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  • MOSCOW, March 23- An ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin who heads a bank that was hit by U.S. sanctions over the Crimea crisis suggested on Sunday the move had backfired by helping him win new clients.

  • HONG KONG/ SHANGHAI, March 24- Credit warning signs are flashing for heavily indebted Chinese semiconductor, software and commodities firms as the government cautiously steps aside to let market forces play a bigger role in deciding winners and losers.

  • March 23- The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission has stepped up a probe into more than a million energy, metals, foreign exchange and other swap transactions, the Financial Times reported on its website on Sunday, citing anonymous sources.

  • BUSINESS-NEWS-SCHEDULE AT 1930 GMT / 3:30 PM EST Sunday, 23 Mar 2014 | 3:33 PM ET

    WASHINGTON- Retired Wisconsin state trooper Keith Young and his wife were sitting at the kitchen table last month when a story on the evening news jarred them: General Motors Co was recalling 1.6 million vehicles for faulty ignition switches.

  • WASHINGTON, March 23- Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Narayana Kocherlakota, whose differences with Fed Chair Janet Yellen over rewriting the central bank's pledge to keep interest rates low led him to cast the sole dissenting vote on Fed policy last week, has no plans to make a habit of saying "no," people familiar with his thinking say.

  • BRUSSELS, March 23- The guessing game over U.S. interest rates is likely to intensify this week after new Fed Chair Janet Yellen raised the prospect of a hike early next year, while Russia's annexation of Crimea will keep investors focused on its next move.

  • March 23- The average price for a gallon of gasoline in the United States rose nearly 5 cents over the past two weeks, driven mainly by a jump in the price of ethanol, according to a survey.

  • NEW YORK, March 23- The prevailing trend in U.S. stocks could be higher this week if investor anxiety eases over the crisis in Ukraine and signs of weakness in the U.S. economy.

  • NEW YORK, March 23- Investors worried the Federal Reserve will start raising interest rates in a year's time or even sooner should stick with shorter-maturity bonds, high-quality corporate debt and stocks with attractive dividends like utilities.

  • STOCKHOLM, March 23- Such is the weight of Christer Gardell's voice in Europe that Volvo's share price jumped 4 percent one day in January when a Swedish business daily ran a front-page story on the activist investor calling on the truckmaker to "start delivering".

  • LONDON, March 23- Britain's big six energy companies will face the threat of break-up this week with their regulator Ofgem expected to announce its intention to refer the firms to the new Competition and Markets Authority, according to the Sunday Times.

  • MOSCOW, March 23- Visa Inc and MasterCard Inc have resumed services for payment transactions for clients at Russia's SMP bank, whose main shareholders were affected by U.S. sanctions, the bank said on Sunday.

  • LONDON, March 23- Britain's big six energy companies will face the threat of break-up this week with their regulator Ofgem expected to announce its intention to refer the firms to the new Competition and Markets Authority, according to the Sunday Times.

  • China's Huawei condemns reported NSA snooping Sunday, 23 Mar 2014 | 8:59 AM ET

    BERLIN, March 23- Chinese telecom and internet company Huawei defended is independence on Sunday and said it would condemn any infiltration of its servers by the U.S. National Security Agency if reports of such activities by the NSA were true.

  • BEIJING, March 23- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on Sunday that efforts to improve the country's environment would create new business opportunities, state news agency Xinhua reported.

  • *Russian ambassador to EU says Russia has no expansionist views. BRUSSELS, March 23- NATO's top military commander said on Sunday that Russia had a large force on Ukraine's eastern border and he was worried it could pose a threat to Moldova's separatist Transdniestria region.

  • *But they say loyalties are to Latvia, Estonia over Russia. DAUGAVPILS, Latvia/ TALLINN, March 23- In the former Soviet republics of Latvia and Estonia, there is unease over events in Crimea, which was formally annexed by Moscow last week on the pretext of safeguarding its Russian minorities.

  • HONG KONG, March 23- China Petroleum and Chemical Corp reported a 35 percent drop in fourth quarter net profits, bigger than expected, as improved profitability at its refining division was offset by a dip in upstream earnings.

  • BEIJING, March 23- International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde said on Sunday that there was not much she should could to push reform at her organisation and give emerging economies a bigger say without the support of the United States.

  • MOSCOW, March 23- Visa Inc and MasterCard Inc have resumed services for payment transactions for clients at Russia's SMP bank, whose main shareholders were affected by U.S. sanctions, the bank said on Sunday. SMP had said on Friday that Visa and MasterCard had stopped providing services for payment transactions for clients at Russia's SMP bank.