Middle East


  • *Central bank reaffirms no rush to raise interest rates. NEW YORK/ LONDON, July 30- Gold futures ended lower on Wednesday, but traders largely shrugged off a statement from the Federal Reserve hinting the U.S. central bank was in no rush to hike interest rates, which would reduce appetite for the precious metal.

  • *Hamas vows to fight on until Gaza blockades lifted. GAZA/ JERUSALEM, July 30- Israeli shelling killed at least 15 Palestinians sheltering in a U.N.-run school and another 17 near a street market on Wednesday, Gaza's Health Ministry said, with no ceasefire in sight after more than three weeks of fighting.

  • *Tunnel search a main mission of Israeli ground operation. GAZA STRIP, July 30- Israeli Colonel Tomer was literally tipped off to the tunnel snaking under a Palestinian village when the tank-churned earth gave way under the weight of one of his behemoth bulldozers.

  • Dubai, European airlines divert flights over Iraq Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 | 11:54 AM ET

    BAGHDAD— European airlines and a Dubai- based carrier are rerouting flights over Iraqi airspace as a security precaution amid fears that militants with the Islamic State group have weapons capable of shooting down planes, despite Iraq saying its skies are safe.

  • LONDON, July 30- Gold fell on Wednesday, pressured by a multi-month high in the dollar following stronger-than-expected U.S. economic growth data and ahead of a Federal Reserve statement that could give hints on interest rate policy. Spot gold, flat initially, fell 0.3 percent to $1,295.20 an ounce by 1452 GMT, after breaking below $1,300 in the previous session.

  • *U.S., EU impose more sanctions on Russia over Ukraine. LONDON, July 30- Brent crude oil steadied below $108 a barrel on Wednesday, weakened by ample supplies in Europe and Asia, while U.S crude edged higher after data showed a large drop in stockpiles.

  • ISTANBUL/ LONDON, July 30- Iraqi Kurdistan's attempts to export oil independently of Baghdad hit another obstacle on Wednesday, as a Turkish energy official and industry sources said the autonomous region's pipeline to the Mediterranean has been shut for the past week.

  • Yemen ends fuel subsidies, nearly doubling prices Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 | 10:14 AM ET

    SANAA, Yemen— Fuel prices in Yemen nearly doubled Wednesday as the government ended a fuel subsidy program costing billions of dollars, sparking scattered demonstrations that saw one person killed as authorities quickly dispersed protesters, security officials said.

  • Goodyear 2Q profit up 18 percent but shares slump Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 | 9:32 AM ET

    AKRON, Ohio— Goodyear Tire's second-quarter earnings jumped 18 percent to $213 million, though revenue was softer than many had expected and volume slowed in Latin America. Adjusted earnings of 80 cents per share matched Wall Street estimates, according to a poll by Zacks Investment Research.

  • WASHINGTON, July 30- The U.S. State Department has approved the sale of 5,000 Hellfire missiles to Iraq as Baghdad tries to fend off militant Islamist forces. Iraq had requested 5,000 of the air-to-ground missiles, which are manufactured by Lockheed Martin Corp and enable helicopters to battle tanks and other armored vehicles.

  • July 30- Rockwell Automation Inc, whose automated systems help factories run smoothly, reported a steeper-than-expected fall in quarterly profit, hurt by lower sales outside the United States and in its largest business.

  • OPEC oil output rises in July on fragile Libyan rebound Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 | 8:08 AM ET

    That could hinder OPEC's ability to boost output later in the year, when the International Energy Agency expects demand for OPEC crude to rise. Outages in the group, such as in Iraq and Libya, are effectively helping OPEC to balance the market, rather than voluntary cutbacks, say analysts.

  • *U.S., EU impose more sanctions on Russia over Ukraine. While there has been no major disruption to oil supplies due to tensions in the Middle East, Africa or Europe, fears that exports could be curtailed underpin crude prices.

  • *Says impact of Russia sanctions on Yamal LNG uncertain. PARIS, July 30- French oil major Total stopped buying shares in Russia's Novatek when a Malaysian airliner was shot down over Ukraine, but it is still too early to gauge the impact of western sanctions against Russia, Total said.

  • UPDATE 3-Brent steady around $108 in range-bound market Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 | 4:40 AM ET

    *U.S., EU impose more sanctions on Russia over Ukraine. *Libya says oil output stays at 500,000 bpd despite unrest. The European Union and the United States imposed further sanctions against Russia on Tuesday, targeting its energy banking and defense sectors in the strongest international action yet over Moscow's support for rebels in Ukraine.

  • FOREX-Euro slides below $1.34, eyes on Fed and U.S. GDP Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 | 4:32 AM ET

    LONDON, July 30- The euro fell below $1.34 on Wednesday for the first time since last November before German inflation data that was likely to add to the case for the European Central Bank pumping more money into a moribund economy.

  • UPDATE 2-Brent hovers near $107.50; U.S. data, Fed eyed Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 | 3:14 AM ET

    *U.S., EU impose more sanctions on Russia over Ukraine. The focus is now on Russia and how President Vladimir Putin will react to further sanctions imposed by the European Union and the United States.

  • SYDNEY/ SINGAPORE, July 30- The dollar touched a six-month high against a basket of major currencies on Wednesday, holding firm ahead of a Federal Reserve policy decision and U.S. gross domestic product data due later in the day.

  • *Says impact on Yamal LNG of sanctions on Russia still uncertain. PARIS, July 30- Total has stopped buying shares in Russia's Novatek the day of the downing of a Malaysia Airlines flight over Ukraine, but that it is still too early to gauge the impact of new sanctions against Russia, the French oil major's top revealed with its second quarter results on Wednesday.

  • UPDATE 1-Brent hovers near $107.50 ahead of U.S. data Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 | 1:15 AM ET

    *U.S., EU impose more sanctions on Russia over Ukraine. *Libya says oil output stays at 500,000 bpd. Geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, Africa and Europe continued to underpin prices, although so far there has been no major disruption to oil supplies.