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Eastern Europe

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  • MOSCOW/ KIEV, March 4- Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that he did not want a gas conflict with Ukraine similar to ones that took place in the past, and that Kiev only had enough pre-paid gas from Russia to last two days. Previous "gas wars" have led to supply disruptions to Europe, which gets around a third of its gas from Russia, and 40 percent of this...

  • WARSAW, Poland— Poland's central bank has cut its key interest rate by half a percentage point to a historic low of 1.5 percent amid concerns over deflation, a sustained drop in consumer prices that can hurt the economy. The National Bank of Poland's move to slash its reference rate surprised many given that most economists expected a cut of 0.25 percentage...

  • MOSCOW, March 4- Russia's biggest privately-held homebuilder, SU-155, said it had failed to pay out to its bondholders under a put option agreement and was seeking to restructure its debts to avoid an outright default. Global investors have been closely watching developments in Russia, whose economy is teetering on the brink of recession due to a steep fall in...

  • MSCI's overall emerging share index lost 0.55 percent to hit a 10- day low, with stocks markets in Turkey, South Africa and Greece also trading down. In South Africa, the rand traded within sight of a three-week low against the dollar as Deputy Central Bank Governor Francois Groepe said economic growth continued to disappoint. In Turkey, the lira hit a record low of...

  • Buoyant StanChart helps Europe stocks bounce back Wednesday, 4 Mar 2015 | 4:03 AM ET

    * "Tactically, Europe is in overshooting mode"- UBS's Riesner. PARIS, March 4- European shares rose on Wednesday morning, bouncing back from the previous session's pull-back, with shares of Standard Chartered surging 5.3 percent after the bank said it aims to cut $1.8 billion in costs over three years. British broadcaster ITV also featured among the top gainers...

  • DONETSK, Ukraine— An explosion ripped through a coal mine before dawn Wednesday in war-torn eastern Ukraine, killing at least one miner and trapping more than 30 others underground, rebel and government officials said. Eastern Ukraine has been wracked by fighting between government forces and Russian-backed rebels for almost a year, a conflict that has...

  • UPDATE 1-Russian assets little changed in early trade Wednesday, 4 Mar 2015 | 2:42 AM ET

    MOSCOW, March 4- The Russian rouble was little changed in early trade on Wednesday, slightly losing ground against the U.S. dollar but gaining against the euro, while Moscow- listed shares edged higher. Oil, Russia's main export, traded around $0.3 lower, with Brent crude holding above $60 per barrel. Analysts said the future trajectory of the Russian currency was...

  • PARIS— A British investor who made millions in Russia before his lawyer was imprisoned and died is calling for an international investigation into the killing of Russian opposition figure Boris Nemtsov. U.S.-born William Browder is suggesting a probe led by the United Nations, the Council of Europe or the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

  • Mongolia, which has Russia and China as its neighbours, has large quantities of natural resources including copper, gold, silver and uranium deposits. Merkel outlined the difficulties involved in getting start-up financing for infrastructure and mining projects, and the need for infrastructure expansion in Mongolia. "Thirdly, Mongolia has big neighbours...

  • Ukraine hikes benchmark interest rate to 30 percent Tuesday, 3 Mar 2015 | 9:52 AM ET

    KIEV, Ukraine— Ukraine's central bank has sharply hiked its benchmark rate to 30 percent, from 19.5 percent, as financial authorities seek to reverse the rapid devaluation of the national currency. National Bank chairwoman Valeria Gontareva said Tuesday that the measure was aimed at tempering panic in the currency market and reining in inflation.

  • BUDAPEST, Hungary— The details of Hungary's deal with Russia to expand its only nuclear power plant will remain secret for 30 years, after new legislation was approved Tuesday. What is known of the deal is that it includes a loan from Russia of 10 billion euros to cover an estimated 80 percent of the construction costs. Critics said the arrangement, first announced...

  • The Reserve Fund is used to support Russian public finances in time of low oil and gas prices and is held in dollars, euros and British pounds. Russia's other main sovereign fund, the National Wealth Fund, rose by $900 million in February to $74.92 billion, the ministry said Tuesday, although its value in ruble terms fell. As of February 20, the last date for which data...

  • Azerbaijan watches for dissent as economy slows Tuesday, 3 Mar 2015 | 5:50 AM ET

    BAKU, March 3- Azerbaijan is keeping a close eye on any sign of dissent as economic problems mount before a parliamentary election this year in the oil-producing former Soviet republic. Hit by the fall in global oil prices, the rouble's drop against the dollar in neighbouring Russia and the separatist war in east Ukraine, the South Caucasus country devalued the...

  • In Russia, dollar-denominated and rouble-based stocks rose as much as 1.9 percent, getting a helping hand from oil rising above $60 per barrel and progress in talks over gas supplies from Moscow to Kiev. "It just feels like things are de-escalating," Ilan Solot, emerging market currency strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman, said of the Ukraine situation.

  • GENEVA, March 3- Europe's carmakers are benefiting from robust demand for passenger cars in most of Europe although the slumping Russian market continues to cast a shadow, making forecasts increasingly difficult, the Chief Executives of Opel and Volkswagen said. The Russian market, once the third largest for General Motors in Europe, is massively down and GM...

  • Volkswagen CEO stands by cautious outlook Monday, 2 Mar 2015 | 4:50 PM ET

    GENEVA— The CEO of Volkswagen AG is staying with his cautious outlook for this year, saying it's a "balanced statement" based on growth in the U.S., Europe and China versus trouble spots such as Russia and Brazil. "We very much see the global trouble spots- Russia, Ukraine, and also the weak markets in Brazil- but we also see that markets in Europe are growing again, that...

  • *Nasdaq passes 5,000 as Wall Street extends winning streak. Wall Street kicked off March on a high note after a stellar February, when the benchmark S&P 500 Index registered its best monthly gain since October 2011. This bull market still has some room to go, "said Jason Pride, director of investment strategy at Glenmede in Philadelphia.

  • KIEV, March 2- Before she was appointed to head Ukraine's central bank last June, Valeriia Gontareva was praised as one of the most successful investment bankers in the country. outside her office in Kiev. Certainly, no central banker would envy her record on paper: in less than nine months since she took office, the hryvnia has fallen to around 30 to the dollar from...

  • KIEV, March 2- Before she was appointed to head Ukraine's central bank last June, Valeriia Gontareva was praised as one of the most successful investment bankers in the country. outside her office in Kiev. Certainly, no central banker would envy her record on paper: in less than nine months since she took office, the hryvnia has fallen to around 30 to the dollar from...

  • *China rate cut lifts Asia equities, gold. Wall Street kicked off March on a high note after a stellar February, when the benchmark S&P 500 Index registered its best monthly gain since October 2011. Asian stocks ended higher after China cut interest rates over the weekend, but European equities slipped from seven-year highs hit on merger activity in the telecom...