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  • PARIS/ BRUSSELS, Aug 7- European agriculture officials will on Monday set up a task force to analyse the impact of a Russian ban on EU food imports and expect to call an emergency meeting to coordinate an EU response, the European Commission said.

  • WASHINGTON, Aug 7- A quarter of U.S. families feel they are under economic stress due to the aftershock of the Great Recession and most do not expect their wages to increase in the next year, according to a new Federal Reserve study released on Thursday.

  • *Wheat falls after hitting highest since June 30. Traders said the wheat market was in focus due to concerns about how the conflict between Russia and Ukraine would affect exports from the Black Sea region.

  • *Germany is Russia's biggest European Union trade partner. BERLIN, Aug 7- Companies in Germany, Russia's biggest trade partner in the European Union, are starting to feel the pain of a deepening standoff between the West and Moscow, with firms from defence to car manufacturing warning about a hit to business.

  • *NATO chief accuses Russia of "reckless" policy in Ukraine. KIEV, Aug 7- The head of NATO called on Russia to "step back from the brink" of war by pulling its troops back from the Ukrainian border and warned further intervention in Ukraine would bring it greater isolation in the world.

  • *Ukraine crisis threatens euro zone economy, Draghi says. A big jump in Treasury prices, which also took 5- year yields to a four-week low, came on an AFP report of a fighter plane downed in Ukraine, according to financial market sources.

  • Aug 7- Air Canada notched a higher operating profit on Thursday but its push into new overseas routes, with longer flights and lower margins, took a toll and sent its stock down nearly 7 percent. Air Canada shares fell as much as 6.7 percent to C $8.62 on the Toronto Stock Exchange, the lowest since May 28.

  • *Blackstone, KKR, TPG to apportion settlement. The payment by Blackstone Group LP, KKR& Co LP and TPG Capital LP will benefit shareholders of some merger targets during a buyout boom that predated the 2008 financial crisis, and was disclosed in a Thursday court filing.

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his government to adopt the measures in response to Western economic sanctions on Russia's defense, oil and financial sectors over Moscow's support for rebels waging an insurrection in east Ukraine.

  • Aug 7- Online travel agency Orbitz Worldwide Inc forecast current-quarter revenue above analysts' estimates, helped by a rise in spending on air tickets and hotel bookings in an improving U.S. economy. Under its rewards program, Orbitz offers discounted hotel bookings if customers also buy air tickets.

  • *Markets jittery about possible U.S. airstrikes in Iraq. NEW YORK, Aug 7- Crude oil climbed on Thursday, rebounding from the lowest prices in months as the security situation in northern Iraq deteriorated, raising concerns of supply disruptions. He said ample global supplies were still pressuring oil prices, and noted there were no disruptions in Iraq yet.

  • NEW YORK, Aug 7- U.S. stocks fell in choppy trading on Thursday as a sanctions confrontation between Russia and the West kept traders eager to cash any gains. Markets kept an eye on eastern Europe as Moscow imposed a ban on imports of many Western foods, retaliating against sanctions imposed for its support of rebels in eastern Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea.

  • GENEVA, Aug 7- China lost an appeal at the World Trade Organization in a case brought by the United States, the European Union and Japan to challenge China's restrictions on exports of rare earths, according to a WTO Appellate Body ruling published on Thursday.

  • Aug 7- Shares of iDreamSky Technology Ltd rose as much as 27 percent in their debut, highlighting the mobile game distributor's ability to cash in on the popularity of hit games such as "Fruit Ninja" and "Subway Surfers" in China.

  • WASHINGTON, Aug 7- The fifth of six U.S. test sites chosen to perform research on unmanned aircraft systems, or drones, has started operations in Rome, New York, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said on Thursday.

  • FRANKFURT, Aug 7- The European Central Bank signalled on Thursday it stands ready to print money and buy bonds if the euro zone slides towards deflation and warned the conflict in Ukraine poses a serious risk to the bloc's economy.

  • *Ukraine/ Russia sanctions keep stock markets on back foot. LONDON, Aug 7- Concerns about Portugal's banking system and tensions between Western powers and Russia pulled down European stock markets on Thursday.

  • NEW YORK/ LONDON, Aug 7- Gold prices rose on Thursday, extending the previous session's safe-haven rally, and the metal could gain further after having breached key technical resistance, analysts said.

  • Aug 7- Chevron Corp said on Thursday it was evacuating staff from the Iraqi Kurdistan region as Islamic State militants pushed into the area. The company said it has pulled out some expatriate staff in Kurdistan after a safety review. The move follows staff evacuations by Exxon Mobil Corp and other oil producers in the region.

  • WASHINGTON, Aug 7- The United States should lift its nearly four-decade ban on crude oil exports to help encourage domestic production, the Washington Post said in an editorial on Thursday. Booming shale oil production has led to an intense debate over the moratorium, which was imposed by Congress in 1975 in the wake of the Arab oil embargo.