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  • RBS half-year profits surge to $2.39 billion Friday, 1 Aug 2014 | 5:41 AM ET

    LONDON— The Royal Bank of Scotland says it made a net profit of 1.42 billion pounds in the first half of the year, up from 535 million pounds in 2013, as it warned that Scottish independence could dent its business. Half-year results also showed pre-tax profit nearly doubled to 2.65 billion pounds.

  • LONDON, Aug 1- Brent crude oil fell below $106 a barrel on Friday as oversupply in the Atlantic basin and low demand outweighed worries over political tensions in the Middle East, North Africa and Ukraine. Worries over geopolitical risks to oil supply have eased despite escalating violence in parts of the Middle East and North Africa.

  • MOSCOW, Aug 1- Russia's largest lenders, Sberbank and VTB, are likely to lead a decline in Moscow shares on Friday after being hit by sanctions, with a slump in U.S. markets on global economy concerns and tensions with Russia also weighing.

  • World stocks extend slump on Wall Street sell-off Friday, 1 Aug 2014 | 12:15 AM ET

    HONG KONG— World stock markets sank on Friday, with European benchmarks opening sharply lower after Wall Street's sharp sell-off. London's FTSE 100 dropped 1.1 percent to 6,656.19. ASIA'S DAY: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index dropped 0.6 percent to close at 15,523.11 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.9 percent to 24,532.43.

  • LONDON, Aug 1- After a legal show-down in Texas this week, the outlook for a handful of tankers holding some $300 million worth of Kurdish oil is not looking good.

  • NEW YORK, July 31- A long-predicted dollar rally appears at last to be taking hold, with the greenback ending July with its best monthly performance in 17 months and investors positioning for the first post-crisis U.S. interest rate increase.

  • BUENOS AIRES, July 31- Argentina's bond and stock markets and peso currency dropped on Thursday after Latin America's No. 3 economy defaulted for the second time in 12 years after the failure of last-ditch talks with holdout creditors.

  • *Shanghai index rises 7 pct in eight days, highest since Dec 2013. *Hong Kong- Shanghai stock connector scheme should boost liquidity.

  • HOUSTON/ ISTANBUL, July 31- Efforts by Iraqi Kurdistan to boost its finances through bulk oil sales suffered a setback on Thursday as its main U.S. customer swore off more purchases and Baghdad vowed to block delivery from oil-laden vessels like one the Kurds were loading for export.

  • *OPEC oil output rises in July from June- Reuters survey. NEW YORK, July 31- U.S. crude oil tumbled more than $2 on Thursday, going below $98 a barrel, hitting the lowest level since March on news of a potentially lengthy shutdown at a Kansas oil refinery, while Brent also slipped amid signs of robust OPEC oil production.

  • NEW YORK/ HOUSTON, July 31- Chemicals firm LyondellBasell, part of Ukrainian-born billionaire Leonard Blavatnik's business empire, said it will quit buying "disputed" oil from Iraq- one day after Reuters identified it as the mystery American importer of Kurdish crude.

  • NEW YORK, July 31- Famed oil trader Andy Hall's more than $3 billion hedge fund was up nearly 20 percent at the half-year mark, sharply outpacing its rivals in one of the best performances of its seven-year history, data obtained by Reuters showed on Thursday.

  • *Corn, soy, wheat all post monthly losses. "The beans firmed up due to some speculators taking advantage of the weakness earlier in light of the very strong demand we are seeing," said Terry Reilly, an analyst at Futures International in Chicago. Chicago Board of Trade soybeans for August delivery settled up 4 cents at $12.24-1/ 2 a bushel.

  • *OPEC oil output rises in July from June- Reuters survey. NEW YORK, July 31- U.S. crude oil tumbled more than $2 on Thursday, going below $98 a barrel, hitting the lowest level since March on news of a potentially lengthy shutdown at a Kansas oil refinery, while Brent also slipped amid signs of robust OPEC oil production.

  • NEW YORK, July 31- Famed oil trader Andy Hall's more than $3 billion hedge fund was up nearly 20 percent at the half-year mark, sharply outpacing its rivals in one of the best performances of its seven-year history, data obtained by Reuters showed on Thursday.

  • NEW YORK/ HOUSTON, July 31- Chemicals firm LyondellBasell, owned by Ukraine- born billionaire Leonard Blavatnik, has emerged as the mystery American buyer of Kurdish crude oil this year, but said on Thursday it will not be buying any more due to an ownership dispute.

  • BUENOS AIRES, July 31- Argentina's main government bond, stock market and peso currency dropped on Thursday after Latin America's No. 3 economy defaulted for the second time in 12 years following the failure of last-ditch talks with holdout creditors.

  • *Default risks turning Bulgaria into " Argentina of Europe": source. BUCHAREST, July 31- Holders of dollar-denominated bonds at Bulgaria's Corporate Commercial Bank are gearing up for legal action against the government if the bond defaults and the bank is tipped into insolvency, two sources told Reuters on Thursday.

  • *OPEC oil output rises in July from June- Reuters survey. NEW YORK, July 31- U.S. crude oil tumbled to a more than four-month low under $100 a barrel on Thursday on news of a potentially lengthy shutdown at a key oil refinery in Kansas, while Brent also slipped amid signs of robust OPEC oil production.

  • *Shares in Adidas and Banco Espirito Santo slump. LONDON, July 31- European shares fell sharply on Thursday, with the euro zone's blue-chip index slipping to a three-month low, on concerns of an earlier than expected interest rate hike in the Uniteed States and a debt default by Argentina.