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  • LONDON, Aug 29- Brent crude oil prices rose towards $103 a barrel on Friday as escalating violence in Ukraine kept Europe's markets on edge, but prices were still on track for a monthly loss as ample supply and weak demand outweighed political concerns.

  • *FTSEurofirst 300, Euro STOXX 50 up 0.1 pct. *Euro STOXX 50 set for best monthly gain since Feb. LONDON, Aug 29- European shares trimmed their early gains on Friday as euro zone inflation data slightly cooled market speculation about fresh monetary stimulus by the European Central bank.

  • *Share markets weak as Russia- Ukraine tensions swirl. LONDON, Aug 29- The euro was near a year low and on course for a fourth week of falls on Friday ahead of what was expected to be another stodgy euro zone inflation reading, and as tensions with Russia over Ukraine kept the region on edge.

  • Europe shares inch; Tesco sinks after warning Friday, 29 Aug 2014 | 4:30 AM ET

    *FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.3 pct, Euro STOXX 50 up 0.5 pct. PARIS, Aug 29- European shares rose in early trade on Friday, recovering some of the ground lost in the previous session as investors awaited inflation figures that may shed light on the European Central Bank's next policy move.

  • PARIS, Aug 29- Russia's top carmaker Avtovaz plans to reduce staff numbers to 30,000 by 2020 from 55,000 to boost competitivity, finance head Evgeny Belinin told France's Les Echos daily business newspaper at the Moscow motor show.

  • *NATO source says more than 1,000 Russian troops in Ukraine. MOSCOW/ DONETSK, Ukraine, Aug 29- Pro-Moscow rebels fighting in Ukraine said on Friday they would comply with a request from the Kremlin and open up a' humanitarian corridor' to allow the withdrawal of Ukrainian troops they have encircled.

  • *NATO source says more than 1,000 Russian troops in Ukraine. MOSCOW/ DONETSK, Ukraine, Aug 28- Pro-Moscow rebels fighting in Ukraine said on Friday they would comply with a request from the Kremlin and open up a' humanitarian corridor' to allow the withdrawal of Ukrainian troops they have encircled.

  • *OPEC output rises in Aug from July- survey. *Russian troops enter Ukraine, tensions flare. SINGAPORE, Aug 29- Brent crude held above $102 a barrel on Friday, but prices were heading for a second monthly loss as ample supply and softening demand in Europe and China outweighed geopolitical concerns.

  • Russian fund with US advisers eludes sanctions Friday, 29 Aug 2014 | 12:06 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— As President Barack Obama warns of stepped-up economic punishments against Russia for its military incursions inside Ukraine, U.S. sanctions have so far avoided one prominent financial institution: the $10 billion Russian Direct Investment Fund, which has partnered with brand-name American companies and whose advisers include top U.S. and European private equity executives.

  • SINGAPORE, Aug 29- Gold was little changed on Friday but was on track to post a monthly gain, as growing tensions between Russia and Ukraine stoked safe-haven demand for the precious metal. Gold was trading flat at $1,289.20 an ounce by 0306 GMT.

  • Brent holds above $102, but heads for 2nd monthly loss Thursday, 28 Aug 2014 | 10:47 PM ET

    *Russian troops enter Ukraine, tensions flare. *OPEC output rises in Aug from July- survey. SINGAPORE, Aug 29- Brent crude held above $102 a barrel on Friday, but prices were heading for a second monthly loss as ample supply and softening demand in Europe and China outweighed geopolitical concerns.

  • TOKYO, Aug 29- Japan's Nikkei share average fell on Friday morning as tensions in the Ukraine conflict flared up again, but hopes that domestic investors would start buying up large-cap stocks limited the losses. Toyota Motor Corp gained 0.5 percent, Honda Motor Co added 0.4 percent and Sony Corp rose 0.6 percent.

  • SINGAPORE, Aug 29- Gold hardly moved on Friday but was on track for its first monthly gain since June after some investors ditched equities and poured their money back into gold due to growing tensions between Russia and Ukraine. *Gold was little changed at $1,290.25 an ounce by 0030 GMT. Gold prices were more than $600 below a record hit in 2011..

  • SINGAPORE, Aug 29- U.S. crude futures stayed above $94 a barrel on Friday, holding overnight gains as positive economic data boosted the outlook for demand in the world's largest oil consumer. *U.S. crude had edged down 2 cents to $94.53 a barrel by 0024 GMT, after settling up 67 cents on Thursday.

  • TOKYO, Aug 29- Asian shares slumped in early trading on Friday, after flaring Ukraine tensions ruined investors' appetite for risk and bolstered the safe-haven yen.

  • *Euro wilts as tensions between Ukraine& Russia flare up. SYDNEY, Aug 29- The safe-haven yen held firm early on Friday, while the euro was on track to post its second straight month of declines as tensions between Ukraine and Russia flared up again.

  • A look at US, European sanctions on Russia Thursday, 28 Aug 2014 | 5:24 PM ET

    WASHINGTON— With Russian tanks apparently crossing into southeastern Ukraine, President Barack Obama is suggesting the possibility of more sanctions on Russia.

  • *NATO source says more than 1,000 Russian troops in Ukraine. Earlier Poroshenko said he had cancelled a visit to Turkey because of the "rapidly deteriorating situation" in the eastern Donetsk region, "as Russian troops have actually been brought into Ukraine".

  • *Decisions will help shape EU policy on economy, Ukraine. WARSAW/ BRUSSELS/ PARIS, Aug 28- Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk is seriously considering a proposal that he take the post of president of the European Council, a Warsaw government spokeswoman said on Thursday, linking his decision to the crisis in neighbouring Ukraine.

  • *NATO says more than 1,000 Russian troops in Ukraine. NEW YORK/ LONDON, Aug 28- Gold rose for a third consecutive session on Thursday as tensions in Ukraine increased and equity markets retreated, but analysts said the rebound could be short-lived due to strong U.S. economic growth data and the prospects of a U.S. interest rate hike.