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  • *Cyclone Pam's 300- kph winds struck on Friday and Saturday. *Official death toll 11, but could rise. TANNA, Vanuatu, March 17- Residents of the southern Vanuatu island of Tanna said they were running out of food and basic supplies on Tuesday, after a huge cyclone tore across the South Pacific nation wreaking widespread devastation but not the heavy death toll...

  • *Gold steady, not far above 3- month low. *Platinum- gold spread at nearly $53/ oz. LONDON, March 17- Gold steadied above $1,150 an ounce on Tuesday, as the dollar fell against the euro ahead of a Federal Reserve policy meeting that may offer further clues to support expectations of a mid-2015 rise in U.S. interest rates.

  • BRUSSELS, March 17- European Union antitrust regulators have extended their deadline for a decision on General Electric's 12.4 billion euro bid for Alstom's power equipment business after a request from the U.S. group. The European Commission, which opened a full-scale investigation last month on concerns that the deal could result in price increases, will...

  • MOSCOW, March 17- Russia's rouble strengthened on Tuesday, helped by forex sales that analysts attributed to exporters gearing up for the end-of-month tax period. Forex sales appeared to offset the negative impact of a drop in oil prices, a key driver for all Russian assets because oil is Russia's chief export. Brent crude oil was trading at around $53 a barrel, 1.6...

  • Analysts said that rising U.S. crude oil stocks, an increase in Libyan oil production and the chance of an agreement between Iran and the West that could ease sanctions on the oil producer and boost its exports are all pulling prices lower. "When people look at the market now, they are looking at the possibility of an Iran resolution,". Brent, which rose to a session high...

  • LONDON, March 17- British newspaper publisher Trinity Mirror could bid for the Daily Express and Daily Star titles after it said on Tuesday that it is examining certain assets owned by Richard Desmond's Northern& Shell group. But Trinity, which also owns the Daily Record, the People and regional titles such as the Liverpool Echo and Manchester Evening News, this...

  • MANNHEIM, Germany, March 17- The economic stimulus stemming from the European Central Bank's quantitative easing program was felt mainly until early this year but concerns about a hangover it may cause rose in March, the president of German think tank ZEW said on Tuesday. He also said that the situation in Greece appeared to be worsening every day and there was...

  • MANNHEIM, Germany, March 17- The mood among German analysts and investors improved in March for a fifth consecutive month, hitting its highest level since February 2014, but ZEW warned a lack of progress in the Greek and Ukraine crises was dampening sentiment. The German ZEW just sent more signs of increasing optimism in the euro zone's largest economy, "said...

  • *Nintendo, DeNA to jointly develop, operate phone apps. *Nintendo has lost users to apps, console rivals. Nintendo, which already warned its annual operating profit would halve on weak console sales, said on Tuesday it was teaming up with online gaming firm DeNA Co Ltd to develop and operate gaming apps.

  • LONDON, March 17- Britain's Sainsbury's expressed confidence in outperforming its supermarket peers and played down the threat posed by recovering rival Tesco on Tuesday, although it said no quick improvement in tough trading conditions was expected. Sainsbury's posted a fifth consecutive quarter of declining underlying sales but it said measures laid...

  • MUMBAI, March 17- Emerging markets must prepare for the impact of a rise in U.S. interest rates which could surprise in both its timing and pace, the head of the International Monetary Fund said in India on Tuesday. In a speech in Mumbai, Managing Director Christine Lagarde warned the so-called "taper tantrum" that slammed emerging markets in 2013 could be repeated.

  • LONDON, March 17- Britain's financial regulator has banned Paul Robson, a former trader at Dutch lender Rabobank from the UK financial services industry following a criminal conviction for Libor-related fraud in the United States. The Financial Conduct Authority said on Tuesday that Robson, who last year pleaded guilty for his role in a conspiracy to...

  • MANNHEIM, Germany, March 17- The mood among German analysts and investors improved in March for a fifth consecutive month, hitting its highest level since February 2014 but ZEW warned a lack of progress in the Greek and Ukraine crises was having a dampening effect on sentiment. Mannheim- based think tank ZEW said on Tuesday its monthly survey of economic...

  • *World shares hit one-week high; Asia gain from dollar pause. *Bank of Japan maintains policy, economic assessment. Solid gains for Asian markets overnight gave way to up and down trading in Europe.

  • LONDON, March 17- The price of electronic cigarettes, craft beer and subscriptions to music streaming services such as Spotify will go into calculations of British inflation for the first time, the country's statistical agency said on Tuesday. Britain's consumer prices index is based on the cost of more than 700 goods and services, a handful of which are changed...

  • Kremlin rules out handing back Crimea to Ukraine Tuesday, 17 Mar 2015 | 5:58 AM ET

    MOSCOW, March 17- Russia said on Tuesday it would not hand back Crimea to Ukraine, despite warnings by the United States and European Union that they will not drop sanctions over the Black Sea peninsula's annexation a year ago. Moscow has said repeatedly it will not return it to Ukraine. U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Monday Washington would...

  • *Kuroda admits core CPI may briefly turn negative. *Brief slide in CPI won't hurt price uptrend- Kuroda. TOKYO, March 17- Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said lower energy costs may push consumer prices into negative territory but it won't derail a pick-up in inflation as the economy recovers, signalling that he sees no immediate need to expand stimulus.

  • JERUSALEM, March 17- Millions of Israelis voted on Tuesday in a tightly fought election, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu facing an uphill battle to defeat a strong campaign by the centre-left opposition to deny him a fourth term in office. If he wins again he would be on track to become Israel's longest-serving prime minister. When the last opinion polls...

  • JAKARTA, March 17- Indonesia's central bank, which surprised markets last month by cutting its benchmark rate, acted as expected on Tuesday and kept it unchanged on the eve of a key Federal Reserve meeting. Bank Indonesia said the current rate of 7.50 percent is consistent with efforts to contain inflation and the current account deficit. Tuesday's meeting...

  • LONDON, March 17- Britain's Trinity Mirror said on Tuesday it was considering a bid for certain assets owned by Richard Desmond's Northern& Shell, following a media report suggesting it could buy the Daily Express newspaper. Trinity, which owns the Daily and Sunday Mirror titles, said it was at an early stage of evaluating certain assets and that there was no...