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  • *Tech stocks boosted by Apple, Facebook hits record high. SYDNEY, July 24- Asian stocks inched higher on Thursday, encouraged by upbeat corporate results and a record close on Wall Street, while unrest in the Middle East and Ukraine underpinned demand for high-rated bonds. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up a slim 0.09 percent.

  • SINGAPORE, July 24- Gold was holding its ground above $1,300 an ounce on Thursday as violence deepened in the Middle East over the Gaza strip and as holdings in the top bullion-backed fund rose on safe-haven bids. *Meanwhile, tensions remained high between Russia and the West over Ukraine.

  • Republican lawmakers introduced legislation on Wednesday that would force President Barack Obama to submit quickly to Congress any comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran and give lawmakers the chance to reject the deal and reimpose sanctions.

  • FOREX-Kiwi hits skids, others buy time before China PMI Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 | 6:53 PM ET

    SYDNEY, July 24- The New Zealand dollar skidded to a six-week low on Thursday after the country's central bank switched to a wait-and-see stance following its fourth straight rate hike, while other major currencies snoozed. The kiwi dollar dropped nearly a full U.S. cent to as low as $0.8606, touching levels not seen since June 12.

  • NEW YORK/ LONDON, July 23- Gold fell for a second day on Wednesday as gains in U.S. equities and dearth of new developments from conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East prompted investors take profits.

  • *Apple rallies after results, boosting tech names. NEW YORK, July 23- U.S. stocks ended mostly higher on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 closing at a record on Apple's bullish results, though Boeing weighed on the Dow and conflicts in Ukraine and the Gaza Strip kept the broader market's gains in check.

  • *U.S. crude stocks down 4 mln barrels, Cushing down 1.4- EIA. NEW YORK, July 23- Crude oil futures rose on Wednesday, as oil stockpiles in the United States fell more than expected and geopolitical tensions in Eastern Europe and the Middle East persisted.

  • NEW YORK, July 23- U.S. long-term Treasury debt prices ended slightly lower on Wednesday in thin trading, but their near-term outlook remained positive on safe-haven demand as global tensions in the Middle East and Ukraine persisted. Treasuries maturing August 2022 through May 2024 as part of its economic stimulus program, also helped keep a lid on yields.

  • NEW YORK, July 23- U.S. stocks ended mostly higher on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 closing at a record on bullish results from Apple, though Boeing dragged on the Dow and conflicts in Ukraine and the Gaza Strip kept the broader market's gains in check. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 26.91 points or 0.16 percent, to end unofficially at 17,086.63.

  • CALGARY/ VANCOUVER, July 23- Talisman Energy Inc shares rose more than 12 percent on Wednesday as it confirmed it has been approached by Spain's Repsol SA about potential deals, raising the prospect that one of Canada's largest independent oil companies will sell off major assets or be taken over.

  • Oil gains on sharp drop in US supplies Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 | 3:12 PM ET

    The benchmark U.S. oil contract for September delivery gained 73 cents to $103.12 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for September delivery, a benchmark for international oils, rose 70 cents to $108.03 on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

  • LONDON, July 22- Like so much in the investment world of late, it's what financial markets are not doing right now that is most intriguing. Over the course of the past month, conflicts, superpower standoffs and economic sanctions have flared in Iraq and Syria, Israel and Gaza, Ukraine and Russia.

  • *Israel rejects comparisons with Ukrainian disaster. *Israel offers desert airport as alternative. JERUSALEM, July 23- Israel tried on Wednesday to get U.S. and European commercial flights to Tel Aviv restored after some carriers suspended services, insisting its main airport there was safe despite being targeted by Palestinian rockets.

  • *Apple rallies after results, boosting tech names. NEW YORK, July 23- U.S. stocks were largely higher on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 hitting another record high after bullish results from tech giants Apple and Microsoft, though technical resistance and conflicts in Ukraine and the Gaza Strip kept gains in check.

  • LONDON, July 23- Britain's fraud office is working with authorities in China in a first for such Anglo-Chinese cooperation as it carries out its own investigation into alleged corruption at drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline.

  • Saudi bourse opening may double fund flows to Gulf Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 | 11:42 AM ET

    *Saudi Arabia as big as other Gulf markets combined. DUBAI, July 23- The opening of Saudi Arabia's bourse to international investors may double the amount of foreign money flowing into the Gulf's securities markets, making it more attractive to invest in the region but also bringing new risks.

  • Israel scrambles to restore foreign flights to Tel Aviv Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 | 11:26 AM ET

    *Israel rejects comparisons with Ukrainian disaster. *Israel offers desert airport as alternative. JERUSALEM, July 23- Israel tried on Wednesday to get U.S. and European commercial flights to Tel Aviv restored after some carriers suspended services, insisting its main airport there was safe despite being targeted by Palestinian rockets.

  • *Microsoft sees end to Nokia losses, shares rise. NEW YORK, July 23- The S&P 500 hit a record high on Wednesday, lifted by bullish earnings from companies like Apple and Microsoft, though technical resistance and conflicts in Ukraine and the Gaza Strip kept gains in check.

  • LONDON, July 23- Brent crude oil rose towards $108 a barrel on Wednesday as threats to supplies from oil-producing regions and a drop in U.S. oil stocks overshadowed a stronger dollar. The U.S. Energy Information Administration said U.S. crude stocks fell by 4 million barrels last week, more than expected, while gasoline and distillate stocks rose.

  • TREASURIES-Prices inch higher on geopolitical anxiety Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 | 10:45 AM ET

    NEW YORK, July 23- U.S. long-term Treasury debt prices edged higher for a third straight session on Wednesday on continued safe-haven demand as global tensions in the Middle East and Ukraine persisted.