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  • *Wall St gains after Philly Fed data. NEW YORK, March 20- Global equity markets edged lower on Thursday, as investors positioned for a speedier rise in U.S. interest rates than previously thought, but Wall Street traded higher on better-than-expected economic reports.

  • At the same time, the rating agency affirmed Russia's BBB foreign currency rating.

  • Viktor Ozerov, chairman of the Security and Defense Committee of the Federation Council. Vladimir Dzhabarov, first deputy chairman of the International Affairs Committee of the Federation Council, Russia's upper house of parliament. Nikolai Ryzhkov, senator in Russia's Federation Council.

  • Wall Street opened lower, but reversed course after the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank said its business activity index rose far more than expected in March, rebounding after a contraction in February.

  • NEW YORK, March 20- A U.S. judge approved a deferred prosecution agreement with Toyota Motor Corp on Thursday that resolves an investigation into safety issues and could serve as a model in a similar probe of General Motors Co..

  • GENEVA, March 20- The United States added Russian billionaires Gennady Timchenko and Boris and Arkady Rotenberg to its sanctions list on Thursday, dragging their huge and potentially far-reaching business interests into the row over Ukraine.

  • MOSCOW, March 20- Russia imposed retaliatory sanctions on nine U.S. officials and lawmakers on Thursday as tension over Moscow's annexation of Crimea mounted, warning the West it would hit back over "every hostile thrust."

  • March 20- Johnson& Johnson on Thursday won a reversal by the Arkansas Supreme Court of a $1.2 billion judgment imposed after a jury concluded that the drugmaker improperly marketed its anti-psychotic drug Risperdal and concealed its risks.

  • COPENHAGEN, March 20- Novo Nordisk should still be able to introduce its long-acting insulin Tresiba on the U.S. market before rival products, despite being hit by a delay, the CEO of the Danish pharmaceutical company said on Thursday.

  • ROME, March 20- The future of the South Stream pipeline project to carry Russian gas to Europe has been put in question by the escalating dispute over Ukraine, the chief executive of Italian oil major Eni said on Thursday.

  • *Russia, U.S. both impose sanctions on each other. NEW YORK, March 20- U.S. crude oil futures tumbled over $1 on Thursday as builds in domestic stockpiles and a strong U.S. dollar outweighed worries over the possible impact of tougher U.S. sanctions on Russia.

  • CAIRO, March 20- Revenues from Egypt's Suez Canal, one of the country's main sources of foreign currency, are expected to reach $5.5 billion in the current fiscal year, the head of the authority that manages the waterway said on Thursday. Suez Canal Authority chief Mohab Memish said this would be a record high.

  • RLPC-Apcoa lenders to take control of company Thursday, 20 Mar 2014 | 1:23 PM ET

    LONDON, March 20- French private equity firm Eurazeo is set to lose control of Europe's biggest parking management firm Apcoa to a group of lenders led by U.S. investment firm Centerbridge.

  • March 20- Vermillion, the commodity arm of U.S. private equity group Carlyle Group LP, has started trading a new gold and base metals fund this month as it seeks to rebuild market presence after losing more than half of its capital, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

  • New evidence may affect LightSquared restructuring Thursday, 20 Mar 2014 | 1:13 PM ET

    NEW YORK, March 20- New evidence may emerge in a dispute between LightSquared and its largest creditor, Dish Network Corp Chairman Charles Ergen, that could affect the bankrupt wireless company's restructuring.

  • March 20- Online home-rental marketplace Airbnb Inc is in advanced talks with private equity firms including TPG Capital Management LP to raise funds that would value the company at about $10 billion, a person briefed on the matter said Thursday.

  • MUMBAI, March 20- Toyota Motor Corp's Indian unit has decided to end a lock out at its two local vehicle plants, five days after declaring a suspension of production due to a pay dispute with workers.

  • UPDATE 1-IMF extends talks with Ukraine on aid package Thursday, 20 Mar 2014 | 1:06 PM ET

    WASHINGTON, March 20- The International Monetary Fund on Thursday extended talks IMF officials are holding with Ukraine on an aid package until March 25, saying progress had been made but more time was needed to wrap up the mission. Ukraine's hryvnia strengthened on the news, closing up 2.4 percent against the dollar, its strongest performance since March 5.

  • March 20- Fitbit Inc, which recalled a wristband fitness tracker a month ago following complaints that it caused rashes and blisters, has been sued by a customer who said the company did not warn consumers that the device was defective. The lawsuit, filed on Monday in the Superior Court of California in San Diego County, seeks class-action status.

  • *Kion aims to replace Toyota Industries as No.1. FRANKFURT, March 20- German forklift truck maker Kion aims to overtake Toyota Industries Corp to become global market leader no later than 2020 by focusing on growth in Asia and the United States, its chief executive said on Thursday.