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  • WASHINGTON, March 6- China agrees with the United States that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine must be respected in its dispute with Russia, the White House said in statement on Wednesday after top-level contacts between the two countries.

  • NEW YORK, March 6- U.S. weather forecaster, the Climate Prediction Center, issued on Thursday its strongest prediction so far that the infamous El Nino weather pattern could emerge in the Northern Hemisphere during summer or autumn.

  • He has sparred with eBay management via open letters and press releases since January, when eBay said the pugnacious billionaire had made an unsolicited proposal for eBay to hive off PayPal and nominated two directors to the eBay board. But eBay has repeatedly said that eBay and PayPal are better off together.

  • BERLIN, March 6- Europe's hotel sector is finding its financing options are the best in years as investors seek better returns in a low interest rate environment and economies emerge from bruising recessions, fanning optimism for the rest of the year.

  • *FTSEurofirst 300 flat, Euro STOXX 50 up 0.3 pct. LONDON, March 6- A rebound on European equity markets fizzled out on Thursday after the European Central Bank chose not take fresh action to inject liquidity into the region's financial system, disappointing some investors.

  • LONDON, March 6- BP Plc said regulators from the United States and Asia have asked it for information after the European Commission's started an investigation last year into suspected manipulation of oil prices. London- based BP, Europe's second-largest oil company, made the disclosure in its annual report released on Thursday.

  • NEW YORK, March 6- U.S. stocks edged higher at the open on Thursday following upbeat labor market data, while developments in the Ukrainian crisis kept traders on edge.

  • *ECB keeps main refinancing rate at record low of 0.25 pct. FRANKFURT, March 6- The European Central Bank left interest rates on hold and unveiled no other measures to bolster a fragile euro zone recovery on Thursday despite forecasting low inflation for years to come.

  • Egypt tries harder to stop energy firm exodus Thursday, 6 Mar 2014 | 9:22 AM ET

    LONDON, March 6- Egypt is enhancing exploration terms and striving to repay nearly $5 billion it owes to foreign oil and gas producers as it struggles to prevent them fleeing to more promising prospects elsewhere in Africa. But investors are hesitant- Egypt pays them barely enough to cover investment costs.

  • FRANKFURT, March 6- European Commission President Mario Draghi said on Thursday that from a purely financial standpoint the crisis in Ukraine should not have much impact on the euro zone. But he added that there was potential for far greater instability spreading from the nearby region if the situation escalates.

  • LONDON, March 6- Ukrainian and Russian assets fell on Thursday after Crimea's parliament voted to join Russia and the United States ordered sanctions on those involved in undermining democracy in the region. "Markets are still very sensitive to Russia/ Ukraine related headlines," said Luis Costa, emerging markets strategist at Citi, in a client note.

  • NEW YORK, March 6- The Climate Prediction Center, the U.S. weather forecaster, said on Thursday it was on watch for El Nino conditions developing in the summer or fall.

  • *Crimean Parliament votes in favour of region joining Russia. MOSCOW, March 6- Moscow stocks fell on Thursday for the second day this week after Crimea's parliament voted to join Russia and the United States ordered an asset freeze and visa bans against those involved in Russia's military intervention in the Ukrainian region.

  • WRAPUP 1-U.S. jobless claims tumble to three-month low Thursday, 6 Mar 2014 | 9:04 AM ET

    WASHINGTON, March 6- The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected and hit a three-month low last week, a sign of strength in a labor market that has been hobbled by severe weather. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 26,000 to a seasonally adjusted 323,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

  • *Staples, Costco shares down after results; Kroger up. *Crimea's parliament voted on Thursday to join Russia and its Moscow- backed government set a referendum for March 16 on the decision, in a dramatic escalation of the crisis between Russia and the West over the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula.

  • FRANKFURT, March 6- The European Central Bank decided not to take any action at its meeting on Thursday because economic and monetary conditions had not changed enough to warrant it, ECB President Mario Draghi said.

  • March 6- Activist investor Carl Icahn told eBay Inc shareholders on Thursday he has "not yet begun to fight" in his push to get the e-commerce company to spin off its PayPal payments unit.

  • NEW YORK, March 6- Shopping for employee health insurance on private marketplaces might be the way of the future for tens of millions. However, expert opinions about growth have been based on projections, not actual consumer behavior in the exchanges that only really got going last year.

  • *Zimbabwe takes the hard line on minerals beneficiation. *DRC, Zambia want to tax copper concentrate exports.