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  • *Second-quarter productivity rises at 2.5 percent pace. WASHINGTON, Aug 8- Productivity at U.S. nonfarm businesses rebounded strongly in the second quarter, putting a lid on wage pressures and giving the Federal Reserve room to keep interest rates low for a while.

  • NEW YORK, Aug 8- In a setback for the trustee seeking money for the former customers of imprisoned fraudster Bernard Madoff, an appeals court refused to void two settlements benefiting investors who sued "feeder funds" that sent their money to Madoff.

  • UNITED NATIONS, Aug 8- Any bid by Russia to deliver humanitarian aid into Ukraine would be viewed as an invasion, the United States said on Friday, warning that Moscow voiced similar concerns for civilians before its brief 2008 war with Georgia.

  • *Afren suspends output from Kurdistan, shares weaken. *Nokian Renkaat hit by plummeting sales in Russia. Tensions between the West and Russia and the advance of Sunni militants in Iraq have alarmed investors already weighing the implications of weak European economic data and the prospect of U.S. monetary tightening.

  • BRUSSELS, Aug 8- Steel and mining company ArcelorMittal on Friday announced force majeure on a project that is planned to triple its iron ore production in Liberia because of the Ebola epidemic sweeping West Africa.

  • LONDON, Aug 8- Oil companies in Iraqi Kurdistan withdrew more staff on Friday as the United States launched airstrikes to defend the regional capital Arbil from Islamic State militants and Britain told its citizens to leave. London- listed Afren and Toronto- listed Oryx said on Friday they were cutting production at oilfields closest to the fighting.

  • *U.S. aircraft hit Islamic State artillery in Iraq. NEW YORK, Aug 8- Brent crude oil fell below $105 a barrel on Friday, following U.S. air strikes in Iraq that analysts said might lower the risk of oil supply disruptions from OPEC's second-largest producer.

  • OTTAWA, Aug 8- Canada's economy created a net 200 jobs in July, far fewer than analysts had expected, while labor force participation fell to a fresh 13- year low, the country's statistical agency reported on Friday.

  • NEW YORK, Aug 8- U.S. stocks rose on Friday, with high dividend-paying utility stocks leading gains and benchmark Treasury yields at a 14- month low, even as U.S. air strikes in Iraq added to a string of geopolitical uncertainties.

  • ROME, Aug 8- Russia has sent entire shipments of Grana Padano cheese back to Italy and cancelled exports of pears from Modena under a food import ban which could cost Italy at least 200 million euros, an agriculture group said on Friday.

  • *Exports from China jump 14.5 pct in July. LONDON, Aug 8- Copper prices steadied on Friday, but remained near a five-week low due to increased supply and lacklustre demand from top consumer China. In the latest development in the Ukraine crisis, the head of NATO urged Russia to "step back from the brink" of war by pulling its troops back from the Ukrainian border.

  • Aug 8- The federal judge in California overseeing Allergan Inc's insider trading lawsuit against Valeant Pharmaceuticals and activist investor William Ackman has set an Aug. 20 hearing date to decide on a fast-track schedule for the case, according to court documents.

  • WASHINGTON, Aug 8- The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration on Friday restricted U.S. airlines and commercial operators from flying over Iraq while armed conflict raged and the United States launched air strikes. The FAA had previously, on Aug. 1, restricted U.S. airlines from flying at or below 30,000 feet over Iraq.

  • Aug 8- Canadian wood panel maker Norbord Inc sees little chance of an improvement in prices for its main product in Europe this year as the industry diverts production that formerly went to Russia and Ukraine to markets such Germany and the UK.

  • NEW YORK, Aug 8- In a setback for the trustee seeking money for the former customers of imprisoned fraudster Bernard Madoff, an appeals court refused to void two settlements benefiting investors who sued "feeder funds" that sent their money to Madoff.

  • Aug 8- Canadian wood panel maker Norbord Inc sees little chance of an improvement in prices for its main product in Europe this year as the industry diverts production that formerly went to Russia and Ukraine to markets such Germany and the UK.

  • OTTAWA, Aug 8- Jean Boivin, the Canadian Finance Ministry's second most powerful official and who has been seen as a potential candidate to head the Bank of Canada one day, is unexpectedly quitting to take a job in the private sector, two well-placed sources said on Friday.

  • KIEV, Aug 8- The National Bank of Ukraine will keep selling dollars on the local foreign exchange market and using other means to prevent excessive volatility in the hryvnia, its head said on Friday. "The National Bank... will not allow the market to wind up this flywheel.

  • LONDON, Aug 8- A year after the Bank of England launched forward guidance on monetary policy, Governor Mark Carney faces the opposite challenge next week- to say as little as possible about exactly when interest rates will start rising. Carney is due to present the British central bank's updated economic forecasts at 0930 GMT on Wednesday.

  • FRANKFURT/ MILAN/ LONDON, Aug 8- Several Italian utilities and private equity groups are expected to hand in tentative offers worth about 2 billion euros for E.ON' s Italian unit early next week, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.