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  • Big oil firms crack the whip over service companies Wednesday, 26 Mar 2014 | 8:13 AM ET

    *Oil firms ask for more standardisation. OSLO, March 26- On a mission to crush costs, global oil firms are rewriting the rule book on how they deal with service companies. "Now is the time of integration, with one service company doing everything with the client from planning the well to building it," Torjer Halle, the chairman of Schlumberger's Norwegian unit said.

  • End US oil ban to blunt Russia: Continental CEO Wednesday, 26 Mar 2014 | 8:10 AM ET
    An oil-well site outside Williston, N.D.

    Lifting the ban on U.S. oil exports is the fastest way the drilling boom can counter Russia, Continental Resources' CEO will tell Congress.

  • *Orban champions Hungary as a nation apart in Europe. BATONYTERENYE, Hungary, March 26- Barring a major upset, Hungarians will enthusiastically re-elect Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his Fidesz party for another term in April.

  • MOSCOW/ KIEV, March 26- Russia accused Ukraine on Wednesday of putting lives at risk by preventing Russian pilots and crew disembarking from passenger flights but the Ukrainian authorities said the report distorted the facts.

  • March 26- Insmed Inc said its only experimental drug failed to meet the main goal of a mid-stage trial on patients with a form of bacterial lung infection, sending shares down 34 percent in premarket trade. Insmed compared the drug, in combination with a standard treatment, with a combination of placebo and the standard treatment.

  • European shares hit two-week high, led by Standard Life Wednesday, 26 Mar 2014 | 7:43 AM ET

    *Standard Life gains on Ignis acquisition. LONDON, March 26- European shares hit two-week highs on Wednesday, led by UK insurer Standard Life on deal news, with broad sentiment buoyed by stronger U.S. data as well as optimism over possible stimulus measures in the euro zone and China.

  • China's ZTE returns to net profit in 2013 Wednesday, 26 Mar 2014 | 7:32 AM ET

    BEIJING, March 26- ZTE Corp, China's second-biggest telecom equipment maker, said 2013 profit was in line with its own forecast, after improving margins and cutting costs. The Shenzhen- based company swung back to a net profit of 1.36 billion yuan, after its first annual net loss in 2012, it said on Wednesday.

  • US STOCKS-Futures rise as Ukraine tensions ease Wednesday, 26 Mar 2014 | 7:26 AM ET

    *Facebook buys Oculus for $2 bln, shares up in premarket. NEW YORK, March 26- U.S. stock index futures rose on Wednesday as geopolitical tensions eased after Western powers agreed to hold off on more damaging economic sanctions against Russia unless it went beyond its seizure of Crimea. *Shares of Facebook Inc rose 1 percent to $65.51 in premarket trading.

  • REUTERS SUMMIT-ASTRA EXPECTS LOW-COST CARS COULD ACCOUNT FOR 20 PCT OF COMPANY'S AUTO SALES THIS YEAR.

  • REUTERS SUMMIT-ASTRA INTERNATIONAL EXPECTS INDONESIA TO OVERTAKE THAILAND AS SE ASIA'S TOP CAR MARKET IN NEXT 1-2 YRS.

  • Insmed's lung infection drug fails mid-stage study Wednesday, 26 Mar 2014 | 7:15 AM ET

    March 26- Insmed Inc said its only experimental drug failed to meet the main goal of a mid-stage trial on patients with a form of bacterial lung infection. The company said the drug, Arikayce, did not reduce bacterial density, a measure of change in infection, in patients with nontuberculous mycobacterial lung infections.

  • *Premiums for gold bars in Asia steady. LONDON, March 26- Gold steadied above one-month lows on Wednesday but a firmer dollar, stronger equity markets and signs of a recovery in the U.S. economy are likely to limit gains, while support from physical buying was also lacking.

  • SHANGHAI, March 26- Bank of China posted on Wednesday an 11 percent increase in fourth-quarter net profits, beating estimates, as China's fourth-largest lender shrugged off concerns about rising bad loans and cut provisions.

  • March 26- Global Geophysical Services Inc, a provider of seismic data to oil and gas companies, filed for bankruptcy due to heavy debt and said it was seeking court approval for $60 million in debtor-in-possession financing. The company and some of its units made a Chapter 11 filing in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Corpus Christi, Texas.

  • March 26- Trustmark National Bank and Green Bank N.A. have sued security firm Trustwave for damages suffered from the holiday season data breach at Target Corp, accusing the company of failing to identify security gaps, the American Banker reported.

  • *Newmont says still shipping to Indonesia's Gresik copper smelter. JAKARTA, March 26- Newmont Mining Corp has not cut output at its Indonesian copper and gold mine, a spokesman at the Denver- based company said on Wednesday, denying government claims earlier in the day that its production had been slashed.

  • MADRID, March 26- The Spanish economy is on track for recovery, the Bank of Spain said on Wednesday, with gross domestic product seen expanding by 1.2 percent in 2014, above government forecasts, thanks to growth in domestic demand and exports.

  • LONDON, March 26- European and Asian shares climbed to two-week highs on Wednesday, with investor confidence getting a welcome boost from upbeat U.S. data, talk of fresh central bank stimulus and diminishing concern over Ukraine.

  • *Market expects China to stimulate economy. LONDON, March 26- Copper retreated on Wednesday after prices hit a two-week high in the previous session, but the outlook for metals demand remained supported by hopes that China will stimulate its economy.

  • By Meeyoung Cho and Jane Chung. GOYANG, South Korea, March 26- Russian gas producer Novatek's $27 billion Yamal LNG project won't be impacted by recent U.S. sanctions against a shareholder of the company, its chief executive said.