SINGAPORE, Dec 26- Brent crude oil futures gave up most of its early gains on Friday as a building supply glut and weak Japanese import data weighed on the market, but contracts held above $60 a barrel supported by U.S. economic data published over Christmas. However, in Japan, crude imports in November dropped 17.3 percent from a year earlier to 14.68 million...» Read More
NEW YORK, Aug 7- U.S. stocks rose at the open on Thursday following upbeat labor market data, amid a backdrop of a sanctions confrontation between Russia and the West that highlighted the relative strength of the U.S. economy.
Oil producers, including Oslo- listed DNO Petroleum and London- listed Gulf Keystone Petroleum saw double-digit declines in their share prices as the radical Sunni militants seized at least three more towns near Kurdish-controlled territory.
*Ukraine crisis threatens euro zone economy, Draghi says. NEW YORK, Aug 7- U.S. But Treasuries rose again as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi told reporters in Frankfurt that the Ukraine crisis threatened the euro zone economy.
*Kiev suspends ceasefire near MH17 crash site. KIEV, Aug 7- NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk discussed possible Western alliance support for Ukraine's defensive strength on Thursday, while more of its troops were killed in fresh clashes with separatists.
GENEVA, Aug 7- Moscow imposed a total ban on imports of many Western foods on Thursday in retaliation against sanctions over Ukraine, a stronger than expected measure that isolates Russian consumers from world trade to a degree unseen since Soviet days.
LAS VEGAS, Aug 7- Security researchers at Kaspersky Lab said they have uncovered a cyber espionage operation that successfully penetrated two spy agencies and hundreds of government and military targets in Europe and the Middle East since the beginning of this year.
*Draghi flag heightened geopolitical risks, led by Ukraine. FRANKFURT, Aug 7- The Ukraine crisis has heightened risks to the euro zone's weak and uneven economic recovery, and a tit-for-tat sanctions war could compound the problem, the European Central Bank said on Thursday as it held borrowing rates at record low levels.
ISTANBUL, Aug 7- The future of Turkey's Bank Asya looked dim on Thursday after the authorities canceled its tax collection and social security payment deals- a sign according to observers the government may be a step closer to winding down the controversial lender.
WASHINGTON, Aug 7- Government-controlled mortgage finance firms Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac said on Thursday they will pay U.S. taxpayers a combined $5.6 billion in dividends after another profitable quarter.
TEL AVIV, Aug 7- Israel's 2014 budget will be able to absorb the costs incurred during the month-long Gaza conflict and there will be no need to increases taxes, Finance Minister Yair Lapid said on Thursday.
*Islamic State strengthens foothold in northern Iraq. LONDON, Aug 7- Brent crude oil held near $105 a barrel on Thursday as the security situation deteriorated in northern Iraq and Islamist militants made gains against Kurdish forces, advancing closer to the autonomous region's oilfields.
Aug 7- The bankrupt Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey, has postponed an auction of the 1,400- room property by a week to Aug. 14 to allow more time to evaluate bids, according to a court filing late on Wednesday.
*Egypt and Turkey among key customers for Russian grain. MOSCOW, Aug 7- Moscow's bans on various food imports from the United States and the European Union will have no impact on Russia's grain exports, agriculture minister Nikolai Fyodorov said on Thursday.
Aug 7- A U.S. weather forecaster scaled down its estimate for the chances of the El Nino weather phenomenon occurring during autumn and early winter in the Northern Hemisphere to 65 percent, from an earlier estimate of 80 percent. The Climate Prediction Center, an agency of the National Weather Service, had made its earlier prediction in July.
Aug 7- Online travel operator Orbitz Worldwide Inc forecast higher-than-expected revenue in the current quarter as an improving economy spurs spending on air travel and hotel bookings. Orbitz' shares fell 1.1 percent to $8.96 in early trading on Thursday.
Aug 7- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac said on Thursday they would pay dividends totaling $5.6 billion to the U.S. Treasury next month, pushing taxpayers further into the black on their bailout of the mortgage finance firms.
*Islamic State strengthens foothold in northern Iraq. LONDON, Aug 7- Brent crude oil rose above $105 a barrel on Thursday as the security situation deteriorated in northern Iraq and Islamist militants made gains against Kurdish forces, advancing closer to the autonomous region's oilfields.
TORONTO, Aug 7- Manulife Financial Corp unexpectedly hiked its dividend for the first time since the financial crisis on Thursday, as it reported quarterly profits that jumped on stronger financial markets but was just shy of analysts' expectations.
*Cuts top end of FY earnings forecast to $3.45/ shr from $3.60/ shr. Aug 7- Mylan Inc shaved the top end of its full-year revenue and earnings forecasts, citing delays in approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for key generic drugs that it plans to launch this year.
Aug 7- Cargill Inc, a top global commodities trader, said on Thursday its quarterly earnings fell due to a loss stemming from Venezuela's currency exchange rate. The privately held company, based in Minneapolis, reported net earnings of $424 million for the fiscal fourth quarter ended May 31.