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  • WASHINGTON, March 27- The White House said on Thursday that more than 6 million people have now signed up for private insurance plans under President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law known as Obamacare, reflecting a surge in enrollments days before the March 31 deadline.

  • HONG KONG, March 27- The Federal Reserve, which has kept short-term U.S. interest rates near zero since late 2008, should start raising them early next year with the aim of returning them to normal by the end of 2016, a top Fed official told Reuters on Thursday.

  • WASHINGTON, March 27- A White House- backed bill to renew expired jobless benefits for 2.2 million Americans cleared a Republican procedural hurdle on Thursday in the Democratic-led Senate.

  • YOUR MONEY-The Last Taboo: Why nobody talks about money Thursday, 27 Mar 2014 | 2:36 PM ET

    NEW YORK, March 27- Everyone knows there are a few hot-button topics that can make any conversation go nuclear. But when it comes to the most difficult conversation you can possibly have, a new survey from Wells Fargo& Co found one clear winner: money.

  • SAN FRANCISCO, March 27- Microsoft Corp Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella took the wraps off an Office software suite designed for Apple Inc's iPad on Thursday, a widely anticipated move that underscores the new chief's willingness to point the lumbering software giant in a new direction.

  • WASHINGTON, March 27- The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives easily passed bills on Thursday to provide aid to Ukraine, back a $1 billion loan guarantee for the Kiev government and impose sanctions on Russians and Ukrainians over Russia's annexation of Crimea.

  • WASHINGTON, March 27- The White House said on Thursday that more than 6 million people have now signed up for private insurance plans under President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law known as Obamacare, reflecting a surge in enrollments days before the March 31 deadline.

  • U.S. bans licenses for military exports to Russia Thursday, 27 Mar 2014 | 2:18 PM ET

    WASHINGTON, March 27- The U.S. State Department said on Thursday it imposed a ban this week on the issuance of licenses for the export of defense items and defense services to Russia in response to Russia's annexation of Crimea.

  • KIEV/ MOSCOW, March 27- Ukraine won a $27- billion international financial lifeline on Thursday, rushed through in the wake of Russia's annexation of Crimea, while Moscow's economy minister acknowledged that his country's growth would slow dramatically as funds flee abroad.

  • LONDON, March 27- Copper prices bounced on Thursday on improved demand in Europe and top consumer China, but a stronger dollar and continued worries about credit in China capped gains.

  • Gunvor starts iron ore trade, from Singapore Thursday, 27 Mar 2014 | 2:04 PM ET

    Privately-owned Gunvor has stared trading physical iron ore and iron ore derivatives from Singapore, the main trading centre for the steelmaking ingredient widely consumed in China.

  • WASHINGTON, March 27- General Motors should promptly warn consumers not to drive GM cars recalled because of faulty ignition switches that can unexpectedly turn off engines and air bags as the vehicles are running, U.S.

  • *Sberbank has plans ready if economy worsens. MOSCOW, March 27- Sberbank has plans in place to cope if the Russian economy worsens due to the Ukraine crisis and sanctions and is prepared for a scenario where growth hits zero, inflation spikes and consumer demand weakens.

  • SPREAD BETWEEN 5- YEAR NOTES, 30- YEAR TREASURIES YIELDS COMPRESSES TO 179 BPS, TIGHTEST SINCE 2009.

  • WASHINGTON, March 27- The U.S. economy grew a bit faster than previously estimated in the fourth quarter and new claims for jobless aid dropped to a near four-month low last week, suggesting the economy has plenty of momentum to break out of its winter chill.

  • NEW YORK, March 27- U.S. Treasuries held at lower yields on Thursday after the government sold $29 billion of new seven-year notes to strong demand, the final sale of $96 billion in new coupon-bearing supply this week.

  • LONDON, March 27- Britain's healthcare agency NICE, which determines the use of treatments in the state-run health service, may be more likely to say' yes' to new drugs under proposals that enable it to take a broader view of the value they offer.

  • SAN FRANCISCO, March 27- Microsoft Corp's Office suite of applications, encompassing its popular Word, Excel and PowerPoint programs, will become available to iPad users from Apple Inc's app store from Thursday.

  • RPT-GLOBAL MARKETS-Wall Street slips; gold tumbles Thursday, 27 Mar 2014 | 1:34 PM ET

    *Gold hits six-week bottom on worry over U.S. rate hike. *Citigroup shares post biggest daily drop since Nov. 2012.

  • RIO DE JANEIRO, March 27- Popular support for Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has faltered ahead of the Oct. 5 presidential election, a poll showed Thursday, but the leftist leader remains favored to win a second term.