*Hamas sticks to demand embargo on enclave be lifted. *One killed in West Bank march is support of Gaza. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon expressed horror at the Thursday attack on the school at Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza strip.» Read More
DEFENSE SECRETARY HAGEL SAYS AIMS TO SPEAK WITH HIS UKRAINIAN COUNTERPART ON WEDNESDAY.
MILITARY OFFICER, GENERAL DEMPSEY, SPOKE WITH RUSSIAN COUNTERPART ON WEDNESDAY- HAGEL SAYS.
*Yen extends broad slide, focus shifts to data. NEW YORK, March 5- The dollar rallied on Wednesday, shrugging off a softer-than-expected U.S. private-sector payrolls report for February that may have been affected by severe winter conditions.
*Private employers add 139,000 jobs in February. WASHINGTON, March 5- U.S. private employers added fewer workers than expected in February and services sector growth slowed, the latest signs that severe weather continues to be a drag on the economy.
MILITARY AUGMENTING PARTICIPATION IN NATO'S AIR POLICING MISSION ON BALTIC PENINSULA- HAGEL.
PENTAGON PURSUING MEASURES TO SUPPORT ALLIES DURING UKRAINE CRISIS- DEFENSE SECRETARY HAGEL SAYS IN PREPARED REMARKS TO CONGRESS.
DEFENSE DEPARTMENT STEPPING UP JOINT TRAINING THROUGH AVIATION DETACHMENT IN POLAND- HAGEL SAYS.
*EU leaders meet on Thursday to discuss next steps on Russia. BRUSSELS, March 5- European leaders are under pressure to match the United States in imposing sanctions on Russia over Ukraine. But splits in the European Union, with many countries either close to Russia or reliant on its energy, means EU-U.S. unity is unlikely.
*Societe Generale says lawsuit's claims unsubstantiated. In the filing with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan dated March 3, New York resident Kevin Maher, who says he bought and sold gold and gold futures and options, alleged the banks overseeing the benchmark- Societe Generale, Deutsche Bank, Barclays, Bank of Nova Scotia and HSBC- colluded to manipulate it.
NEW YORK, March 5- U.S. stocks opened little changed on Wednesday after two days of sharp swings as investors shrugged off a softer-than-expected reading on the labor market and ahead of the release of the ISM services report.
JOHANNESBURG, March 5- Wage talks between the world's top platinum producers and South Africa's Association of Mineworkers and Construction workers Union collapsed on Wednesday, dashing hopes for an early end to a crippling six-week strike.
LONDON, March 5- The crisis in Ukraine has ended one of the biggest short positions in recent European natural gas trading as the threat of a Russian supply cut forced speculative dealers to close positions they had profitably held throughout winter.
March 5- Honeywell International Inc on Wednesday set a target of increasing overall company sales to more than $50 billion by 2018 as it seeks to spend $10 billion on acquisitions and continues to expand profit margins.
KIEV, March 5- The Ukrainian subsidiary of Italy's UniCredit Bank cancelled a daily limit of 1,500 hryvnia on cash-machine withdrawals on Wednesday, citing "the stabilisation of the situation" in the country. Ukraine has retained a 15,000 hrynvia daily limit on withdrawals from foreign currency accounts at all banks, which was imposed last week.
Much of the gold, tantalum, tin and tungsten used in electronics and lighting is mined in areas of civil conflict in Africa. "We are committed to preventing international trade in minerals from intensifying or perpetuating conflict," EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht and foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said in a joint statement.
Europe's largest retailer also said it would spend more cash this year to revive its European hypermarkets and expand further in both China and Brazil.
LONDON, March 5- Zinc is on a bull charge. On the London Metal Exchange, three-month metal took out resistance at $2,100 per tonne on Tuesday and has since powered to a one-year high of $2,143.50. The "Street" is in thrall to zinc's bull narrative, a stand-out in an otherwise featureless base metals landscape.
NEW YORK, March 5- Exxon Mobil Corp, the world's largest publicly traded oil company, expects to spend less this year while oil and natural gas production is forecast to be flat. Exxon sees spending of $39.8 billion in 2014, down from a peak of $42.5 billion last year.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., March 5- Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will address this year's crop of Harvard University graduates at their May 29 commencement, the Ivy League university said on Wednesday.
ITALY'S UNICREDIT LIFTS LIMIT ON ATM WITHDRAWALS FOR SUBSIDIARY IN UKRAINE DUE TO "STABILISATION OF THE SITUATION".