Dec 26- U.S. retail sales rose 5.5 percent from the day after Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve as solid demand for women's apparel, jewelry and casual dining offset surprisingly sluggish sales of electronics, MasterCard said in its holiday spending report. The report, which tracks spending by combining sales activity in MasterCard's payments network with...» Read More
NEW YORK, Aug 15- Brent and U.S. crude futures jumped more than $1 a barrel on Friday on news that Ukraine forces engaged a Russian armored column on Ukrainian soil.
*Report of fresh Ukraine tensions sparks market reversals. NEW YORK, Aug 15- Global equity markets retreated on Friday on a report of Ukraine forces engaging a Russian armored column on Ukrainian soil, while yields on benchmark German bunds plumbed record lows below 1 percent on news of the military tensions.
NEW YORK, Aug 15- The safe-haven yen and Swiss franc advanced on Friday after heightened tension in Ukraine that saw the government's artillery destroy a "significant" part of a Russian armored column.
OTTAWA, Aug 15- Canada reported unexpectedly healthy jobs and manufacturing sales data on Friday, boosting market optimism that the sluggish economy might finally be starting to accelerate. Despite a recovery in the United States, Canada's main trading partner, the Canadian economy has been creating few jobs and has been operating well below full capacity.
Aug 15- Roche Holding AG is in talks to buy the almost 40 percent stake in Japan's Chugai Pharmaceutical Co Ltd that it does not already own for about $10 billion, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
LONDON/ MILAN, Aug 15- Canadian plane and train maker Bombardier and Japanese industrial giant Hitachi are the two frontrunners to buy Finmeccanica's rail subsidiaries, several sources close to the auction process said.
Aug 15- Achillion Pharmaceuticals Inc said all patients treated with its experimental hepatitis C drug showed no detectable levels of the virus four weeks after the therapy, sending its shares up 18 percent. Achievement of 100 percent cure rate confirms the competitive profile of NS5A, Wells Fargo Securities analyst Brian Abrahams wrote in a note.
*Ukraine engaged Russia armored column. NEW YORK, Aug 15- U.S. stocks fell to session lows on Friday, erasing earlier gains and dropping in heavy trading, as forces in Ukraine engaged a Russian armored column on Ukrainian soil. "If the reports are true that there is an exchange of arms between Russia and Ukraine, that is a setback in the recent calm.
LONDON, Aug 15- European shares turned negative on Friday afternoon, with traders citing a report that Ukraine troops had attacked and destroyed part of a Russian armed convoy. A Ukraine military spokesman said Ukrainian forces had engaged and partially destroyed part of the convoy.
CRUDE SURGE MORE THAN $1 ON NEWS UKRAINIAN FORCES ENGAGED RUSSIAN ARMOURED COLUMN.
CRUDE FUTURES EXTEND GAINS ON NEWS UKRAINIAN FORCES ENGAGED RUSSIAN ARMORED COLUMN.
Aug 15- Oil prices are now too low for most OPEC countries to cover their spending needs, a Reuters survey shows. Seven of the 12 OPEC members, including Iraq, Iran and Nigeria, now need far higher oil prices to cover their budgets, data from economists and industry analysts shows.
*Bund yields reach Japan- like territory around 1 percent. LONDON, Aug 15- German Bund yields at 1 percent are stoking fears that the euro zone faces a "lost decade" of economic stagnation and incessant struggle to lift inflation, similar to that of the only other country where borrowing costs hit such levels- Japan.
Portugal's Galp and Spain's Repsol, more exposed than most to lucrative exploration zones deep under Brazil's seabed, as well as France's Total on Angola exposure, are seen as the pick of the bunch as BP and Royal Dutch Shell suffer from weak exploration results.
Aug 15- One of Cliffs Natural Resources Inc's few incumbent directors has stepped down and delivered a stinging resignation letter, filings showed on Friday, as the miner separately said it was on the hook for millions of dollars in payments to its former chief executive officer and others in the wake of a proxy fight.
*Concerns over Ukraine, Iraq soften. LONDON, Aug 15- Gold prices dropped 1.4 percent on Friday as European stock markets headed for their biggest weekly gain since mid-February on expectations for more central bank stimulus to lift the euro zone economy. "Gold is really not liking the strong return seen in stocks," Saxo Bank analyst Ole Hansen said.
Aug 15- Deere& Co, the world's largest maker of farm equipment, said it would indefinitely lay off more than 600 employees at plants in Illinois, Iowa and Kansas as falling grain prices hurt demand for tractors, harvesters and other agricultural machinery.
Aug 15- U.S. consumer sentiment fell in August to its lowest since last November while a barometer of current economic conditions rose to its highest since July 2007, a survey released on Friday showed.
NEW YORK, Aug 15- Economists raised their forecasts for U.S. economic growth in the third quarter but trimmed their estimates for the balance of 2014, though the outlook for both job growth and lower unemployment was strengthened.
Aug 15- Theme park operator SeaWorld Entertainment Inc said it would build bigger enclosures for its killer whales amid raging controversy over its killer whale shows. SeaWorld pledged $10 million for killer whale research and is embarking on a multi-million dollar partnership focused on ocean health, it said.