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Gloomy reports show Europe's economies worsening

LONDON - The fourth quarter has so far brought no improvement in the fortunes of most of Europe's economies, which now risk shrinking more than previously expected, gloomy data shows. (EUROPE-ECONOMY/ (WRAPUP 2), moved, by Andy Bruce, 640 words)

France hikes VAT, cuts spending, to bolster industry

PARIS - France will ease payroll taxes by 20 billion euros over three years, funding that with spending cuts and sales tax rises, in a tougher-than-expected response to demands from business leaders to reverse decades of industrial decline. (FRANCE-COMPETITIVENESS/(UPDATE 3, PIX, TV), expect by 1500 GMT/ 10 AM ET, by Emmanuel Jarry and Catherine Bremer, 800 words)

Greeks strike over spending cuts before crucial vote

ATHENS - Hundreds of thousands of Greeks begin a crippling 48-hour strike to protest against a new round of wage and pension cuts that parliament is expected to approve narrowly a day later. (GREECE/(UPDATE 4, PIX, TV), expect by 1430 GMT/9.30 AM ET, by Karolina Tagaris and Lefteris Papadimas, 800 words)

+ See also:

- MARKETS-GREECE/, expect by 1400 GMT/ 9 AM ET, by Marius Zaharia and William James, 940 words

Worst U.S. election outcome for markets -- no winner at all

NEW YORK - Traders and investors seem to agree on one thing about Tuesday's U.S. presidential election: The markets want a clear winner by Wednesday morning. (USA CAMPAIGN/MARKETS, moved, by Rodrigo Campos, 500 words)

U.S. vote in market focus, euro slips on Greece

LONDON - European equities edge higher, helped by stronger travel and technology stocks but no major moves are expected until investors know the results of the U.S. presidential election. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/(WRAPUP 6, GRAPHICS), moved, by Marc Jones, 830 words)


EU to predict dire 2013 for Spain - report

MADRID - The European Commission is to forecast Spain's economy will be almost as dire next year as this, a newspaper says, raising the pressure for a euro zone bailout and undermining government promises that 2012 will mark the low point. (SPAIN-ECONOMY/(UPDATE 3, PIX, TV), moved, by Tracy Rucinski, 840 words)

ECB to hold rates after Draghi's hectic first year

FRANKFURT - The European Central Bank is set to leave interest rates unchanged on Thursday, deferring a cut in borrowing costs that would risk undermining the impact of Mario Draghi's signature policy a year into his ECB presidency. (ECB/RATES (PREVIEW), moved, by Paul Carrel, 970 words)

Slump in UK industrial output dents recovery hopes

LONDON - British industrial output falls more sharply than expected in September, data shows, reinforcing fears an incipient recovery will struggle to gather pace. (BRITAIN-ECONOMY/INDUSTRIAL (UPDATE 1), moved, by Peter Griffiths and Olesya Dmitracova, 550 words)

Historic regulation ramps up hedge fund risk

LONDON - Landmark European regulation aimed at ensuring hedge funds and private equity firms are not 'too big to fail' could in fact make the global economy even more vulnerable to outsized firms, by concentrating risk in fewer hands. (AIFM-FUNDS/, expect by 1300 GMT/ 9 AM ET, by Sinead Cruise, 1,000 words)


Luxury carmaker BMW starts to feel industry pain

FRANKFURT - BMW, the world's largest premium carmaker, warns it is starting to feel the pain of a sickly European market, overshadowing strong quarterly results and a forecast record annual profit. (BMW-EARNINGS/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Christiaan Hetzner, 550 words)

China row drags on Nissan, cuts FY forecasts

YOKOHAMA, Japan - Counting the cost of anti-Japanese protests in a territorial dispute with China, Nissan Motor Co cuts its full-year net profit forecast by a fifth to $3.99 billion, and says it has lost share in its biggest market. (NISSAN-EARNINGS/ (UPDATE 2, TV, PIX), moved, by Yoko Kubota, 900 words)

NYSE Euronext bets on cuts to offset trading losses

LONDON - NYSE Euronext, the world's largest stock market, is hoping ambitious cost cuts will help offset lower trading levels, in the latest sign of growing pressure on the world's top trading firms. (NYSEEURONEXT-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 3), moved, by Luke Jeffs, 500 words)

Court rejects Kazakh oligarch appeal as UK fraud trial looms

LONDON - Mukhtar Ablyazov, an oligarch accused of embezzling around $5.0 billion from his former Kazakh bank BTA, has been labelled ``devious'', ``cynical'' and ``opportunistic'' by an English court as it rejects attempts to quash orders against him on the eve of his trial (BTA-ABLYAZOV/BRITAIN, expect by 1500 GMT/ 10 AM ET, by Kirstin Ridley, 650 words

Marks & Spencer says has investor backing as profits fall

LONDON - Bellwether British retailer Marks & Spencer says it has the backing of investors even though it posts a second consecutive year of falling first-half profit. (MARKS & SPENCER-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by James Davey, 650 words)

+ See also:

- AB FOODS/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Christine Murray, 550 words

InterContinental wants new bids for NY's Barclay Hotel

LONDON - InterContinental Hotels has failed to seal the sale of its Barclay hotel in midtown Manhattan and is seeking new bids after exclusive talks with a prospective buyer proves inconclusive. (INTERCONTINENTAL-EARNINGS/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Keith Weir, 550 words)