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  • *Hungary pulled out of Western drive to give Ukraine gas. But Washington is particularly preoccupied about a growing closeness between Hungary and the Kremlin over energy that could undermine Western attempts to isolate Russian leader Vladimir Putin over his intervention in Ukraine. Since September, Hungary has stopped pumping natural gas to Ukraine,...

  • Ukraine won a vital breathing space by sealing an interim gas supply deal with Russia on Thursday that will see it through winter, but the new Kiev government faces a mountain of other problems, not least pro-Russian insurrection in eastern areas. Poroshenko offered his quick backing for Yatseniuk after the 40- year-old former economy and foreign minister,...

  • MOSCOW, Oct 31- Russia's central bank raised its main interest rate much more than expected on Friday, trying to tackle a sliding rouble and climbing inflation as plunging global oil prices and Western sanctions hurt the economy. The decision of the central Bank of Russia brings the cumulative increase this year to four percentage points, despite the economy's...

  • LONDON, Oct 31- One-month implied volatility on the rouble- a gauge of expected swings in a currency- surged to new record highs on Friday, as the spot exchange rate shrugged off an outsize 150 basis-point interest rate rise to resume its slide. The absence of any mention of Moscow's plan to move to a currency free float disappointed some traders who had expected...

  • KIEV, Oct 31- Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk, speaking after a gas agreement with Russia was nailed down, said on Friday Ukraine would guarantee deliveries of gas through its territory to Europe to make sure Moscow had no room for "blackmailing." "It will not give Russia the means of blackmailing Ukraine and Europe with different flows," he said.

  • Russia central bank in surprisingly big rate hike Friday, 31 Oct 2014 | 7:52 AM ET

    MOSCOW— Russia's central bank on Friday raised its main interest rate more than anticipated in its latest attempt to shore up the plummeting national currency. The ruble strengthened after the bank's move, but soon sank again reflecting the fundamental factors that have driven it down over the past few months— falling oil prices and continuing tensions over...

  • MOSCOW, Oct 31- Russia may restart gas supplies to Ukraine as soon as next week if Kiev pays $2.2 billion worth of debts and pre-payments, Alexei Miller, head of state gas monopoly Gazprom, said on Friday. Moscow, Kiev and the European Union clinched a deal on Thursday that would resume supplies of Russian gas to Ukraine over the winter in return for payments funded in...

  • Russia: Natural gas will flow after Ukraine pays Friday, 31 Oct 2014 | 5:57 AM ET

    MOSCOW— Russia will resume shipping natural gas to Ukraine after Kiev pays off its first debt installment for past supplies of gas next week, officials said Friday. Alexei Miller, chief of Russia's state-controlled Gazprom natural gas giant, made the statement hours after Russia, Ukraine and the European Union thrashed out a $4.6 billion deal that will...

  • LONDON, Oct 31- World shares jumped and the yen fell to a seven-year low against the dollar on Friday as the Bank of Japan surprised financial markets by significantly expanding its massive stimulus programme. In a rare split decision, the BOJ's board voted 5-4 to accelerate purchases of Japanese government bonds so that its holdings increase at an annual pace...

  • MOSCOW, Oct 31- Russia's second-largest lender VTB Bank is seeking up to 200 billion roubles in state support to boost its capital, the Vedomosti newspaper reported on Friday, citing a government source and a source at the bank. VTB Bank was hit by Western sanctions in the summer over Russia's role in the Ukraine crisis, limiting its access to international...

  • MOSCOW, Oct 31- Russia may restart gas supplies to Ukraine as soon as next week if all financial conditions are met, Alexei Miller, head of state gas monopoly Gazprom, said on Friday. Moscow, Kiev and the European Union clinched a deal on Thursday that would resume supplies of Russian gas to Ukraine over the winter in return for payments funded in part by the Ukrainian...

  • MOSCOW, Oct 31- The rouble retreated in early trade on Friday, paring some of the strong gains made in the previous session, before a central bank meeting at which the market expects a rate hike to combat above-target inflation and a steep slide in the rouble. "The market will focus on Friday's central bank meeting for clarity on rates and FX policy," Dmitry Polevoy,...

  • NYMEX-Crude below $81, set for fourth monthly loss Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 | 8:19 PM ET

    TOKYO, Oct 31- U.S. crude futures edged below $81 a barrel on Friday, extending declines as the dollar rallied on bets of a sooner-than-expected U.S. rate hike, while traders saw little chance of OPEC cutting output at its November meeting. *NYMEX crude for December delivery was down 15 cents at $80.97 a barrel by 0002 GMT, after settling down $1.08 on Thursday.

  • BRUSSELS, Oct 30- Ukraine, Russia and the European Union signed a deal on Thursday on the resumption of Russian natural gas supplies to Ukraine for winter after several months of delay during the conflict in Ukraine. EU officials said both Russia and Ukraine had bargained hard for commitments from the Western bloc, with Moscow looking for EU cash to help Ukraine...

  • Democrats face hurdles ousting House Republicans Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 | 3:03 PM ET

    BOISE, Idaho— Two politically experienced Democrats are hoping to oust Idaho's U.S. House Republicans on Tuesday, but both face an uphill battle. Shirley Ringo of Moscow is up against two-term Congressman Raul Labrador in Idaho's 1st Congressional District. Meanwhile, Congressman Mike Simpson is seeking a ninth term in Idaho's 2nd Congressional District...

  • LONDON, Oct 30- The new head of French energy major Total challenged Europe to fight Washington over the U.S. oil export ban, in his first public appearance since his predecessor Christophe de Margerie was killed in a Moscow plane crash last week. "I hope the European Commission raises this issue... the refiners in Europe and Asia are suffering from one rule.

  • *Talks to unblock Russia gas supply to Kiev resume Thursday. BRUSSELS/ KIEV, Oct 30- Russia, Ukraine and the European Union are likely to conclude an accord on Thursday that would see Moscow resume gas supplies to its ex-Soviet neighbour over the winter, EU and Ukrainian officials said. EU officials said both Russia and Ukraine had bargained hard for commitments...

  • Weaker rouble brings Russian wheat back to export markets Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 | 12:15 PM ET

    *Russia sells wheat to Egypt after export lull. Russia's international grain revenue is modest compared with its top foreign earner, energy, and the exportable surplus of wheat is running low. GASC, the state buyer of Egypt, the world's top wheat importer, said last week that it had bought Russian wheat at $256.43 per tonne on a cost and freight basis for shipment...

  • MOSCOW/ ASTANA, Oct 30- Moscow may limit food shipments from Belarus and Ukraine to Kazakhstan across Russian territory because of attempts to sell banned imports in Russia, the head of Russia's veterinary and phytosanitary service was quoted as saying on Thursday. Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan have a free-trade zone as part of their customs union, and Minsk...

  • By Alexander Winning and Yelena Orekhova. MOSCOW, Oct 30- The rouble jumped over 3 percent on Thursday, bouncing off an all-time low against the dollar amid market talk of possible heavy central bank intervention ahead of a monetary policy meeting and rumors of a deal with Ukraine over Crimea. Traders in Moscow and London said the rouble's recovery was driven by a...