest daily fall in 18 months in the wake of a much more cautious Federal Reserve statement on interest rates than expected. The Norwegian crown gained as much as 3 percent against the euro- its biggest daily rise since...

  • Battered Africa gold valuations to spur mines sales Thursday, 19 Mar 2015 | 8:07 AM ET

    JOHANNESBURG/ LONDON, March 19- Some of the lowest valuations in decades and rising pressure on Africa's gold producers to restructure or perish are likely to spur a wave of acquisitions in a sector attracting a growing number of potential buyers. Gold producers are now being forced to shape up to stay afloat and their focus has switched to cutting costs and...

  • NEW YORK, March 19- U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Thursday after the Federal Reserve on Wednesday removed a reference to being "patient" on interest rates out of its policy statement but indicated that it was in no rush to hike borrowing costs. The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.56 percent and London's FTSE hit a record after...

  • Yahoo closing last China operation in Beijing Thursday, 19 Mar 2015 | 7:45 AM ET
    Yahoo!

    Yahoo is closing its Beijing research and development center and leaving China in a new cost-cutting move.

  • *Russian economy hit by sanctions, oil price fall. MOSCOW, March 19- Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday it was still too soon to feel confident about the country's economy, although his ministers said the worst is over. The economy has been hit by Western economic sanctions over the Ukraine crisis and the fall in the global price for oil, Russia's main...

  • *Italy, Spain yields drop over 10 bps. LONDON, March 19- German bond yields fell to record lows on Thursday after the United States signalled it was in no rush to push up interest rates, while borrowing costs in Athens spiralled ahead of debt talks with its creditors. "When you get periods of stress as we have had in Greece, it focuses the mind on whether peripheral debt is...

  • China's Huawei leads international patent filings: WIPO Thursday, 19 Mar 2015 | 7:25 AM ET

    BEIJING, March 19- Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies Co Ltd became the world's No. 1 applicant for international patents in 2014, a United Nations agency said Thursday, underscoring the innovative strides made by Chinese technology companies. Huawei was followed by San Diego- based chipmaker Qualcomm Inc while Huawei's crosstown rival ZTE Corp,...

  • ATHENS, March 19- Greek banks saw deposit outflows of about 300 million euros on Wednesday, the highest in a single day since a February deal with the euro zone that staved off a banking collapse, two senior Greek bankers familiar with the matter said on Thursday. The fears receded after a Feb. 20 deal extending Greece's bailout but have risen again in recent days as...

  • *Japanese aluminum premiums set at $380/ T, down 11 pct. LONDON, March 19- Copper rebounded on Thursday, recovering from a one-month low in the previous session, on hopes that a U.S. rate hike would be delayed and after output was halted at one of the world's biggest copper mines. "There's broad-based support across commodities from the Fed guidance, but we don't think...

  • French retailer Carrefour returning to Algeria - source Thursday, 19 Mar 2015 | 7:02 AM ET

    *Carrefour expanding in Africa through franchises, JVs. PARIS, March 19- Carrefour is preparing to return to Algeria after a six-year absence, as part of a drive to tap booming consumer demand in Africa. Rising incomes and an underdeveloped retail sector have made Africa an important new growth destination for retailers and consumer goods companies, with the...

  • March 19- Lennar Corp reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue as it sold more homes at higher prices, and the company said early signs for the spring selling season indicated demand in the U.S. housing market was improving. Lennar's shares rose about 2 percent in premarket trading. Lennar has been able to raise prices despite a choppy...

  • LONDON, March 19- Gold eased on Thursday from an earlier two-week high as the dollar recovered some ground after posting its biggest daily fall in 18 months following a more cautious than expected interest rate statement from the Federal Reserve. Spot gold was down 0.3 percent at $1,163.95 an ounce at 1040 GMT. Gold hit a four-month low this week and remains down...