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  • NEW YORK, Aug 1- Global equities markets dropped for a fourth day on Friday, with Wall Street again slumping as investors shrugged off economic data showing solid improvement in U.S. labor markets. U.S. stock trading was dogged by worries about Argentina's debt problems.

  • NEW YORK, Aug 1- Brent and U.S. crude futures tumbled on Friday to the lowest settlement prices in months, as oversupply in the Atlantic basin and low demand outweighed worries over political tensions in the Middle East, North Africa and Ukraine. "Since June 23, the market's been going down," said Andy Lebow, vice president at Jefferies Bache in New York.

  • NEW YORK/ BUENOS AIRES, Aug 1- Argentina cannot turn its back on negotiations with holdout creditors after defaulting on its sovereign debt, a U.S. judge instructed on Friday, just as the country's failure to service a June interest payment was declared a "credit event."

  • *Brent falls to two-week low; in July had biggest monthly loss since April 2013. NEW YORK, Aug 1- Brent crude oil fell more than $1 to hit a two-week low on Friday, slipping to $105 a barrel in its third straight day of losses as oversupply in the Atlantic basin and low demand outweighed worries over political tensions in the Middle East, North Africa and Ukraine.

  • PARIS, Aug 1- For all the surprise that has greeted French telecom group Iliad's bid for T-Mobile US, there is one thing a procession of broadband and mobile firms have learnt in recent years: don't underestimate Xaviel Niel.

  • NEW YORK, Aug 1- Global equities markets dropped for a fourth day on Friday, with Wall Street again slumping as investors shrugged off economic data showing solid improvement in U.S. labor markets. Confusion over Federal Reserve policy and ongoing tensions in Ukraine and Gaza were blamed for the U.S. sell-off.

  • *Food and medicine exempt from U.S., EU sanctions on Iran. LONDON/ ANKARA, Aug 1- It should have been a routine delivery of vegetable oil to Iran for making margarine; instead the tanker spent months in the Gulf as banks held up payment for the cargo, fearing they would run foul of international sanctions.

  • NEW YORK/ BUENOS AIRES, Aug 1- Argentina's default this week did not "extinguish or reduce" the South American country's debt obligations, a U.S. judge said on Friday, and he ordered negotiations between the country and holdout investors to continue.

  • Europe shares extend sell-off; BES tumbles again Friday, 1 Aug 2014 | 12:40 PM ET

    PARIS, Aug 1- European stocks sank in huge volumes on Friday for the third straight session, with a broad index hitting a 3-1/ 2 month low, hurt by concerns over losses at Banco Espirito Santo as well as tension between Russia and the West.

  • *Brent falls to two-week low; in July had biggest monthly loss since April 2013.

  • *Sanctions restrict Sberbank's access to EU capital markets. MOSCOW, Aug 1- Russia's top lender, Sberbank, faces rising borrowing costs and a squeeze on its margins after being included in the latest European Union sanctions over the Ukraine crisis.

  • Police say UK pier fire may have been arson Friday, 1 Aug 2014 | 11:16 AM ET

    LONDON— British police say a fire that gutted a landmark seaside pier in southern England may have been started deliberately. Sussex Police said Friday that they were treating the blaze at the 144- year-old Eastbourne Pier as suspicious.

  • NEW YORK, Aug 1- World stock markets traded lower on Friday following the previous session's Wall Street sell-off, while the dollar dipped after U.S. jobs data eased investors' worries Federal Reserve policymakers were tilting toward raising interest rates.

  • BUENOS AIRES, Aug 1- Argentina's government said on Friday it expected nothing favorable to come out of a court hearing in New York later in the day in its debt default case, as the country's domestic markets looked to optimism for an eventual deal.

  • *Move a response to tougher sanctions against Russia. *Lending to Russia down 100 million to 1.8 billion pounds. lending in Russia, responding to the prospect of toughening.

  • UPDATE 1-Fiat investors approve Chrysler merger Friday, 1 Aug 2014 | 10:41 AM ET

    *Vote seals politically sensitive move of HQ from Italy. TURIN, Italy, Aug 1- Fiat shareholders approved the Italian carmaker's merger with its U.S. unit Chrysler on Friday, paving the way for a U.S. listing which the world's seventh-biggest auto group hopes will help fund an ambitious turnaround plan.

  • *At least 50 of them dead, including top doctors in S.Leone, Liberia. FREETOWN/ DAKAR/ LONDON, Aug 1- Jenneh became a nurse in Sierra Leone 15 years ago with the hope of saving lives in one of the world's poorest countries.

  • *FTSEurofirst 300 down 1 pct, Euro STOXX 50 down 0.7 pct. *Banco Espirito Santo stock sinks 19 pct. But stocks remained deep in negative territory, with a broad index trading at 3-1/ 2 month lows, hurt by tension between Russia and the West, Argentina's default, as well as concerns around losses at Banco Espirito Santo.

  • LONDON/ MOSCOW, Aug 1- Mathematically Russia has enough reserves to hold out for at least two years before Western sanctions start to choke the economy, but it must avoid reawakening the "sleeping dragon" of investor panic.

  • PARIS, Aug 1- Shares trimmed losses and the dollar dipped on Friday after the U.S. reported job growth slowed more than expected in July and the unemployment rate unexpectedly rose, easing worries that interest rates will rise soon.