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  • NATO SAYS RUSSIA, WHILE CALLING FOR DE-ESCLATION, HAS BEEN ESCALATING UKRAINE CONFLICT.

  • *China economic data points to weakness, euro zone slows. LONDON, Aug 15- Copper held near its lowest level in more than seven weeks on Friday, as a downbeat outlook for the economy in top consumer China raised concerns about demand for industrial metals.

  • NEW YORK, Aug 15- From American Apparel Inc to Lululemon Athletica Inc, Men's Wearhouse Inc and Best Buy Co Inc, a series of boardroom battles across North America underscore how difficult it can be for companies to part ways with their founders.

  • LONDON, Aug 15- Following four decades of war, sanctions, nationalization and unrest, oil and gas producers are gradually adjusting to rely less on the Middle East. Diversification away from the Middle East is one of the main reasons why oil prices have remained virtually unchanged as unrest has spread across much of the region since 2011..

  • The final conference call took place on Thursday between banker-dealers in the $3 billion a day London silver market in the old process of fixing the benchmark silver price.

  • BEIJING, Aug 15- Apple Inc has begun keeping the personal data of some Chinese users on servers in mainland China, marking the first time that the tech giant is storing user data on Chinese soil. The data will be kept on servers provided by China Telecom Corp Ltd, the country's third-largest wireless carrier, Apple said in a statement on Friday.

  • JD.com quarterly revenue rises 64 pct Friday, 15 Aug 2014 | 6:12 AM ET

    JD.COM QUARTERLY REVENUE RISES 64 PCT@. Aug 15- JD.com Inc, China's second-largest e-commerce company, reported a 64 percent rise in quarterly revenue as the number of its active customers nearly doubled.

  • But in an ironic twist, the feel-good triumph in Brazil may have come at a time when Germany's new "Wirtschaftswunder", or economic miracle, is coming to an end.

  • *Physical demand still weak in Asia. LONDON, Aug 15- Gold edged up towards $1,315 an ounce on Friday, heading for a second weekly gain, after soft U.S. and European economic data fueled expectations that central banks would stay committed to ultra-loose monetary policy, pushing bond yields lower.

  • Aug 15- The Hong Kong government issued second-quarter gross domestic product data on Friday showing that the economy fell a seasonally adjusted 0.1 percent over the first-quarter of 2014, while it rose 1.8 percent from the same period last year. KEY FIGURES GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT ttt2014tttt ttttt2013tttttt. Q2 Q1 Q4 Q3 Q2.

  • BEIJING, Aug 15- Apple Inc has begun storing personal data for some Chinese users on servers provided by China Telecom, marking the first time that the company has stored user data on mainland Chinese soil. All data stored with China Telecom, as with all data centre providers worldwide, will be encrypted, Apple said in a statement on Friday.

  • *Europe stocks set for biggest weekly gain since Feb. The euro, which took a hit on Thursday after data showed Europe's powerhouse economy Germany unexpectedly contracted in the second quarter, edged up against the dollar on Friday but remained near nine-month lows.

  • UPDATE 3-Oil steadies near 13-month low under $103 Friday, 15 Aug 2014 | 4:28 AM ET

    LONDON, Aug 15- Brent crude stabilized below $103 a barrel on Friday, close to a 13- month low, on ample supplies of high-quality oil and signs faltering global economic growth may be capping fuel demand.

  • SHANGHAI, Aug 15- Hong Kong's benchmark index closed at its highest level since November 2010 on Friday, pushed up by index heavyweight China Mobile after official media said the telecom giant would increase investment in instant messaging service Fetion. The Hang Seng Index ended up 0.6 percent at 24,954.94 points, the highest close since Nov. 8, 2010.

  • *UK GDP data in focus in European session. LONDON, Aug 15- The euro was on track for its fifth week of losses against the dollar on Friday, and hovered near five-month lows against the Swiss franc on growing worries about the euro zone's gloomy economic prospects and more monetary stimulus.

  • India's Modi ends an era of socialist-style planning Friday, 15 Aug 2014 | 3:33 AM ET

    NEW DELHI, Aug 15- India's national Planning Commission certainly tried to present a modern image, with a Twitter profile that promised "Faster, More Inclusive and Sustainable Growth". "Times have changed since the Planning Commission was created," Modi said on Friday, in a speech to mark India's liberation from British colonial rule.

  • SHANGHAI, Aug 15- Shanghai shares rose 0.9 percent to an 8- month high on Friday, supported by a rebound in large-cap shares and some solar companies after Beijing said it will halt imports of processed polysilicon. The CSI300 of leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings was up 1.1 percent for the day and 1.3 percent this week.

  • European shares rise early; helped by BHP Friday, 15 Aug 2014 | 3:11 AM ET

    PARIS, Aug 15- European shares rose in early trade on Friday, gaining ground for the fourth time in five sessions, helped by BHP Billion after the world's biggest miner said it could spin off assets. At 0707 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.3 percent at 1,333.67 points, set to post its biggest weekly gain since mid-February.

  • KIEV, Aug 15- Ukrainian border guards have crossed the border into Russia to begin inspecting a Russian cargo of aid intended for humanitarian relief in eastern Ukraine, a border guard spokesman said.

  • UKRAINIAN BORDER GUARDS HAVE GONE ACROSS BORDER INTO RUSSIA TO BEGIN VERIFYING RUSSIAN HUMANITARIAN AID CARGO- BORDER GUARD SERVICE.