HONG KONG— Most Asian stock markets dipped on Friday following a big sell-off on Wall Street but losses were limited by optimistic reports on China's economy. KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index dropped 0.3 percent to 15,572.38 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.5 percent to 24,623.90.» Read More
UKRAINE'S YANUKOVICH SAYS CLEAR THAN UKRAINE'S SOUTHEASTERN AND SOUTHERN REGIONS DO NOT ACCEPT LAWLESSNESS IN THE COUNTRY, WHEN LEADERS ARE CHOSEN BY MOB.
UKRAINE'S YANUKOVICH ASKS RUSSIA TO GUARANTEE HIS PERSONAL SAFETY FROM ACTIONS OF "EXTREMISTS"- NEWS AGENCIES.
UKRAINE'S YANUKOVICH SAYS HE IS STILL PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE- RUSSIAN NEWS AGENCIES.
*Russia cut gas price for Ukraine in December. MOSCOW, Feb 27- Ukraine's state energy company Naftogaz has slightly increased gas imports from Russia this week, buying some 29.3 million cubic metres on Feb. 25, two industry sources told Reuters on Thursday.
FRANKFURT, Feb 27- Lending to households and firms in the euro zone fell again in January and money supply growth remained subdued, adding to pressure on the European Central Bank to take action next week to support the economy.
BARCELONA, Feb 27- Fierce competition within the advertising industry forced Britain's WPP to lower its margin guidance for 2014, wiping over a billion pounds off its share price and taking the shine off an acceleration in trading through 2013.. WPP's forecast of organic revenue growth of over 3 percent for 2014 was also seen as below expectations.
MOSCOW, Feb 27- Russian hypermarket chain Lenta has narrowed guidance for its initial public offering to $10- $10.25 per global depositary receipt, two banking sources told Reuters on Thursday.
*Board member Sato wants to manage price target with flexibility. TOKYO, Feb 27- Bank of Japan board member Takehiro Sato said on Thursday the central bank can be flexible on the timing of an eventual exit from its monetary easing, a sign that simply reaching its 2 percent price stability goal will not trigger immediate action.
*Italy to auction up to 9 bln euros of bonds. The sale of up to 9 billion euros of bonds includes a new 10- year benchmark is expected to go well even as tensions between Ukraine and Russia soured investors' appetite for risk-taking and boosted demand for safe-haven German Bunds.
HONG KONG, Feb 27- China's yuan surpassed the Swiss franc to become the seventh most-used world payments currency in January, global transaction services organisation SWIFT said on Thursday.
*Traders cite concerns over escalating Ukraine tension. LONDON, Feb 27- Escalating political tension in Ukraine weighed on European stock markets on Thursday, putting another brake on this month's rally.
LONDON, Feb 27- The Australian dollar led moves on major currency markets on Thursday, down half a percent against the dollar after weak data on business investment, deep in negative territory at the end of a commodities-led boom.
LONDON, Feb 27- Escalating political tensions in Ukraine pegged European share markets back on Thursday, putting a fresh set of brakes on this month's rally. "There is some nervousness about the tensions in Ukraine," said Darren Courtney-Cook, head of trading at Central Markets Investment Management.
SINGAPORE, Feb 27- Many power utilities in Asia appear to be making what seems like an increasingly risky bet: that poorer quality coal from Indonesia will remain cheap and plentiful. Generators from India to Southeast Asia and China are building or planning new coal-fired units designed to run on low-rank, sub-bituminous coal from Indonesia.
NEW DELHI, Feb 27- India's drive to break an infrastructure investment logjam has come too late to revive the economy before the forthcoming general election- and it could be years before it pays growth dividends for the next government.
MOSCOW, Feb 27- Russian hypermarket chain Lenta has narrowed guidance for its initial public offering to $10- $10.25 per global depositary receipt, two banking sources told Reuters on Thursday. The previous guidance for Lenta's London IPO stood at $10- $11 per GDR.
MOSCOW, Feb 27- Fighter jets along Russia's western borders have been put on combat alert, the Defence Ministry was quoted as saying on Thursday by Interfax news agency. "Constant air patrols are being carried out by fighter jets in the border regions," Interfax quoted a ministry statement as saying.
HONG KONG, Feb 27- Hong Kong shares posted their biggest gain in more than two weeks on Thursday, as investors bought Chinese utilities and energy stocks on hopes a coming annual parliamentary session will make reforms boosting them. The Hang Seng Index finished up 1.7 percent at 22,828.2 points in its largest one-day gain since Feb. 11.
RUSSIAN DEFENCE MINISTRY SAYS HAS PUT FIGHTER JETS ON COMBAT ALERT ON ITS WESTERN BORDERS- INTERFAX.
NEW DELHI, Feb 27- Indian opposition candidate for prime minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday the country's millions of family-owned traders must learn to work with large modern shops and online retailers, in comments that could signal a shift in thinking.