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  • *Wall Street on track for second day of strong gains. NEW YORK, Dec 18- Global equities markets rallied on Thursday, with Wall Street up more than 1 percent for a second straight day with investor sentiment buoyed by comments from the U.S. Wall Street primary dealers, on average, expect the first rate hike to come in June 2015, according to a Reuters poll.

  • Obama waives sanctions authority despite new law Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 1:31 PM ET

    WASHINGTON— President Barack Obama signed legislation Thursday authorizing new sanctions on Russia but said he does not plan to impose the penalties outlined in the measure. The U.S. and Europe have sought to present a united front against Russia over Moscow's provocations in Ukraine. Obama has told Russian President Vladimir Putin he would roll back U.S....

  • Germany's BASF, Gazprom scrap planned asset swap Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 1:23 PM ET

    BERLIN— Germany's BASF SE says it has agreed with Russian gas company Gazprom to call off an asset swap that the two firms had planned for the end of this year. The planned swap would have seen BASF subsidiary Wintershall transfer a jointly operated natural gas trading and storage business to Gazprom. In addition, Gazprom would have got a 50 percent share in the...

  • O'Neill: Putin must change path  Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 1:19 PM ET

    Discussing the fall of oil, and the state of Russia's economy, with Jim O'Neill, Fmr. Goldman Sachs Asset Management Chairman.

  • Russia's cash already fled. Here's where it went Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 1:15 PM ET
    An employee counts Russian ruble banknotes at a private company's office in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, December 17, 2014.

    A CNBC.com analysis of money flows shows that large cash hoards have already left Russia, much of it stashed in former Soviet states.

  • Putin: Economy will recover over 2 years  Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 1:08 PM ET

    Russian President Vladimir Putin says the Russian economy will grow, and is not yet calling it a crisis. CNBC's Geoff Cutmore reports Putin blamed the West for escalating the crisis in Ukraine, but is interested in a diplomatic solution.

  • FACT CHECK: Putin on the ruble collapse, Ukraine Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 12:37 PM ET

    MOSCOW— A fact-checking look at some of Russian President Vladimir Putin's statements on the ruble collapse and the Ukrainian crisis from his annual news conference Thursday:. Despite Putin's repeated pledges to steer Russia's economy away from oil and gas, those two industries still account for more than half of government revenues. He acknowledged that...

  • EU grain to enjoy spoils of Russian export curbs Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 12:05 PM ET

    *Australia, Argentina, Canada, Ukraine could also benefit. PARIS, Dec 18- European Union grain exporters will be the main beneficiaries of Russia's pullback from international grain markets as Moscow races to cool domestic prices in the face of economic crisis, analysts and traders said. "At current prices, it's clearly European wheat that will benefit," Andree...

  • The one person who can bail out Putin Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 11:48 AM ET
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin

    Resolving the Russia-Ukraine dispute is critical. Here's the one person who can do that, says Jason Bordoff and Carlos Pascual.

  • COLUMN-Russia Sanctions: Beware the Blowback Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 11:40 AM ET

    WASHINGTON, Dec 18-- In recent days, the U.S. Congress has moved aggressively to increase the economic pain inflicted on Russia in punishment for its brazen destabilization of eastern Ukraine and Crimea. The desire to inflict more economic difficulty on Russia is understandable. By imposing pain on Russia, the United States and the European Union can try to force...

  • *Uralkali sees 2014 output unaffected by damaged mine. MOSCOW, Dec 18- Uralkali, the world's largest potash producer, may have to write down up to $1 billion for damage to its Solikamsk-2 mine and loss of potash reserves, while output could fall next year if the mine has to close, the company said. "If we talk about pessimistic scenario, total write-down might reach up to...

  • *Wall Street on track for second day of strong gains. NEW YORK, Dec 18- Global equities markets rallied on Thursday, with Wall Street up more than 1 percent for a second straight day on what investors viewed as a favorable result from the Federal Reserve's most recent meeting. A Reuters poll of Wall Street dealers puts expectations for the first interest-rate...

  • Busting out the whiteboard: Santelli explains the ruble  Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 10:15 AM ET

    CNBC's Rick Santelli breaks down the dramatic slide in the Russian ruble and how the drastic decline affects consumers.

  • SHANGHAI, Dec 18- In Blagoveshchensk on Russia's side of the Chinese border, Mou Jiani has turned her home into a warehouse, stocking up on Apple Inc iPhones, handbags and milk powder to sell back home as Chinese shoppers take advantage of the rouble's slide. Chinese workers and overseas students in Russia have been snapping up goods at low prices caused by the...

  • DUBAI, Dec 18- Saudi Arabia's powerful oil minister said on Thursday that OPEC could not cut output without the support of other big producers and attempts to get them on board had not worked. Ali al-Naimi said it was impossible for OPEC to cut alone to reverse the oil price slump-- which he called temporary-- when others were pumping more, saying that could lead to...

  • MOSCOW, Dec 18- Russia's Uralkali, the world's largest potash producer, said flooding at Solikamsk-2 would not affect its overall 2014 output and that it was doing its best to save the damaged mine. With increased capacity utilisation at other mines, Uralkali said it plans to produce 12 million tonnes of potash- a crop nutrient- this year. Uralkali may also consider...

  • Russian sailors leaving France without warship Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 8:29 AM ET

    The Vladivostok helicopter carrier is part of a strange and divisive arms deal now on hold— and perhaps on the verge of collapse— because of the conflict in Ukraine. France built it for Russia's navy but is now having second thoughts, notably amid heavy U.S. criticism of the deal. His change of heart reflects Europe's evolving relationship with Russia, a powerful...

  • LONDON, Dec 18- The Swiss franc tumbled on Thursday after its central bank announced a charge on deposits, wary of a flood of money exiting Russia and likely inflows from the euro zone if the ECB starts full-scale money printing early next year. The jitters of recent weeks calmed a touch as oil rose for a second day, although the pressure was still on Russia's rouble...

  • Santa Claus rally on, but it could depend on this Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 7:38 AM ET
    A trader works the floor of the NYSE.

    The Fed may have helped prime the stock market for a Santa rally, if oil remains calm and there are no new flare-ups in overseas markets.

  • *Aim to keep pressure on Russia over Ukraine. BRUSSELS, Dec 18- The European Union banned investment in Crimea on Thursday, halting European help for Russian Black Sea oil and gas exploration and outlawing European cruise ships from calling at Crimean ports. EU leaders, who meet in Brussels later on Thursday, will pledge to keep up pressure on Russia over its role in...