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  • KIEV, July 18- The International Monetary Fund expects to decide within weeks on issuing the second tranche of a $17- billion bailout to Ukraine, whose economy is likely to contract by 6.5 percent this year, its Kiev mission chief said on Friday.

  • LONDON, July 18- Brent crude oil climbed above $108 a barrel on Friday, extending sharp gains on heightened geopolitical risk after the downing of a Malaysian jetliner over eastern Ukraine and as Israeli ground troops advanced into Gaza.

  • *Qantas, Air Berlin among airlines to shift route ahead of crash. SYDNEY, July 18- Airlines including Qantas Airways and Air Berlin altered their flight paths months ago to avoid Ukrainian air space after fighting flared up in the region, raising questions about why others did not do the same.

  • *BSkyB in talks to buy Fox's German and Italian units. LONDON/ MILAN/ FRANKFURT, July 18- BSkyB's plan to buy Rupert Murdoch's pay-TV assets in Italy and Germany for perhaps as much as 10 billion euros is a bold bet on long-term growth at the expense of short-term profit, but the pioneering British media firm has pulled off such gambles before.

  • MOSCOW, July 18- Russia's top oil producer, Rosneft, said on Friday it would continue to work on its existing projects and agreements and honour its obligations despite U.S. sanctions on the company over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis.

  • HRABOVE, Ukraine, July 18- World leaders demanded an international investigation into the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner with 298 people on board over eastern Ukraine in a tragedy that could mark a pivotal moment in the worst crisis between Russia and the West since the Cold War.

  • LONDON, July 18- World markets remained under pressure on Friday after the downing of a Malaysian airlines jet at the Ukraine- Russia border, new sanctions on Moscow and unrest in Gaza had sent investors scurrying into defensive assets.

  • *Ericsson surges after earnings to provide support. EDINBURGH, July 18- European stocks fell on Friday, extending losses made late in the previous session after a passenger plane was shot down over eastern Ukraine, stoking tensions between Russia and the West.

  • *Takata could face more costs if car makers expand air bag recalls. TOKYO, July 18- Takata Corp said on Friday it would book a special loss of around 45 billion yen in the April-June quarter after several car makers recently recalled vehicles due to potential problems with its air bags.

  • KUALA LUMPUR, July 18- Malaysian Airlines System Bhd shares fell sharply on Friday after one of its planes was downed over Ukraine, putting more pressure on a carrier still reeling from the disappearance of Flight MH370 in March.

  • LONDON, July 18- The euro and the dollar gained ground against the yen on Friday, recovering from a surge of money into the traditional security of the Japanese currency a day earlier due to worries over Ukraine.

  • Hong Kong shares fall, Sands China slides Friday, 18 Jul 2014 | 4:09 AM ET

    HONG KONG, July 18- Hong Kong shares ended lower on Friday, tracking losses in global markets after the downing of a Malaysian Airlines plane over Ukraine sent investors scurrying into defensive assets. The Hang Seng Index closed down 0.3 percent at 23,454.79 points.

  • SEOUL, July 18- Nearly 200 managers at Samsung Electronics Co Ltd's mobile division have voluntarily returned a quarter of their first-half bonuses, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said, with the firm poised to post its worst quarterly profit in two years.

  • European shares fall as downed plane hits sentiment Friday, 18 Jul 2014 | 3:40 AM ET

    EDINBURGH, July 18- European stocks fell on Friday, extending losses made late in the previous session after a passenger plane was shot down over eastern Ukraine, fuelling tensions between Russia and the West. Airline stocks such as Deutsche Lufthansa and Ryanair were 1.5 percent lower, as major travel companies rerouted flights to avoid Ukranian airspace.

  • NEARLY 200 EXECS AT SAMSUNG ELEC'S MOBILE DIVISION RETURN QUARTER OF H1 BONUSES- SOURCE.

  • SEOUL, July 18- Nearly 200 management-level executives at Samsung Electronics Co Ltd's mobile division voluntarily returned a quarter of their first-half bonuses, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said on Friday, with the company poised to post its worst quarterly profit in two years.

  • HONG KONG, July 18- China shares were slightly higher on Friday, as outperforming property developers and the consumer staples sector trimmed gains in the afternoon. The CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings rose 0.3 percent.

  • SHANGHAI, July 18- A Chinese construction company at risk of posting a landmark bond default is getting support from its local government to hold off creditors and stock up cash, state media reported on Friday.

  • *Gold slips after sharp overnight jump. SINGAPORE, July 18- Gold dipped on Friday on profit-taking after jumping 1.5 percent overnight, but the metal is likely to be supported by a wave of risk aversion after a Malaysian airliner was downed in eastern Ukraine, killing nearly 300 people.

  • MOSCOW, July 18- Moscow shares fell on Friday morning, extending losses from the previous session, following the downing of a Malaysian passenger airliner in eastern Ukraine.