December 18, 2015 / 1:56 PM / 2 years ago

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TOP STORIES

GLOBAL MARKETS-Fed alert: World stocks drop as investors digest U.S. rate rise

LONDON - Investors turned cautious on Friday about what a stronger dollar and weak commodity prices could mean for the world economy, as a clutch of central banks moved to cushion the impact of the first U.S. rate rise in nearly a decade.(GLOBAL-MARKETS/ (WRAPUP 6), moved, By John Geddie, 600 words)

+ See also:

- GLOBAL-PRECIOUS/ (UPDATE 4), updating throughout the day, 400 words

POLL-Fed to raise rates again in March, follow up with fewer hikes

The U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates again in the next three months, according to two-thirds of economists polled by Reuters, although many say rates won’t rise as quickly next year as policymakers have suggested. (USA-FED/POLL, moved,By Sumanta Dey, 600 words)

BlackBerry 3rd-quarter revenues top expectations; shares rally

TORONTO - BlackBerry Ltd reported a smaller-than-expected fiscal third-quarter loss on Friday and its first quarter-to-quarter revenue gain in over two years, indicating turnaround efforts may be gaining traction. (BLACKBERRY-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 2), moving shortly, By Euan Rocha and Alastair Sharp, 314 words)

Ukraine imposes moratorium on $3 bln Russian bond, default looms

KIEV - Ukraine has imposed a moratorium on the repayment of a $3 billion Eurobond held entirely by Russia, Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said on Friday, after Moscow refused to accept the terms of a restructuring of the debt.(UKRAINE-CRISIS/DEBT-RUSSIA (UPDATE 1), moved, 400 words)

+ See also:

- UKRAINE-CRISIS/IMF-BUDGET (UPDATE 1), moved, 350 words

ECONOMY

Brazil’s Levy tipped to leave government, replaced by Barbosa -sources

BRASILIA - Brazilian Planning Minister Nelson Barbosa may replace Joaquim Levy as finance minister, three government sources told Reuters on Friday, as speculation grows about imminent changes to President Dilma Rousseff’s economic team. (BRAZIL-ECONOMY/LEVY (UPDATE 1, PIX), moved, By Alonso Soto, 481 words)

‘EU deposit insurance’ vanishes from EU leaders’ draft conclusions

BRUSSELS - Euro zone leaders will ask their finance ministers on Friday to quickly complete their banking union, but at the insistence of Germany they will not say directly what that could mean: the setting up of a European Deposit Insurance Scheme.(EUROZONE-BANKS/DEPOSITS, moved, By Jan Strupczewski, 500 words)

INVESTMENT FOCUS-Euro zone bond sales to hit 5-year low in 2016 as crisis chapter closes

LONDON - Euro zone government bond sales will fall below 900 billion euros next year for the first time since 2011 as crisis-hit Italy and Spain work off their debt hangovers with the help of ultra-low borrowing costs.(EUROZONE-BONDS/SUPPLY, moved, By John Geddie, 650 words)

German companies see no improvement in Russia exports until 2017

BERLIN - German firms expect trade with Russia to decline further next year as sanctions imposed over the Ukraine conflict are prolonged and the economic crisis in Russia worsens, the head of the German-Russian Foreign Trade Chamber said on Friday.(GERMANY-RUSSIA/TRADE, moved, 300 words)

Czech central bank sets new buffers as lending booms

PRAGUE - The Czech central bank will for the first time require banks to apply a countercyclical capital buffer (CCB) rate of 0.5 percent from 2017 to cope with fast-growing lending, becoming one of the first European countries to use the measure. (CZECH-BANKS/CAPITAL (UPDATE 2), expect by 1300 GMT, by Jason Hovet, 450 words)

Finland’s finance ministry cuts GDP forecasts

HELSINKI - Finland’s finance ministry on Friday cut its economic forecasts for the coming years, saying the euro zone country would recover slowly from recession amid persistent export problems.(FINLAND-ECONOMY/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 250 words)

COMPANIES

Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley to review workers’ conditions

LONDON - Sports Direct, Britain’s biggest sportswear retailer, responded to critics of its employment practices on Friday with the launch of a review of conditions for its thousands of agency warehouse workers, to be overseen by its billionaire founder and majority shareholder, Mike Ashley.(SPORTS DIRECT-WORKERS/ (UPDATE 3), moved, By James Davey, 600 words)

German steel federation blames China for flagging output

DUESSELDORF, Germany - German steel output faces a steeper decline in 2016 as cheap Chinese imports put pressure on prices, Germany’s steel federation said on Friday.(GERMANY-STEEL/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 250 words)

Vattenfall eyes deal on German lignite assets sale

OSLO - Swedish state utility Vattenfall expects to reach a deal on selling its lignite power plants and mines in eastern Germany during the first half of 2016, its chief executive told Reuters on Friday.(VATTENFALL-GERMANY/LIGNITE (UPDATE 1), moved, VATTENFALL-GERMANY/LIGNITE (UPDATE 1))

+ See also:

- VATTENFALL-EQUITY/AMF (UPDATE 1), moved, 400 words

Dutch court says Shell can be liable for Nigeria spills

THE HAGUE - A Dutch appeals court ruled on Friday that Royal Dutch Shell can be held liable for oil spills at its subsidiary in Nigeria, potentially opening the way for other compensation claims against the multinational.(SHELL-NIGERIA/POLLUTION (UPDATE 1), moved, By Thomas Escritt, 450 words)

Statoil may have to rethink plans if low oil prices persist

OSLO - Statoil would have to reconsider its Norwegian oil and gas field development plans if current low oil prices persist well into next year, the energy company said on Friday. (STATOIL-OIL PRICE / (UPDATE 1), moved, 300 words)

Finland to buy Gazprom out of gas utility Gasum

HELSINKI - Finland will buy Russian gas exporter Gazprom’s 25 percent stake in Gasum to complete its nationalisation of the gas utility, the government announced on Friday.(FINLAND-GASUM/GAZPROM (UPDATE 1), moved, 200 words)

Hack attacks and data law boost European cyber insurance demand

New European legislation on data privacy is helping push up regional demand for cyber insurance, industry specialists say, after companies such as TalkTalk and Experian were affected by hackers earlier this year.(EUROPE-CYBER/INSURANCE, moved, By Noor Zainab Hussain and Carolyn Cohn, 450 words)

COMMODITIES

Expected restoration of Israel-Turkey ties seen paving way for gas import deal

ANKARA/JERUSALEM, Dec 18 (Reuters) - Expectations that Turkey and Israel will restore relations after a five-year-old rift have raised hopes of speedy progress in talks to import Israeli natural gas, potentially a multi-billion-dollar project. (ISRAEL-TURKEY/TIES (UPDATE 2), moved, By Orhan Coskun and Dan Williams, 600 words)

Battery metal lead set to extend premium over unloved zinc

LONDON - Lead may extend its premium over zinc in coming months, after a surge this week to the highest in two years, as the peak winter season for batteries boosts lead and bearish investors keep knocking its sister metal.(LEAD-ZINC/SPREAD, moved, By Eric Onstad, 500 words)

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