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  • MOSCOW, March 23- An ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin who heads a bank that was hit by U.S. sanctions over the Crimea crisis suggested on Sunday the move had backfired by helping him win new clients.

  • NEW YORK, March 23- The prevailing trend in U.S. stocks could be higher this week if investor anxiety eases over the crisis in Ukraine and signs of weakness in the U.S. economy.

  • *Russian ambassador to EU says Russia has no expansionist views. BRUSSELS, March 23- NATO's top military commander said on Sunday that Russia had a large force on Ukraine's eastern border and he was worried it could pose a threat to Moldova's separatist Transdniestria region.

  • *But they say loyalties are to Latvia, Estonia over Russia. DAUGAVPILS, Latvia/ TALLINN, March 23- In the former Soviet republics of Latvia and Estonia, there is unease over events in Crimea, which was formally annexed by Moscow last week on the pretext of safeguarding its Russian minorities.

  • Keen to bolster fragile economic growth, countries such as Hungary, Poland and Romania are following the lead of their western neighbours and urging banks to sell off bad debts so they can lend more to businesses.

  • *EU trade chief says Russia must pay a price for its actions. BRUSSELS, March 22- Russia's annexation of Crimea underlines the need for the United States and the European Union to deepen their economic ties via an ambitious trade deal that would also allow Europe to import U.S. gas, Washington's top trade official said on Saturday.

  • DIARY - Top economic Events to April 3 Friday, 21 Mar 2014 | 8:01 PM ET

    WASHINGTON- Federal Reserve Board Governor Jeremy Stein gives welcome remarks before the Federal Reserve "Crowdfunding for Community Development Finance" conference- 1300 GMT.

  • NEW YORK, March 21- The prevailing trend in U.S. stocks could be higher next week if investor anxiety eases over the crisis in Ukraine and signs of weakness in the U.S. economy.

  • NEW YORK, March 21- World markets steadied on Friday after a volatile week driven by speculation over shifts in U.S. monetary policy, with equities holding near break-even, the euro up slightly against the dollar and crude oil rising on fear of supply disruptions over Crimea.

  • NEW YORK, March 21- Crude oil futures rose on Friday as fresh U.S. and European sanctions on Russia renewed fears of a supply disruption from the world's second largest oil producer.

  • COPENHAGEN/ FRANKFURT, March 21- A deepening economic standoff between Russia and the West over the future of Ukraine has rippled through trading floors and boardrooms, with exporters scrambling to protect revenues and some global financial firms halting services.

  • *Finance Ministry may cancel Eurobond ploans worth $7 bln. MOSCOW, March 21- Russia's Finance Ministry said on Friday it may be forced to cancel plans to borrow abroad this year, admitting that sanctions imposed by the West are already stinging.

  • UPDATE 9-Brent, U.S. oil rise nearly $1 on sanctions Friday, 21 Mar 2014 | 2:14 PM ET

    *Moscow says it will respond in kind. NEW YORK, March 21- Crude oil futures rose $1 on Friday as traders scrambled to cover short positions after the U.S. and EU imposed sanctions on Russia, the world's second largest oil producer, renewing fears of a supply disruption.

  • LONDON, March 21- European shares edged higher in choppy trading on Friday and recorded their biggest weekly gain in a month, helped by a rally in basic resources stocks and some positive technical buying signals.

  • MOSCOW/ BRUSSELS, March 21- President Vladimir Putin signed laws completing Russia's annexation of Crimea on Friday, as investors took fright at a U.S. decision to slap sanctions on his inner circle of money men and security officials.

  • LONDON, March 21- European shares headed for their biggest weekly gain in a month on Friday, supported by a rally in basic resources stocks and some positive technical buying signals.

  • REFILE-Sanctions bind Russia nation together, for now Friday, 21 Mar 2014 | 11:54 AM ET

    MOSCOW, March 21- Far from dividing Vladimir Putin's inner circle, U.S. sanctions are drawing them ever closer together behind the former KGB spy and his drive to create a Great Russia.

  • Sanctions Russia nation together, for now Friday, 21 Mar 2014 | 11:52 AM ET

    MOSCOW, March 21- Far from dividing Vladimir Putin's inner circle, U.S. sanctions are drawing them ever closer together behind the former KGB spy and his drive to create a Great Russia.

  • FOREX-Dollar rally fizzles as euro comes off lows Friday, 21 Mar 2014 | 11:36 AM ET

    NEW YORK, March 21- The dollar's three-day rally sputtered on Friday as the euro rose against the greenback on after data showed a record euro zone current account surplus in January. The euro, which earlier this week had been trading just shy of $1.40, was up 0.22 percent to $1.3809.

  • NEW YORK, March 21- Crude oil futures surged more than $1 on Friday as traders scrambled to cover short positions ahead of the weekend after U.S. sanctions against Russia, the world's second-largest oil exporter, renewed fears of a supply disruption. "The uncertainty is definitely back," said Abhishek Deshpande, a commodities analyst at Natixis in London.