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  • SEOUL, Dec 26- U.S. oil rose above $56 a barrel in early trade on Friday after news that a rocket hit a storage tank at Libya's biggest oil port, but prices were on track for a fifth weekly drop with data showing a surprise build in crude stocks in the United States. *U.S. crude's front-month contract for February delivery gained 37 cents a barrel at $56.21 as of 0032 GMT,...

  • NEW YORK, Dec 24- U.S. shares ended flat on Wednesday, with the Dow industrials eking out a record close after the latest data showed strength in the world's largest economy, while a mixed economic picture in Europe kept the region's stocks largely in check. Oil prices resumed declines after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported a large build in U.S....

  • *Brent seesaws around $60; U.S. crude around $55. Brent seesawed on both sides of $60 and U.S. crude hovered around $55. "It's a Christmas flood of oil at a time when refiners and producers usually are letting inventories get lower for end-of-year tax reasons, but with this flood of supply there's no place to put it," said Phil Flynn, analyst at Price Futures Group in...

  • *Rouble dips after S&P threatens Russia with junk status. *Brent oil drops back to $60 a barrel. Most Asian markets had edged up overnight and Europe was looking to close the Christmas week up 1 percent despite a subdued day on Wednesday.

  • Smith & Nephew outperforms sluggish European markets Wednesday, 24 Dec 2014 | 8:43 AM ET

    *UK's FTSE 100 rises 0.2 pct to 6,609.93 points. The 7.7 percent jump in Smith& Nephew, after Bloomberg News reported U.S. rival Stryker was planning a takeover offer for it, allowed Britain's blue-chip FTSE 100 index to end 0.2 percent higher at 6,609.93 points. France's CAC ended down 0.4 percent as data showing another set of record unemployment figures in...

  • LONDON, Dec 24- Brent oil fell on Wednesday, trading around $60 per barrel weighed down by strong supply in the United States and a rising dollar. Brent for February delivery was down $1.50 to $60.19 at 1327 GMT after gaining $1.58 on Tuesday. In Europe, gasoline stocks reached their highest in five months in the Amsterdam- Rotterdam- Antwerp oil hub, data from PJK...

  • *Rouble dips after S&P puts Russia on junk downgrade warning. LONDON, Dec 24- The strongest growth for the world's largest economy in over a decade meant there was plenty of pre-Christmas cheer in global markets on Wednesday, as stocks continued their strong run and the dollar hovered at an 8-1/ 2 year high. The data drove both the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 benchmark...

  • US stocks eke out gains in abbreviated trading day Wednesday, 24 Dec 2014 | 12:52 AM ET

    Investors welcomed Labor Department data showing that applications for unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest level in seven weeks. The news came a day after the Commerce Department estimated that the economy grew in the July-September quarter at the fastest pace in 11 years. "We're still giddy after yesterday's GDP," said Chris Gaffney, a senior...

  • Greek uncertainty curbs European stock gains Tuesday, 23 Dec 2014 | 12:34 PM ET

    *FTSE up but pares gains as UK external deficit rises. LONDON, Dec 23- A fall in Greek stocks kept a lid on gains in European equities on Tuesday, as the Athens bourse was hit by the prospect of early elections that could put Greece's rescue package at risk. The Bank of Spain raised its economic forecast while Portugal's budget deficit shrank.

  • Stock swings may signal bull run is in its last throes Tuesday, 23 Dec 2014 | 12:20 PM ET

    LONDON, Dec 23- Stocks are showing the kind of volatility that preceded major falls in the past, suggesting to some that one of the most blistering U.S. rallies on record may be nearing its end. The market is undergoing big swings under the influence of plunging oil prices and resulting turmoil in Russia, as well as the Federal Reserve's only gradual shift away from...

  • JERUSALEM, Dec 23- Shares of Israel's Bank Leumi jumped nearly 4 percent on Tuesday after it agreed to pay $400 million to settle two separate investigations into whether it helped its American clients evade U.S. taxes. "We expect to see upward moves in the stocks as the settlement with U.S. authorities should lift a major overhang from the shares," said Barclays...

  • LONDON, Dec 23- Weak sentiment in China halted a four-day rally in emerging market stocks on Tuesday, though there was no stopping the resurgent rouble as steadier oil and central bank muscle-flexing lifted it to a two-week high. The MSCI emerging stocks benchmark was down 0.5 percent after falls of as much as 4 percent in bank and infrastructure firms' shares had...

  • *Nutreco falls as Cargill drops takeover bid. *FTSE up but pares gains as UK external deficit rises. Dutch animal feed company Nutreco also fell, sliding 5 percent after U.S. commodities company Cargill said it was dropping a bid for Nutreco.

  • *Greece, China worries in background. LONDON, Dec 23- The year-end rally on Europe's major stock exchanges edged into its sixth day on Tuesday, just managing to ride out growing concerns over Greece and the pace of growth in China, in markets thinned out by the Christmas holiday season. Britain's FTSE 100 index was up 0.3 percent, Germany's DAX index up 0.1 percent and...

  • Asian shares up after Dow surpasses 18,000 points Tuesday, 23 Dec 2014 | 4:31 AM ET

    In a year full of market milestones, Wall Street crushed a couple more Tuesday, lifting the Dow Jones industrial average past the 18,000- point mark for the first time and delivering the Standard& Poor's 500 index its second record-high close in two days. Investors welcomed the latest encouraging news on the economy as the government said the U.S. grew at the...

  • PARIS, Dec 23- Greek shares fell on Tuesday before a second round of a presidential vote that could take Athens closer to early elections, derailing EU/IMF-led reforms and raising the risk of another economic setback. At 0900 GMT, Athens's ATG share index was down 1.9 percent. If parliament fails to appoint a president, a general election must be held by early...

  • *Shares in Nutreco fall 5 pct as Cargill drops takeover bid. Shares in Dutch animal feed company Nutreco bucked the trend, falling 5 percent after U.S. commodities company Cargill said it was dropping its takeover bid. Around Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 index was up 0.6 percent, Germany's DAX index up 0.3 percent and France's CAC 40 up 0.5 percent.

  • SYDNEY, Dec 23- A holiday hush settled over Asian markets on Tuesday after Wall Street closed at historic highs while oil prices recouped just a little of the losses suffered when Saudi Arabia quashed all thought of curbing supply. Trading was light in Asia with Japan on holiday and markets moved only marginally. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares...

  • *Asian markets thin and sluggish as Tokyo on holiday. SYDNEY, Dec 23- A holiday lull settled over Asian markets on Tuesday after Wall Street closed at historic highs while oil prices suffered a stinging setback after Saudi Arabia quashed all thought of curbing supply. "Overall, we see this as a shot in the arm for the global economy," Olivier Blanchard, chief economist...

  • *Asian markets thin early as Tokyo on holiday. SYDNEY, Dec 23- Asian markets should be well underpinned on Tuesday after Wall Street closed at historic highs while oil prices suffered a vicious setback after Saudi Arabia quashed all thought of cutting supply. "Overall, we see this as a shot in the arm for the global economy," Olivier Blanchard, chief economist at the...