Sweden's foreign minister, Carl Bildt, discusses the West-versus-Russia confrontation ongoing in Ukraine's Crimea region.» Read More
*Mechel shares down 14 pct in Moscow, underperforming index. MOSCOW, March 14- Indebted Russian coal miner and steelmaker Mechel is in talks with lenders on refinancing and early debt repayment, the company said on Friday.
MOSCOW, March 14- Russian stock indexes plunged to the lowest levels since 2009 on Friday, two days before a referendum in Crimea that is expected to provoke western sanctions against Russia.
MOSCOW, March 14- Hackers brought down the Russian central bank's website on Friday before a meeting on interest rates, the bank said. "The site of the central bank is experiencing problems due to a hacker attack," the Bank of Russia said in a statement.
*MSCI ex- Japan skids to one-month low, on track for weekly loss. Russia launched new military exercises near its border with Ukraine on Thursday, even as the U.S. cautioned that Moscow risked facing serious steps if annexation was the outcome of a referendum planned for Sunday in the Crimea.
*MSCI ex- Japan skids to three week lows, on track for weekly loss. TOKYO, March 14- Asian shares skidded to a three-week low and the yen held steady at lofty levels on Friday, as heightened tension in Ukraine ahead of a weekend referendum prompted investors to shed riskier assets.
STANFORD, United States- Federal Reserve vice-chair nominee Stanley Fischer speaks before a dinner at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research Economic Summit 2014- 0145 GMT. STOCKHOLM- Sweden's central bank governor Stefan Ingves to give a speech on "Have we learned the lessons of earlier financial crises?"
SYDNEY, March 14- Safe haven currencies like the Swiss franc and yen got off to a flying start on Friday, having surged overnight as tensions in Ukraine flared up and worries about the health of the Chinese economy continued to fester.
WASHINGTON, March 13- An International Monetary Fund team in Kiev will begin negotiations with Ukrainian authorities about an economic reform program, the IMF's chief said on Thursday. An IMF team has been in Kiev since March 4 to gather data about the government's finances.
NEW YORK, March 13- The yen rose against the euro and the dollar on Thursday after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry signaled a possible response from the West if a referendum in Ukraine's Crimea region goes ahead on Sunday.
*Worries over Chinese growth, Ukraine weigh on sentiment. LONDON, March 13- European stocks hit a five-week closing low on Thursday as worries over economic growth in China and tension in Ukraine took their toll on market sentiment.
Secretary of State John Kerry signalled a possible response from the West if a referendum in Ukraine's Crimea region goes ahead on Sunday. Kerry's comments before Congress, together with a warning by Ukraine's acting president Oleksander Turchinov of a possible Russian invasion, rekindled fears of a war breaking out in the region.
BOSTON, March 13- Lookout, the mobile security software maker, named telecommunications industry veteran Jim Dolce as chief executive officer on Thursday, succeeding company co-founder John Hering.
*Ukraine tensions continue, Merkel warns Russia. NEW YORK, March 13- U.S. stocks dropped on Thursday on rising tension in Ukraine, which helped erase earlier gains spurred by better-than-expected data on retail sales and the labor market.
*Russia restarts military exercise near Ukraine border. NEW YORK, March 13- Brent crude futures fell on Thursday as weaker-than-expected Chinese economic data offset worries about supply disruptions prompted by the stand-off between Russia and Western powers over Ukraine.
VIENNA, March 13- Industrialist Dmytro Firtash, one of Ukraine's most influential oligarchs with close links to Russia through his gas interests, has been arrested in Austria at the request of the United States.
NEW YORK, March 13- U.S. stocks hit session lows in early afternoon trading on Thursday, with the S&P 500 on track to post its worst day in six weeks, as tension over Ukraine's Crimean peninsula mounted.
Austria has arrested Dmitry Firtash at the request of the U.S. - a move seen in Kiev as Washington putting pressure on Putin over Moscow's intervention in Crimea.
LONDON, March 13- European stocks fell on Thursday, extending a two-week slide, as worries over economic growth in China and tension in Ukraine took their toll on market sentiment.
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.
*Latest China data points to slowing economy. *Ukraine tensions continue, Merkel warns Russia. NEW YORK, March 13- U.S. stocks edged lower on Thursday as earlier gains spurred by better-than-expected data on retail sales and the labor market were offset by worries over Ukraine and the health of China's economy.