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  • Russia's ruble ends 5-day rally, drops 4 percent Friday, 26 Dec 2014 | 6:44 AM ET

    MOSCOW— The Russian currency on Friday ended its five-day rally and declined 4 percent as the markets remain jittery over the outlook of the Russian economy. Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov announced on Thursday that the ruble seems to have finally found its fair value. Predicting problems for the economy for years ahead, Siluanov on Friday lamented...

  • MOSCOW— Pro-Kremlin activists are distributing condoms on the streets of Moscow with the images of opposition leaders whom they blame for the collapse of the Russian currency. The LifeNews TV channel late Thursday showed activists handing out condoms with pictures of Alexei Navalny, tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky and others on the packets.

  • US stocks close higher, extending gains for the week Friday, 26 Dec 2014 | 12:40 AM ET

    Wall Street's "Santa Claus" rally kept delivering gifts a day after Christmas. The Dow Jones industrial average, Standard& Poor's 500 index and the Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks closed at all-time highs on Friday. The consumer is in good shape, "said David Chalupnik, head of equities at Nuveen Asset Management.

  • *Japan inflation slows, highlights BOJ's struggles. Market participants expected it would still take a bit of time for business to resume in full swing, with key markets in the region such Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore closed on Friday. There is no change to our view that the yen will continue to weaken as the recovery in U.S. economic fundamentals, which is at...

  • Shares mostly higher in quiet holiday trading Thursday, 25 Dec 2014 | 10:19 PM ET

    Japan's benchmark edged lower after the government reported lackluster inflation, industrial production and household spending for November. KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei 225 stock index slipped 0.2 percent to 17,779.18 and Singapore's Straits Times index edged 0.1 percent lower to 3,342.20. JAPAN DATA: Japan's inflation rate eased slightly in...

  • *Japan inflation slows, highlights BOJ's struggles. Market participants expected it would still take a bit of time for business to resume in full swing, with key markets in the region such Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore closed on Friday. There is no change to our view that the yen will continue to weaken as the recovery in U.S. economic fundamentals, which is at...

  • SEOUL, Dec 26- U.S. oil rose above $56 a barrel in early trade on Friday after news that a rocket hit a storage tank at Libya's biggest oil port, but prices were on track for a fifth weekly drop with data showing a surprise build in crude stocks in the United States. *U.S. crude's front-month contract for February delivery gained 37 cents a barrel at $56.21 as of 0032 GMT,...

  • SINGAPORE, Dec 26- Gold ticked up in thin post-Christmas trading on Friday, but the metal was headed for a second straight weekly drop as strength in the dollar and equities hurt safe-haven bids for bullion. *Spot gold gained 0.3 percent to $1,177.31 an ounce by 0020 GMT, not too from a three-week low of $1,170.17 hit earlier in the week. *The metal has lost about 1.5...

  • China challenges India's polished diamond throne Thursday, 25 Dec 2014 | 7:18 PM ET

    *India seeks help from Russia to defend market share. NEW DELHI, Dec 26- India's long-held position as the world's top diamond polisher is being challenged by soaring output from China, compelling the south Asian country to seek help from ally and top rough diamond supplier Russia to defend its market share. India has traditionally relied on the middlemen in...

  • Russia offers support to North Korea amid Sony hack Thursday, 25 Dec 2014 | 10:39 AM ET

    MOSCOW— Russia on Thursday offered sympathy to North Korea amid the Sony hacking scandal, saying the movie that sparked the dispute was so scandalous that Pyongyang's anger was "quite understandable." Washington failed to offer any proof to back its claims of Pyongyang's involvement in the hacking, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich...

  • KIEV, Dec 25- Ukraine's parliament gave preliminary approval on Thursday to a law that would simplify tax legislation and impose additional duties on imports, in an effort to raise revenue amid economic crisis. Ukraine's foreign currency reserves have more than halved since the start of the year to a 10- year low, due to gas debt repayments to Russia and efforts...

  • Correction: NKorea-Mystery Outage story Thursday, 25 Dec 2014 | 8:55 AM ET

    LONDON— In a story Dec. 24 about North Korea's Internet outages, The Associated Press reported erroneously that the Falkland Islands are located in the North Atlantic. LONDON— North Korea's microscopic corner of the Internet has had a rough couple of days, suffering seven outages in 48 hours, according to one Web traffic monitor. "A large city block in London or New...

  • Russia's Putin scraps New Year's holidays for ministers Thursday, 25 Dec 2014 | 7:24 AM ET

    MOSCOW— Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday scrapped New Year's holidays for government ministers because of the unfolding economic crisis. Russian company employees throughout the country are entitled to holiday from Jan. 1 to Jan. 12 when Russians celebrate the New Year, the main holiday in Russia, as well as Orthodox Christmas on Jan. 7.

  • Snowstorm in Moscow delays over 150 flights Thursday, 25 Dec 2014 | 5:05 AM ET

    MOSCOW— A massive snowstorm in Moscow on Thursday caused delays to more than 150 flights and brought traffic to a standstill. The snowstorm began early Thursday morning and the Russian Meteorological Office said it expects up to 4 inches of snow to fall in Moscow in a single day. The Yandex traffic monitoring service said the congestion in Moscow reached the...

  • LONDON— Got a nifty little drone for Christmas? Especially if you are in Britain. Spokesman Gerry Corbett says drone technology has improved as costs have come down, making the devices much more affordable, but that new users have to follow regulations.

  • *Many markets around the region closed, as well as Europe, U.S. But many foreign investors were taking time off, and markets were closed in other key countries around the region, including Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea. They will also be closed in Europe and North America.

  • *Many markets closed around the region, as well as London, U.S. Markets are closed in other key countries around the region, including Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea, and will be closed later in London and New York. There were some guys taking profits in the dollar-yen this week, but most people seem happy to be caught long, "said Kaneo Ogino, director at...

  • DIARY -Emerging Markets Economic Events to Jan 8 Wednesday, 24 Dec 2014 | 7:02 PM ET

    JERUSALEM- Bank of Israel announces interest rate decision- 1400 GMT. PRAGUE- Czech National Bank to release the minutes of December policy meeting- 0800 GMT. PUNE, India- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will meet chiefs of the nation's banks.

  • NEW YORK, Dec 24- A U.S. judge has ordered Vivendi SA to pay nearly $50 million to resolve a shareholder lawsuit over a merger that occurred in 2000, but issued another order putting the money in escrow while the French media group appeals. On Wednesday, she issued a separate order that allows Vivendi to have the judgment's execution put on hold pending an appeal,...

  • NEW YORK, Dec 24- U.S. shares ended flat on Wednesday, with the Dow industrials eking out a record close after the latest data showed strength in the world's largest economy, while a mixed economic picture in Europe kept the region's stocks largely in check. Oil prices resumed declines after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported a large build in U.S....