*FTSEurofirst 300, Euro STOXX 50 up 0.3 pct. *Euro STOXX 50 posts biggest monthly gain since Feb. LONDON, Aug 29- European shares eked out small gains in thin, choppy trade on Friday, helping one key euro zone index of blue chips record its biggest monthly rise since February.» Read More
NEW YORK, March 17- U.S. stocks rose more than 1 percent on Monday, rebounding from a steep drop in the previous week as concerns eased over the situation in Crimea, even as the region voted to join Russia.
*Gold heads for biggest quarterly gain in 27 years. LONDON, March 17- Gold hit its highest in six months on Monday as appetite for risk remained cautious following Crimea's vote to break from Ukraine and Western countries' sanctions on Moscow and Kiev officials.
LONDON, March 17- The world's biggest banks still could not be dismantled safely, more than five years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the Bank of England's deputy governor for financial stability said on Monday.
*New York state manufacturing expands in March. WASHINGTON, March 17- U.S. manufacturing output recorded its largest increase in six months in February and factory activity in New York state expanded, in the latest signs that economic activity was gaining momentum after being dampened by severe weather.
*Gazprom's shares down 1.1 pct, bucking a rising broader Moscow market. MOSCOW, March 17- Russia's top natural gas producer Gazprom is considering making changes to contracts to keep its European customers on board despite western sanctions on Russia over Ukraine, the Vedomosti newspaper said on Monday.
NEW YORK, March 17- U.S. stocks rose sharply at the open on Monday, rebounding from a steep drop in the previous week, after Sunday's referendum over whether Crimea will join Russia passed without violence.
The companies receiving a letter on Sunday from the group were Wal-Mart Stores Inc, supermarket operators Kroger Co, Safeway Inc, which operate pharmacies, and drugstore chains Walgreen Co and Rite Aid Corp..
DETROIT, March 17- Volkswagen AG said it is recalling about 160,351 Passat sedans in the United States and Canada because a low-beam headlight could become inoperable. Affected are about 150,201 cars sold in the United States and about 10,150 in Canada, VW said.
NEW YORK, March 17- U.S. Crimea formally applied to join Russia on Monday after its leaders declared a Soviet-style 97- percent result in favor of seceding from Ukraine in a referendum condemned as illegal by Kiev and the West that will trigger immediate sanctions.
*Vodafone targets around 240 mln euros savings per year. LONDON, March 17- Vodafone has agreed to buy Spain's largest cable operator Ono for 7.2 billion euros, the latest hefty deal in a European telecoms sector starting to rebuild as the region recovers from a recession.
March 17- Staar Surgical Co said an independent advisory panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended marketing approval for its implantable vision-correction lens, sending the company's shares up 22 percent in premarket trade on Monday.
CBS Outdoor, part of media conglomerate CBS Corp, expects its offering of 20 million shares to be priced between $26 and $28 each, the company said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday.
WASHINGTON, March 17- U.S. manufacturing output rebounded more than expected in February and recorded its largest increase in six months, in the latest sign that economic activity is gaining momentum after being dampened by severe weather.
BERLIN, March 17- British clothes retailer Primark will pay a further $10 million in compensation to victims of the collapse of a Bangladeshi factory last year that killed more than 1,100 people.
*Sugar back on defensive after Brazil- driven rally. LONDON, March 17- Arabica coffee futures on ICE were sharply lower on Monday as the market extended its retreat from last week's two-year high as the focus remained on the extent of damage to Brazil's crop prospects from dry weather earlier this year.
LONDON, March 17- Global regulators will intensify their efforts to revive a securitisation market tarnished by the financial crisis and now seen by policymakers as a key source of funds for the economy, the head of an umbrella regulatory group told Reuters.
LONDON, March 17- Brent futures fell below $108 a barrel on Monday, wiping out earlier gains, after Crimea vote to join Russia passed without major violence, although Washington and Europe could impose punitive measures as early as Monday.
EXXON MOBIL ANNOUNCES FIVE-PART USD BENCHMARK BOND TO PRICE MONDAY.
NEW YORK, March 17- U.S. stock index futures pointed to a sharply higher open on Wall Street Monday, rebounding from a steep drop in the previous week, after Sunday's referendum over whether Crimea will join Russia passed without violence.
March 17- Outdoor advertising company CBS Outdoor Americas Inc is seeking a valuation of about $3.36 billion as it looks to raise up to $560 million in an initial public offering of its common shares.