Russia’s incursion in Ukraine and worsening relations with the West have caught neighboring countries in the cross-fire.» Read More
*Premiums for gold bars in Asia steady. LONDON, March 26- Gold steadied above one-month lows on Wednesday but a firmer dollar, stronger equity markets and signs of a recovery in the U.S. economy are likely to limit gains, while support from physical buying was also lacking.
LONDON, March 26- European and Asian shares climbed to two-week highs on Wednesday, with investor confidence getting a welcome boost from upbeat U.S. data, talk of fresh central bank stimulus and diminishing concern over Ukraine.
*U.S. considers using gas exports to counter Russia in Europe. GOYANG, South Korea, March 26- Asian natural gas buyers are counting on higher prices and growing demand to lure most North American gas shipments their way, even as U.S. lawmakers consider speeding up export approvals to cut Europe's dependence on Russia for the fuel.
MINSK, March 26- Gazprom's business in Belarus and Ukraine has not been affected by Ukraine's political crisis, Chief Financial Officer Andrei Kruglov said on Wednesday, adding there were no problems with gas transit to Europe. "The situation in Ukraine has not affected business in Ukraine or in Belarus.
MOSCOW, March 26- Russia's economy could contract by 1.8 percent in gross domestic product terms this year if the crisis following Moscow's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea deepens, the World Bank said on Wednesday. "If the Russia- Ukraine conflict escalates, uncertainty could rise around sanctions from the West and Russia's response to them."
MOSCOW, March 26- Russian accused Ukraine on Wednesday of violating international conventions and putting lives at risk by preventing Russian pilots and crew disembarking after passenger flights to Kiev.
SINGAPORE, March 26- Brent crude futures rose above $107 per barrel on Wednesday amid a disruption in supply from Nigeria and Libya, while promising data from top consumer United States also supported prices. Brent crude for May delivery rose 19 cents to $107.18 by 0600 GMT, after closing up 18 cents in the previous session.
MOSCOW, March 26- Russia's central bank revoked the licences of three small banks on Wednesday, pressing its crackdown on money laundering and risky operations in the sector. Russia has more than 900, mostly small, banks, and many are suspected of servicing the shadow economy.
SINGAPORE, March 26- Brent crude futures rose above $107 per barrel on Wednesday amid a disruption in supply from Nigeria and Libya, while promising data from top consumer United States also supported prices. Brent crude for May delivery rose 21 cents to $107.20 by 0459 GMT, after closing up 18 cents in the previous session.
NEW YORK, March 26- Mergers and acquisitions activity among developed and emerging markets fell to a record low in 2013, dropping 17.3 percent versus the prior year due to still fragile economic growth and rising political unrest, a new survey showed on Tuesday.
*China stimulus hopes underpin commodities, Aussie dollar. TOKYO, March 26- Asian shares raced to two-week highs on Wednesday, with investor confidence getting a much needed boost from upbeat U.S. data and lingering hopes China may take steps to stimulate its sagging economy.
SYDNEY, March 26- London copper slipped on Wednesday after logging the biggest daily gain in six months in the previous session, as hopes eased that Beijing will act to stimulate China's economy after a slowdown in factory activity. *The most-traded June copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange climbed by 1.1 percent to 46,130 yuan a tonne.
TOKYO, March 26- U.S. crude oil prices ticked higher above $99 in early Wednesday trade, reversing some of the previous session's losses when a build in petroleum inventories and the restart of a key Texas oil shipping channel pressured prices. *U.S. crude for May delivery was up 11 cents at $99.30 per barrel by 0032 GMT, after finishing 41 cents lower on Tuesday.
SINGAPORE, March 26- Gold barely moved in early trade on Wednesday, hovering near its weakest level since mid-February, as shares firmed and the dollar held steady against other currencies on signs of a recovery in the U.S. economy. *Spot gold was little changed at $1,309.95 an ounce by 0015 GMT.
TOKYO, March 26- Asian shares edged higher in early trade on Wednesday on fresh signs of strength in the U.S. economy and diminishing concerns over the diplomatic standoff between the West and Russia. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.2 percent, with Australia stocks 0.6 percent higher.
WASHINGTON, March 25- The U.S. shale gas boom should be used to counteract Russian influence in Europe and on Ukraine, a key senator said on Tuesday, as lawmakers weighed changes to export policy to take into account a shifting geopolitical landscape.
NEW YORK, March 25- The dollar pared gains against a basket of major currencies on Tuesday but still ended slightly higher on the day, after traders played down strong U.S. consumer confidence data and the potential for the European Central Bank to ease further.
NEW YORK/ LONDON, March 25- Gold edged up on Tuesday as a combination of bargain hunting, technical buying and lingering geopolitical tensions helped bullion to rebound from its previous session's two-percent drop. Gold largely ignored a flat U.S. dollar index on Tuesday. "Gold's long-term averages are still pointing to an upward trend.
FRANKFURT, March 25- The European Central Bank could buy loans and other assets from banks to help support the euro zone economy, Germany's Bundesbank said, marking a radical softening of its stance on the contested policy.
*Coast Guard opens Houston Channel for oil tankers. NEW YORK, March 25- Brent crude oil futures rose on Tuesday on renewed geopolitical risk over Russia and supply disruptions in Nigeria and Libya, while U.S. crude was pressured by a stronger U.S. dollar.