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  • PARIS/ MOSCOW, March 21- U.S. and European sanctions against Russia are already having a ripple effect beyond their immediate targets, with Visa and MasterCard halting payment transaction services for clients of a bank not even on the blacklist. The lender described the move by Visa and MasterCard as unlawful.

  • *Nike shares fall in premarket after outlook. NEW YORK, March 21- U.S. stock index futures pointed to a slightly higher open on Friday, with major indexes on track for a week of strong gains, though geopolitical concerns remained in view as the tenuous situation in Ukraine continued.

  • Putin promised to protect a bank partly owned by an old ally, which Washington has blacklisted, and his spokesman said Russia would respond in kind to the financial and visa curbs.

  • March 21- Finnish tyre maker Nokian Renkaat, Austrian lender Raiffeisen Bank International Danish brewer Carlsberg and German retailer Metro feature among the European blue-chips with the biggest exposure to Russia, data from index provider MSCI shows.

  • *Timchenko on list of U.S. sanctions over Ukraine. MOSCOW/ SOFIA, March 21- A consortium led by Russia's Stroitransgaz, owned by sanctions-hit businessman Gennady Timchenko, is set to win a 3.5 billion euro deal to build a section of the South Stream natural gas pipeline across Bulgaria, industry sources said on Friday.

  • BRUSSELS, March 21- European Union leaders on Friday discussed accelerating moving energy supplies away from Russia, saying Moscow's annexation of Crimea made them more determined to reduce dependence on Russian oil and gas.

  • Rubenstein: Tax everyone the same     Friday, 21 Mar 2014 | 8:07 AM ET

    David Rubenstein, The Carlyle Group, shares his thoughts on proposed changes in the carried interest tax.

  • *Ryanair top gainer after well-received analyst day. LONDON, March 21- European shares were set for strong weekly gains on Friday, demonstrating an ability to shrug off concerns over the Crimean crisis as strength in Ryanair and the mining sector helped growth sensitive sectors higher.

  • Russian shares tumble on US sanctions     Friday, 21 Mar 2014 | 8:01 AM ET

    President Putin signs bills officially annexing Crimea and bans some U.S. officials and lawmakers in retaliation, reports NBC's Richard Engel with the latest developments on the Ukraine crisis.

  • LONDON, March 21- Data showing a record euro zone current account surplus in January helped the euro rise against the dollar for the first time in three days on Friday, with capital inflows providing solid support for the common currency.

  • SEVASTOPOL/PEREVALNOYE, Crimea, March 21- Unlike the unmarked masked soldiers who first seized Crimea three weeks ago, Russian paratroopers strolling across a field near the peninsula's Perevalnoye military base, which they took over on Friday, wore their trademark blue berets and red star cockades.

  • *Nike shares fall in premarket after outlook. NEW YORK, March 21- U.S. stock index futures edged higher on Friday, with major indexes on track for a week of strong gains, though geopolitical concerns remained in view as the tenuous situation in Ukraine continued.

  • David Rubenstein, The Carlyle Group, shares his thoughts on investing in new technology and explains why his firm does not engage in venture capital projects.

  • Private equity eyes emerging market plays     Friday, 21 Mar 2014 | 7:04 AM ET

    I think three percent growth is not unrealistic this year, says David Rubenstein, The Carlyle Group, sharing his outlook on the U.S. economy and where he is seeing the best investment opportunities.

  • MOSCOW, March 21- Following are biographical details of some of the 20 Russians targeted on an expanded U.S. sanctions list announced by President Barack Obama on Thursday. SERGEI IVANOV, 61, is a former senior foreign intelligence officer who held the posts of Defence Minister and Deputy Prime Minister under Putin.

  • *EU signs political deal with Ukraine, pledges financial support. MOSCOW/ BRUSSELS, March 21- Russian shares fell sharply on Friday as investors took fright at tougher than expected U.S. sanctions against President Vladimir Putin's inner circle over Moscow's seizure of Crimea from Ukraine.

  • LONDON, March 21- Brent crude rose towards $107 per barrel on Friday as fresh U.S. sanctions against Russia, the world's second-largest oil exporter, increased fears of a disruption to supplies.

  • LONDON, March 21- A top European share index was set for its best week of the year on Friday although stocks exposed to Russia remained sensitive as investors assessed the impact of tit-for-tat sanctions over the Ukraine crisis.

  • MOSCOW/ SOFIA, March 21- A consortium led by Russia's Stroitransgaz, owned by sanctions-hit businessman Gennady Timchenko, will win a 3.5 billion-euro deal to build a section of the South Stream gas pipeline across Bulgaria, industry sources said on Friday.

  • LONDON, March 21- The dollar hovered near a three-week peak against a basket of major currencies on Friday, but struggled to extend gains as investors awaited more clarity on the Federal Reserve's policy path.