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  • MOSCOW, Feb 26- Russia's finance ministry said it plans to boost liquidity in the money markets using funds it holds on account at banks by cutting the minimum amount that must be kept on deposit to 200 billion roubles from 600 billion.

  • Chesapeake swings to quarterly loss on charges Wednesday, 26 Feb 2014 | 7:20 AM ET

    Feb 26- Chesapeake Energy Corp swung to a quarterly net loss, hurt by charges related to its efforts to reduce debt and simplify its balance sheet. The No.2 U.S. natural gas producer reported a net loss of $159 million, or 24 cents per share for the fourth quarter, compared with a net profit of $250 million, or 39 cents per share, a year earlier.

  • TOKYO, Feb 26- The head of Mt. Gox, the bitcoin exchange whose abrupt shutdown has shaken the virtual currency, said on Wednesday that he remains in Japan and is working with others to solve the company's problems.

  • "We've made more money in the UK in the first half than we made in the whole of the previous year," CEO Alistair Cox told Reuters after announcing that pretax profit rose to 62.5 million pounds from 57 million pounds a year earlier. Personally, I feel more confident about the UK than at any time since 2007. ".

  • Canada's largest bank said on Wednesday it had earned C $2.09 billion, or C $1.38 a share, in the first quarter ended Jan. 31, compared with C $2.05 billion, or C $1.34 a share, a year earlier. Excluding C $92 million in charges from the sale of Jamaican operations announced last month as well as restructuring charges in the Caribbean, earnings were C $1.47 a share.

  • MOSCOW, Feb 26- A fire broke out at Lukoil's petrochemical plant in the southern Russian city of Budyonnovsk, wounding some, a local Emergency Ministry said on Wednesday. The Emergency Ministry said the fire broke out after a loss of pressure in the ethylene section of the Stavrolen plant in Russia's southern region of Stavropol.

  • DIARY - Top economic Events to Mar 11 Wednesday, 26 Feb 2014 | 7:01 AM ET

    WOOSTER, United States- Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President Sandra Pianalto gives lecture, "Reflections on 35 Years with the Federal Reserve System" at the James R. Wilson Lecture Series hosted by the College of Wooster- 0030 GMT. SAITAMA, Japan- Bank of Japan board member Koji Ishida speaks to business leaders in Saitama- 0130 GMT.

  • NEW YORK/ HOUSTON, Feb 26- Encana Corp and Chesapeake Energy Corp are negotiating civil settlements with the state of Michigan to try to end its criminal investigation into whether the energy companies colluded to keep oil and gas lease prices artificially low in the state.

  • LUXEMBOURG, Feb 26- Luxembourg is talking to China about allowing mutual recognition of investment funds based in the two countries, a senior Luxembourg official said on Wednesday. China and Hong Kong are thought to be in the final stages of a mutual fund recognition programme, which allows funds domiciled in Hong Kong to be sold in China and vice versa.

  • LONDON, Feb 26- Gold prices rose above $1,340 on Wednesday, holding onto four-month highs on uncertainty over China's economic policy moves and with weaker data raising questions about the strength of the U.S. recovery.

  • Feb 26- Lowe's Cos Inc reported strong sales growth in the fourth quarter, showing that the No. 2 U.S. home improvement retailer was closing in on market leader Home Depot Inc.. The company said its net sales rose 5.6 percent to $11.66 billion in the fourth-quarter ended Jan. 31.

  • SAO PAULO, Feb 26- Brazil's Embraer SA, the world's No.3 commercial planemaker, kept earnings targets almost unchanged in 2014 despite far exceeding its own profitability forecasts last year, in a sign of tougher pricing pressure ahead.

  • *Credit Suisse falls on U.S. Senate inquiry. LONDON, Feb 26- A drop in the shares of Swiss banks Credit Suisse and UBS weighed on European equities on Wednesday, stalling the advance of a major regional index to near 6- year highs. A U.S. Senate subcommittee on Tuesday alleged new misdeeds by Credit Suisse and accused the U.S. Justice Department of dragging its feet.

  • LONDON, Feb 26- Crude oil shippers in the United States must conduct detailed chemical tests and classify cargoes as moderate- or high-risk materials before loading them onto the rail network, or face prison, under an order issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation on Monday.

  • SINGAPORE, Feb 26- The apparent collapse of Tokyo- based bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox isn't bothering Anthony Hope and others who have ditched steady careers in government and finance to build bitcoin companies- and who stand to lose money they have in Mt. Steve Beauregard, CEO and founder of Singapore- based GoCoin, is more blunt about Mt.

  • LONDON, Feb 26- Gold prices rose above $1,340 on Wednesday, holding onto four month highs on uncertainty over China's economic policy moves and with weaker data raising questions about the strength of the U.S. recovery.

  • *Ukraine's hryvnia down 4 percent vs dollar on day. LONDON, Feb 26- Ukraine's hryvnia tumbled 4 percent on Wednesday to 10 per dollar as political uncertainty mounted, with ripples spreading to Russia where the rouble fell to five-year lows and bank shares took a hit.

  • Lowe's profit rises 6 pct Wednesday, 26 Feb 2014 | 6:13 AM ET

    Feb 26- Lowe's Cos Inc, the No. 2 U.S. home improvement retailer, reported a 6.3 percent rise in quarterly profit, helped by a nearly 4 percent rise in same-store sales. The company said net income rose to $306 million, or 29 cents per share in the fourth quarter ended Jan. 31 from $288 million, or 26 cents per share, a year earlier. Sales rose 5.6 percent to $11.66 billion.

  • Feb 26- General Electric Co said it would pay $1.7 billion to Japan's Shinsei Bank Ltd to end exposure to interest repayment claims related to the sale of its Japanese consumer loan business to the bank in 2008.. GE said on Wednesday the deal would reduce fourth-quarter and 2013 earnings by $1 billion and earnings per share by 9 cents.

  • *Singapore ramps up supply of recycled water. SINGAPORE/ KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 26- Singapore and Malaysia are grappling with some of the driest weather they have ever seen, forcing the tiny city-state to ramp up supplies of recycled water while its neighbour rations reserves amid disruptions to farming and fisheries.