JACKSON HOLE, Wyo., Aug 23- The U.S. Federal Reserve is focused on an initial interest rate hike between the first quarter and the middle of next year, with possible changes in its main policy statement as soon as next month, Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart said on Saturday.» Read More
NEW YORK, March 18- Google Inc has settled a landmark copyright lawsuit in which Viacom Inc accused the Internet search company of posting its programs on the YouTube video service without permission.
*Euro premium erodes as Ukraine tensions seen easing. *Yen benefits broadly, helped by Ukraine worries. NEW YORK, March 18- A modest easing of geopolitical tension in Ukraine and a slight increase in U.S.
*Putin says Russia does not want further Ukraine split. NEW YORK, March 18- Major world equity markets rose on Tuesday and the safe-haven yen pared gains after President Vladimir Putin, while approving plans to make Crimea part of Russia, said he did not want to split Ukraine.
LONDON, March 18- European shares changed course to climb higher late on Tuesday after comments from Russian President Vladimir Putin eased fears that tensions over Ukraine will escalate.
NEW YORK, March 18- New York's attorney general urged U.S. stock exchanges and other venues on Tuesday to limit services that he said provided unfair advantages to high-frequency traders and undermined confidence in the markets.
CRUDE OIL FUTURES RISE MORE THAN $1 AS EQUITIES MARKETS RISE.
NEW YORK, March 18- U.S. Treasuries yields were mostly flat on Tuesday ahead of the Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting and after comments from Russian President Vladimir Putin eased tensions surrounding Ukraine. "Everybody's waiting with bated breath to see what the Fed comes back with," said Aaron Kohli, interest rate strategist at BNP Paribas in New York.
NEW YORK, March 18- U.S. stocks rose for a second straight day on Tuesday, with the S&P moving within 1 percent of record levels after comments from Russian President Vladimir Putin eased concerns that tensions over Ukraine might escalate.
*Europe faces moment of truth in bank health checks. BRUSSELS, March 18- Euro zone countries must prepare to shut their failing "zombie" banks and quickly pool the money to do it, the bloc's top regulator said on Tuesday, ahead of a warts-and-all investigation of its still-fragile financial system.
*Ukraine PM offers Russia reassurance on NATO, militias. MOSCOW, March 18- Russian President Vladimir Putin, defying Ukrainian protests and Western sanctions, signed a treaty on Tuesday making Crimea part Russia but said he did not plan to seize any other regions of Ukraine.
*Lukoil seeks to tap unconventional deposits. KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia/ MOSCOW, March 18- Russia's Lukoil is negotiating a deal with the world's top oil exporter Saudi Arabia to tap unconventional gas deposits in the kingdom's " Empty Quarter" desert region, the company's overseas unit said.
MTS said the Securities and Exchange Commission in the United States had asked for "documents and information" related to its business in Uzbekistan, from which MTS was ousted in 2012. The SEC inquiry concerned "investigations into the activities of unaffiliated parties," MTS said.
*Oxfam campaigning directed at top 10 food and drink firms. PepsiCo said in a statement it had worked with Oxfam and other external experts on a new policy to prevent suppliers displacing any legitimate landowners.
LONDON, March 18- China's biggest refiner Sinopec is in talks with Malaysia's Petronas to buy a 15 percent stake in a $20 billion Canadian liquefied natural gas project, three sources with knowledge of the matter said.
CEOS MODERATELY MORE OPTIMISTIC ABOUT ECONOMY- BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE SURVEY.
BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE CEO ECONOMIC OUTLOOK INDEX RISES TO 92.1 IN Q1 FROM 84.5 IN Q4 2013.
*IPOs, debt issues, conferences already postponed due to Ukraine. MOSCOW, March 18- Russia said its long-delayed privatisation programme could be postponed again, the latest victim of a deepening economic crisis over Ukraine that has put off IPOs, debt issues and conferences.
DETROIT, March 18- General Motors Co on Tuesday named a new vehicle safety chief who will be responsible for heading off issues like the faulty ignition switches linked to 12 deaths and the recall of more than 1.6 million vehicles.
*Jambojet owned by listed airline Kenya Airways. Willem Hondius told Reuters that Jambojet, wholly owned by Kenya Airways, faced red tape, poor infrastructure and protectionist policies, but still promised fares low enough to attract bus travellers into the air for the first time.