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  • AVIATION BODY ICAO DENIES THAT IT CLOSED AIR ROUTE OVER EASTERN UKRAINE AFTER MALAYSIA PLANE CRASH.

  • *Chancellor issues' clear call' for Russia to help peace process. BERLIN, July 18- Germany's Angela Merkel challenged Moscow's attempt to pin the downing of a Malaysian airliner on Ukraine, pointing to Russia as a source of separatists' weapons.

  • BUENOS AIRES, July 18- Argentina on Friday will sign deals to borrow $7.5 billion from China, its Cabinet chief said, at a time when the Latin American country cannot tap global capital markets due to disputes over unpaid debt.

  • ROME, July 18- The Bank of Italy on Friday cut its estimate for 2014 growth to just 0.2 percent and warned that there was significant uncertainty about the outlook for the euro zone's third-largest economy.

  • Romania wants EU agriculture portfolio under Juncker Friday, 18 Jul 2014 | 9:14 AM ET

    BUCHAREST, July 18- Romania wants to keep the agriculture portfolio in the next European Commission lineup, Prime Minister Victor Ponta said on Friday after a telephone conversation with Jean-Claude Juncker, designated president of the EU's executive arm.

  • July 18- Railroad operator Kansas City Southern reported higher-than-expected quarterly revenue as it shipped more agriculture products and automobiles. Kansas City Southern operates on a unique, north-south route in central U.S. and derives half of its annual revenue from cross-border business with Mexico.

  • July 18- Google Inc is the best placed of any company to benefit from the shift to mobile, increased local advertising and wearables, analysts said after the search giant posted its 18th straight quarter of 20 percent- plus revenue growth. Google shares were set to open about 4 percent higher at just over $600.

  • Macedonia and South Africa successfully tapped bond markets on July 17, as buyers turned a blind eye to the ongoing Russian bond rout caused by U.S. sanctions and the bringing-down of a passenger plane on its border with Ukraine. And the bank crisis and resulting stock market tumble in Bulgaria made barely a ripple in neighbouring Romania or Hungary.

  • July 18- VF Corp, the owner of brands such as Timberland and The North Face, reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and sales as cold weather in North America drove demand for its higher-margin outdoor and action sports brands.

  • July 18- NQ Mobile Inc, a Chinese mobile security software maker facing allegations of fraud from short-seller Muddy Waters Research Group, said it dismissed PricewaterhouseCoopers Zhong Tian LLP as its independent auditor.

  • Schlumberger says "business as usual" in Russia Friday, 18 Jul 2014 | 8:49 AM ET

    July 18- Oilfield service provider Schlumberger Ltd, which drills with Rosneft on the Russian island of Sakhalin, said there was no "real impact" on its business in Russia, days after the United States slapped sanctions on Rosneft.

  • MEXICO CITY, July 18- Mexico's Cemex, one of the world's largest cement companies, on Friday reported its first quarterly profit since the financial crisis in 2009 and said sales rose by double-digits in the United States and the Mediterranean, even as its home market remained weak.

  • NEW YORK, July 18- U.S. stocks were poised for a slightly higher open on Friday, after the S&P 500 suffered its worst decline since April 10 and was on track for a second straight weekly decline, ahead of data on consumer sentiment.

  • OTTAWA, July 18- Canada's annual inflation rate in June edged up to a 28- month high of 2.4 percent, the second month in a row it has exceeded the Bank of Canada's 2.0 percent target, Statistics Canada data showed on Friday.

  • July 18- U.S. auto parts maker Johnson Controls Inc reported a 3 percent rise in quarterly revenue, as demand rose for its car seats, and the company said it expected its cooling and heating systems business to return to growth in the current quarter.

  • LONDON, July 18- Oil producer Norway's crown jumped on Friday, boosted by concerns about Europe's energy supply as tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine rose. Other major currency markets calmed after an initial surge for the traditionally safe-haven yen and Swiss franc following the downing of a passenger jet over eastern Ukraine on Thursday.

  • July 18- Railroad operator Kansas City Southern reported higher quarterly net income and revenue, helped by a jump in agriculture and automotive shipments. Net income available to common stockholders jumped to $129.8 million, or $1.18 per share, in the second quarter ended June 30, from $15.4 million, or 14 cents per share, a year earlier.

  • July 18- Catalent Inc, controlled by Blackstone Group LP, said it expects its initial public offering to be priced between $19 and $22 per share, valuing the company at about $2.57 billion at the top end. The company's major customers include Pfizer Inc, Johnson& Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline Plc, Merck& Co Inc and Novartis AG.

  • July 18- General Electric Co reported a 13- percent jump in quarterly net income Friday on improved sales of its jet engines and oil and gas equipment, and said it was targeting the initial public offering of its private-label credit-card business for the end of the month.