Billions of Western dollars in aid to Ukraine will likely end up in the coffers of the Russian government thanks to a bond clause.» Read More
The move by the organisation, which includes economic heavyweights such as the United States, Germany, France, Japan and Mexico, is the latest effort to apply pressure on Moscow ahead of a referendum on Sunday in which Ukraine's southern region of Crimea could vote to secede and join Russia.
SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine, March 13- A Ukraine state gas company Chornomornaftogaz official said its rigs off Crimea were not occupied by armed men, after a regional separatist leader said on Thursday that local authorities were guarding the facilities.
*Ukraine tensions continue, Merkel warns Russia. NEW YORK, March 13- U.S. stock index futures advanced modestly on Thursday, putting the S&P 500 on track for a second day of gains, ahead of data on the labor market and consumer spending. *Advances were held in check by another round of limp data out of China, the world's second-biggest economy.
LONDON, March 13- Gold prices hit six-month highs above $1,370 an ounce on Thursday, extending the previous session's rally, as concerns about Russia's standoff over Ukraine fuelled buying and the dollar dropped to 2-1/ 2 year lows against the euro.
PARIS, March 13- The OECD said on Thursday it had postponed all activities related to Russia's accession to the organisation following a request from its 34 members.
CNBC's Michelle Caruso-Cabrera has the details of Russia's $3 billion debt agreement to Ukraine where the bonds were issued in U.S. dollars, and governed by United Kingdom laws and courts.
BERLIN, March 13- China's top envoy to Germany has warned the West against punishing Russia with sanctions for its intervention in Ukraine, saying such measures could lead to a dangerous chain reaction that would be difficult to control.
Putin has warned that Russia would retaliate with "symmetric sanctions" after the E.U. announced sanctions believed to include asset freezes and visa bans. NBC's Jim Maceda reports.
LONDON, March 13- Oil was steady around $108 a barrel on Thursday as weaker-than-expected Chinese data offset supply disruption worries prompted by the ongoing stand-off between Russia and Western powers over Ukraine.
Bricklin Dwyer, economist at BNP Paribas, says that by agreeing to export oil, the U.S. is sending a strong signal to Russia that it can also "manipulate" oil prices.
*Vote on Sunday will ask people if they want to join Russia. SEVASTOPOL, Ukraine, March 13- When President Vladimir Putin flew into the Ukrainian port of Sevastopol in Crimea last year, he made a pilgrimage to several sites associated with Russia's tumultuous history.
*China's Jan-Feb economic activity cools to multi-yr lows. SINGAPORE, March 13- Brent futures held above $108 a barrel on Thursday as investors focused on risks from the unfolding crisis in Ukraine, which overshadowed latest China data showing factory output in the world's second-biggest oil consumer lagged forecasts.
SINGAPORE, March 13- Brent futures inched higher on Thursday, holding above $108 a barrel, as investors focused on risks from the unfolding crisis in Ukraine and as OPEC raised its 2014 global oil demand growth forecast for a second straight month. Brent crude rose 24 cents to $108.26 by 0203 GMT, after ending 53 cents down at its lowest in a week.
*Asian shares on defensive as China fears rattle commodities. SINGAPORE, March 13- Brent futures inched higher on Thursday, holding above $108 a barrel, as investors focused on risks from the unfolding crisis in Ukraine and as OPEC raised its 2014 global oil demand growth forecast for a second straight month.
SINGAPORE, March 13- U.S. crude futures held steady at around $98 a barrel in early Asian trade on Thursday, after plunging more than 2 percent in their biggest drop in two months overnight as investors turned their focus to the unfolding geopolitical crisis in Ukraine.
SINGAPORE, March 13- Gold was trading near its highest level in six months on Thursday as investors sought to hedge their bets against geopolitical tensions in Ukraine and economic slowdown fears in China.
*State-controlled Sberbank postpones investment conference. MOSCOW, March 12- Russia's largest bank Sberbank has postponed one of the country's highest profile investment conferences due to volatility stemming from the situation in Ukraine, the bank said on Wednesday.
*Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac shares fall on Senate proposal for wind-down. NEW YORK, March 12- U.S. stocks finished little changed on Wednesday, with the Nasdaq up for the first session in five, as investors grappled with the evolving situation in Ukraine but shrugged off concern over weakness in China's economy.
*Copper hits near four-year lows. Treasuries prices rose in safe-haven bids on Wednesday on worries over the health of China's economy, which helped fuel strong demand at the U.S. government's 10- year Treasury note auction.
President Obama hosts Ukraine Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk at the White House. Yatsenyuk says his country feels the United States stands by his people.