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  • KARLOVKA, Ukraine, May 23- Armed pro-Russian separatists clashed with Ukrainian self-defense fighters near the eastern city of Donetsk on Friday, two days before the presidential election, and at least two people were killed, a Reuters witness and militia sources said.

  • LONDON, May 23- The euro fell to a three-month low against the dollar and a 17- month trough against the pound on Friday, after a soft German business sentiment survey added pressure on the European Central Bank to ease policy next month.

  • RUSSIAN PRESIDENT PUTIN SAYS RUSSIA MUST DIVERSIFY ITS EXPORTS AWAY FROM ENERGY PRODUCTS.

  • *Palladium up 2.3 percent for week- best since March. LONDON, May 23- Palladium dipped on Friday as the dollar firmed, but was set for its best week in two months on worries that an extended strike could drag on even longer in major producer South Africa.

  • WASHINGTON, May 23- Recent meetings between U.S. oil producers and Commerce Department officials have fueled industry hopes that the Obama administration may soon begin to ease a longstanding ban on oil exports.

  • May 23- For satellite imagery provider DigitalGlobe Inc, a $400 million- a-year global market awaits as soon as the United States relaxes regulations on the sale of higher-resolution images. Until then, DigitalGlobe cannot use its technology to full effect, Chief Financial Officer Yancey Spruill told Reuters in an interview.

  • BEIJING, May 23- China's economy still faces "relatively big" downward pressures and timely policy fine-tuning is needed, Premier Li Keqiang was quoted by state radio as saying on Friday.

  • PARIS, May 23- The French market regulator has extended a deadline for shareholders of Club Mediterranee to decide on a 557 million euro takeover bid while it seeks clarity on the intentions of a new investor in the holidays group.

  • Norway's wealth fund pulls out of Argentina Friday, 23 May 2014 | 6:29 AM ET

    *Fund had $2.9 mln invested in Telecom Argentina. HAUGESUND, Norway, May 23- Norway's $870 billion sovereign wealth fund, one of the world's largest investors, has pulled its investments out of Argentina, a top fund official said on Friday, blaming the government's protectionist policies there.

  • *Copper rally modest, will fade at end-Q2- analyst. LONDON, May 23- Copper rose on Friday to near two-month peaks on growing supply tightness while nickel's rally paused, although traders expected the strong advance this year to resume as Indonesia's ore export ban continues to bite.

  • UPDATE 2-Barclays fined $44 mln over gold price fix Friday, 23 May 2014 | 6:13 AM ET

    *Blow for Barclays' efforts to put past sins behind it. LONDON, May 23- Barclays Plc has been fined 26 million pounds for failures in internal controls that allowed a trader to manipulate the setting of gold prices just a day after the bank was fined for rigging Libor interest rates in 2012.. It marks another blow to Barclays' attempts to put past problems behind it.

  • PREVIEW-Egyptian vote set to revive strongman rule Friday, 23 May 2014 | 5:54 AM ET

    CAIRO, May 23- Egyptians vote next week in an election expected to make former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi president, marking a revival of strongman rule three years after the downfall of Hosni Mubarak.

  • *Gazprom agreed $400 billion gas supply deal with China. ST PETERSBURG, Russia, May 23- Russia's landmark deal to supply natural gas to China will affect prices in Europe and have an impact on international liquefied natural gas projects, the chief executive of state-run Gazprom said on Friday.

  • Google developing tablet with 3D imaging: Report Friday, 23 May 2014 | 5:45 AM ET
    A sign is posted outside of Google headquarters in Mountain View, California.

    Google is developing a tablet that can capture 3D images, according to the WSJ.

  • ST PETERSBURG, Russia, May 23- Russia's No.2 oil producer, Lukoil, and France's Total agreed on Friday to set up a joint venture to tap vast tight oil reserves in Siberia.

  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in a private letter sent last month to Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, urged Washington to get tough with Beijing on its use of anti-competition rules, noting that "concerns among U.S. companies are intensifying."

  • LONDON, May 23- Brent crude oil held above $110 a barrel on Friday, supported by the crises in Ukraine and Libya as well as by positive economic data in the world's top two oil consumers, the United States and China. Investors are keeping watch on Ukraine, a main gas supply route to Europe from Russia, where presidential elections are set for Sunday.

  • BANGKOK/ SINGAPORE, May 23- A coup may be just what Thailand's top energy firm PTT Pcl needed. PTT, 51- percent owned by Thailand's finance ministry, needs permission for state-related projects but the caretaker government that had been in office since December lacked the power to take policy decisions or make budget approvals.

  • China opens first environmental court Friday, 23 May 2014 | 5:15 AM ET

    BEIJING, May 23- China opened its first environmental court on Friday, state media reported, as the country looks for new ways to tackle crippling air, water and soil pollution. The court established in the southern province of Fujian has appointed 12 specialist consultants who will assist litigators on technical issues, Xinhua news agency reported.

  • UK skeptics surge, Dutch stumble as EU votes Friday, 23 May 2014 | 5:14 AM ET

    LONDON/ AMSTERDAM, May 23- Britain's Eurosceptic UK Independence Party made strong gains but their Dutch counterparts stumbled as more countries voted on Friday in European Parliament elections expected to produce a widespread anti-EU protest vote on a very low turnout.