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  • SINGAPORE, Dec 19- Brent crude held below $60 a barrel, near a 5-1/ 2- year low, on Friday as a global oversupply of oil showed little sign of receding, even as companies cut upstream investments next year. Oil prices were on track for a fourth straight week of declines after OPEC members last month decided against cutting production in response to a drop of nearly 50...

  • SINGAPORE, Dec 19- Brent crude held below $60 a barrel near a 5-1/ 2- year low on Friday as a global oversupply of oil showed little sign of receding, even as companies cut upstream investments next year. Oil prices were on track for a fourth straight week of declines after OPEC members last month decided against cutting production in response to a drop of nearly 50...

  • EU leaders ready long confrontation with Russia Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 8:54 PM ET

    *EU leaders lay ground for long-term common front toward Moscow. BRUSSELS, Dec 19- European Union leaders warned Moscow they were ready exercise their combined muscle over the long haul in a confrontation with an economically wounded Russia if President Vladimir Putin refused to pull back from Ukraine. "It is obvious we will not find a long-term perspective for...

  • IMF postpones Cyprus loan tranche after foreclosure law Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 6:11 PM ET

    WASHINGTON, Dec 18- The International Monetary Fund on Thursday said it could no longer release funds to Cyprus under its bailout this week, after the euro zone government suspended a foreclosure law that was required under the loan program. Cyprus needed an international bailout of 10 billion euros from the European Commission and the International...

  • UNITED NATIONS, Dec 18- Iran has not demonstrated sufficient flexibility in nuclear talks with six world powers aimed at ending a 12- year standoff with the Islamic Republic over its atomic ambitions, France and Britain said on Thursday. The remarks at the United Nations came just after the completion of another inconclusive round of negotiations in Geneva...

  • BRUSSELS, Dec 18- EU leaders defended plans for the world's biggest trade deal with the United States, seeking on Thursday to counter hostility in Europe and clear the way for the accord to be agreed by the end of 2015.. The European Union and the United States have committed to an accord that would create a transatlantic market of 800 million people and encompass...

  • BRUSSELS, Dec 18- The president of the European Central Bank urged the region's leaders on Thursday to speed along a new EU investment plan and renewed his calls for economic reform. At a meeting of European Union leaders including Germany's Angela Merkel and France's Francois Hollande, Mario Draghi warned of the fragile state of the euro zone's economy where...

  • *US, Cuba have agreed to restore diplomatic ties. GENEVA, Dec 18- The European Union, which once launched a lawsuit to try to break the U.S. economic embargo on Cuba, said on Thursday it still wanted the blockade lifted but it was prepared to wait. Obama has wide executive powers to further open up to Cuba, and the White House wants to see the trade embargo lifted by the time...

  • EU grain to enjoy spoils of Russian export curbs Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 12:05 PM ET

    *Australia, Argentina, Canada, Ukraine could also benefit. PARIS, Dec 18- European Union grain exporters will be the main beneficiaries of Russia's pullback from international grain markets as Moscow races to cool domestic prices in the face of economic crisis, analysts and traders said. "At current prices, it's clearly European wheat that will benefit," Andree...

  • UPDATE 6-Oil pares gains after early jump to $63 Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 10:27 AM ET

    LONDON, Dec 18- Brent crude pared early gains on Thursday to trade back below $62 a barrel, giving up much of a 3 percent spike in London as traders assessed whether a price rout is done. Oil this week slumped as low as $58.50 and has almost halved since June as fast-growing U.S. shale output overwhelms demand, with losses accelerating after producer group OPEC...

  • DUBAI, Dec 18- Saudi Arabia's powerful oil minister said on Thursday that OPEC could not cut output without the support of other big producers and attempts to get them on board had not worked. Ali al-Naimi said it was impossible for OPEC to cut alone to reverse the oil price slump-- which he called temporary-- when others were pumping more, saying that could lead to...

  • *Aim to keep pressure on Russia over Ukraine. BRUSSELS, Dec 18- The European Union banned investment in Crimea on Thursday, halting European help for Russian Black Sea oil and gas exploration and outlawing European cruise ships from calling at Crimean ports. EU leaders, who meet in Brussels later on Thursday, will pledge to keep up pressure on Russia over its role in...

  • Oil this week slumped as low as $58.50 and has almost halved since June as fast-growing U.S. shale output overwhelms demand, with losses accelerating after producer group OPEC decided not to cut output at its meeting last month. At 1109 GMT on Thursday, Brent for February delivery was $2.09 higher at $63.27, after settling up $1.17 in the prior session.

  • Oil this week hit a five-year low of $58.50 and has almost halved since June as fast-growing U.S. shale output overwhelmed demand, with losses accelerating after OPEC decided not to cut output at its meeting last month. At 0918 GMT on Thursday, Brent for February delivery was $1.10 higher at $62.28, after settling up $1.17 in the prior session.

  • You're going to see volatility here, "said Daniel Flynn, energy analyst at Chicago's Price Futures Group. Brent for February delivery was up $1.05 at $61.06 a barrel by 2:37 p.m. EST, after hitting a session high of $63.40. The biggest slide in oil prices since the 2008 financial crisis had accelerated after OPEC met in November, when Gulf producers resisted calls...

  • EU leaders to endorse investment plan in search for growth Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 12:45 PM ET

    BRUSSELS, Dec 17- European Union leaders will agree on Thursday to set up a highly leveraged investment fund they hope can kick-start the bloc's economy and reduce high unemployment and public debt. The plan, presented by the executive European Commission last month and set to be endorsed by the 28 national leaders at a Brussels summit, is to use 21 billion euros...

  • White House fact sheet on change in Cuba policy Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 12:00 PM ET

    Today, the United States is taking historic steps to chart a new course in our relations with Cuba and to further engage and empower the Cuban people. It is clear that decades of U.S. isolation of Cuba have failed to accomplish our enduring objective of promoting the emergence of a democratic, prosperous, and stable Cuba. At times, longstanding U.S. policy towards...

  • ZURICH, Dec 17- The Swiss National Bank chose the first female director in its 107- year history on Wednesday as it braces for a potentially tough policy test if the European Central Bank starts full-blown quantitative easing in 2015.. Andrea Maechler, deputy division chief at the International Monetary Fund, will head the SNB department responsible for the...

  • UPDATE 7-Oil moves above $60 as U.S. crude stockpiles fall Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 11:16 AM ET

    *OPEC, Russia unwilling to cut supply, spurring weakness. LONDON, Dec 17- Brent crude oil moved above $60 a barrel on Wednesday as U.S. data showed falling crude inventories, stemming deep losses brought on by a supply glut and signals from OPEC producers and Russia that they will not cut production. "The decline in overall crude oil inventories was smallish," said John...

  • UPDATE 2-Regulators extend tax probe to all 28 EU nations Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 10:52 AM ET

    BRUSSELS, Dec 17- European Union competition regulators have asked all 28 member countries for details of tax deals made with companies between 2010 to 2013, broadening their investigation into corporate tax avoidance. The move by the European Commission follows ongoing inquiries into Luxembourg's tax rulings for carmaker Fiat Chrysler and online giant...