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  • *Russia launches army drills near Ukraine border. NEW YORK, April 24- Global stock markets and the dollar pulled back from strong early gains on Thursday on worries about rising tensions in Ukraine, but U.S. technology shares were higher on upbeat earnings from Apple and Facebook.

  • Moscow property is very profitable: Pro     Thursday, 24 Apr 2014 | 11:35 AM ET

    Eduard Zehetner, CEO of Immofinanz, explains that he wrote off exposure to Ukraine property five years ago, but that investments in Moscow property are the most profitable he has in his portfolio.

  • LONDON, April 24- Gold erased earlier losses on Thursday, as new signs of an escalation in tensions in Ukraine hit global stock markets, bolstering the metal's appeal as an insurance against risk.

  • *Western oil majors sticking with Russia projects. MOSCOW, April 24- President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Ukraine- related sanctions were hurting Russia while one of his ministers said foreign oil and gas companies that quit the country would not be able to return soon.

  • Russia's defense minister announces new military exercises, reports CNBC's Michelle Caruso-Cabrera on events taking place in Eastern Ukraine.

  • *Obama says more sanctions "teed up" against Russia. LONDON, April 24- Oil rose towards $110 a barrel on Thursday as the dispute between Russia and the West over Ukraine added to supply concerns, although record U.S. crude inventories kept gains in check.

  • LONDON, April 24- Gold fell to a 2-1/ 2 low on Thursday, as a rally in equities and the dollar after broadly positive U.S. economic data dimmed its appeal as an alternative asset, while a weaker technical picture suggested possible further losses.

  • BRUSSELS, April 24- The European Union may ban transactions with financial institutions in Crimea as part of its response to the annexation of the peninsula by Russia last month, an EU document obtained by Reuters showed.

  • LONDON, April 24- Global stocks rose on Thursday lifted by upbeat earnings from tech heavyweights Apple and Facebook which helped shake off some of the concerns about overheating that have dented the sector in recent weeks.

  • Russia-themed mutual funds bruised by sanctions fears Thursday, 24 Apr 2014 | 7:29 AM ET

    LONDON, April 24- Russia- themed equity funds have sunk to the bottom of performance league tables as international tensions over Ukraine and fear of tougher Western sanctions hurt the value of Russian assets.

  • LONDON, April 24- Oil edged further above $109 a barrel on Thursday as the dispute between Russia and the West over Ukraine added to supply concerns, although record U.S. crude inventories kept gains in check.

  • Russian memo to WTO says US sanctions are illegal Thursday, 24 Apr 2014 | 6:24 AM ET

    GENEVA, April 24- Russia has told the United States that its Ukraine- related sanctions on a Russian bank and Russian citizens are illegal under World Trade Organization rules and must be scrapped. Russian Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said last week that Russia could launch a dispute at the world trade body to challenge U.S. sanctions.

  • LONDON, April 24- Gold prices were steady on Thursday, hovering above a 2-1/ 2- month low hit earlier in the week, as a rally in equities dimmed its appeal as an alternative asset and investors remained cautious ahead of more U.S. economic data and any further developments in Ukraine.

  • Obama: New sanctions against Russia are 'teed up' Thursday, 24 Apr 2014 | 6:12 AM ET
    President Barack Obama

    Warning Russia that new sanctions are "teed up," President Obama accused Moscow of failing to live up to an agreement to ease tensions in Ukraine.

  • BIROBIDZHAN, Russia, April 24- Russia warned foreign companies working in the oil and gas sector that if they quit the country over Ukraine- related sanctions, they would not be able to return any time soon.

  • Obama poised for new sanctions on Russia Thursday, 24 Apr 2014 | 5:17 AM ET

    U.S. President Barack Obama said he was poised to impose new sanctions on Moscow if it does not act fast to end an armed stand-off in Ukraine.

  • *German businesses shrug off Ukraine crisis. BERLIN, April 24- German firms shrugged off concerns about tensions between the West and Russia over Ukraine, helping the Ifo business climate index to a surprise increase in April and signalling that Europe's largest economy is on track for firm growth this year.

  • LONDON, April 24- Oil rose further above $109 a barrel on Thursday as disagreement between Russia and the West over Ukraine added to supply concerns, although record U.S. crude inventories kept gains in check.

  • LONDON, April 24- Global stocks were back on the front foot on Thursday, as upbeat earnings from tech heavyweights Apple and Facebook helped shake off some of the jitters that have hit the sector in recent weeks. European bourses started brightly, with the FTSE 100 up 0.5 percent and the DAX, the CAC 40 and markets in Madrid and Milan between 0.7 and 0.9 percent firmer.

  • *Gold to rebound to $1,298- technicals. SINGAPORE, April 24- Gold edged up on Thursday but held near a more than two-month low with a rally in equities dimming its appeal as an alternative investment, while demand from jewellers was also muted as they waited for prices to drop further. Gold rose $1.46 to $1,284.75 an ounce on short covering.