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  • TOKYO, March 20- Japanese stocks tumbled to a six-week low on Thursday after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen raised the prospect of interest rate hikes starting earlier than previously thought, sparking a selloff in equities before a three-day weekend. The Nikkei share average ended 1.7 percent lower at 14,224.23, the lowest closing level since Feb. 6.

  • *Rebound in China property on private placement approval. HONG KONG/ SHANGHAI, March 20- Hong Kong shares, tracking overseas weakness, fell on Thursday on news the Federal Reserve might raise U.S interest rates sooner than previously thought. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong fell 1.2 percent.

  • TOKYO, March 20- Japanese government bond prices were mostly steady on Thursday, with a slip in Tokyo stocks helping offset negative pressure from an overnight retreat by U.S. A regular bond-buying operation by the Bank of Japan, part of the central bank's massive monetary stimulus scheme, also underpinned JGBs.

  • *Foreigners sold record 1.09 trillion yen in Japan shares last week. TOKYO, March 20- Japanese stocks retreated from one-week highs on Thursday after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen raised the prospect of interest rate hikes starting earlier than previously thought, sparking a selloff in equity markets and lifting the U.S. dollar.

  • *Gold falls as dollar gains after Fed statement. NEW YORK, March 19- Global equity markets ended lower on Wednesday while yields on U.S.

  • NEW YORK, March 19- U.S. stocks fell on Wednesday after comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen raised the possibility of an earlier- than-anticipated increase in interest rates.

  • *Wall Street turns lower following Fed statement. Wall Street reacted with a modest selloff with major indexes falling to session lows shortly after the statement from the Fed's latest policy meeting.

  • US STOCKS-Wall St edges lower after Fed statement Wednesday, 19 Mar 2014 | 2:31 PM ET

    *First Solar jumps after outlook. NEW YORK, March 19- U.S. stocks edged lower on Wednesday as after the release of the Federal Reserve's policy statement and looked ahead to comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.

  • NEW YORK, March 19- U.S. stocks fell on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve dropped the U.S. unemployment rate as its definitive yardstick for gauging the economy's strength, and made clear it would rely on a wide range of measures in deciding when to raise interest rates.

  • *UK insurers hurt by budget measures. *Spain's IBEX outperforms as Inditex reassures. Legal& General was down 13 percent and Aviva down 7.5 percent after UK finance minister George Osborne announced the plans as part of the UK budget.

  • US STOCKS-Wall St flat ahead of Fed; Oracle shares slump Wednesday, 19 Mar 2014 | 10:48 AM ET

    *Oracle falls after results, but KB Home rallies. The S&P 500 was within striking distance of all-time highs, though an Oracle Corp selloff weighed on tech shares, and economic bellwether FedEx Corp sounded a sour note in its outlook.

  • NEW YORK, March 19- U.S. stocks edged modestly lower at the open on Wednesday, following two days of gains, as investors awaited comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen at the conclusion of a two-day Fed policy meeting.

  • *FedEx and Oracle fall after results, Adobe higher. *The S&P 500 looked to open near record levels despite sour notes sounded by weak results from FedEx Corp, an economic bellwether, and Oracle Corp.. *FedEx posted third-quarter results that were below expectations and gave a weak full-year profit forecast, saying it had been significantly hurt by winter storms.

  • *Tech shares in focus following Oracle, Adobe results. *Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a treaty to make it part of Russia, and while no violence was reported as pro-Russian forces took control of part of a Ukraine naval base, investors are concerned that tensions in the region could escalate.

  • Federal Reserve policy decision later in the day and as military tensions between Ukraine and Russia ratcheted up. Europe's major stock markets were down as much as a third of one percent in early trading, following Asian shares lower after the the MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan lost 0.2 percent.

  • Hong Kong shares slip, Tencent down before earnings Wednesday, 19 Mar 2014 | 4:10 AM ET

    HONG KONG, March 19- Hong Kong shares slipped on Wednesday, pulled down by casino operator Galaxy, while investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of earnings from index heavyweight Tencent and the U.S. Chinese Internet giant Tencent led the market fall, with its shares down 1.8 percent ahead of its 2013 earnings announcement due on Wednesday.

  • Chinese stocks fall on property sector concerns Wednesday, 19 Mar 2014 | 3:07 AM ET

    HONG KONG, March 19- China shares fell on Wednesday, pulled down by the property sector as the country's central bank denied it had been involved in talks to assist a small developer at risk of bankruptcy. The CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings slipped 0.8 percent.

  • TOKYO, March 19- Japan's Nikkei share average rose on Wednesday morning after comments from Russian President Vladimir Putin soothed anxiety about tensions over Ukraine, and realtors led the gains on news land prices in Japan's largest cities rose for the first time in six years.

  • *Putin tells parliament he does not want more of Ukraine. *Microsoft shares rally, near $40 for first time since 2000. NEW YORK, March 18- U.S. stocks climbed for a second straight session on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 within striking distance of its record after comments from Russian President Vladimir Putin soothed anxiety that tensions over Ukraine could escalate.

  • NEW YORK, March 18- U.S. stocks climbed for a second straight session on Tuesday, as the S&P 500 came within several points of its record after comments from Russian President Vladimir Putin calmed worries that tensions over Ukraine could escalate.