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  • FINANCE MINISTER SAYS ECONOMY CONTRACTED BY 5 PCT IN THE FIRST SIX MONTHS OF THE YEAR, SEES GDP FALLING BY 6.5 PCT THIS YEAR.

  • UKRANIAN FINANCE MINISTER SAYS "ANTI-TERRORIST CAMPAIGN" COSTING 1.5 BILLION HRYVNIAS A MONTH, KIEV NEEDS ADDITIONAL FUNDS.

  • July 21- Hasbro Inc, the second-largest U.S. toymaker, reported an 8.2 percent increase in quarterly sales, helped by strong demand for its boys' toys such as action figures based on "Transformers" movies and Marvel comics. Hasbro's sales of boys' toys rose 32 percent, while those for girls' toys such as My Little Pony and Littlest Pet Shop rose 10 percent.

  • BUDAPEST, July 21- Hungary could risk a selloff in its currency by converting its huge stock of Swiss franc and euro mortgages into forints as the timing looks tricky: the planned conversion will take place after the Fed ends its stimulus programme.

  • *Holcim says interest in assets has doubled in past 2 weeks. ZURICH/ PARIS July 21- Cement makers Holcim and Lafarge have received more than 100 expressions of interest in assets they must sell ahead of their planned merger, the Swiss company's chief executive said on Monday.

  • *Markets eye developments in Ukraine, Gaza strip. LONDON, July 21- Gold steadied above $1,300 an ounce on Monday, as European shares weakened and political tensions simmered after the downing of a Malaysian airliner in eastern Ukraine last week and incessant fighting in Gaza.

  • LISBON, July 21- Portugal's Banco Espirito Santo is appointing a special financial advisor to help it raise capital to cope with large debts at the bank's founding family.

  • BEIJING, July 21- China signed a bilateral currency swap agreement worth 150 billion yuan with the Swiss central bank, which can invest up to 15 billion yuan in China's bond market. The Swiss National Bank is allowed to invest up to 15 billion yuan in China's interbank bond market under a quota given by the PBOC.

  • The increasingly deadly conflict between Israel and Gaza- based militants, fighting in eastern Ukraine and new sanctions on Russia over its perceived role in the Ukraine crisis were capping further advances in global equities, with MSCI's emerging index half percent off recent 16- month highs.

  • *SK Hynix says received formal notice of Toshiba suit. SEOUL, July 21- South Korea's SK Hynix Inc on Monday said Japanese rival Toshiba Corp is seeking 109.15 billion yen in damages in a lawsuit filed over the suspected leak of NAND flash memory chip technology.

  • The loss of momentum in Germany, Europe's biggest economy, will concern policymakers who are watching for any impact on the bloc from the Ukraine crisis and Israel's ground offensive in Gaza. Economists polled by Reuters earlier this month expected second-quarter growth of 0.2 percent in Germany, followed by 0.5 percent in each of the following five quarters.

  • *U.S. National activity index June at 1230 GMT. LONDON, July 21- Copper steadied on Monday as risk-hungry investors saw value in a metal whose price lost 2.4 percent last week, though worries over China's property sector and a build-up of copper stocks kept gains in check.

  • LONDON, July 21- Oil and gas taxation has become a major source of conflict between producers and Britain's tax authorities.

  • *McDonald's warns may face China product shortfall. *Incident highlights broader China food supply chain issues. SHANGHAI, July 21- McDonald's Corp and Yum Brands Inc are facing a new food safety scare in China, denting the fast food giants' efforts to shore up reputations and businesses that were hurt by a 2012 safety scandal in one of their biggest markets.

  • LONDON, July 21- European stock markets fell across the board on Monday, concerned by an escalation in tensions between Russia and the West and reports the Ukrainian army was moving on a major rebel stronghold.

  • LONDON, July 21- Brent crude oil steadied around $107 a barrel on Monday after world powers extended talks with Iran and eased sanctions on the Islamic republic slightly, opening the possibility of an eventual deal and further Iranian oil sales.

  • EDINBURGH, July 21- European stocks fell on Monday, hit by a drop in German stocks as sensitivity to tension in Ukraine mounted. Risk-sensitive shares in the travel and leisure and autos and parts sectors, both down 1 percent, have been under pressure since Thursday, after the Malaysian passenger plane was shot down over Ukraine.

  • *Holiday in Japan saps currency markets. LONDON, July 21- The euro climbed against the dollar on Monday as subdued U.S. yields capped the greenback, while the yen was supported by safe-haven inflows. Volumes, though were light due to a holiday in Japan.

  • Hong Kong shares slip despite a rebound by casinos Monday, 21 Jul 2014 | 4:07 AM ET

    HONG KONG, July 21- Hong Kong shares sagged on Monday, though the Macau gambling sector regained momentum following losses last week stemming from a corruption probe and disappointing earnings. Galaxy Entertainment Group and Sands China were the standout winners on the Hang Seng, up 3.1 and 2.3 percent respectively.

  • *China's Iran crude imports at 531,200 bpd +38 pct y/y, -30 pct on m/m. BEIJING, July 21- China's crude oil imports from Iran expanded 38 percent in June from a year ago, although the shipments were also at their lowest level in four months, customs data showed on Monday.