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  • *Rosneft raises stakes in struggle with Gazprom. MOSCOW, March 7- Russia's top crude oil producer Rosneft wants to break the monopoly of another state-owned energy champion, Gazprom, to export gas via pipelines, sources said on Friday, signalling a flare-up between powerful clans.

  • ZURICH, March 7- Novartis drug Jakavi achieved its main goal in a late-stage trial for patients suffering from a rare blood cancer, putting it on track to become a potential blockbuster treatment with sales of $1 billion- plus.

  • BEIJING, March 7- China has begun preparations to set up a multilateral bank to fund infrastructure projects in Asia, the finance ministry said on Friday, looking to tap into demand for infrastructure growth as regional economies develop. "Existing MDBs, such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, put their priorities more on poverty reduction," Lou said.

  • European shares slip on widening Ukraine tensions Friday, 7 Mar 2014 | 4:27 AM ET

    *Stocks with big exposure to Russia under renewed pressure. PARIS, March 7- European shares slipped in early trade on Friday as investors were wary of the risks of another escalation in tensions between Russia and Ukraine over the weekend.

  • TAIPEI, March 7- Taiwan's exports in the first two months of 2014 rose just a sliver from a year earlier, indicating that global demand for the island's high-tech products remains tepid. In the first two months of a year, measurements of Taiwan export changes from a year earlier can be skewed by when the Lunar New Year comes.

  • *Ukraine tensions rumble on, gold heads for weekly gains. With the tussle between Ukraine and the West and Russia over Crimea expected to drag on, investors turned their focus to non-farm payrolls due at 1330 GMT, though there was a sense they would still be distorted by the recent icy U.S. weather.

  • HONG KONG, March 7- Hong Kong businessman Carson Yeung was sentenced to six years in jail on Friday for money laundering in a high-profile case that law enforcement officials hailed as an important victory to combat money laundering in the global financial hub.

  • BERLIN, March 7- After one of her first encounters with Vladimir Putin in 2002, Angela Merkel joked to aides that she had passed the "KGB test" by staring straight into his eyes without averting her gaze.

  • TOKYO, March 7- A week after the collapse of Mt. Gox, Japan is still struggling to craft a response to the bitcoin phenomenon, saying the crypto-currency is not legal tender, though it might be taxable and subject to money-laundering controls. The issue took on new prominence in Japan on Feb. 28, when Mt.

  • BERLIN, March 7- The German public has little appetite for imposing economic sanctions on Russia for its incursion into Ukraine but supports the new government in Kiev and has very little confidence in Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to a new poll.

  • *ECB disappoints bears, euro seen rising to $1.40. LONDON, March 7- The euro's raced to fresh 2014 highs against the dollar on Friday with more gains likely if a key U.S. jobs report reflects the soft patch the world's largest economy has hit due to the cold weather.

  • LONDON, March 7- European shares steadied in early trading on Friday, with many investors waiting for U.S. jobs data to provide fresh clues to health of the economy and help set the market's near-term direction.

  • HONG KONG, March 7- Strength in Sinopec Corp lifted Hong Kong- listings of China firms on Friday, trimming their weekly losses, on hopes that the Chinese oil giant's proposed sale of a stake in its retail business will attract private international investors.

  • MOSCOW, March 7- Russia's top crude oil producer Rosneft has challenged the monopoly of Gazprom on gas exports via pipelines, two company sources said on Friday, in a deepening of a battle for influence between the two state companies.

  • SHANGHAI, March 7- China recorded its first domestic bond default as expected on Friday when loss-making solar equipment producer Chaori Solar missed an interest payment, setting a landmark for market discipline in the world's second-largest economy.

  • RPT-Investors frustrated by rising bank bonuses Friday, 7 Mar 2014 | 2:30 AM ET

    In Britain- a global investment banking hub and home to most of Europe's top-earning bankers- the annual results season has seen a series of banks disclose payments are on the rise, angering some shareholders.

  • MOSCOW, Mach 7- Russia's central bank is taking steps to prevent the bankruptcy of Moskomprivatbank, the Moscow subsidiary of Ukraine's Privatbank, the Bank of Russia said on Friday.

  • HONG KONG, March 7- China shares ended a jittery week with a whimper on Friday, with a slip by financial and property stocks as investors braced for a possible bond default by Chinese solar equipment producer Chaori Solar. The CSI300 of the largest Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings shed 0.2 percent on the day and 0.5 percent on the week.

  • HONG KONG, March 7- Birmingham City Football Club boss Carson Yeung was sentenced to six years in jail on Friday for laundering $93 million following a high-profile trial that cast a spotlight on how the barber-turned-businessman made his fortune. Yeung, 54, was found guilty by a Hong Kong court on Monday of five counts of money-laundering.

  • March 7- The Chinese yuan is still expected to appreciate modestly this year, buoyed by continued foreign capital inflows, despite the central bank's recent moves to weaken the currency to punish speculators, a Reuters poll showed.