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  • FRANKFURT, Jan 7- A surprise drop in euro zone inflation will concern European Central Bank policymakers but they will likely do no more on Thursday than warn of their readiness to act in future. The policymaking Governing Council meets after data showed annual euro zone inflation dipped to 0.8 percent in December from 0.9 in November.

  • Frigid blast hits U.S. Midwest soft red wheat crop Tuesday, 7 Jan 2014 | 9:29 AM ET

    CHICAGO, Jan 7- The U.S. Overnight lows fell to -5 to -10 degrees Fahrenheit across southern Indiana, Ohio, Illinois and northern Kentucky- big soft red winter wheat country, where much of the area was unprotected by snow cover.

  • US Bancorp to buy Charter One's Chicago branches Tuesday, 7 Jan 2014 | 9:16 AM ET

    Jan 7- U.S. Bancorp will buy Charter One Bank's Chicago branch operations as it looks to establish a larger presence in the Chicago metro area.

  • US STOCKS-Wall Street to rise after string of losses Tuesday, 7 Jan 2014 | 9:12 AM ET

    German unemployment unexpectedly fell in December on a seasonally-adjusted basis, bolstering hopes that domestic consumption could lift growth in Europe's biggest economy. "Europe's data has not been bad. It gives optimism, "said Kim Forrest, senior equity research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh.

  • Jan 7- Microsoft Corp said it would buy cloud-based customer service software maker Parature Inc to expand its customer self-service capabilities.

  • MIAMI, Jan 7- Cold weather overnight did not harm oranges and other fruit across Florida's citrus-growing regions, the state's leading growers association said on Tuesday. It didn't get cold enough, for long enough anywhere in all our different regions, " Andrew Meadows, a spokesman for Florida Citrus Mutual, told Reuters.

  • *Trade deficit falls to $34.3 billion in November. WASHINGTON, Jan 7- The U.S. trade deficit fell to its lowest level in four years in November as exports hit a record high and weak oil prices restrained import growth, the latest evidence of strengthening economic fundamentals.

  • The U.S. drugmaker said it expects earnings, excluding special items, at $2.77 to $2.85 per share in 2014. Analysts, on average, estimated $2.78 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The Indianapolis- based company forecast revenue this year between $19.2 billion and $19.8 billion, also in line with analysts' expectations.

  • HARTFORD, Conn., Jan 7- One of the most dovish U.S. central bankers on Tuesday said the economy remains vulnerable the longer inflation remains too low, and he again warned that policy stimulus should be removed "only gradually."

  • *Wall Street expected to rise, break 3- day slide. Wall Street was also expected to start higher after a three-day run of falls, though the mood was still expected to be cautious ahead of Wednesday's minutes from the Federal Reserve's December meeting and jobs data on Friday.

  • Boeing said on Monday that unidentified airlines had placed orders for 164 similar aircraft as it reported its final tally for 2013.. Industry sources said at least part of the SpiceJet order is included in this list and is therefore already part of Boeing's backlog of unfilled orders. A spokeswoman for Boeing declined to comment.

  • Jan 7- Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc, Canada's largest listed drugmaker, on Tuesday forecast 2014 adjusted earnings of $8.25 to $8.75 per share and revenue of $8.2 billion to $8.6 billion, both up about 40 percent from the previous year.

  • *Franc falls sharply, long-term funds cited behind move. LONDON, Jan 7- The Swiss franc fell to its lowest against the euro since October on Tuesday, with some analysts arguing global economic optimism had laid the ground for a retreat for one of the world's strongest and "safest" currencies.

  • DUBLIN/ LONDON, Jan 7- Ireland made a storming return to the international bond market on Tuesday, with bumper demand for the country's first debt sale since exiting its EU/IMF bailout helping to drive down yields across the euro zone's periphery.

  • COLUMN-Texas comes close to rolling blackouts: Kemp Tuesday, 7 Jan 2014 | 7:59 AM ET

    LONDON, Jan 7- Texas struggled to keep the heating working on Monday as unusually cold weather combined with unexpected power plant outages to reduce reserve margins to critically low levels.

  • NEW YORK, Jan 7- U.S. stock index futures rose on Tuesday, rebounding after three days of losses on the S&P 500 with the help of upbeat data out of Germany.

  • PARIS, Jan 7- French trade unionists held two executives overnight on Tuesday at the country's Goodyear tyre plant- a flashpoint for France's troubled industrial relations- to demand higher pay-outs for more than a thousand planned layoffs.

  • LONDON/ SYDNEY, Jan 7- Copper steadied on Tuesday above the two-week lows it hit on Monday, helped by a weaker dollar versus the euro although the market was quiet as traders focused on U.S. data due later this week.

  • Jan 7- U.S. drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co on Tuesday forecast a decline in earnings this year in line with Wall Street estimates, with results hurt by cheaper generic forms of its Zyprexa schizophrenia drug and Cymbalta depression treatment. Lilly expects earnings, excluding special items, of $2.77 to $2.85 per share this year.

  • ZURICH, Jan 7- Credit Suisse is accelerating a drive to scale back riskier fixed-income businesses following a tough 2013 and amid strict new regulation, moving further away from its traditional focus on investment banking.

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