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  • *Trade deficit widens to $42.3 billion in February. WASHINGTON, April 3- The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, but the underlying trend continued to point to some strength in the labor market.

  • FRANKFURT, April 3- The European Central Bank is committed to using unconventional measures it has available to ensure low inflation does not take hold for too long in the euro zone, ECB President Mario Draghi said on Thursday.

  • *Google dividend to take effect Thursday. NEW YORK, April 3- U.S. stocks were poised to open little changed on Thursday, after the S&P 500 set a record for a second day and data showed jobless claims rose more than expected in the latest week.

  • FRANKFURT, April 3- The European Central Bank will keep interest rates low for as long as needed and will consider all available instruments if monetary policy needs to be eased further, ECB President Mario Draghi said on Thursday.

  • FRANKFURT, April 3- The European Central Bank will use whatever unconventional measures it has available to ensure low inflation does not take hold for too long in the euro zone, ECB President Mario Draghi said on Thursday.

  • LONDON, April 3- Gold fell on Thursday as the dollar firmed after the European Central Bank left rates on hold as expected, and investors shifted their focus to the central bank's press conference and expectations that U.S. data will show an improvement. Gold futures for April delivery fell $7.40 to $1,283.20 an ounce.

  • U.S. jobless claims rise more than expected Thursday, 3 Apr 2014 | 8:30 AM ET

    WASHINGTON, April 3- The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, but the underlying trend continued to point to some strength in the labor market. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 16,000 to a seasonally adjusted 326,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

  • LONDON, April 3- Slightly slower growth in euro zone business activity last month and unchanged interest rates on Thursday halted this week's European stock market rally in its tracks. Seventy of 72 economists polled by Reuters correctly predicted the European Central Bank would keep its main interest rate on hold at a record low 0.25 percent.

  • LONDON, April 3- The euro held broadly steady on Thursday after the European Central Bank kept interest rates on hold, with eyes fixed on the bank's news conference for signs of whether it is any closer to taking other steps to boost growth.

  • MOSCOW, April 3- Russia's economy could grow significantly below 1 percent in gross domestic product terms this year if current trends continue, Deputy Economy Minister Andrei Klepach said on Thursday. "Our economy is not in crisis, but there is stagnation," Klepach told a local conference.

  • *Greece showing signs of pulling out of recession. LONDON, April 3- Greece is planning to return to the international bond market this month, four years after it became the first euro zone country to be bailed out and only two years since defaulting on its debts.

  • BENGHAZI, Libya, April 3- Libya's El Sharara and El Feel oilfields in the southwest of the OPEC producer are still closed by protests, acting Oil Minister Omar Shakmak said on Thursday. A pipeline from the Wafa field to the western Mellitah oil port was also still blocked by protests, Shakmak told reporters in the eastern city of Benghazi.

  • UPDATE 1-ECB holds course in face of deflation fears Thursday, 3 Apr 2014 | 7:48 AM ET

    *Draghi's news conference due to start at 1230 GMT. FRANKFURT, April 3- The European Central Bank kept interest rates steady on Thursday despite a fall in inflation to its lowest in more than four years, counting on the euro zone recovery to gain strength unaided.

  • ECB holds rates despite inflation close to zero Thursday, 3 Apr 2014 | 7:46 AM ET

    FRANKFURT, April 3- The European Central Bank left its main interest rate unchanged at a record low of 0.25 percent on Thursday despite a sharp slowdown in inflation in the euro zone. The decision to leave rates unchanged was expected, though a very small minority of economists polled by Reuters had expected a cut.

  • *Google dividend to take effect Thursday. NEW YORK, April 3- U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Thursday, after the S&P 500 set a record for a second straight day, ahead of data on the labor market and services sector. International trade data is also due at 8:30 a.m..

  • LONDON, April 3- Slightly slower growth in euro zone business activity last month and caution ahead of Thursday's European Central Bank policy decision halted this week's European stock market rally in its tracks. The global focus on Thursday switched to Europe.

  • ANKARA/ LONDON April 3- Turkish consumer prices rose more quickly than expected in March to remain well above the central bank's year-end target, bolstering the case for the bank to keep interest rates higher for longer.

  • Kazakh Foreign Minister Erlan Idrisov said the pact to shape an existing customs union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan into the Eurasian Economic Union could be formalised in May.

  • The European Commission had proposed extending the regulation to cover the portion of international flights over EU territory, insisting Europe was within its rights to regulate within its own airspace.

  • *FTSEurofirst 300 dips 0.1 pct, Euro STOXX 50 up 0.1 pct. Spain's Ibex index, however, rose 0.7 percent, taking its rise since its March low to around 8 percent, as data showed the country's service sector expanded more than expected last month, fuelling hopes of overall economic growth in the first quarter.