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Ukraine parliament supports anti-crisis law required for IMF bailout

KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine's parliament on Thursday voted in favor of an anti-crisis law accepting austerity measures demanded by the International Monetary Fund as part of a $14-18 billion bailout package. Earlier, parliament deputies failed to support the draft law despite the entreaties of the government, but later returned after a recess and approved it with a vote of 246 - 20 more than the number required. (Reporting by Natalia Zinets; Writing By Richard Balmforth)

European stock rally fizzles out

Europe's main stock markets pulled back on Thursday as the US increased the pressure on Russia over Ukraine and traders took profits following a recent rally. London's benchmark FTSE 100 index of leading shares fell 0.60 percent to stand at 6,565.66 points in afternoon trading. Frankfurt's DAX 30 slid 0.42 percent compared with Wednesday's closing values to 9,409.22 points and in Paris the CAC 40 index gave up 0.31 percent to 4,371.51.

Ukraine debt insurance costs fall on IMF deal expectations

LONDON (Reuters) - Ukraine debt insurance costs fell below the key 1,000 basis point level for the first time in a month on Wednesday on expectations of an imminent IMF deal. The International Monetary Fund is expected to announce a bailout package for Ukraine of about $15 billion as early as Thursday, the Financial Times said, citing officials involved in the negotiations.

U.S. banks enjoy 'too-big-to-fail' advantage: Fed study

By Emily Stephenson and Jonathan Spicer NEW YORK (Reuters) - A landmark study by Federal Reserve economists found that large U.S. banks enjoy a "too-big-to-fail" advantage in financial markets, joining a heated debate that could influence regulators that are implementing tough new rules for Wall Street.

Toyota's $1.2B penalty in criminal case offers possible glimpse into future of General Motors

DETROIT - General Motors, beware. Wednesday's announcement that Toyota will pay $1.2 billion to avoid criminal prosecution for hiding information in a recall case could be a glimpse into your future. It's also a warning to anyone selling cars in the U.S.: Although the federal government's road-safety watchdog doesn't have big fangs, the Justice Department does.

GM must pay for pre-bankruptcy ignition deception: lawsuit

NEW YORK (Reuters) - General Motors Co should be held liable for allegedly concealing ignition problems prior to its 2009 bankruptcy, a lawsuit filed Wednesday said. The ignition problems led to the recall of 1.6 million vehicles last month. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in California, said that plaintiffs should be allowed to sue over the pre-bankruptcy actions, "because of the active concealment by Old GM and GM."

Toyota's $1.2B penalty in criminal case offers possible glimpse into future of General Motors

DETROIT - General Motors, beware. Wednesday's announcement that Toyota will pay $1.2 billion to avoid criminal prosecution for hiding information in a recall case could be a glimpse into your future. It's also a warning to anyone selling cars in the U.S.: Although the federal government's road-safety watchdog doesn't have big fangs, the Justice Department does.

German banks optimistic on economic outlook

The German economy, Europe's biggest, will gather momentum this year and next year, even if the Ukraine crisis represents a potential risk, the country's banking federation BdB said Wednesday. "The German economy will remain on its current course of growth and even gather speed," BdB chief Michael Kemmer told a news conference presenting the federation's latest updated growth forecasts. BdB's economic and monetary committee is pencilling in gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 1.8 percent this year.

Moody's raises outlook for European Union to stable

Moody's raised its rating outlook for the European Union to stable from negative Friday, citing the improvement of its members' finances and falling risks from the eurozone debt crisis. The main reason for the change is "the improvement in the credit standing of the largest shareholders that the EU relies on" in crises, including the improved ratings of Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain, Moody's said. pmh/oh

New Italian PM: EU's Stability Pact the Stupidity Pact

New Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has branded the Stability Pact rules for eurozone economies "A Stupidity Pact." In comments that will have raised eyebrows in Brussels and Berlin, Renzi defended his centre-left government's efforts to stimulate a stagnant economy with demand-led measures that will push Italy's budget deficit. The deficit is currently forecast by the European Commission to fall to 2.6 percent of GDP by the end of this year. Renzi calculates that his measures will push it up towards the 3 percent ceiling permitted under the Stability Pact.
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