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  • US STOCKS-Futures advance ahead of release of Fed minutes Wednesday, 21 May 2014 | 7:44 AM ET

    *New York Federal Reserve President William Dudley said on Tuesday inflation should "drift upwards" towards the Fed's 2 percent goal, but a swift climb in inflation was unlikely; Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser said the $2.5 trillion in reserves accumulated by banks could be the trigger for more rapid inflation.

  • *Commerzbank says incident was an isolated event. FRANKFURT/ LONDON, May 21- Commerzbank AG has fired one trader and suspended a second on suspicions they tried to manipulate the Polish zloty's euro exchange rate, sources familiar with the development said on Wednesday.

  • May 21- Rio Alto Mining Ltd said it would buy Sulliden Gold Corp Ltd in a deal valued at about C $300 million, creating a gold miner focused on Peru, the fifth biggest gold producer in the world. The offer values Sulliden at C $1.12 per share, representing a 43 percent premium to the stock's Tuesday close on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

  • SHANGHAI, May 21- Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Wednesday China could pay up to $25 billion up front as an option in a newly signed gas deal. Asked whether the Chinese side would pay about $25 billion up front for future gas supplies, Novak told reporters in Shaghai: "Up to $25 billion... The advance is seen as an option, a possibility. "

  • RUSSIAN ENERGY MINISTER NOVAK SAYS CHINA COULD PAY UP TO $25 BILLION UP FRONT, SEEN AS AN OPTION IN NEWLY SIGNED GAS DEAL.

  • *Indonesia gives right to Pertamina to take over expiring contracts. *Pertamina has sent 3 letters to Indonesia govt on Mahakam- exec. Total has promised to invest up to $7.3 billion before then if the contract is renewed, but energy resources are highly politicized in Indonesia and with elections approaching in July no decision has been made.

  • *Sterling index at 5-1/ 2 year high after BoE minutes, UK data. LONDON, May 21- The yen rose to a 3-1/ 2 month high against a struggling dollar and euro on Wednesday, buoyed by optimistic comments from Bank of Japan chief Haruhiko Kuroda which gave no hint of further monetary easing in the near term.

  • May 21- China's Trina Solar Ltd posted its third quarterly profit in a row, helped by higher prices for its solar panels. The company reported a net profit of $26.5 million, or 37 per American depositary share, for the first quarter ended March 31, compared with a loss of $63.7 million, or 90 cents per ADS, a year earlier. Revenue rose 71 percent to $444.8 million.

  • May 21- Tiffany& Co reported a 13 percent rise in quarterly sales as the company's increasing focus on lower-priced jewelry attracted customers in the United States, its biggest market. Net profit rose to $125.6 million, or 97 cents per share, in the first quarter ended April 30 from $83.6 million, or 65 cents per share, a year earlier.

  • Ebay asks all users to change passwords Wednesday, 21 May 2014 | 7:09 AM ET

    May 21- EBay Inc is asking all its users to change their passwords, according to a message posted on the website of the company's online payment unit PayPal. The messages on PayPal's community and press website did not say why the passwords needed to be changed. EBay and PayPal could not be immediately reached for comment.

  • MOSCOW, May 21- A grand estate on the Black Sea, allegedly built for Russian President Vladimir Putin, was partly funded by taxpayer money from a $1 billion hospital project, a Reuters investigation indicates.

  • The palace on the Black Sea Wednesday, 21 May 2014 | 7:06 AM ET

    MOSCOW, May 21- In 2010, a St. Petersburg businessman called Sergei Kolesnikov published an open letter to Dmitry Medvedev, who was then president of Russia while Vladimir Putin held the post of prime minister. Among other things, Kolesnikov claimed that a luxurious estate was being built near the Black Sea for the benefit of Putin.

  • How Russian money flowed through banks in Europe Wednesday, 21 May 2014 | 7:06 AM ET

    MOSCOW, May 21- Two Putin associates, Nikolai Shamalov and Dmitry Gorelov, struck lucrative deals to supply medical scanners and other gear for Russia's state health programme. A UK- registered company owned by the two men, Greathill, received at least $195 million from sales of medical equipment to Russia.

  • May 21- American Realty Capital Properties Inc said it planned to sell nearly all of its shopping centers to Blackstone Group LP for $1.98 billion in cash. The real estate investment trust said proceeds from the sale would be used to fund its purchase of more than 500 Red Lobster restaurants from Golden Gate Capital in a sale-leaseback deal.

  • MOSCOW, May 21- In 2005, President Vladimir Putin personally ordered up a vast programme to improve Russia's poor healthcare facilities. Medvedev instructed Russia's top law enforcement agencies to make sure that "everyone who participated in this is seriously and sternly punished.

  • May 21- Rio Alto Mining Ltd said it would buy Sulliden Gold Corp Ltd in a deal valued at about C $300 million, creating a gold miner focused on Peru. The deal value excludes the stake Sulliden shareholders will get in a new company that will hold Sulliden's stake in a East Sullivan prospect in Val-d'Or, Quebec.

  • May 21- Lowe's Cos Inc said its sales picked up in May, after the company reported weaker-than-expected quarterly results as a severe winter in the United States hurt traffic to its stores. Larger rival Home Depot Inc also said on Tuesday that its sales in May were "robust."

  • Floods inflict grievous blow on frail Balkan economies Wednesday, 21 May 2014 | 6:38 AM ET

    MAGLAJ, Bosnia/ BELGRADE, May 20- When the waters receded, hundreds of employees at the paper and pulp factory in the Bosnian town of Maglaj turned up for work.

  • LONDON, May 21- Some Bank of England policymakers think the case for raising interest rates is becoming stronger as Britain's economy gets closer to operating at full steam, minutes of their last meeting showed on Wednesday.

  • Platinum rose to near a two-month high, and palladium touched a near three-year high as labour strikes in top producer South Africa dragged on for a 17th week and after an industry report said a shortage of both metals was set to widen this year.