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  • NEW YORK, Feb 23- U.S. Yellen will testify before Congress on Tuesday in a semiannual address on the economy and monetary policy before the Senate Banking Committee. "They don't have to hike in June, they don't have to hike in September, they hike when they need to hike," said George Goncalves, head of U.S. rates strategy at Nomura Securities International in New York, in...

  • BUENOS AIRES, Feb 23- Debt-holders who want to jumpstart restructuring talks with Argentina may have to wait until a court rules next month on whether to let a disputed bond payment go through, further extending a legal feud that has hobbled state finances. The case stems from Argentina's 2002 default on about $100 billion, which has weighed on Latin America's No....

  • BlackRock set to launch first 'smart beta' bond fund Monday, 23 Feb 2015 | 8:00 AM ET

    NEW YORK, Feb 23- BlackRock Inc is planning to launch its first so-called "smart beta" bond fund that will adjust the holdings of a traditional bond index to achieve an equal balance of credit and interest rate risk. "You've seen this trend on the equity side, and I think you're seeing it start to accelerate on the fixed-income side," said Matt Tucker, head of iShares...

  • NEW YORK, Feb 23- U.S. stock index futures dipped on Monday, after the Dow and S&P closed at records on the heels of an agreement by euro zone finance ministers to extend Greece's bailout by four months provided it draws up a list of reforms. *Greece will present its economic reform plans on Monday to seal the euro zone financial lifeline, but the government drew...

  • LONDON, Feb 23- Russian and Ukrainian sovereign bonds sold off heavily on Monday, with the latter now trading around 40 cents in the dollar as continued fighting in eastern Ukraine raised fears for both credits. The violence, and sanctions imposed for Russia's role in it, have exacerbated economic problems caused by falling oil prices, with Moody's cutting...

  • LONDON, Feb 23- Russian dollar bonds fell as much 2.5 cents on Monday after Moody's became the second agency to cut their credit rating to junk while Ukrainian debt also fell, hitting new record lows. Moody's downgraded Russia to Ba1 from Baa3 late on Friday, citing the impact from the Ukraine crisis as well as the steep fall in oil prices and the rouble.

  • MUMBAI, Feb 23- India must boost growth, cut its fiscal deficit and fulfil promises of financial and fiscal reforms in order to justify an upgrade in a credit rating, currently lodged one rung above junk bond territory, rating agency Standard& Poor's said on Monday. S&P raised India's credit rating outlook to' stable' from' negative' in September, citing the prospect...

  • JGBs shrug off share gains, edge higher Monday, 23 Feb 2015 | 1:03 AM ET

    TOKYO, Feb 23- Japanese government bonds edged up on Monday, supported by the Bank of Japan's bond-buying operations, and shrugging off any impact from a fresh 15- year high for the Nikkei stock average. The BOJ offered to buy 400 billion yen of JGBs maturing in 5 to 10 years, and 140 billion of floating-rate JGBs. The Nikkei share average hit a new 15- year high on...

  • *Stocks mixed, euro little changed in Asia. *Debt deal a relief but Greece seen not out of woods yet. U.S. stock futures opened flat in Asia but Japan's Nikkei could track Wall Street's sizable gains to scale another 15- year high.

  • Moody's downgrades credit rating on Russia Friday, 20 Feb 2015 | 7:17 PM ET

    NEW YORK— Moody's Investors Service says it has cut Russia's credit rating to junk grade, citing the crisis in Ukraine and a slide in oil prices and the ruble. Moody's downgraded Russia's rating from Baa3 to Ba1, or one notch below investment grade. Russia's economy has been hit by the double impact of weaker energy prices as well as Western sanctions over its role...

  • MOSCOW, Feb 21- Moody's Investors Service's downgrade of Russia's sovereign rating was based on "factors of a political character," Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Saturday following news that the credit ratings agency had cut the rating to below investment grade. Moody's downgraded Russia's sovereign rating to Ba1 from Baa3, citing the...

  • DETROIT, Feb 20- United Auto Workers President Dennis Williams, whose union indirectly controls the largest single block of General Motors Co shares, told Reuters an investor group's proposal that GM buy back $8 billion of its stock is premature, and the amount too high for the company's long-term health. An investment firm controlled by Harry Wilson, a former...

  • TREASURIES-Prices fall after Greek bailout agreement Friday, 20 Feb 2015 | 4:49 PM ET

    NEW YORK, Feb 20- U.S. Treasury debt prices fell in seesaw trade on Friday, with benchmark 10- year yields rising for a third straight week, as investors shifted away from safe-haven assets after euro zone negotiators agreed to extend Greece's bailout. The deal extends heavily indebted Greece's financial rescue by four months and removes the risk of Greece...

  • Chris Giancarlo started work as a member of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which oversees futures and swaps trading, in June of last year. Senator Elizabeth Warren, a vocal critic of Wall Street, and Elijah Cummings, a U.S. representative from Maryland, in a letter raised concerns about shares in GFI that Giancarlo, a Republican, had sold after he was...

  • U.S. lawmakers query CFTC regulator over stock sales Friday, 20 Feb 2015 | 2:33 PM ET

    WASHINGTON, Feb 20- Two Democratic lawmakers on Friday raised concerns over share sales by an official at a U.S. regulator at a time when his former company was engaged in a takeover battle, saying there had been possible conflicts of interest. Chris Giancarlo started work as a member of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which oversees futures and swaps...

  • Greek bond yields fall on optimism for debt deal Friday, 20 Feb 2015 | 11:50 AM ET

    LONDON, Feb 20- Greek bond yields pushed lower on Friday on hopes euro zone finance ministers will eventually reach agreement on a loan extension that will help Greece avoid bankruptcy. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Friday he was certain euro zone finance ministers would accept Athens' request for an extended loan, even though Germany demanded "...

  • TREASURIES-Prices gain as Greek debt drama continues Friday, 20 Feb 2015 | 11:21 AM ET

    *Greece bailout talks underway in Brussels. Treasury debt prices rose on Friday, boosted by safe-haven buying as investors worried about continued bargaining between Greece and other euro zone countries over a bailout. "You have some weight from oil prices but the question is Greece."

  • US STOCKS-Futures point to slight dip at the open Friday, 20 Feb 2015 | 9:07 AM ET

    *Investors look for signs of progress with Greece deal. NEW YORK, Feb 20- U.S. stock index futures pointed to slight losses at the open on Friday amid uncertainty over ongoing negotiations for a debt deal in Greece. While the start of an emergency meeting of the 19- nation Eurogroup in Brussels was postponed to allow more time for preparatory talks, the new prime...

  • *Investors look for signs of progress with Greece deal. NEW YORK, Feb 20- U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Friday, suggesting major indexes would end a quiet week with another day of slight moves as investors await clarity on a possible debt deal for Greece. *While U.S. equities have little direct exposure to Greece, a relatively small economy in the euro...

  • TOKYO, Feb 20- Most Japanese government bond prices were steady on Friday as solid results from the Bank of Japan's bond-buying operations countered headwinds from falls in U.S. The yield on the 10- year cash JGB was flat at 0.390 percent while the five-year yield was also unchanged at 0.115 percent. The BOJ bought a total of 1.18 trillion yen of JGBs from the one- to...