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  • 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.

  • *Iliad bid $15 bln for 56.6 pct of T-Mobile US at $33/ share. PARIS/ FRANKFURT, Aug 1- Telecoms group Iliad has lined up BNP Paribas and HSBC to finance its bid for T-Mobile US, people familiar with the matter said, as it pursues a deal that could overturn expectations of industry consolidation in both the United States and France.

  • LONDON, Aug 1- Brent crude oil fell to a two-week low on Friday, slipping towards $105 a barrel 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.

  • BANGALORE/ SYDNEY, Aug 1- Manufacturing activity in China and most of Asia gathered pace in July as firms responded to burgeoning new orders by raising output, hinting at a revival in global trade, although euro zone factories barely managed to chug along. The HSBC/ Markit measure also rose to 51.7, an 18- month peak.

  • PARIS, Aug 1- European stocks fell on Friday for the third straight session in brisk trade, with a broad index hitting a 3-1/ 2 month low as tension between Russia and the West as well as concerns around losses at Banco Espirito Santo gnawed at sentiment.

  • 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.

  • US markets fluctuate a day after a major drop 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.