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  • PARIS, Feb 21- The e-commerce marketplace JOOM, whose mobile shopping app sells products from China at cut-rate prices directly to buyers, is recruiting French brands to bolster its merchant roster in a market it sees as key to cracking Europe and taking on Amazon. JOOM already offers 10,000 products from France and sees the home of haute-couture fashion as a...

  • LONDON, Feb 22- The euro held near a two-week high on Friday as investors waited for signs of how the euro zone economy is faring, while the Australian dollar rebounded after China denied it had banned imports of the country's coal. But hopes for an easing of the U.S.- China trade conflict pushed it up 0.2 percent on Friday, to $1.1351. Traders are watching for...

  • SHANGHAI, Feb 22- Shares in Asia recouped early losses on Friday, buoyed by strong gains in China as signs of progress in trade talks with the United States offset worries about a deteriorating global economic outlook. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was 0.3 percent higher by mid-afternoon, having spent the day dipping in and out of...

  • PARIS, Feb 21- Utility Engie is poised to cut back its geographical spread of businesses and focus on grids and renewables in a 1 billion euro cost-cutting drive to bolster revenues, sources familiar with the matter said. Engie has been criticized for being too complex and conglomerate-like and CEO Isabelle Kocher is expected to address this in a 2019-2021...

  • NEW YORK, United States- Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard Clarida speaks before the 2019 Monetary Policy Forum hosted by the Initiative on Global Markets, University of Chicago Booth School of Business- 1700 GMT. NEW YORK, United States- Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic to give opening remarks before the First Annual Joint...

  • *Soybeans, corn higher on optimism over U.S.- China talks. CHICAGO, Feb 21- Chicago wheat futures rebounded on Thursday after a four-day slide, while the grains market overall steadied as U.S. and China trade negotiators sketched an outline for what could be a deal to end the trade war. "The key driver for today is what is happening with the U.S.- China talks," said Don...

  • BERLIN, Feb 21- Germany's lower house of parliament on Thursday approved changes to labour laws making it easier for employers to fire high-income workers, a measure designed to encourage London- based financial institutions to move to Frankfurt after Brexit. The government fears Germany's strict labour laws, which make it difficult for employers to dismiss...

  • *FTSE 100 down 0.9 pct. *FTSE 250 UP 0.1 pct. The FTSE 100 was down 0.9 percent, while strength in sterling helped the domestically-focussed FTSE 250 add 0.1 percent.

  • *U.S., China sketch outlines of deal to end trade war. Losses were capped by OPEC- led supply cuts and U.S. sanctions on Venezuela and Iran. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures fell 13 cents to $57.03 a barrel by 11:43 a.m. EST after touching a 2019 high of $57.55 the previous day.

  • BRUSSELS, Feb 21- The European Union needs to issue joint bonds to strengthen its capital markets union project and to make the euro stronger, European Central Bank policymaker Ewald Nowotny said on Thursday. Nowotny, who is also governor of the Austrian central bank, said Europe would need "some kind of eurobonds" and would need to start with short-term eurobills...

  • LONDON, Feb 21- Sterling was lifted on Thursday by hopes that Prime Minister Theresa May can secure changes to her Brexit deal from Brussels. The British currency has swung wildly in recent sessions as May tries to persuade European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker to modify her withdrawal deal and then get the tweaked agreement through the British...

  • BRUSSELS, Feb 21- British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said on Thursday Prime Minister Theresa May must change her strategy and seek a close alliance with the European Union after Brexit to avert the dangerous prospect of an abrupt split. Speaking in Brussels after meeting the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, the Labour Party leader told...

  • MILAN, Feb 21- Veteran designer Giorgio Armani went freestyle for his second Emporio Armani line at Milan Fashion Week on Thursday, presenting a line he said provided "a repertoire of possibilities" for women's winter wardrobes. The 84- year-old designer, affectionately called "King Giorgio" in his native Italy, opened his "Freestyle"- named show with oversized...

  • LONDON, Feb 21- Britain posted its biggest budget surplus on record in January despite a slowing economy, putting finance minister Philip Hammond on course to announce the lowest annual borrowing since 2002 in a fiscal update due just before Brexit next month. Britain ran a surplus of 14.895 billion pounds in January, official data showed, the highest since...

  • *Soybeans, corn higher on optimism over U.S.- China talks. *Market waits USDA planting, export data. The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade was up 2.0 percent at $4.90-1/ 282- 1/ 2 a bushel by 1258 GMT.

  • LONDON, Feb 21- Nigeria has ordered foreign oil and gas companies to pay nearly $20 billion in taxes it says are owed to local states, industry and government sources said, in a move that could deter investment in Africa's largest economy. Norway's Equinor, which produced around 45,000 barrels per day of oil in Nigeria in 2017, confirmed the request.

  • *FTSE 100 down 0.7 pct. The FTSE 100 was down 0.7 percent, lagging its European peers by 0937 GMT. The FTSE 250 was little changed.

  • *Q4 EBITDA up 1.4 pct on comparable basis to 3.33 billion euros. *No swift consolidation of France's telco sector- CFO. PARIS, Feb 21- Orange, France's number one telecoms operator, struck a cautious tone for 2019 due to a protracted price war in its home country and few chances of a merger between its rivals that could improve market conditions.

  • PARIS, Feb 21- French conglomerate Bouygues predicted an increase in earnings for 2019 and growth at its telecoms arm after posting higher 2018 profits that lifted its shares. Core earnings at Bouygues Telecom, France's third-biggest mobile operator which Bouygues failed to merge with market leader Orange in 2016, rose by 171 million euros from a year...

  • PARIS, Feb 21- TechnipFMC's shares slumped on Thursday, after the oil services company posted a loss during the fourth quarter. TechnipFMC's main stock market listing is in New York, but its Paris- listed shares dropped by around 10 percent at the start of trading on Thursday. "Subsea adjusted EBITDA fell short as $1.2 billion of revenues missed our $1.4 billion...