December 8, 2014 / 9:43 AM / 3 years ago

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TOP STORIES

Italy downgrade casts gloom over euro zone

LONDON- European stocks and government bonds dip as weak data from Asia, a rating downgrade for Italy and the slump in oil prices stoke concerns about global growth. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/ (WRAPUP 4), moved, by John Geddie, 500 words)

+ See also:

- MARKETS-BONDS/EURO (UPDATE 1), moved, by Emelia Sithole-Matarise, 350 words

China faces more pressure as Nov imports drop unexpectedly, exports slow

BEIJING - China’s imports fall unexpectedly in November while export growth slows, adding to concerns the world’s second-largest economy could be facing a sharper slowdown and adding pressure on policymakers to ramp up stimulus measures. (CHINA-ECONOMY/TRADE (WRAPUP 1), moved, by Kevin Yao, 750 words)

Japan economy shrinks more than expected, backing Abe’s tax decision

TOKYO - Japan’s economy shrinks more than initially reported in the third quarter on declines in business investment, data shows, surprising markets and backing premier Shinzo Abe’s recent decision to delay a second sales tax hike. (JAPAN-ECONOMY/GDP (UPDATE 2), moved, by Leika Kihara, 600 words)

+ See also:

- JAPAN-ECONOMY/BOJ, moved, by Leika Kihara, 690 words

German industry output edges up less than forecast in October

BERLIN - German industrial output rose less than expected in October, data shows, offering only feeble support for hopes that Europe’s largest economy is returning to health after a weak third quarter. (GERMANY-ECONOMY/OUTPUT (UPDATE 1), moved, 325 words)

INSIGHT

Retirees’ target date funds making hedge fund style bets

NEW YORK - A fast-growing segment of U.S. retirement plans is using hedge-fund type strategies to bet a small but increasing slice of their assets. (FUNDS-RETIREMENT/HEDGEFUNDS (INSIGHT), moved, by Jessica Toonkel, 980 words)

INVESTMENT

Obamacare helps private equity get its rehab clinic fix

Investors are pouring money into the operators of U.S. rehab centers as many more Americans get health care coverage for addiction treatment, driving up valuations and triggering a consolidation of businesses in the fragmented sector. (REHABCLINICS-M&A/PRIVATEEQUITY (DEALTALK), moved, by Olivia Oran, 915 wordS)

ECONOMY

ECB’s loans offer clues in QE guessing game

BRUSSELS - The guessing game over the timing of euro zone money printing will intensify as the European Central Bank unveils a closely watched gauge of policy in the coming week, the highlight of a calendar dominated by Europe’s malaise. (ECONOMY-GLOBAL/, moved, by Robin Emmott, 740 words)

+ See also:

- ECB-NOWOTNY/, moved, 170 words

Kuwait Petroleum sees oil at $65 a barrel for next 6-7 months

KUWAIT - Oil prices are likely to remain around $65 a barrel for the next six to seven months, the head of Kuwait’s state oil company says. (KUWAIT-OIL/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 280 words)

+ See also:

- MARKETS-OIL/ (UPDATE 4), moved, by Jack Stubbs, 330 words

Bank on “Super Mario” to give Europe a monetary jolt

FRANKFURT - From his office on the 41st floor of the gleaming new European Central Bank headquarters, Mario Draghi’s view stretches far beyond Frankfurt’s high-rise financial centre and he doesn’t like what he sees. (ECB-POLICY/DRAGHI (ANALYSIS), moved, by Paul Taylor, 800 words)

UK rate rise in 2015 to test high-debt households

LONDON - Britons who have relied on years of record-low interest rates to manage hefty mortgages are looking nervously ahead to 2015, when the Bank of England finally looks set to start raising rates. (BRITAIN-DEBT/BOE (ANALYSIS), moved, by David Milliken, 760 words)

COMPANIES

Saint-Gobain seeks control of Sika but management rebels

PARIS/ZURICH - France’s Saint-Gobain has offered 2.75 billion Swiss francs ($2.8 billion) to buy a controlling stake in chemicals group Sika, but the move is rejected by the Swiss firm’s management, sparking a slide in both companies’ shares. (SIKA-M&A/SAINT GOBAIN (UPDATE 2), moved, by Natalie Huet and Katharina Bart, 420 words)

Societe Generale pulls out of GVK Hancock’s long-delayed coal project

MELBOURNE - Societe Generale suspends its involvement in financing a $10 billion coal mine, rail and port project being developed by India’s GVK conglomerate and Australian billionaire Gina Rinehart, citing the project’s years-long delay. (STE GENERALE-GVK HANCOCK/, moved, 400 words)

Trafigura 2014 core earnings rise 13 pct to $1.31 bln

LONDON - Trafigura, one of the world’s largest commodities traders, reports a 13 percent rise in core earnings to $1.309 billion in the fiscal year to September 2014. (TRAFIGURA-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 230 words)

Madison backs Qatari bid for Canary Wharf owner Songbird

LONDON - Songbird Estates shareholder Madison International Realty plans to accept Qatar Investment Authority’s (QIA) offer for the British property company, the sovereign wealth fund beind the hostile bid says. (SONGBIRD-M&A/QIA (UPDATE 1), moved, by Simon Jessop, 200 words)

Qantas gets lift as turnaround strategy kicks in

SYDNEY - Qantas Airways Ltd says it expects to post its best first-half result since 2010 as a A$2 billion cost-cutting programme bears fruit and lower oil prices trim fuel costs, sending its shares to a three-and-a-half year high. (AUSTRALIA-QANTAS/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Jane Wardell, 430 words)

Infosys founders sell shares to raise $1.1 billion

HONG KONG/MUMBAI - Some of the founders of Infosys Ltd sold shares worth $1.1 billion in India’s second-largest IT services exporter on Monday, in a deal seen as the entrepreneurs paring their ties after the company picked first outsider as its chief executive. (INFOSYS-SHAREHOLDERS/ (UPDATE 2), moving shortly, by Anuradha Subramanyan, 430 words)

Sharp says considering selling U.S. solar unit to Canadian Solar

TOKYO - Japan’s Sharp Corp says it is considering selling its U.S.-based solar energy development unit Recurrent Energy to Canadian Solar Inc, but is yet to make a final decision on any deal. (SHARP-SOLAR/CANADIAN SOLAR (UPDATE 1), moved, 200 words)

Temasek buys stake in U.S. electronic trading firm Virtu

HONG KONG/SINGAPORE - Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings agrees to buy a minority stake in Virtu Financial Inc, the New York-based electronic dealing firm says, in a bet on the growth of automated trading globally. (VIRTU FINCL-M&A/TEMASEK HOLDINGS, moved, 400 words)

Global Logistic Properties, GIC buy US portfolio for $8.1 bln

SINGAPORE - Global Logistic Properties Ltd says it has teamed up with Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte Ltd to invest $8.1 billion in a U.S. logistics real estate portfolio, its first foray into the United States. (GLP-GIC PTE/USA, moved, 200 words)

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