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  • Germany avoids comment on Greek vote result Monday, 29 Dec 2014 | 6:37 AM ET

    BERLIN, Dec 29- The German government said on Monday that it was watching events in Greece closely but declined specific comment on news that the country will hold an early national election next month. "Of course we are looking very closely what is happening in Greece," spokeswoman Christiane Wirtz told a regular news conference. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras...

  • European shares slide as Greece faces new elections Monday, 29 Dec 2014 | 6:37 AM ET

    *UK's FTSE outperforms, helped by rise in gold miners. LONDON, Dec 29- Greek stocks slumped on Monday, knocking European peers, after lawmakers rejected the government's candidate for president, leaving Greece facing a snap election that could derail its bailout programme. IG market analyst Alastair McCaig said the Greek result could affect the European...

  • *Gold prices hold onto Friday's near 2 pct gain. LONDON, Dec 29- Gold eased on Monday, giving up some of the previous session's sharp short-covering gains, but uncertainty over the prospect of fresh elections in Greece kept the metal underpinned near $1,200 an ounce. Spot gold was down 0.2 percent at $1,192.45 an ounce by 1104 GMT, after a gain of 1.8 percent on Friday,...

  • ATHENS, Dec 29- Greek lawmakers failed to elect a new president in a final round of voting on Monday, leaving the country facing an early election that could derail the international bailout program it needs to keep paying its bills. Under Greek law, a parliamentary election must now be called, leaving financial markets and Greece's European Union partners...

  • ATHENS, Dec 29- Greek lawmakers failed to elect a new president in a decisive final round of voting on Monday, leaving the country facing a snap election that could derail the international bailout programme it needs to keep paying its bills. Under Greek law, a general election must now be called, leaving financial markets and Greece's European Union partners...

  • IMF mission to visit Ukraine from Jan 8 Monday, 29 Dec 2014 | 5:12 AM ET

    KIEV, Dec 29- An International Monetary Fund mission will visit Ukraine in early January for more discussions over implementation of an economic reform programme, the IMF said on Monday. The IMF, which had previously flagged a visit for sometime in January, said the mission would begin work in Kiev on Jan. 8 and could conclude before the end of the month.

  • MOSCOW, Dec 29- Russia's economy shrank sharply in November and the rouble resumed its slide on Monday as Western sanctions and a slump in oil prices combined to inflict the first contraction in GDP since the global financial crisis. On top of this, the sanctions imposed over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis have deterred foreign investment and led to over...

  • SALAHUDDIN PROVINCE, Iraq, Dec 29- The machine gun poking out from between a framed portrait of a Shi'ite imam and a stuffed toy Minnie Mouse was trained on anyone who approached the checkpoint. Like dozens of other communities in Iraq, this small Sunni settlement in northern Salahuddin province's Tuz Khurmatu district has been reduced to rubble.

  • Washington tries "passive tough love" in Iraq Monday, 29 Dec 2014 | 4:58 AM ET

    WASHINGTON, Dec 29- When the United States withdrew its last troops from Iraq at the end of 2011, both Washington and Baghdad said Iraq was ready to defend itself. Washington has sent 1,900 troops to Iraq, while U.S. forces and their allies have conducted more than 1,300 air strikes against Islamic State, in both Iraq and Syria. Jonathan Stevenson, who from 2011 to...

  • *AirAsia posts biggest drop in 3 yrs after aircraft goes missing. LONDON, Dec 29- Europe's financial markets returned from their Christmas break in a cautious mood on Monday, as Greece's parliament prepared for a final round of presidential voting, which if unsuccessful, will fuel worries about its future in the euro. Syriza is set on writing off much of Greece's...

  • *Stimulus measures from Japan, China lend some support. LONDON, Dec 29- Brent crude oil rose to $60 per barrel on Monday, supported by concern about disruption to exports from Libya, but a global supply glut kept prices nearly 50 percent off their peak for the year. "There's tension in Libya, but liquidity is very thin so not much is needed to move oil prices," said Hans van...

  • Greece leads selloff in euro zone shares before vote Monday, 29 Dec 2014 | 4:08 AM ET

    Such a victory, feared by many investors, would galvanise anti-austerity and Eurosceptic movements across the euro zone periphery, such as Spain's Podemos and Italy's Five-Star Movement. Blue-chip indexes in Greece fell 5.5 percent at 0849 GMT and peers in Italy and Spain shed 1 percent, weighed down by falls in banks, which are heavily exposed to domestic...

  • FOREX-Euro on edge ahead of Greek vote Monday, 29 Dec 2014 | 4:07 AM ET

    LONDON, Dec 29- The euro was rooted near two-year lows on Monday ahead of a vote in Greece that could trigger fresh anxiety over the country's future in the single currency zone. That and speculation- quashed by the Swiss National Bank- that the Swiss franc had traded beyond its 1.20 franc per euro cap were the main points of interest over the Christmas holiday...

  • HONG KONG/ SHANGHAI, Dec 29- The additional spread that investors demand for credit risk in China is at the highest level in nearly 15 months as investors in the country's corporate bond market start pricing in the impact of an ongoing crackdown on low-grade issuers. The spread between the one-year yield on AAA-rated bonds and those rated AA has widened to 112.4...

  • Italian, Spanish stocks fall ahead of Greek vote Monday, 29 Dec 2014 | 3:20 AM ET

    LONDON, Dec 29- Stock markets in debt-laden Italy and Spain fell in early deals on Monday ahead of a presidential vote that threatens the future of Greece's international bailout. Blue-chip indexes in Italy and Spain were down 0.7 percent at 0808 GMT, while the euro zone-wide Euro STOXX 50 index was down 0.3 percent. "Anyone who wants to get involved in the market...

  • HONG KONG, Dec 29- Hong Kong shares finished higher on Monday, underpinned by a positive outlook on markets in both the mainland and overseas. The Hong Kong market has been falling behind others during the past month and investors are back chasing gains. Among the most actively traded stocks on Hong Kong's main board were China National Culture Group Ltd, down 21.6...

  • SHANGHAI, Dec 29- Copper futures slipped on Monday and hit a near-one-month low, pressured by weak demand from top consumer China and a strong U.S. dollar, analysts said. Growth in China's economy is expected to slow to 7 percent next year from a forecast 7.3 percent this year, in part due to weakness in global economies, a top Chinese government think tank said on...

  • UPDATE 1-Google's Gmail blocked in China Monday, 29 Dec 2014 | 2:51 AM ET

    BEIJING, Dec 29- Google Inc's Gmail was blocked in China after months of disruptions to the world's biggest email service, with an anti-censorship advocate suggesting the Great Firewall was to blame. Large numbers of Gmail web addresses were cut off in China on Friday, said GreatFire.org, a China- based freedom of speech advocacy group. Almost all of Google's...

  • MOSCOW, Dec 29- Russia's central bank said on Monday that it and the Finance Ministry had not conducted forex market interventions on Dec. 25. The central bank publishes its interventions data with a time lag. It has spent over $80 billion defending the rouble this year, and the Finance Ministry recently started selling leftover foreign currency on its accounts...

  • RUSSIAN ROUBLE EXTENDS LOSSES IN EARLY TRADE, DOWN OVER 6 PCT VS DOLLAR.