Please wait...

Reuters News

PRECIOUS-Gold falls 1 pct on economic optimism, posts July loss

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

* U.S. wage growth, labor date points to strength * Gold posts biggest monthly loss of 2014 * Bullion ignores heavy S&P 500 losses * Coming up: U.S. July nonfarm payrolls Friday (Updates market activities) By Frank Tang and Clara Denina NEW YORK/LONDON, July 31 (Reuters) - Gold fell 1 percent to a six-week low on Thursday, ignoring sharp losses in the S&P 500 equities index, as strong U.S. wage growth data and signs of an improving job market reduced the need for safe-haven buying. Bullion posted more a loss of nearly 3.5 percent for July, its biggest monthly loss this year, as the Federal Reserve's reduced bond-buying stimulus and a better undertone in the U.S. economy decreased the metal's appeal as a hedge. On Thursday, the price of gold came under pressure after U.S. data showed labor costs recorded their biggest gain in more than 5-1/2 years in the second quarter, bolstering the economy's outlook. ID:nL2N0Q60T3 U.S. stocks slumped in a broad decline, with the S&P 500 falling below a key support at its 50-day moving average. Gold has largely moved in inverse correlation with the equities market so far this year. .N "Even though the S&P is coming off, nothing has signalled the gains in equity markets are going to slow down, so there is no immediate need for gold right now," said Thomas Capalbo, precious metals trader at brokerage Newedge. Spot gold XAU= fell 1 percent to $1,282.15 an ounce by 2:08 p.m. EDT (1628 GMT). Earlier, it hit its lowest since June 19 at $1,280.76 an ounce. The metal notched a 3.4 percent drop for the month, reversing a gain of around six percent in June, when geopolitical tensions between the West and Russia over Ukraine triggered buying. U.S. gold futures for December delivery GCZ4 settled down $14.10 at $1,282.80 an ounce. Gold prices were also dragged lower as U.S. crude oil tumbled to a more than four-month low under $10 a barrel due to a shutdown in a key refinery in Kansas that consumes the crude oil. O/R Thursday's data also showed a continued strengthening of U.S. labor market conditions even though the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose last week. Gold investors are also digesting news that Argentina defaulted for the second time in 12 years. ID:nL6N0Q64AV The next market focus will be U.S. nonfarm payrolls data due on Friday, which is expected to show that U.S. employers added 233,000 new jobs in July. ECONUS Among other precious metals, spot silver XAG= was down 1 percent to $20.38 an ounce. Platinum XPT= fell 1.1 percent to $1,457 an ounce, while palladium XPD= dropped 0.9 percent to $868.26 an ounce. (Additional reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi in Singapore; Editing by Jane Baird, William Hardy, Dale Hudson, Bernard Orr and Nick Zieminski) ((Frank.Tang@thomsonreuters.com)(+1 646 223 6126)(Reuters Messaging: frank.tang.thomsonreuters@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS PRECIOUS/

UPDATE 4-Ukraine premier stays on, envoys agree on crash site route

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

* Parliament backs key laws a week after rejecting them * Premier stays on after assembly's change of heart * International experts reach plane crash site * Envoys agree to keep route to crash site open (Adds OSCE comment) By Pavel Polityuk and Natalia Zinets KIEV, July 31 (Reuters) - Ukraine's parliament rejected Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk's resignation on Thursday and finally passed legislation he said was needed to finance an army offensive against a separatist rebellion in the east and avert a national default on its debts. The assembly's about-turn on laws it refused to back a week earlier offers relief to Kiev's Western backers, who had feared Ukraine was sliding deeper into political chaos and might renege on an international bailout as it heads into an election period. "There are two pieces of news today. The first is that Argentina has defaulted, and the second is that Ukraine has not defaulted and never will," Yatseniuk told the chamber, making clear he would stay in office. The political battle has been taking place against the backdrop of a military campaign to win back parts of the Donbass region, which borders Russia, from the pro-Moscow rebels. Having recaptured the rebel stronghold of Slaviansk in early July, government forces are now moving on the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk, with the latter now all but encircled and electricity and food supplies cut off. ID:nL6N0Q62U3 Both sides stopped shooting long enough for an initial group of international experts, after several days of trying, to reach the site where a Malaysian airliner came down in rebel-held territory in the east on July 17, killing 298 people on board. The experts hope a larger team of investigators will also soon have access to the site to recover the remains of the last missing victims and look for evidence showing what brought the plane down. ID:nL6N0Q64KS "It's been almost a week since we have been on the site and we haven't noticed many changes. Experts said they have detected human remains on the site," said Michael Bociurkiw, a spokesman for an observer team from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which escorted the experts. The group also said fighting around the crash site started again immediately after they left. Western leaders accuse the rebels of shooting down the Malaysian plane and have imposed sanctions on Russia, which they accuse of arming the separatists, a charge Moscow denies. There is scant hope of a quick end to the crisis, during which Moscow has annexed the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine, but envoys from Russia, Ukraine and the OSCE met in the Belarussian capital, Minsk. Kiev said the sides had agreed to keep open the route to the crash site that was used on Thursday, despite fighting in the vicinity. "CONSOLIDATION, NOT CONFRONTATION" Thursday's vote in parliament was an important sign of political unity from Kiev, which is struggling to deal with an economic crisis as well as the war against the Moscow-backed rebels in the east. In sharp contrast to a stormy parliamentary session last week at which Yatseniuk bellowed at legislators and accused them of betraying Ukraine by blocking reforms, deputies stood and applauded him after backing the amendments. President Petro Poroshenko said the new votes in parliament would help Kiev in its fight against separatists. "We need consolidation, not confrontation," Poroshenko said. "We have to be united against external aggression." Parliament's support was needed to amend the 2014 budget to take account of falling revenue and release an additional 9.1 billion hryvnia ($758 million) to finance the military. The government also wanted parliament to back legislation allowing consortiums with European or U.S. companies to operate the ageing gas distribution system. Yatseniuk had said the government would have defaulted on debt payments and missed out on the release of further funds under a $17-billion International Monetary Fund bailout if it had failed to pass the legislation. "The laws the government is insisting on are unpopular and difficult, but very necessary," Poroshenko said, adding that they would "enable the economy, the state as a whole, to function". Laws passed on Thursday also introduce an additional 1.5-percent personal income tax until the end of the year to cover the military. Taxes were raised on tobacco and the mining, oil and gas sectors. Nearly 2 billion hryvnias were earmarked for rebuilding of infrastructure damaged by fighting in the east. The exit of two parties from the ruling coalition last week amounted to the start of a campaign for seats in a legislature still packed with former allies of pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovich, who was ousted by street protests in February. Western governments have come to regard Yatseniuk as a key interlocutor in the worst standoff between Russia and the West since the Cold War ended. His departure would have been seen as leaving a vacuum at the heart of decision making. The United States and European Union imposed sanctions on Moscow this week that were far tougher than earlier measures. Russia has been hitting back. ID:nL6N0Q63PJ It announced a ban on fruit and vegetable imports from Poland on Wednesday and a day later placed an embargo on Ukrainian fruit juice. Greek fruit and U.S. poultry could follow, Russian media said. ID:nL6N0Q62M7 ID:nL6N0Q65A2 (Additional reporting by Aleksandar Vasovic in Donetsk, Writing by Gabriela Baczynska and Timothy Heritage, Editing by Will Waterman) ((gabriela.baczynska@thomsonreuters.com)(+7 495 775 12 00)(Reuters Messaging: gabriela.baczynska.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: UKRAINE CRISIS/YATSENIUK

UPDATE 1-Russia's top general says Moscow committed to nuclear missile treaty

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

(Adds detail) MOSCOW, July 31 (Reuters) - Russia's top general, Valery Gerasimov, told the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff on Thursday that Moscow was committed to adhering to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Treaty after Washington accused Russia of violating the agreement. The accusations from Washington have heightened tension between Russia and the United States at a time when ties between the two former Cold War foes have plunged relations to their lowest level since the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union. "Gerasimov reaffirmed Russia's commitment to fulfilling the provisions of the treaty on intermediate-range rockets," Russian state news agency RIA reported the general as telling General Martin Dempsey in a telephone call. Washington says Russia has violated the treaty, ratified in 1988, which was designed to eliminate ground-launched cruise missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 km (310 to 3,400 miles). The United States has called for senior-level talks to discuss Russia's compliance. ID:nL2N0Q4015 It was unclear whether General Gerasimov's conversation with General Dempsey was part of those talks. Russia's Foreign Ministry denied the U.S. accusations as "unfounded" and said it had its own complaints against the United States over the treaty. ID:nL6N0Q56HW Washington has given no details over how in its view Russia violated the treaty, but the New York Times had reported in January that Washington informed its NATO partners that Russia had tested a ground-launched cruise missile. (Reporting by Thomas Grove; Editing by Mark Heinrich) ((thomas.grove@thomsonreuters.com)(+7 495 775 1242)(Reuters Messaging: thomas.grove.thomsonreuters@reuters.net)) Keywords: RUSSIA USA/TREATY

UPDATE 1-Japan's economy faces risks with reform agenda, debt -IMF

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

(Adds comments from IMF call) TOKYO, July 31 (Reuters) - Japan's economic risks over the medium term are tilted to the downside as the government could fail to deliver the additional reforms needed to lift potential growth and pare public debt, the International Monetary Fund said on Thursday. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe needs to go beyond the second instalment of his growth strategy announced in June and take even bolder steps to increase the labour supply and loosen regulations in the services sector, the IMF said. The Bank of Japan does not need to ease monetary policy again now as prices for a broader number of goods are rising, but the central bank should be ready to increase risk asset purchases quickly if growth weakens, the IMF said in a statement to mark the end of its annual economic assessment. If Japan's government does not produce the needed reforms, this could overburden monetary policy, cause undue yen strength and complicate an exit from quantitative easing, the IMF said. "If Abenomics does not deliver on its reform promises, growth expectations could falter and concerns about the health of public finances could rise," the IMF said. The IMF statement comes amid growing concern that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic policies, known as "Abenomics," may be stalling as exports struggle and factory output weakens. Japan's economic growth will reach 1.6 percent this year, above its potential growth rate, due to strong capital expenditure and a run-up in consumer spending ahead of the April sales tax increase, the IMF said. Growth will stabilise around 1 percent in the medium term, but Abe needs to introduce even more of his so-called "third arrow" reforms than he did last month to improve the economy, the IMF said. EXPECTING INFLATION Part of Abe's economic policy relies on aggressive quantitative easing launched by the BOJ last year to pull Japan firmly out of deflation and achieve 2 percent inflation. Consumer price gains are still largely related to the yen's depreciation pushing up import prices, but inflation is spreading to other goods and inflation expectations are rising, the IMF said. The IMF expects inflation to reach 2 percent in fiscal 2016/17, a year later than the BOJ expects, but the IMF says the BOJ can afford to keep its policy on hold for now. Over time, sustained monetary easing without structural reforms to improve growth would raise the risk of financial instability, the IMF said. The IMF has pushed labour reforms in particular, including moves to encourage more women to enter the labour market. Jerry Schiff, the IMF's mission chief for Japan, also said the government should consider changes to its laws to make it easier and more attractive for foreign workers to stay in the country, which could relatively quickly address labour shortages in some industries. In another structural change, the government raised the national sales tax to 8 percent from 5 percent in April to pay for rising welfare costs. The IMF said the government should stick with its plan to raise the tax again to 10 percent next year and take even further measures to lower the public debt burden, which is the worst in the world at more than twice the size of Japan's $5 trillion economy. A proposed cut in the corporate tax rate, which is part of Abe's growth strategy, could spur business investment, but there need to be offsetting measures to make up for the lost tax revenue, the IMF said. (Reporting by Stanley White; additional reporting by Anna Yukhananov in Washington; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Dan Grebler) ((stanley.white@thomsonreuters.com)(+81 3 6441 1984 twitter.com/stanleywhite1)(Reuters Messaging: stanley.white.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: JAPAN ECONOMY/IMF

UPDATE 1-EU adopts toughest Russian sanctions yet, targets 5 Russian banks

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

* Five named banks include Sberbank, Gazprombank * Focus on Russian access to capital markets * Defence, oil-sector technology also hit (Updates with publication of law) By Barbara Lewis and Martin Santa BRUSSELS, July 31 (Reuters) - The European Union has published a law that will curb arms sales to Russia and to cut off financing for five major Russian banks over Moscow's support for rebels in Ukraine. Russia has denounced the measures, agreed by the 28 EU member states on Tuesday, as "destructive and short-sighted", while fighting has intensified in eastern Ukraine between Kiev forces and the pro-Russian separatists. EU officials say the sanctions aim to inflict maximum pain on Russia and minimum pain on the EU. "We will for sure have an effect and a very substantial and concrete effect on Russia," one EU official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The toughest measures aim to prevent Russian banks from raising money on Western capital markets, while others limit defence sales and the export of hi-tech equipment for the oil sector. Published on Thursday in the Official Journal of the European Union, the law takes effect from Friday, Aug. 1. Marking a fundamental shift in how Europe deals with Russia, the sanctions will mean EU nationals and companies can no longer buy or sell new bonds, equity or other financial instruments with a maturity of more than 90 days issued by major state-owned Russian banks or those acting on their behalf. The law lists five targeted banks - Russia's largest lender Sberbank SBER.MM , VTB Bank VTBR.MM , Gazprombank, Vnesheconombank (VEB) and Russian Agriculture Bank (Rosselkhozbank). In addition, there is a ban on any future imports and exports of arms from Russia, and authorisation will be required for member states that want to export energy-related equipment. Export licences will be denied if products are destined for deepwater oil exploration and production, Arctic oil exploration or production and shale oil projects in Russia. Europe, which has deep trade links with Russia, was far more reluctant to act than the United States over Moscow's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in March and its support for the rebels. However, the mood shifted radically after the downing over eastern Ukraine of a civilian flight from the Netherlands to Malaysia earlier this month. Western countries say a Russian-supplied missile fired from rebel-held territory caused the disaster. Moscow blames the Ukrainian military for the crash, in which 298 people were killed. DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD Some EU member states remain nervous about the impact on their own fragile economies. The sanctions deal was agreed only after initial proposals were narrowed. EU subsidiaries of the targeted Russian banks are excluded from the ban, though they are prohibited from raising funds for their parent companies. A ban on hi-tech energy equipment applies to the oil industry only, not gas, although the targeted banks include Gazprombank, which is 36-percent owned by Russian gas giant Gazprom GAZP.MM . The restriction on sales of defence equipment is limited to future orders ID:nL6N0Q54B2 . That means France will be allowed to go ahead with delivery of a naval helicopter carrier it has already sold to Russia. Analysts say the EU will also suffer. ID:nL6N0Q44MT Russia is the world's biggest exporter of natural gas and second biggest of oil, and the state depends on energy for around half of its budget revenue. However, the EU also depends on Russia for roughly one third of its energy imports. On the global oil market, crude imports from Russia can easily be replaced, but Russian gas delivered through pipelines is less flexible. European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger repeated in a German television interview on Thursday that Russia has as much interest as Europe in maintaining gas supplies to the EU because of its need for revenue. So far, Russia has retaliated to the Western sanctions with bans on imports of some food items. ID:nL6N0Q656M Russia may restrict fruit imports from Greece - which has the weakest economy in the EU - next week, RIA news agency reported, citing a watchdog agency. It may also suspend U.S. poultry imports, Interfax news agency said. ID:nL6N0Q65A2 The EU sanctions will be subject to a three-month review to assess whether they are achieving their aim of forcing President Vladimir Putin to "de-escalate" the crisis. Depending on Russia, EU officials say the sanctions can be lifted or tightened at any moment. The review will also check that the sanctions do not have unintended consequences. Until this week, Europe had imposed sanctions only on individuals and organisations accused of direct involvement in threatening Ukraine, and had shied away from wider "sectoral sanctions". It published a new list of associates of Putin and companies subject to asset freezes late on Wednesday. ID:nL6N0Q56LU (Additional reporting by Michelle Martin in Berlin; Editing by David Stamp and Will Waterman) ((Barbara.hm.Lewis@thomsonreuters.com)(+32 2 287 68 43)(Reuters Messaging: barbara.hm.lewis.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: UKRAINE CRISIS/EU

Portuguese bonds underperform as BES edges closer to state aid

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

* Portuguese bonds struggle amid new BES worries * Euro zone July inflation drops to lowest since crisis * Yields edge higher broadly after upbeat U.S. wages data (Updates with late price moves) By Marius Zaharia and John Geddie LONDON, July 31 (Reuters) - Portuguese bonds underperformed most of their euro zone peers on Thursday after massive losses at the country's largest-listed bank raised the prospect of a capital injection from the state. Shares in Banco Espirito Santo BES.LS hit record lows after the bank posted a 3.6 billion euro half-year loss and top officials were suspended over suspected harmful management. ID:nL6N0Q63RF The Bank of Portugal said it would prefer if capital were raised from private sources, but that the country does have funds for a public bailout if one is needed. ID:nL6N0Q56WL "The situation for BES is much worse than expected, its loss is a record and investors now worry about how much capital they're going to have to raise," said Nick Stamenkovic, a bond strategist at RIA Capital Markets. "It's having a knock-on effect on the sovereign." Portuguese 10-year bond yields PT10YT=TWEB were 4 basis points higher at 3.64 percent, having risen as high as 3.67 percent. All other euro zone bond yields were 1-2 basis points higher, apart from Greece's, which usually see larger swings due to low liquidity. The cost to insure Portuguese debt against default via credit default swaps was up 13 basis points at 193 bps, according to data from Markit. Portugal, which emerged from its sovereign bailout in May, has 6.4 billion euros of funds for any bank recapitalisation and the treasury has already raised cash to cover financing needs into next year. INFLATION DATA Bonds were broadly weaker after data showed U.S. labour costs recording their largest increase in more than 5-1/2 years in the second quarter raised the likelihood that the Federal Reserve would soon have to increase rates. "The ECB is far away from tightening policy, but in the U.S. this prospect is much closer," Piet Lammens, a strategist at KBC, said. Having given up some 6 basis points late Wednesday after the U.S. economy recorded a surge in output for the second quarter, German 10-year yields steadied on Thursday, inching 1 basis point lower to 1.15 percent DE10YT=TWEB While the euro zone is vulnerable to a U.S. rate hike, many strategists think the European Central Bank's ultra-loose monetary policy should help cushion the blow. Lower-than-expected euro zone inflation data on Thursday reinforced that view. ECONEZ "There is some degree of correlation but on a longer-term horizon, rates will have to decouple. If euro zone growth remains soft, the ECB has to be in play, and if anything in more of an easing mode," Marco Brancolini, a rates strategist at RBS, said. Brancolini said conditions for a material sell-off in German bonds were not there and 10-year yields should trade in a range of 1 to 1.25 percent. KBC's Lammens said an upwards resistance level of 1.40 percent should hold throughout August, while record low yields of 1.11 percent set earlier this week would be hard to break. The ECB cut all its interest rates in June and promised up to 1 trillion euros in cheap long-term loans to banks from September. It has also kept the door open to a programme of large-scale asset purchases, known as quantitative easing. (Editing by Alison Williams) ((marius.zaharia@thomsonreuters.com; +44)(0)(207 542 0950; Reuters Messaging: marius.zaharia.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: MARKETS BONDS/EURO

UPDATE 2-Sibanye aims to be S.African "mining champion" as it eyes Amplats mines

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

* Amplats plans to divest some S.Africa mines * Sibanye is front-runner to snap them up * Sibanye CEO says sale or listing provides opportunity (Recasts with Sibanye CEO comments, background) By Zandi Shabalala and Ed Stoddard JOHANNESBURG, July 31 (Reuters) - South Africa's Sibanye Gold SGLJ.J remains on the hunt for a platinum asset and has Anglo American Platinum's (Amplats) mines in its sights, ready to make a move if the owner decides on either a straight sale or a separate listing for the assets. Sibanye has emerged as the front-runner in any race to acquire the slate of mines Amplats AMSJ.J has said it plans to sell in its drive to recover from a five-month wage strike and shift towards more mechanised mining. Speaking on Thursday after unveiling interim results, Sibanye chief executive Neal Froneman said the Amplats mines would not only fit his strategy but also dove-tail with calls by the ruling ANC for a South African buyer to step forward. "We have clearly put our hands up to be the South African mining champion as we believe is supported by the African National Congress (ANC)," Froneman told Reuters in an interview. The ANC said this week it preferred a local company to buy mines being sold by Amplats but that it would not influence the deal. ID:nL6N0Q43JL A unit of global mining house Anglo American AAL.L , Amplats has said it plans to sell its Rustenburg operations, which were at the epicentre of the five-month, industry-wide strike, as well as its Union mine and a joint venture. Some analysts have said the Rustenburg mines and the Union mine could together be worth between $1 billion and $2 billion, but others have said the baggage they bring including labour tensions make them almost worthless. The majority union at the labour-intensive mines is the hardline Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), which led this year's massive strike that was the longest and costliest in South African history. LISTING OR SALE? Amplats has said a straight sale is its preference, but it could also unbundle the assets into a separate listing. Froneman said either would be fine by Sibanye, itself a spin-off from Gold Fields GFIJ.J . "Either way we see an opportunity and we remain interested. At the right price they are definitely assets that fit into our strategy," he said. But he also said the process might take longer than he originally hoped after Anglo Amercian's chief executive said last week it may be too optimistic to expect a sale of its South African platinum assets by 2015. ID:nL6N0Q01KL Froneman has looked at other platinum assets owned by other companies, but will not be drawn on their identity. "We have looked at five platinum opportunities. We have walked through the front door and engaged with management." Sibanye's first-half earnings fell by 27 percent but it tried to placate investors with an interim dividend of 50 cents, in line with its policy of giving cash back to shareholders. Its shares initially climbed over 3 percent, before sliding into negative territory in late trade, in line with its peers as bullion's spot price XAU= remained pinned below $1,300. Normalised earnings per share for the six months ended 30 June 2014 declined to 138 cents per share from 190 cents but the company lifted its interim dividend by a third. "Based on the total number of shares in issue this dividend is equivalent to 42 percent of normalised earnings, which is above the 25 percent to 35 percent range defined in Sibanye's dividend policy," the company said. Sibanye's shares have more than doubled this year, outpacing an 11 percent rise in Johannesburg's All-share index .JALSH . Sibanye has cast itself as a dividend play as it produces bullion from mature, deep-level mines nearing the end of their life which will not require massive levels of capital. Its dividend yield is 4.4 percent, according to Reuters' data. Froneman said the company's high dividend policy would not be compromised by buying into platinum. "In the medium to long term it has to impact positively on the dividend, otherwise we wouldn't do it. It's as simple as that," Froneman said. (Editing by Mark Potter) ((zandi.shabalala@thomsonreuters.com)(+27 11 775 3158)(Reuters Messaging: zandi.shabalala.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: SIBANYEGOLD/RESULTS

GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares slide as Wall St tumbles; U.S. Treasuries yields rise

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

* Wall St tumbles with Dow, S&P turning negative for July * Treasuries prices fall, yields rise on inflation fears * European shares hit 2-week low as worries about U.S. monetary policy hit sentiment By Angela Moon NEW YORK, July 31 (Reuters) - Doubts on whether stock markets can ride out a tightening of U.S. monetary policy dominated trade on Thursday, sending major U.S. stock indexes down more than 1 percent, while the dollar edged higher against a basket of major currencies. The dollar edged higher against a basket of major currencies after U.S. labor market data bolstered expectations for a more hawkish Federal Reserve. Wall Street tumbled, with the S&P 500 falling more than 1.25 percent during the morning session. The day's broad decline sent the Dow and S&P 500 negative for July. Weak U.S. data contributed to the bearish tone as claims for jobless benefits rose more than expected in the latest week, and the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index unexpectedly fell in July to its lowest since June 2013. U.S. Treasuries yields rose as rising labor costs led some investors to prepare for a greater likelihood that the Federal Reserve will increase interest rates next year, while others feared that inflation may be a higher risk if the U.S. central bank is too slow to hike rates. "Starting with GDP yesterday, it certainly set things off," said Ira Jersey, an interest rate strategist at Credit Suisse in New York. "In general, you have decent data and if the Fed's behind the curve, you will wind up with inflation running a little bit higher than people thought." Gross domestic product data released on Wednesday showed a strong rebound in the second quarter from a weak start to the year. The U.S. dollar edged higher against a basket of major currencies as the weak labor market data bolstered expectations for a more hawkish Fed, though traders are hoping for a strong U.S. nonfarm payrolls report on Friday. The U.S. dollar index .DXY , which measures the dollar against a basket of six major currencies, was last up 0.03 percent at 81.456, down from a 10-1/2 month high of 81.573 touched earlier in the session. The euro EUR= was last down 0.07 percent against the dollar at $1.3387, just above an eight-month trough. The dollar was up 0.07 percent against the Japanese yen JPY= at 102.85 yen, but was down 0.02 percent against the Swiss franc CHF= at 0.9085 franc. The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note US10YT=RR yield rose to 2.56 percent, from 2.55 percent late on Wednesday. The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI fell 174.39 points, or 1.03 percent, at 16,705.97. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index .SPX was down 24.80 points, or 1.26 percent, at 1,945.27. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC was down 68.39 points, or 1.53 percent, at 4,394.51. MSCI's All-World Index .MIWD00000PUS was down 1.1 percent and European shares .FTEU1 fell 1.2 percent. Euro zone data on Thursday showed inflation slowing to just 0.4 percent, and the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 was down 1 percent by midday. A warning by sports group Adidas about its business in Russia underlined the threats facing European companies. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL6N0Q64C2 Another worry for some European companies was Argentina's second default in 12 years, following the failure of last-minute efforts toward a deal with holdout creditors. While debt insurance costs suggested an eventual agreement still seemed possible, the default helped fuel weakness in Spanish and French shares, traders said, with Madrid's main index down 2.4 percent .IBEX . (Reporting by Angela Moon; Editing by Dan Grebler) ((angela.moon@thomsonreuters.com)(+1 646 223 5685)(Reuters Messaging: angela.moon.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: MARKETS GLOBAL/

Sterling hits 7-week low vs dollar, worst month in over a year

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

By Jamie McGeever LONDON, July 31 (Reuters) - Sterling recorded its biggest monthly loss against the dollar in over a year on Thursday as contrasting UK and U.S. economic data suggested the first U.S. interest rate hike may not be too far behind the first UK move. The pound hit a seven-week low after figures on Thursday showed that some steam may be coming out of the UK housing market, and that UK consumer confidence fell in July for the first time in six months. This contrasted with a further broad-based rise in U.S. bond yields, as punchy wage growth figures came on the heels of Wednesday's news that the world's largest economy grew at a solid 4 percent pace in the second quarter. At 1500 GMT on Thursday sterling was down 0.2 percent on the day against the dollar at $1.6881 GBP= , and the euro was up 0.2 percent at 79.30 pence EURGBP= . The yield on 10-year U.S. bonds jumped to 2.60 percent US10YT=RR from as low as 2.47 percent Wednesday. That brought the yield premium of UK bonds GB10YT=RR over U.S. debt down to less than five basis points, the lowest since mid-May. "The market has already priced in considerable tightening from the Bank of England over the next 12-24 months whereas the market is only just starting to price in potentially earlier hikes by the Fed, which is supporting the dollar," said Valentin Marinov, head of G10 FX strategy at Citigroup in London. "So it's a case of too many sterling positives priced into cable (sterling/dollar) and not enough dollar positives, and that imbalance is being corrected at the moment," he said. Consumer confidence in Britain, as measured by researchers GfK NOP, fell in July, and Nationwide's measure of UK house prices showed only a 0.1 percent rise in July, the slowest growth since April last year. ID:nL4N0Q65AT ECONGB The Bank of England could raise rates as early as this year, say traders and economists. They still expect the Federal Reserve to begin tightening next year but possibly in the first quarter rather than the second. Sterling is now on track for a fourth consecutive weekly decline against the dollar, its weakest run since February/March last year, and its biggest monthly fall since May last year. Comments from BoE policymaker Ben Broadbent on Thursday did little to relieve the pressure on sterling. He told Bloomberg News it was "quite possible" sterling was over-valued by as much as 10 percent, but only because the UK economy was relatively strong. JP Morgan technical analysts said the selling could accelerate in the coming weeks, noting that the dip below $1.69 this week sends a "strong warning signal that a much deeper setback towards $1.6394 could be looming." Earlier this month the pound nudged $1.72, its strongest level in almost six years. (Reporting by Jamie McGeever and Jemima Kelly; Editing by Ruth Pitchford) ((jamie.mcgeever@thomsonreuters.com)(+ 44 207 542 8510)(Reuters Messaging: jamie.mcgeever.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS STERLING/CLOSE

UPDATE 1-AFRICA FX-East Africa currencies seen stable, naira could strengthen

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

(Adds Tanzania currency) JOHANNESBURG, July 31 (Reuters) - East African currencies are likely to hold largely steady against the dollar next week, but the Nigerian naira could gain as energy companies offload dollars and foreign investors buy local debt. KENYA At 0931 GMT on Thursday, commercial banks quoted the Kenyan shilling KES= at 87.70/90 to the dollar, compared with a close of 87.80/90 a week ago. "It might appreciate a bit once the month-end demand (for dollars) is over, but I think the range will still be 87.50 to 88.00," African Banking Corporation trader Julius Kiriinya said. Traders expected the shilling to come under pressure in coming months due to lower dollar receipts from the tourism sector after a series of militant attacks prompted travel warnings by some Western governments. UGANDA The Ugandan shilling UGX= is expected to find support from the central bank intervening to mop up excess liquidity in the interbank market, while dollar demand from companies is likely to be sluggish. At 1133 GMT the shilling was at 2,620/2,630, stronger than last Thursday's close of 2,627/2,637. "There was a lot of liquidity in the interbank, possibly from government releases but we had a mop-up today," said Sage Daniel Muganza, a trader at Centenary Bank. The Bank of Uganda absorbed 200 billion Ugandan shillings ($76 million) in total through a repo sale. Crane Bank dealer Shahzad Kamaluddin said the shilling would likely oscillate between 2,620 and 2,630 over the next week. TANZANIA The Tanzanian shilling is expected to strengthen slightly against the U.S. dollar in the days ahead due to the expected easing of a liquidity squeeze on the local currency. Commercial banks in east Africa's second-biggest economy quoted the shilling at 1,656/1,665 to the dollar on Thursday, stronger than 1,662/1,667 a week ago. "We expect the shilling to appreciate slightly next week due to the possible loosening of the liquidity squeeze on the local currency," said Flora Mrema, a trader at TIB Development. "The central bank has been buying dollars in the market to try to inject more shillings into the market." Market participants said they expect the shilling to trade in a tight 1,650-1,660 range over the coming days. The Bank of Tanzania said on its website that it traded $15.25 million on the interbank foreign exchange market over the past week. NIGERIA Nigeria's naira is likely to trend firmer next week as major energy companies operating in Africa's top crude exporter offload dollars and offshore investors buy local debt, market players said. The naira NGN=D1 has been steady within a 161.50-161.90 range over the past fortnight, propped up by demand from energy firms needing to make domestic month-end payments. The Nigerian unit of ExxonMobil XOM.N sold $50 million to some lenders on Thursday. The local currency traded at 161.90/dollar at 1359 GMT, little changed from Wednesday's close at 161.85. "We are expecting more dollar flows from some oil companies that are yet to come to the market, including the NNPC," one dealer said, referring to the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. (Reporting by George Obulutsa, Elias Biryabarema; and Oludare Mayowa; Editing by Stella Mapenzauswa and Mark Heinrich) ((stella.mapenzauswa@thomsonreuters.com)(+27117753161)(Reuters Messaging: stella.mapenzauswa.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: AFRICA CURRENCY

S.Africa's rand weaker vs dollar despite narrowing trade deficit

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

JOHANNESBURG, July 31 (Reuters) - South Africa's rand fell by over half a percent against the dollar on Thursday, failing to gain momentum from a surprise narrowing of the country's trade deficit. Domestic trade data showed the deficit had shrunk to 190 million rand ($18 million) in June from 7.44 billion rand in May, beating forecasts of a 6.3 billion rand shortfall by economists polled by Reuters. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nJ8N0PF01M The local unit shed 0.51 percent to 10.7135 per dollar ZAR=D3 by 1456 GMT, falling from the previous session's close of 10.66 and touching two-week lows before pulling back slightly. "The effect of trade data on the rand has been fickle to interpret because it has been out of place with consensus," said Sean McCaltan, an economist at ETM Analytics. "There hasn't been the reaction you would normally see to that kind of data, in fact it looks like we have reverted back to the U.S. data regarding direction." The dollar hit session highs against most currencies after the Fed announced another $10 bln taper to its asset purchase program on Wednesday, while GDP numbers showed the world's largest economy to be growing at 4 percent. Diminished capital in-flows are expected to hurt the local economy as global monetary conditions become less accommodative. "The rand tends to out-perform in good times and under-perform in bad times. The dollar recovery could be a sore point," McCaltan said. Earlier, Statistics South Africa said producer price inflation for June had slowed to 8.1 percent from 8.7 percent in May. ID:nJ8N0PF01K Bonds were slightly weaker, with yields on both benchmark papers higher, by 1.5 basis points on the 2015 bond ZAR157= and 2 basis points on the 2026 paper ZAR186= . (Reporting By Mfuneko Toyana; Editing by Ed Stoddard) ((mfuneko.toyana@thomsonreuters.com)(+27117753153)(Reuters Messaging: mfuneko.toyana.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS SAFRICA/CURRENCY

Mali cancels 130 mining permits after sector audit

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

BAMAKO, July 31 (Reuters) - Mali has cancelled 130 mining permits, about 30 percent of existing permits in the gold-producing West African nation, in a drive to clean up the sector, a mines ministry official said on Thursday. The new government said in September that it will carry out a complete inventory of existing mining contracts, titles and licenses and was ready to renegotiate permits that were not in the country's interest. ID:nL5N0H64AR The cancelled licences include a range of permits covering a surface area of about 13,000 sq km (5,000 square miles), but do not involve mines already in production. "It is the result of the inventory that was launched a few months ago by the department, 130 permits, that is about 30 percent of all total permits have been annulled," said Hassimi Sidibe, a technical adviser in the ministry told Reuters. He added that the cancelled permits include those held by Malians as well as foreigners and targeted those where no development has taken place. A statement by the mines ministry said the cancellation would effectively unfreeze those permits and allow the government to issue them to other investors with the technical and financial ability to pursue explorations. Gold production in Mali, Africa's third biggest gold producer after South Africa and Ghana, hit 67.4 tonnes in 2013 due to a growth in artisanal mining. Nine companies including Randgold Resources RRS.L , Anglogold Ashanti ANGJ.J and Resolute Mining RSG.AX currently have operations in the country which has estimated reserves of about 609 tonnes in 2014. (Reporting by Tiemoko Diallo; Writing by Bate Felix; Editing by William Hardy) ((bate.felix@thomsonreuters.com)(+221 33 864 5077)(Reuters Messaging: Reuters Messaging: bate.felix.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MALI MINING/PERMITS

POLONIA Rate stays unchanged

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

WARSAW, Jul 31 (Reuters) - POLONIA the reference rate for Overnight deposits amounted to 2.51 percent. The volume of transactions concluded till 16:30 by banks participating in POLONIA fixing amounted to 3,680 mln PLN. Note: Description of reference rate at: http://www.acipolska.pl/ ((warsaw.newsroom@reuters.com))

UPDATE 2-Russian assets erase gains as sanctions, global sentiment weigh

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

(Adds details, updates prices) MOSCOW, July 31 (Reuters) - Russian stock indexes erased early gains on Thursday, falling into the red by evening, as global markets declined and Russia waited to see details of further European Union sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine. At 1420 GMT, the dollar-denominated RTS index .IRTS was down 0.2 percent to 1,220 points. The rouble-based MICEX .MCX fell 0.2 percent to 1,379 points. In the morning the RTS rose 1.5 percent and MICEX 1 percent, after the European Commission published a new list of individuals and companies subject to sanctions over Ukraine which spared major listed companies. Analysts warned, however, that further EU sanctions expected to be announced later on Thursday could deflate the market mood. Russian shares were also dragged down during the day by declines on European and U.S. markets following disappointing corporate results. A sanctions list published by the European Commission late on Wednesday included some associates of President Vladimir Putin as well as three companies, none of which are listed on the stock exchange. ID:nL6N0Q56LU Analysts said relief over the limited scope of EU sanctions so far may be misplaced as further measures targeting key sectors of the Russian economy are expected late on Thursday. "Today's release of the texts of the EU Regulation on sectoral sanctions is the key item to watch in order to assess their scope," VTB Capital analysts said in a morning note. Analysts said one of the major issues for the stock market is whether the EU sanctions will include Sberbank SBER.MM , Russia's largest bank and one of its major listed companies. "The key question for the market is whether Sberbank is on the list as investors are certain about the inclusion of VTB after the U.S. declared sanctions on it," analysts at Uralsib said in a morning note. On Tuesday, the EU reached agreement on sanctions that will shut major Russian banks out of European capital markets, but it has yet to say which banks will be affected. ID:nL6N0Q449N Sberbank shares were up 0.4 percent on Thursday, outperforming the MICEX index. Shares in VTB, Russia's other major listed bank, also rose 0.4 percent, having fallen on Wednesday after the U.S. sanctions. In a further blow to Russia, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg awarded shareholders in the defunct oil company Yukos 1.9 billion euros in damages, following a $50 billion damages ruling by a court in the Hague on Monday. ID:nL6N0Q634Q Shares in leading Russian oil company Rosneft ROSN.MM , which had taken over the bulk of Yukos's assets, fell 0.6 percent on Thursday, slightly underperforming the market. However, shares in Russian steel producer Severstal rose 4 percent CHMF.MM , boosted by a promise on Wednesday to increase dividends by $1 billion it raised from the sale of its assets in North America. As with stocks, the rouble also erased morning gains to end the day weaker. It was down 0.14 percent against the dollar at 35.64 RUBUTSTN=MCX and had shed one kopeck to 47.67 against the euro EURRUBTN=MCX , leaving the rouble 0.08 percent weaker at 41.05 against the dollar-euro basket. RUB=MCX For rouble poll data see FXRUB FXEURRUB FXRUS For Russian equities guide see RU/EQUITY For Russian treasury bonds see 0#RUTSY=MM Russia in graphics: http://link.reuters.com/dun63s (Reporting by Jason Bush; Editing by Larry King) ((jason.bush@thomsonreuters.com)(+7 495 775 1242)(Reuters Messaging: jason.bush.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: RUSSIA MARKETS/

Poland completes market financing of 2014 borrowing needs

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

WARSAW, July 31 (Reuters) - Poland has finished market financing its 2014 borrowing needs, the head of the finance ministry's debt department, Piotr Marczak, said in a statement on Thursday. He added that after the summer months Poland will draw further tranches of financing from international institutions, which will formally complete this year's financing needs. Marczak added that the level of pre-financing of 2015 borrowing needs will depend on market conditions. He also said that foreign holdings of Polish zloty-denominated treasury bonds rose by 10.2 billion zlotys ($3.3 billion) in June, the largest increase since August 2010. "In July, we have redeemed from foreign investors 4.6 billion zlotys worth of the maturing OK0714 bond," Marczak said, adding the funds were not fully rolled over. ($1 = 3.1200 Polish Zlotys) (Reporting by Pawel Sobczak; Writing by Marcin Goettig; Editing by Toby Chopra) ((marcin.goettig@thomsonreuters.com)(+48226539720)(Reuters Messaging: marcin.goettig.reuters.com@thomsonreuters.net)) Keywords: POLAND DEBT/FINANCING

FOREX-Dollar gains slightly after U.S. jobs data stokes optimism

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

* U.S. labor costs rise in second quarter * U.S. weekly jobless claims just above expectations * Traders eye nonfarm payrolls growth (Updates prices, adds comments; changes dateline; previous LONDON) By Sam Forgione NEW YORK, July 31 (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar edged higher against a basket of major currencies on Thursday after U.S. labor market data bolstered expectations for a more hawkish Federal Reserve and reinforced optimism for a strong U.S. nonfarm payrolls report Friday. The Labor Department said the Employment Cost Index, the broadest measure of labor costs and one of Fed Chair Janet Yellen's favorite labor market gauges, rose 0.7 percent in the second quarter, marking the biggest increase in over 5-1/2 years. U.S. weekly jobless claims, meanwhile, rose to 302,000 in the latest week. While that was slightly above expectations, the four-week average of claims fell 3,500 to 297,250, the lowest since April 2006. ID:nL2N0Q60T3 Higher wages "give the Fed increasingly less justification to maintain its ultra-easy monetary policy," said Omer Esiner, chief market analyst at Commonwealth Foreign Exchange in Washington. While the dollar was on track for its best monthly gain in roughly a year and a half, Thursday's rise was mild as traders awaited Friday's nonfarm payrolls data, which economists expect will show U.S. employers added 233,000 jobs in July. "Investors are trimming some exposure to the dollar after its gains overnight ahead of the nonfarm payrolls," said Esiner. Analysts have said the Fed may take a more hawkish stance on raising interest rates at its next policy meeting in September in light of the recovering U.S. economy. Higher rates are expected to boost the dollar by driving flows into the United States. While upgrading its assessment of the economy, the Fed reiterated in a policy statement on Wednesday its concerns about slack in the labor market and reaffirmed that it is in no rush to raise interest rates. The dollar briefly turned negative against major currencies after data showed the Institute for Supply Management-Chicago business barometer fell to 52.6, below economists' expectations for a rise to 63. But it quickly rebounded as traders remained optimistic on U.S. economic growth. The data is "amongst a larger set of data releases that certainly indicate better growth in the U.S.," said Sebastien Galy, currency strategist at Societe Generale in New York. The U.S. dollar index .DXY , which measures the dollar against a basket of six major currencies, was last up 0.01 percent at 81.441, down from a 10-1/2 month high of 81.573 touched earlier in the session. The euro EUR= was last down 0.07 percent against the dollar at $1.3387, just above an eight-month trough. The dollar was last up 0.07 percent against the Japanese yen JPY= at 102.85 yen, but was down 0.02 percent against the Swiss franc CHF= at 0.9085 franc. The Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note US10YT=RR yield rose to 2.58 percent, from 2.55 percent late Wednesday. (Reporting by Sam Forgione; Editing by Dan Grebler) ((Sam.Forgione@thomsonreuters.com)(646-223-6189)(Reuters Messaging: sam.forgione.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS FOREX/

WEEKAHEAD-AFRICA FX-East Africa currencies seen stable, naira could strengthen

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

JOHANNESBURG, July 31 (Reuters) - East African currencies are likely to hold largely steady against the dollar next week, but the Nigerian naira could gain as energy companies offload dollars and foreign investors buy local debt. KENYA At 0931 GMT on Thursday, commercial banks quoted the Kenyan shilling KES= at 87.70/90 to the dollar, compared with a close of 87.80/90 a week ago. "It might appreciate a bit once the month-end demand (for dollars) is over, but I think the range will still be 87.50 to 88.00," African Banking Corporation trader Julius Kiriinya said. Traders expected the shilling to come under pressure in coming months due to lower dollar receipts from the tourism sector after a series of militant attacks prompted travel warnings by some Western governments. UGANDA The Ugandan shilling UGX= is expected to find support from the central bank intervening to mop up excess liquidity in the interbank market, while dollar demand from companies is likely to be sluggish. At 1133 GMT the shilling was at 2,620/2,630, stronger than last Thursday's close of 2,627/2,637. "There was a lot of liquidity in the interbank, possibly from government releases but we had a mop-up today," said Sage Daniel Muganza, a trader at Centenary Bank. The Bank of Uganda absorbed 200 billion Ugandan shillings ($76 million) in total through a repo sale. Crane Bank dealer Shahzad Kamaluddin said the shilling would likely oscillate between 2,620 and 2,630 over the next week. NIGERIA Nigeria's naira is likely to trend firmer next week as major energy companies operating in Africa's top crude exporter offload dollars and offshore investors buy local debt, market players said. The naira NGN=D1 has been steady within a 161.50-161.90 range over the past fortnight, propped up by demand from energy firms needing to make domestic month-end payments. The Nigerian unit of ExxonMobil XOM.N sold $50 million to some lenders on Thursday. The local currency traded at 161.90/dollar at 1359 GMT, little changed from Wednesday's close at 161.85. "We are expecting more dollar flows from some oil companies that are yet to come to the market, including the NNPC," one dealer said, referring to the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. (Reporting by George Obulutsa, Elias Biryabarema; and Oludare Mayowa; Editing by Stella Mapenzauswa and Susan Fenton) ((stella.mapenzauswa@thomsonreuters.com)(+27117753161)(Reuters Messaging: stella.mapenzauswa.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: AFRICA CURRENCY

EU adopts toughest Russian sanctions yet

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

* Sanctions law to be published later Thursday * Focus on Russian access to capital markets * Defence, oil-sector technology also hit By Barbara Lewis and Martin Santa BRUSSELS, July 31 (Reuters) - The European Union formally adopted sanctions on Thursday curbing arms sales to Russia and cutting off financing for targeted banks over Moscow's support for rebels in Ukraine. Russia has denounced the measures, agreed by the 28 EU member states on Tuesday, as "destructive and short-sighted", while fighting has intensified in eastern Ukraine between Kiev forces and the pro-Russian separatists. EU officials say the sanctions aim to inflict maximum pain on Russia and minimum pain on the EU. "We will for sure have an effect and a very substantial and concrete effect on Russia," one EU official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The toughest measures aim to prevent Russian banks from raising money on Western capital markets, while others limit defence sales and the export of hi-tech equipment for the oil sector. The sanctions law will be published later in the day in the Official Journal of the European Union and takes effect from Friday, Aug 1. Marking a fundamental shift in how Europe deals with Russia, the sanctions will mean EU nationals and companies can no longer buy or sell new bonds, equity or other financial instruments with a maturity of more than 90 days issued by major state-owned Russian banks or those acting on their behalf. Russia's largest banks with state ownership of more than 50 percent include Sberbank SBER.MM , VTB Russian Agriculture Bank (Rosselkhozbank) and VEB. In addition, there is a ban on the import and export of arms from Russia and authorisation will be required for member states that want to export energy-related equipment. Export licences will be denied if products are destined for deep water oil exploration and production, Arctic oil exploration or production and shale oil projects in Russia. Europe, which has deep trade links with Russia, was far more reluctant to act than the United States over Moscow's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in March and its support for the rebels. However, the mood shifted radically after the downing over eastern Ukraine of a civilian flight from the Netherlands to Malaysia earlier this month. Western countries say a Russian-supplied missile fired from rebel-held territory caused the disaster. Moscow blames the Ukrainian military for the crash, in which 298 people were killed. DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD Some EU member states remain nervous about the impact on their own fragile economies. The sanctions deal was agreed only after initial proposals were narrowed. EU subsidiaries of the targeted Russian banks are excluded from the ban, although prohibited from raising funds for their parent companies. A ban on hi-tech energy equipment applies to the oil industry only, and not gas, while a restriction on sales of defence equipment is limited to future orders. ID:nL6N0Q54B2 That means France will be allowed to go ahead with delivery of a naval helicopter carrier it has already sold to Russia. Analysts warn that the EU will also suffer. ID:nL6N0Q44MT Russia is the world's biggest exporter of natural gas and second biggest of oil, and the state depends on energy for around half of its budget revenue. However, the EU also depends on Russia for roughly one third of its energy imports. On the global oil market, crude imports from Russia can easily be replaced, but Russian gas delivered through pipelines is less flexible. European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger repeated in a German television interview on Thursday that Russia has as much interest as Europe in maintaining gas supplies to the EU because of its need for revenue. So far, Russia has retaliated to the Western sanctions with bans on imports of some food items. ID:nL6N0Q656M Russia may restrict fruit imports from Greece - which has the weakest economy in the EU - next week, RIA news agency reported, citing a watchdog agency. It may also suspend U.S. poultry imports, Interfax news agency said. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL6N0Q65A2 The EU sanctions will be subject to a three-month review to assess whether they are achieving their aim of forcing President Vladimir Putin to "de-escalate" the crisis. Depending on Russia, EU officials say the sanctions can be lifted or tightened at any moment. The review will also check that the sanctions do not have unintended consequences. Until this week, Europe had imposed sanctions only on individuals and organisations accused of direct involvement in threatening Ukraine, and had shied away from wider "sectoral sanctions". It published a new list of associates of Putin and companies subject to asset freezes late on Wednesday. ID:nL6N0Q56LU (Additional reporting by Michelle Martin in Berlin; editing by David Stamp) ((Barbara.hm.Lewis@thomsonreuters.com)(+32 2 287 68 43)(Reuters Messaging: barbara.hm.lewis.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: UKRAINE CRISIS/EU

Deals of the day- Mergers and acquisitions

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

(Adds Oil & Natural Gas Corp, Apache, Shaw Communications, Auriga Industries) July 31 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 1400 GMT on Thursday: ** AMC Networks Inc AMCX.O , a U.S. media company that owns cable channels, is in talks to buy a stake in BBC America, BBC Worldwide's U.S. channel, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters. BBC Worldwide will retain a small majority of BBC America if a deal with AMC goes through, the source said. ID:nL4N0Q576U ** Panasonic confirmed that it would invest in U.S. electric carmaker Tesla Motors Inc's TSLA.O planned $5 billion lithium-ion battery plant in the United States, but said it had yet to decide on the size of its investment. ID:nL4N0Q54W ** India's state-owned Oil & Natural Gas Corp ONGC.NS and Oil India Ltd OILI.NS have submitted a joint bid worth about $1.5 billion to buy a stake in Murphy Oil Corp's MUR.N Malaysian oil and gas assets, sources directly involved in the process said. ID:nL4N0Q65GO ** U.S. oil and gas company Apache Corp APA.N , under pressure from activist-investor Jana Partners, said it plans to sell its interest in two liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects, the Wheatstone LNG project in Australia and Canada's Kitimat LNG project. ID:nL2N0Q60S9 ** Canadian media and cable company Shaw Communications Inc SJRb.TO SJR.N said it would buy data center services provider ViaWest Inc from Oak Hill Capital Partners and others in a deal valued at $1.2 billion on an enterprise basis. ID:nL4N0Q66N1 ** Swedish drug maker Meda AB MEDAa.ST said on Thursday it had agreed to buy Italy's Rottapharm, which this month pulled plans for a stock market flotation, for 21.2 billion crowns ($3.1 billion). ID:nL6N0Q62BW ** British infrastructure company Balfour Beatty said on Thursday it had terminated talks with Carillion Plc CLLN.L over a possible 3 billion pound ($5 billion) merger, only days after the possible deal was revealed. ID:nL6N0Q621R ** French logistics group Norbert Dentressangle is to buy U.S.-based Jacobson Cos from private equity fund Oak Hill Capital Partners in a deal worth $750 million aimed at giving it critical mass in the United States. ID:nL6N0Q620B ** CP All Pcl CPALL.BK , Thailand's largest convenience store chain, said on Thursday that it plans to sell part of its 98 percent stake in cash-and-carry wholesaler Siam Makro Pcl MAKRO.BK , but gave no time frame. ID:nL4N0Q61WD ** Nokia NOK1V.HE said on Thursday it agreed to buy part of Panasonic Corp's 6752.T telecoms network business to boost operations in Japan, already a key market for the Finnish company. It did not disclose the value of the deal. ID:nL6N0Q62YG ** Yamana Gold Inc YRI.TO Chief Executive Peter Marrone said on Wednesday in a statement the miner would look at "strategic alternatives" for operations that are underperforming, as well as at assets that could provide more value through a sale. ID:nL2N0Q53DI ** European broadcaster RTL Group AUDK.LU RRTL.DE has agreed to buy a 65 percent stake in U.S. digital video advertising group SpotXchange for $144 million, it said on Thursday, giving it a foot in a fast-growing market. ID:nL6N0Q62SS ** Britain's Merlin Entertainments Plc MERL.L said it was in advanced talks to open more Legoland Parks overseas after a sales surge at its U.S. sites on the back of "The Lego Movie" helped boost first-half profits. ID:nL6N0Q62QA ** Murphy Oil Corp MUR.N has agreed to sell its Milford Haven refinery in Wales to oil entrepreneur Gary Klesch, who vowed to maintain operations at the struggling plant. The price of the deal was not disclosed. ID:nL4N0Q643N ** Europe's most indebted utility, Enel ENEI.MI , plans to simplify its operations in Spain and Latin America to ensure more cash flows into its coffers, and may reduce its stake in Spanish unit Endesa ELE.MC as a result. ID:nL6N0Q622W ** German auto parts and tire maker Continental AG CONG.DE has no plans for further large takeovers in coming months after saying in February it will buy U.S. rubber firm Veyance Technologies. ID:nB4E8F6000 ** Auriga Industries AURIB.CO said it was in talks with several parties over a sale transaction, following reports of bankers working on debt financing for the sale of its crop protection unit, Cheminova. ID:nWEB00QQ6 (Compiled by Mridhula Raghavan and Sneha Banerjee) ((mridhula.raghavan@thomsonreuters.com)(within U.S. +1 646 223 8780)(outside U.S. +91 80 6749 1130)(Reuters Messaging: mridhula.raghavan.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: DEALS DAY/

South Sudan delays gold production by a year due to conflict

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

JUBA, July 31 (Reuters) - South Sudan will delay the start of gold mining by a year from its planned date in 2016, a senior government official said on Thursday, due to fighting between rival political groups in the world's newest country. Andu Ezbon Adde, undersecretary for mining in the Ministry of Petroleum and Mining, told Reuters he expected that "by 2017 our gold will enter into the world market". South Sudan is attempting to diversify its economy away from oil by exploiting its gold deposits. It may also have reserves of other minerals such as copper, uranium and clay, which it hopes to exploit with the help of investors. The country narrowly avoided civil war when troops loyal to sacked Vice President Riek Machar rose against the government of President Salva Kiir in mid-December, but sporadic fighting has continued, breaching a ceasefire agreement. ID:nL6N0PW5E4 South Sudan, one of the world's least developed countries after decades of civil war prior to seceding from Sudan in 2011, is trying to attract international investors to develop mining. "There are a lot of applications coming in ... not only for gold but also copper, marble and limestone from Kapoeta (town) for production of cement," Adde said following a meeting with Australian government officials. Loisa Cass, first secretary at the Australian High Commission in Juba, said South Sudan's mining sector had potential but required legislation to create a legal foundation. Australia will help South Sudan develop a register that captures data for the development of a licensing system for the mining of the gold deposits, which would ensure transparency, Cass said. Revenue from oil used to make up 98 percent of the budget until South Sudan slashed output by a third from the 350,000 barrels per day it produced before the fighting erupted. (Reporting by Carl Odera; Editing by James Macharia and Jane Baird) ((james.macharia@thomsonreuters.com; Tel: +254 20 221 4608 ; Reuters Messaging: james.macharia.thomsonreuters@reuters.net)) Keywords: SOUTHSUDAN MINING

GLOBAL MARKETS-European shares sink again, dollar holds strong

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

* Dollar index steady, just off highest since mid-September * Growth concern weighs on European markets * Fed says in no rush to raise rates but upgrades view on economy * Madrid shares hit after Argentina defaults again By Patrick Graham LONDON, July 31 (Reuters) - Doubts about whether stock markets can ride out a tightening of U.S. monetary policy dominated trade in European shares on Thursday, and the prospect of higher interest rates next year pushed the dollar to 10-month highs. A steady rise for the U.S. currency is the central story for global financial markets so far this month. A jump in U.S. economic growth reported on Wednesday extended the dollar's gains against the euro to 6 cents since early May. U.S. growth of 4 percent in annualised terms in the second quarter came as poor company results and concern over conflict in Ukraine fuelled worries that Europe will take far longer to recover. Euro zone data on Thursday showed inflation slowing to just 0.4 percent, adding to those doubts, and the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 was down one percent by midday. A warning by sports group Adidas about its business in Russia underlined the threats facing European companies. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL6N0Q64C2 U.S. stock futures also pointed to losses of more than half a percent at the open. DJc1 SPc1 "The biggest worry is the uncertainty about the U.S. monetary policy," said Philippe Gijsels, head of research at BNP Paribas Fortis Global Markets in Brussels. "The strong GDP data and an improving economic outlook have raised the risk of an early rate hike. Tomorrow's U.S. non-farm payrolls data may further cement the view that a rate rise could happen earlier than expected." Another worry for some European companies was Argentina's second default in 12 years, following the failure of last-minute efforts to do a deal with holdout creditors. While debt insurance costs on Thursday suggested an eventual agreement still seemed possible, the default helped fuel weakness in Spanish and French shares, traders said, with Madrid's main index down 2.1 percent .IBEX . The broader global impact of any default is likely to be limited. Argentina has been effectively shut out of financial markets since its 2002 default. "We expect contagion to other markets to be fairly limited. This is a highly technical legal case and a selective default," Steve Ellis, a portfolio manager with Fidelity Emerging Market Debt. EURO HALT While the dollar gained against its Australian counterpart and other higher-yielding plays, the euro held steady just below $1.34 EUR= even after the U.S. data. A rough ride this week has seen the single currency fall to its lowest since November, but it was little changed after the inflation numbers. The promise of U.S. jobs numbers on Friday was also likely to keep trading in tighter ranges, dealers said. "The market is now a little bit too far ahead of itself," said Adam Myers, head of currency strategy at Credit Agricole in London. "There's not going to be any Fed interest rate rises in the first half of 2015 and that's what the market is pretty much pricing in at the moment. It will only take a weak payrolls number and we'll see quite a snapback." Many Asian shares had also slipped on profit-taking after making hefty gains since the middle of this month. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dipped 0.3 percent, but it was still not far from a 6 1/2-year high hit on Wednesday .MIAPJ0000PUS . The Nikkei average .N225 fell 0.2 percent while Australian shares .AXJO inched up to six-year highs. (Editing by Larry King) ((patrick.graham@thomsonreuters.com)(+44207 542 9429)(patrick.graham.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: MARKETS GLOBAL/

Greek court ruling on migrant shootings causes outrage

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

* Strawberry farm workers wounded in shooting * Court acquits farmer, supervisor * Two foremen given suspended sentences * Unions, rights groups outraged at 'shameful' ruling By Renee Maltezou ATHENS, July 31 (Reuters) - A Greek court acquitted two men accused over the shooting of migrant farm workers who were demanding unpaid wages and gave two foremen suspended sentences in a ruling that prompted outrage from unions and rights groups on Thursday. Twenty eight migrants, mostly Bangladeshi, were wounded when foremen at a strawberry farm opened fire on about 200 immigrant workers who were protesting for back pay in the southwestern town of Manolada in April last year. "This shameful ruling stops people who are in a similar situation from fighting for their rights; stops victims of human trafficking from fighting for dignity, freedom and their lives," said lawyer Moses Karabeidis, who represented 35 migrant workers, including the wounded. The court in the southern city of Patras on Wednesday acquitted the farm owner and a supervisor and handed down prison terms of seven and 14 years for two foremen on charges of causing grievous bodily harm. The sentences will be suspended pending an appeal hearing, court sources said. The ruling in favour of the owner and supervisor cannot be appealed. All four had denied any wrong-doing. The foremen said they had acted in self defence. "The court did justice to the defendants by releasing them after 16 months of illegal detention," said defence lawyer Dinos Argyropoulos. Karabeidis said: "It was an embarrassment for Greek justice, it was a parody trial." He said the migrant workers, who had been demanding six months of back pay, had still not been paid and face deportation when their immigration permits expire in September. The workers say they were owed 22 euros a day. Anti-immigrant sentiment has surged in recent years in Greece, where a six-year recession has wiped out a quarter of the economy and left one in four jobless. The anti-immigrant Golden Dawn party, whose members have been accused of attacking immigrants, remains Greece's third most popular party despite a crackdown that has landed its leader and top lawmakers in jail. Rights groups have often accused authorities of turning a blind eye. "This is the worst message the court could send to the Greek people: Hitting poor immigrants goes unpunished," Dimitris Christopoulos, vice president of the International Federation for Human Rights said. The ruling was also condemned by GSEE, one of Greece's biggest labour unions, and by the main opposition party, the radical leftist Syriza. "This decision ... leaves room for new victims and turns a blind eye to the brutal, inhuman racist exploitation of workers," Syriza MP Vassiliki Katrivanou said in a statement. (Writing by Deepa Babington; Editing by Janet Lawrence) ((deepa.babington@thomsonreuters.com)(+30 210 33 76 496)(Reuters Messaging: deepa.babington.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: GREECE MIGRANTS/

TEXT-Czech central bank statement after policy meeting on July 31

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

PRAGUE, July 31 (Reuters) - The following the Czech central bank (CNB) board's statement following its monetary policy meeting on Thursday: At its meeting today, the Bank Board of the Czech National Bank decided unanimously to keep interest rates unchanged at technical zero. The Bank Board also decided to continue using the exchange rate as an additional instrument for easing the monetary conditions and confirmed the CNB's commitment to intervene on the foreign exchange market if needed to weaken the koruna so that the exchange rate of the koruna is kept close to 27 crown to the euro. The asymmetric nature of this exchange rate commitment, i.e. the willingness only to intervene against appreciation of the koruna below the announced level, is unchanged. This decision is underpinned by a new macroeconomic forecast. The forecast is based on the assumption of flat market interest rates at their current very low level and the use of the koruna exchange rate as a monetary policy instrument until third quarter of 2015. The subsequent return to conventional monetary policy will not imply appreciation of the exchange rate to the level recorded before the CNB started intervening, as the weaker exchange rate of the koruna is in the meantime passing through to prices and other nominal variables. According to the forecast, inflation will gradually increase from its current very low levels and return to the 2 percent target in second half of 2015. The Bank Board assesses the risks to this outlook as being slightly anti-inflationary and states that the Czech National Bank will not discontinue the use of the exchange rate as a monetary policy instrument before 2016. Turning to the assumptions of the forecast regarding developments abroad, external economic activity should gradually pick up pace this year and the next. By contrast, a modest slowdown is assumed for 2016. Prices of foreign industrial producers are falling markedly this year, reflecting an observed decline in world prices of energy and agricultural commodities coupled with the impacts of the previous lengthy economic downturn and appreciation of the euro against the dollar. Producer prices in the euro area will show weak growth in the longer term only. Consumer prices will also rise only slightly owing to the slowly recovering demand. The very subdued inflation in the euro area and the resulting recent monetary policy easing by the European Central Bank are reflected in a low outlook for three-month euro area interbank interest rates, which should rise slightly in 2016. Overall, the outlook for the euro area has shifted noticeably towards lower inflation and easier monetary policy. The price of Brent crude oil rose temporarily in the previous quarter, shifting the entire outlook upwards. Even according to this outlook, however, oil prices will start falling gradually. The euro is expected to depreciate gradually against the US dollar from its current relatively strong level. The expected modest decline in world prices of energy combined with the evolution of the exchange rate of the euro against the dollar still does not imply significant cost-push inflation pressures. As regard developments in the Czech economy, the current exceptionally low inflation reflects the very subdued inflation in the euro area, a continuing decline in administered prices and slowing food price growth. Core inflation, by contrast, turned positive for the first time in many years and is accelerating further. This is a result of the weakening of the koruna, which supported rapid growth in domestic economic activity and a positive change in the labour market. According to the forecast, headline inflation will start rising gradually in third quarter of 2014 and return to the 2 percent target in second half of 2015. It will then stay close to the target in 2016. The inflationary effect of import prices will fade this year owing to subdued inflation abroad amid a stable exchange rate of the koruna. In the second half of this year, by contrast, the domestic economy will start to contribute to inflation, chiefly as a result of accelerating wage growth. Average inflation will be 0.4 percent this year and increase to 1.8 percent next year. Both levels are 0.4 percentage point lower than in the previous forecast. Monetary-policy relevant inflation, i.e. inflation adjusted for the first-round effects of changes to indirect taxes, will follow a similar path to headline inflation, but at a slightly lower level. It will thus stay just below the CNB's target at the monetary policy horizon. Following a decline in the previous two years, the Czech economy will grow by almost 3 percent this year according to the forecast. Economic growth will be fostered by recovering external demand, the easing of the domestic monetary conditions via the weakened exchange rate, and higher government investment. In the following two years, the economy will record similar growth rates as this year, with investment financed from EU funds making a significantly positive contribution in 2015 and a slightly negative contribution in 2016. The economic recovery is already manifesting itself in the labour market in renewed growth in the number of employees converted into full-time equivalents. This growth will rise further. The share of unemployed persons will decline gradually over the entire forecast horizon. Wage growth in the business sector should start to pick up pace significantly in second half of 2014. The forecast expects market interest rates to be flat at their current very low level until third quarter of 2015, reflecting the 2W repo rate being left at technical zero and an unchanged money market premium. Market rates are forecasted to increase by around 0.5 percentage point at the end of next year after the exit from the regime of using the exchange rate as a monetary policy instrument. Interest rates will then rise further. The forecasts for headline and monetary-policy relevant inflation are lower than in the previous prediction owing to lower outlooks for administered price inflation and net inflation. GDP growth has been revised upwards in 2014, mainly as a result of a faster expected recovery in private investment and stronger household consumption. In 2015, by contrast, GDP growth will be slightly slower compared to the previous forecast on account of less expansionary fiscal policy. The expected growth rate of nominal wages in the business sector this year has shifted higher, reflecting higher wage growth at the start of the year and stronger growth in economic activity. The interest rate path is lower, mainly reflecting a stronger anti-inflationary effect of the external environment and administered prices and a related postponement of the expected exit from the use of the exchange rate as a monetary policy instrument. The Bank Board assesses the risks to the new forecast as being slightly anti-inflationary. It considers longer-lasting very subdued inflation in the euro area to be the main risk. It therefore decided to continue using the exchange rate as a monetary policy instrument at least until 2016. The Bank Board would have to find a further noticeable increase in anti-inflationary factors before moving the exchange rate commitment to a weaker level. (Reporting by Mirka Krufova) ((prague.newsroom@thomsonreuters.com)(+420 224 190 477)(Reuters Messaging: mirka.krufova.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: CZECH CENBANK/STATEMENT

UPDATE 1-Goldcorp adjusted earnings up; strong quarter at Penasquito

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

(Adds detail on costs, production, analyst estimates) July 31 (Reuters) - Goldcorp Inc G.TO reported a stronger second-quarter profit on Thursday as higher gold and silver sales and lower production costs offset the impact of lower bullion prices. Costs plunged at the Penasquito mine, as Goldcorp pushed to boost efficiency and grades improved. All-in sustaining cash costs dropped to $362 an ounce from $1,484 a year earlier. Companywide, costs improved to $852 an ounce from $1,227 an ounce. Gold production rose to 648,700 ounces from 646,000 ounces a year earlier, though Goldcorp sold its Marigold mine, and a dispute with local landowners halted production at the Los Filos mine in Mexico for 43 days in the quarter. Earnings were $181 million, or 22 cents a share, compared with a loss of $1.93 billion, or $2.38, a year earlier, when the company took a $1.96 billion after-tax impairment charge. The Vancouver-based miner said adjusted earnings rose to $164 million, or 20 cents a share, from $117 million, or 14 cents. Analysts, on average, had been expecting earnings of 14 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. (Reporting by Euan Rocha in Toronto and Nicole Mordant in Vancouver; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Nick Zieminski) ((euan.rocha@thomsonreuters.com)(+1 416 941 8185)(Reuters Messaging: euan.rocha.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: GOLDCORP RESULTS/

Chinese gold jewellery demand sees first quarterly drop in 8 years

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

* Q2 drop in demand first in eight years - GFMS * Consumers more "rational" about gold purchases * Lower premiums, weaker yuan also hurt demand By A. Ananthalakshmi and Jan Harvey SINGAPORE/LONDON, July 31 (Reuters) - Chinese gold jewellery demand fell for the first time in eight years in the second quarter and could drop as much as 20 percent in the full year, a leading precious metals consultancy said. A slide in Chinese demand will take away a key supporting factor for gold prices XAU= , already pressured by an improving global economy and U.S. stimulus withdrawal. Many Chinese jewellery makers saw a 40-60 percent drop in gold fabrication in the second quarter, Sara Zhao, a GFMS analyst at Thomson Reuters, told the Reuters Global Gold Forum on Thursday. Other industry sources also said higher gold prices and a weaker yuan are weighing on demand, and fresh buying has also been tempered by last year's record purchases. Jewellery demand - the biggest segment of Chinese gold consumption - fell significantly in the April-June period, the first year-on-year drop since the second quarter of 2006, Zhao said. "Consumers have become more rational on gold purchases," she said. "Unless there is a significant turnaround in the second half, demand looks set to fall well short of the record levels witnessed in 2013." The second quarter drop is in contrast to huge purchases in the same period last year, when sharp price declines in April and June caused a mad rush for gold jewellery, bars and coins. Gold prices fell 28 percent last year after a 12-year bull run. "The prices are not low enough this time around," said one dealer in Hong Kong, which serves as the main gold conduit for China. "With the yuan also weak, there is no reason for the Chinese to rush to buy gold." "They anticipate prices (will) fall further, and could come back to the market if prices fall below $1,200 an ounce." Gold XAU= has risen about 7 percent this year, but the strong gains of the first quarter have dwindled as the year has worn on. Prices are currently just below $1,300. GOL/ LOWER PREMIUMS, IMPORTS China imported over 1,000 tonnes of gold last year from Hong Kong alone, overtaking India as the biggest buyer. Imports so far this year have slid 14 percent, though the second-quarter drop was a significant 45 percent. ID:nL4N0PZ346 Banks are reluctant to bring in more gold into the country when a weak yuan and lower premiums would force them to take losses on any sales, sources at bullion banks said. Premiums - the differential between local prices and the global benchmark - have largely been at discounts or on par with global rates this year. "The imports have fallen recently because the arbitrage opportunity isn't there," said one trader. Weakness in demand jewellery and investment demand has also weighed on imports. GFMS' Zhao said third-quarter imports will likely be similar to the 45 percent slide in the preceding quarter, while the fourth quarter could see a small uptick ahead of the Chinese New Year. (Editing by William Hardy) ((ananthalakshmi.as@thomsonreuters.com; +65 6870 3726; Reuters)(Messaging: ananthalakshmi.as.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: GOLD CHINA/JEWELLERY

SNAPSHOT-India stocks, bonds, rupee, swaps, call at close

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

STOCKS .BSESN .NSEI ----------------------- The benchmark BSE index ended down 0.74 percent and the broader NSE index fell 0.9 percent, weighed down by foreign investors' sales after earnings at blue chips such as Maruti Suzuki Ltd MRTI.NS failed to impress markets. .BO GOVERNMENT BONDS IN088323G=CC -------------------------------- India's soon-to-be benchmark 10-year bond yield closed down 1 basis point at 8.50 percent, while the existing benchmark 10-year bond yield ended down 1 basis point at 8.72 percent, on the back of a fall in global crude oil prices and some bargain-hunting. IN/ RUPEE INR=D2 -------------- The partially convertible rupee falls to 60.55/56 per dollar as against Wednesday's close of 60.06/07, hurt by a rally in the dollar in global markets that helped spur state-run banks into buying greenbacks for corporate- and defence-related payments. INR/ INTEREST RATE SWAPS INROIS MIOIS= ------------------------------------- The benchmark 5-year swap rate closed down 1 bp at 7.89 percent while the 1-year rate ended at 8.37 percent, down 2 basis points. CALL MONEY INROND= --------------------- India's cash rate ended at 7.95/8.05 percent against Wednesday's close of 7.00/7.05 percent. ---------------------- Double click on codes in <> Reuters MIOR/MIBOR MIBR= NSE MIBID/MIBOR MIBR=NS Reuters Corporate Bond Yield/Spread 0#AAAINBMK= For Reuters Benchmarks IN/BENCH (Compiled by Dipika Lalwani) ((dipika.lalwani@thomsonreuters.com)(+91-22-6180-7098)(Reuters Messaging: dipika.lalwani.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: INDIA SNAPSHOT/

Indian rupee slumps to 3-mth low on dollar buying by state-run banks

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

* Rupee ends at 60.55/56 per dlr vs 60.06/07 * All eyes on RBI policy review for possible cues * Dollar expected to trade strong vs. global majors in near term By Gaurav Pai MUMBAI, July 31 (Reuters) - The Indian rupee slumped to a three-month low on Thursday, hurt by a rally in the dollar in global markets that helped spur state-run banks into buying greenbacks for corporate- and defence-related payments. The partially convertible rupee INR=D2 fell to as low as 60.57 per dollar at one point, its lowest since April 29, when the currency was in the midst of a rally in the lead-up to the general elections. The rupee declined 0.63 percent in July, marking its second consecutive monthly fall, despite foreign investor buying shares and debt worth just over $6 billion, as per official data. Traders said the rupee had been hit by sustained gains in the dollar, which was trading at just below a 10-month high against a basket of major currencies. USD/ Dollar bulls had taken heart after a report showed the U.S. economy rebounded sharply in the second quarter, although the Federal Reserve's affirmation of a broadly relaxed stance on the monetary policy tempered some of those gains. "The outlook for the dollar remains strong," said Anindya Banerjee, a currency analyst at Kotak Securities, a brokerage in Mumbai. "The fate of emerging market currencies will be decided by the fate of the dollar-carry trade and what happens to the interest rates in the United States." The rupee ended at 60.55/56 per dollar, down about 0.83 percent for the day, its biggest single-day fall since June 13. Dealers cited heavy dollar buying from state-run banks, which they attributed to corporate-related needs as well as defense-related payments. The end of the month is also typically marked by dollar buying from importers looking to meet trade commitments. Some traders said the demand for the dollar had also been exacerbated as some investors unwound short positions on the greenback. Shares also lagged, with the 50-share NSE index .NSEI falling 0.9 percent to 7,721.30 after earnings in some blue chips failed to impress investors. .BO In the offshore non-deliverable forwards PNDF , the one-month was at 60.87/97, while the three-month was at 61.41/51. FACTORS TO WATCH * China's yuan has risen 0.5 percent in July EMRG/FRX * Nonfarm payrolls, euro zone inflation are next focus FRX/ * Dollar index steady, just off mid-Sept highs MKTS/GLOB * Foreign institutional investor flows INFII INFII01 * For data on currency futures INRFUTURES DIARIES & DATA: Indian Data Watch ECONIN European diary WEU/EQTY2 Indian diary IN/DIARY US Diary US/DIARY (Editing by Subhranshu Sahu) ((gaurav.pai@thomsonreuters.com/)(gaurav.pai.thomsonreuters.com @reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS INDIA FOREX/

Goldcorp second-quarter profit climbs

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

July 31 (Reuters) - Goldcorp Inc G.TO reported a stronger second-quarter profit on Thursday as higher gold and silver sales and lower production costs offset the impact of lower bullion prices. The Vancouver-based miner said adjusted earnings rose to $164 million, or 20 cents a share, from $117 million, or 14 cents a share, a year earlier. (Reporting by Euan Rocha in Toronto and Nicole Mordant in Vancouver; Editing by Bernadette Baum) ((euan.rocha@thomsonreuters.com)(+1 416 941 8185)(Reuters Messaging: euan.rocha.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: GOLDCORP RESULTS/

PRESS DIGEST- Canada- July 31

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

July 31 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories from selected Canadian newspapers. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy. THE GLOBE AND MAIL * Communications Security Establishment Canada intercepts citizens' private messages without judicial warrants, in its fight against Chinese espionage and other cyberthreats, a document obtained by the paper showed. The 22-page "Operational Procedures for Cyber Defence" speaks about how the electronic-intelligence agency can log, store and study volumes of e-communications that touch government computer networks - including "private communications" of Canadians not themselves thought to be hackers. Minster of National Defence Rob Nicholson, who approves such surveillance and is provided with statistics about its risks, is the only outsider to know full details about the tradeoffs. (http://bit.ly/1k8SW1d) * The Supreme Court of Canada will release its decision Thursday on whether confessions elicited from so-called Mr Big police sting operations can be used in court after the technique helped convict a Newfoundland man of killing his two daughters. (http://bit.ly/1qMNBzE) In the business section: * Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO took a $500 million charge on its Saudi Arabian copper project and appointed two more independent directors, including a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc GS.N banker who used to work closely with the company's new chairman John Thornton. (http://bit.ly/1psOVnr) NATIONAL POST * They sit in the Red Chamber for an average of about 70 days a year. But Canada's senators don't seem all that keen to have the public see what goes on in there. In a tentative baby step toward transparency, the Senate is considering the installation of video cameras in its chamber, but the two-month pilot project would only see the footage directed to an internal feed. (http://bit.ly/1s6iMUP) * More than two-thirds of Canadians want marijuana laws softened, says an opinion poll conducted for the federal government. And while a small majority believes companies should not be permitted to sell marijuana just as they sell alcohol and cigarettes, it's clear many people have no problem with the proposition. (http://bit.ly/1rSEYDf) FINANCIAL POST * The revelation that accounting issues will force Penn West Petroleum Ltd PWT.TO to restate more than four years worth of financial results isn't the only thing raising the eyebrows of corporate governance experts. Among the biggest concerns is why Penn West's own audit committee is conducting the internal review of the firm's accounting practices. (http://bit.ly/UCWtsH) * A new poll shows that while Albertans are rapidly ramping up household debt, Ontarians are paying it down. The Bank of Montreal report says average household debt in Alberta is C$124,838, almost double that of average Ontario household debt which shrunk over the past year. (http://bit.ly/Xj4CEx) (Compiled by Arnab Sen in Bangalore) ((arnab.sen@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780, outside U.S. +91 80 6749; 3081; Reuters Messaging: arnab.sen.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: PRESS DIGEST CANADA/

GLOBAL MARKETS-European shares sink again, dollar holds strong

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

* Dollar index steady, just off highest since mid-Sept * Growth concerns weigh on European markets * Fed says in no rush to raise rates but upgrades view on economy * Madrid shares hit after Argentina defaults again By Patrick Graham LONDON, July 31 (Reuters) - Doubts about the health of Europe's economy dominated trade on its major stock markets on Thursday after a cautious message from the U.S. Federal Reserve did little to stem the dollar's charge to 10-month highs. A steady rise for the U.S. currency is the central story for global financial markets so far this month and a jump in U.S. economic growth reported on Wednesday extended the dollar's gains against the euro to 6 cents since early May. U.S. growth of 4 percent in annualised terms in the second quarter came at a time when poor company results and concerns over a still escalating situation in Ukraine have added to worries that Europe will take far longer to recover. Euro zone data on Thursday showed inflation slowing to just 0.4 percent, adding to those doubts, and the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 was down 0.7 percent by midday. "Despite some decent earnings from a number of blue-chips, the market is stuck in a range, with a number of negative catalysts including Argentina's default at the forefront of investors' minds," said Lionel Jardin, head of institutional sales at Assya Capital, in Paris. Argentina defaulted for the second time in 12 years overnight after talks on a last-minute deal with holdout creditors were dashed. While debt insurance costs on Thursday suggested an eventual agreement was still seen as possible, the default helped fuel weakness in Spanish and French shares, traders said, with Madrid's main index down 1.8 percent .IBEX . The broader global impact of any default is likely to be limited because Argentina has been effectively shut out of financial markets since its 2002 default. "We expect contagion to other markets to be fairly limited. This is a highly technical legal case and a selective default," Steve Ellis, a portfolio manager with Fidelity Emerging Market Debt. EURO HALT While the dollar gained against its Australian counterpart and other higher-yielding plays, the euro held steady just below $1.34 EUR= . A rough ride this week has seen the single currency fall to its lowest since November but it was little changed after the inflation numbers. The promise of U.S. jobs numbers on Friday was also likely to keep trading in tighter ranges, dealers said. "The market is now a little bit too far ahead of itself," said Adam Myers, head of currency strategy at Credit Agricole in London. "There's not going to be any Fed interest rate rises in the first half of 2015 and that's what the market is pretty much pricing in at the moment. It will only take a weak payrolls number and we'll see quite a snapback." While the prospect of a solid U.S. recovery gave equities some general support, many Asian shares slipped on profit-taking after making hefty gains since the middle of this month. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dipped 0.3 percent but was still not far from a 6 1/2-year high hit on Wednesday .MIAPJ0000PUS . The Nikkei average .N225 fell 0.2 percent while Australian shares .AXJO inched up to six-year highs. (Editing by John Stonestreet) ((patrick.graham@thomsonreuters.com)(+44207 542 9429)(patrick.graham.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

GLOBAL MARKETS-European shares sink again, dollar holds strong

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

* Dollar index steady, just off highest since mid-Sept * Growth concerns weigh on European markets * Fed says in no rush to raise rates but upgrades view on economy * Madrid shares hit after Argentina defaults again By Patrick Graham LONDON, July 31 (Reuters) - Doubts about the health of Europe's economy dominated trade on its major stock markets on Thursday after a cautious message from the U.S. Federal Reserve did little to stem the dollar's charge to 10-month highs. A steady rise for the U.S. currency is the central story for global financial markets so far this month and a jump in U.S. economic growth reported on Wednesday extended the dollar's gains against the euro to 6 cents since early May. U.S. growth of 4 percent in annualised terms in the second quarter came at a time when poor company results and concerns over a still escalating situation in Ukraine have added to worries that Europe will take far longer to recover. Euro zone inflation numbers on Thursday are expected to add to those doubts, and the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 was 0.2 percent lower in a choppy opening. "Despite some decent earnings from a number of blue-chips, the market is stuck in a range, with a number of negative catalysts including Argentina's default at the forefront of investors' minds," said Lionel Jardin, head of institutional sales at Assya Capital, in Paris. The euro was holding steady just below $1.34 after a rough ride this week that has seen it fall to its lowest since November. Currency traders said the inflation numbers - expected to show annual price growth of just 0.5 percent in the bloc - might provide the fuel for more sales but that any move might be capped ahead of another round of major U.S. figures on Friday. "Meagre inflation readings will underline the case for loose monetary policy for a very extended period of time," analysts from Dutch bank ING said in a morning note. "This would add to the negative sentiment behind the euro but given the scale of softness this week already, downside may be only modest." London's FTSE was the only major European market to buck the trend, with the oil and gas sector lifted by rising profits that included a 33 percent improvement for Royal Dutch Shell, the index's biggest stock. ASIAN SLIP While the prospect of a solid U.S. recovery gave equities some general support, many Asian shares slipped on profit-taking after making hefty gains since the middle of this month. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dipped 0.3 percent but was still not far from a 6 1/2-year high hit on Wednesday .MIAPJ0000PUS . The Nikkei average .N225 rose 0.3 percent while Australian shares .AXJO inched up to six-year highs. Argentina defaulted for the second time in 12 years overnight after hopes for a last minute deal with holdout creditors were dashed. Traders said that helped fuel weakness in Spanish shares, with Madrid's main index down 1.3 percent. .IBEX But the broader global impact of any default is likely to be limited because Argentina has been effectively shut out of financial markets since its 2002 default. (editing by John Stonestreet) ((patrick.graham@thomsonreuters.com)(+44207 542 9429)(patrick.graham.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: MARKETS GLOBAL/

CORRECTED-S.Africa's Sibanye H1 profit falls after share issue

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

(Corrects headline and story to show H1 earnings declined by 53 pct, not an increase of more than double) JOHANNESBURG, July 31 (Reuters) - South African gold producer Sibanye Gold SGLJ.J said on Thursday its first-half earnings fell by more than 50 percent, reflecting the dilutive impact of a share issue this year. Diluted headline earnings for the six months to end-June totalled 8 U.S. cents a share, compared with 17 cents a year earlier. Gold production totalled 711,900 ounces, 8 percent higher than a year earlier. In May Sibanye issued nearly 157 million new shares, equal to 17 percent of its share capital, to Gold One International GDO.AX to acquire some of the junior miner's assets. (Reporting by Zandi Shabalala; editing by David Dolan) ((zandi.shabalala@thomsonreuters.com)(+27 11 775 3158)(Reuters Messaging: zandi.shabalala.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: SIBANYEGOLD/RESULTS

UPDATE 1-Poland's KGHM says launches production at key Chilean mine

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

(Adds more company comments, details) WARSAW, July 31 (Reuters) - Europe's No.2 copper producer KGHM KGH.WA launched production at its Sierra Gorda mine in Chile, one of the world's largest copper projects, the Polish group said on Thursday. The Polish state-controlled miner acquired the then unfinished project two years ago. It become a symbol of Polish industry's efforts to expand internationally after years of struggling with the transition from Communist rule. But since the acquisition the cost of getting production underway at Sierra Gorda, exceeding $4 billion, has been over a third more than KGHM initially expected, while falling global copper prices CMCU3 have hit its profits. "Following the ramp-up period, which will be completed in early 2015, the Sierra Gorda mine will produce approximately 120 thousand tonnes of copper, 50 million pounds of molybdenum and 60 thousand ounces of gold annually in the first years of operations," KGHM said in a statement. "The commencement of production at the Chilean mine will decrease the weighted average cost of copper production in the KGHM group and will decrease its sensitivity to changes in the copper price," the miner said. Sierra Gorda's target annual production is for 220 thousand tonnes of copper, 25 million pounds of molybdenum and 64 thousand ounces of gold. KGHM acquired the project in 2012 as part of a C$3 billion ($2.8 billion) purchase of Canada's Quadra FNX, now named KGHM International KILL.UL . That deal allowed it to book the world's fourth-largest copper deposits. The Polish miner controls 55 percent of the Chilean project, while Japanese partner Sumitomo 5713.T holds the rest. Across the group, KGHM wants to scale up copper production by over 40 percent to 1 million tonnes annually by the end of the decade as its overseas assets gradually kick in. To finance its investment plans, pegged at a company-wide total of 4.3 billion zlotys ($1.4 billion) this year alone, the miner signed a five-year revolving credit deal worth $2.5 billion with a group of lenders earlier this month. ID:nL6N0PM4BX ($1 = 1.0901 Canadian Dollars) ($1 = 3.1042 Polish Zlotys) (Reporting by Adrian Krajewski. Editing by Jane Merriman) ((adrian.krajewski@thomsonreuters.com)(+48 22 653 97 09)(Reuters Messaging: adrian.krajewski.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: KGHM POLSKA CHILE/MINERALS

INDICATORS - Kazakhstan - July 31

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

MIDEAST STOCKS - Factors to watch - July 31

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

DUBAI, July 31 (Reuters) - Here are some factors that may affect Middle East stock markets on Thursday. Reuters has not verified the press reports and does not vouch of their accuracy. INTERNATIONAL/REGIONAL * GLOBAL MARKETS-Dollar shines, U.S. yields surge on upbeat U.S. data MKTS/GLOB * Oil prices tumble on ample supply, weak demand O/R * Gold stays below $1,300 as U.S. economic optimism dents demand GOL-RTRS * Israeli troops, with dogs and robots, track Gaza tunnels IL-PS * Asia a hard sell for Russian firms seeking cash RU-DBT * LyondellBasell seen as mystery U.S. buyer of Kurdish oil in May LYB.N IQ-OILG * Carnage at U.N. school as Israel pounds Gaza Strip UN1-IL-PS * Army breaks up protests as Yemen raises fuel prices YE-SDS * Iran frees US-Iranian, three journalists still held -source IR-JUDIC * Tunisia's chief of army land forces resigns - official TN-POL * U.S. approves $700 million sale of Hellfire missiles to Iraq LMT.N IQ-DEFBUY * U.S. judge says cannot seize Kurdish crude for now IQ-OILG-US * IMF agrees on $5 billion credit line for Morocco IMF-MA TURKEY * Turkish women laugh online to protest deputy PM's remarks TR-POL * Turkish court arrests 11 more police in wiretap probe -lawyer TR-JUDIC EGYPT * Iran says Egypt dragging its feet on allowing aid to Gaza IR-EG-PS * Egypt's GASC says buys 175,000 tonnes Russian wheat EG-WHT * Three killed in car bomb in Cairo -Egyptian state-run TV EG-SECUR UNITED ARAB EMIRATES * Alitalia to present final proposal to Etihad on Thursday AE-IT-AIRL (Compiled by Dubai newsroom) ((dubai.newsroom@reuters.com)) Keywords: MIDEAST FACTORS

India Morning Call-Global Markets

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

EQUITIES NEW YORK - The S&P 500 and Nasdaq ended higher on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve gave a rosier assessment of the U.S. economy while reaffirming that it is in no hurry to raise interest rates. The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI fell 31.75 points, or 0.19 percent, to 16,880.36, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 0.12 points, or 0.01 percent, to 1,970.07, and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 20.20 points, or 0.45 percent, to 4,462.90. For a full report, click on .N - - - - LONDON - Britain's top equity index finished lower on Wednesday as weaker mining stocks, dragged down by Chilean miner Antofagasta ANTO.L , outweighed a rally in banking stocks spurred by Barclays BARC.L . The FTSE 100 index ended 0.5 percent weaker at 6,773.44 points. For a full report, click on .L - - - - TOKYO - Japan's Nikkei share average rose to a fresh six-month high on Thursday after solid U.S. growth buoyed sentiment and as the weakening yen lifted exporters, while Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group's 8316.T earnings boosted the banking sector. The Nikkei .N225 rose 0.7 percent to 15,759.66 points in mid-morning trade, the highest since Jan. 23. For a full report, click on .T - - - - HONG KONG - Hang Seng Index .HSI set to open up 0.3 percent. For a full report, click on .HK - - - - FOREIGN EXCHANGE SYDNEY - The dollar held below a 10-month peak against a basket of major currencies on Thursday after soaring on upbeat U.S. growth data, with mixed views from the Federal Reserve tempering the rally. The dollar index last traded at 81.386 .DXY after rising as far as 81.545 - a high last seen in mid-September. For a full report, click on USD/ - - - - TREASURIES NEW YORK - - U.S. Treasuries yields surged on Wednesday and two- and three-year note yields rose to their highest in three years after data showed solid U.S. economic growth, though the Federal Reserve said it is in no rush to raise interest rates. The U.S. central bank pressed ahead with its plan to wind down its bond-buying stimulus and upgraded its assessment of the U.S. economy For a full report, click on US/ - - - - COMMODITIES GOLD SINGAPORE - Gold held overnight losses to trade below $1,300 an ounce on Thursday and looked likely to extend declines to a fourth day as optimism over U.S. economic growth curbed safe-haven appetite for the metal. Spot gold XAU= was flat at $1,295.20 an ounce by 0021 GMT, after dropping 0.3 percent in the previous session. For a full report, click on GOL/ - - - - BASE METALS SYDNEY - - London copper was underpinned on Thursday by indications that the U.S. Federal Reserve is not hurrying to raise interest rates, even as the world's top economy logged robust second quarter growth that brightened the outlook for demand. The U.S. economy rebounded sharply in the second quarter as consumers stepped up spending and businesses restocked, putting it on course to close out the year on a solid footing. For a full report, click on MET/L - - - - OIL NEW YORK - - Oil prices tumbled on Wednesday, with Brent leading the decline weakened by excess supplies in Europe and Asia while U.S. crude followed suit despite a larger-than-expected drop in nationwide stockpiles. Brent crude LCOc1 fell $1.21 to settle at $106.51 a barrel. For a full report, click on O/R (Compiled by Indulal PM) ((indulal.p@thomsonreuters.com)(+91-22-6180-7183)(Reuters Messaging: indulal.p.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MORNINGCALL INDIA/

UPDATE 1-Buenaventura's net income rose 22 pct on copper and silver sales

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

(Adds details on second-quarter results) LIMA, July 30 (Reuters) - Peruvian miner Buenaventura BUEv.LM BVN.LM said on Wednesday that its net income jumped 22 percent to 9 cents per share in the second quarter from the same period in 2013 on stronger silver and copper sales. The $23.1 million result for the second quarter came in below the $49.85 million average estimate of two analysts, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The company said in a statement that its copper sales more than doubled on higher volumes from its El Brocal copper mine, and silver sales rose 9 percent on output from its Uchucchacua mine. The positive results for the April-through-June period followed two straight quarterly losses. However, Buenaventura's 43.7 percent stake in the aging Yanacocha gold mine represented a $12.9 million loss in the second quarter, leading its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for all of its operations to fall 27 percent. The company said its gold output slipped 4 percent in the second quarter on the year. Buenaventura is the biggest precious metals miner in Peru. (Reporting by Mitra Taj; Editing by David Gregorio and Andrew Hay) ((mitra.taj@thomsonreuters.com)(+51)(1)(221-2130)(Reuters Messaging: mitra.taj.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: PERU BUENAVENTURA/RESULTS

CORRECTED-(OFFICIAL)-UPDATE 2-Barrick cuts cost forecast, appoints directors

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

(Corrects job title of Brian Greenspun in paragraph 2 to chairman and chief executive of Greenspun Media Group following correction from Barrick) July 30 (Reuters) - Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO lowered its full-year cost forecast on Wednesday and again trimmed capital spending as the world's biggest gold producer works to rein in costs that soared industry-wide between 2008 and 2012, when bullion was rising. Barrick also said it appointed J. Michael Evans, the former vice-chairman of Goldman Sachs Inc GS.N , and Brian Greenspun, the chairman and chief executive of Greenspun Media Group and a prominent Nevada businessman, as independent directors on its board. Toronto-based Barrick this month said it would abolish its chief executive position, replacing it with two presidents in a move investors and analysts said cements the authority of its new executive chairman, John Thornton, a former Goldman Sachs executive. ID:nL2N0PR0X9 Barrick earlier reported slightly weaker-than-expected adjusted net earnings, which fell to $159 million, or 14 cents a share, in the quarter to end-June from $663 million, or 66 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Analysts expected the company to earn 15.9 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Earnings were down on weaker gold prices and lower gold and copper sales volumes. Results also were reduced by an impairment charge of $514 million related to the Jabal Sayid copper project. Barrick this month said it was forming a joint venture with Saudi Arabian Mining Co 1211.SE (Ma'aden) to run the long-delayed project. ID:nL2N0PO01W Barrick, which has mines in the Americas, Australia and Africa, said it was reducing its forecast for 2014 all-in sustaining costs, the industry cost benchmark, to between $900 and $940 per ounce from a previous forecast of between $920 and $980 an ounce. The company also cut its 2014 capital expenditure guidance range by $200 million, to between $2.2 billion and $2.5 billion. Barrick and its peers have beaten the cost-cutting drum for at least a year as the industry tries to restore profits hard hit in recent years by soaring mine site costs, over-priced acquisitions and a 28 percent fall in the bullion price last year. Barrick produced 1.49 million ounces of gold in the second quarter, down from 1.81 million ounces a year earlier. The miner has sold several higher-cost mines over the past year. It kept unchanged its full-year gold production forecast. All-in sustaining costs fell to $865 an ounce from $910 an ounce in the same period a year ago. Copper production in the second quarter was 67 million pounds, well down from 134 million pounds in the same quarter last year, reflecting a partial collapse of the main conveyor at its Lumwana mine in Zambia. Barrick said the conveyor had been repaired and normal plant operations resumed this month. Copper cash costs rose to $2.04 per pound in the quarter from $1.75 a pound in the second quarter of 2013. The company did not change its full-year copper production or cost forecasts. (Reporting by Nicole Mordant in Vancouver; Editing by David Gregorio, Leslie Adler, Dan Grebler and Diane Craft) ((nicole.mordant@thomsonreuters.com)(+1-604-664-7315)(Reuters Messaging: nicole.mordant.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: BARRICK GOLD RESULTS/ (UPDATE 2,CORRECTED (OFFICIA

Login required

Please note that, in order to view the full text, you must be logged-in at our system.

Please login at the easy-forex homepage (new users need registration).

Thank you.