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  • *West, Russia to continue Ukraine talks, says U.S. SINGAPORE, March 6- Brent crude held steady just below $108 a barrel on Thursday, as investors looked for direction after a heavy sell-off in the two previous sessions prompted by easing geopolitical risk over the crisis in Ukraine and U.S. data suggesting weaker oil demand.

  • *Diplomatic efforts to solve Ukraine crisis underpin risk assets. TOKYO, March 6- Asian shares could enjoy a reprieve on Thursday as diplomatic efforts moderate the crisis over Ukraine, while the euro comes under pressure as investors speculate whether the European Central Bank will ease policy later in the day.

  • SINGAPORE, March 6- Gold was trading in a tight range on Thursday, supported near $1,335 an ounce by weak U.S. data, with investors waiting for developments in the Ukraine geopolitical crisis and a key jobs report for further cues. *Spot gold was trading nearly flat at $1,336.66 an ounce by 0020 GMT, after rising slightly by 0.2 percent in the previous session.

  • DIARY - Government Debt auctions to April 29 Wednesday, 5 Mar 2014 | 7:03 PM ET

    DIARY- Central& Eastern Europe debt. *=All times in GMT unless stated otherwise, For Australia time is updated as Local time.

  • WASHINGTON, March 5- The U.S. State Department dropped its diplomatic niceties on Wednesday and all but accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of lying about events in Ukraine, publishing a list of what it said were 10 of his "false claims."

  • HOUSTON, March 5- The rise of global trade in liquefied natural gas in the coming decade could curb Russia's foreign-policy leverage over Europe and prompt China to take a more constructive role in global affairs as its imports of the fuel surge. Moscow has in years past cut gas supplies to Ukraine in foreign policy tussles, causing disruptions for Europe.

  • NEW YORK, March 5- The S&P 500 finished almost flat, just below its all-time high on Wednesday as investors shrugged off soft data on jobs and the services sector while keeping an eye on developments in Ukraine. A report from the Institute for Supply Management showed the services sector continued to grow last month, albeit at a slower pace.

  • *NATO to cut back on cooperation with Russia. PARIS/ KIEV, March 5- High-level diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis in Ukraine made little apparent headway at talks in Paris on Wednesday with Moscow and Washington at odds and Russia's foreign minister refusing to recognise his Ukrainian counterpart.

  • NEW YORK, March 5- World markets were calm on Wednesday after two days of wild swings, with the United States and Russia set to hold talks on easing East-West tension in Ukraine.

  • *Platinum at 4- month highs as talks to end strike falter. NEW YORK/ LONDON, March 5- Gold edged higher on Wednesday after weak U.S. private-sector job data and lackluster services-sector activities, but gains were slight as Washington and Moscow set up talks to reduce tensions over Ukraine, reducing gold's safe-haven bid.

  • WASHINGTON, March 5- A financial aid package for Ukraine that the U.S. House of Representatives plans to vote on soon will not include funding for the International Monetary Fund, a senior House Republican aide said on Wednesday.

  • NEW YORK, March 5- U.S. stocks barely moved on Wednesday, a day after the S&P 500 hit a new all-time high, as investors shrugged off soft data on jobs and the services sector while keeping an eye on developments in Ukraine.

  • RIO DE JANEIRO/ LONDON, March 5- Emerging markets steadied on Wednesday as the United States and Russia held talks on Ukraine, at least temporarily easing East-West tensions that prompted a selloff in global markets earlier this week.

  • NEW YORK, March 5- World markets were calm on Wednesday after two days of wild swings, with the United States and Russia set to hold talks on easing East-West tension in Ukraine.

  • Cyberattacks get bigger, smarter, more damaging Wednesday, 5 Mar 2014 | 12:08 PM ET

    Crashing websites and overwhelming data centres, a new generation of cyber attacks is costing millions and straining the structure of the Internet.

  • Ukraine worries? This economy is at risk too Wednesday, 5 Mar 2014 | 12:03 PM ET
    Blue Mosque at night, Istanbul, Turkey

    As the turmoil in Ukraine continues, analysts have flagged Turkey as another country to watch.

  • *European Union says ready to provide $15 bln to Ukraine. BRUSSELS, March 5- The European Union offered a larger than expected package of aid to Ukraine on Wednesday, saying it was willing to provide $15 billion in loans and grants over the next several years to help get the shattered economy back on its feet.

  • NEW YORK, March 5- U.S. stocks were little changed on Wednesday after two days of sharp swings as investors shrugged off soft data on jobs and the services sector, while keeping an eye on developments in Ukraine.

  • GLOBAL MARKETS-Reduced tension over Ukraine calms markets Wednesday, 5 Mar 2014 | 11:30 AM ET

    NEW YORK/ LONDON, March 5- A semblance of calm returned to world markets on Wednesday after two days of intense volatility, with the United States and Russia set to hold talks on easing East-West tension in Ukraine.

  • LONDON, March 5- The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development promised Ukraine a 5 billion euros, six-year aid package on Wednesday on the condition it enters into an IMF programme and makes greater efforts to stamp out corruption.