On October 10, the Belarus capital Minsk hosted a regular meeting of the intergovernmental council of the Eurasian Economic Union where the presidents of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus once again verified their road map to the economic alliance they are creating. The Eurasian Economic Union will be an organisation similar to the European Union, but in the territory of the former USSR.
The Eurasian Economic Union (EaEU) is scheduled to start its work on January 1, 2015. In spite of the criticism and the concerns that the union may be more political than economic, the three countries are consistent in their decision to unite and to move forward together.
All of the three countries simultaneously tabled with their parliaments bills for ratification of the Eurasian Economic Union agreement. As a matter of fact, Kazakhstan has already completed the procedure of ratifying the agreement.
At the Minsk meeting, Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbaev expressed a hope that by the next meeting in Moscow in December all ratification procedures would be completed with respect to the Eurasian Economic Union agreement and the parties would be able to announce the launch the new format of work effective January 1, 2015.
Another important thing is that, had no sooner debuted as union of three, the EaEU may become a union of four, and even five, counties. A key item on the agenda of the Minsk meeting was the signing of an agreement on Armenia joining the Eurasian Economic Union agreement. Next in turn is Kyrgyzstan.
However, in spite of such unity and resolve of the leaders of the former Soviet republics, a lot of questions arise about how the EaEU will operate.
“The time of “paper architecture” of the Eurasian Economic Union is over, and the real “construction in stone” begins,” Kazakh political analyst Eduard Poletaev said.
“To strengthen the EaEU in the global world, it is necessary to realise the principle of ‘four freedoms’. On many of the areas, the parties have solidified the existing agreements that were achieved earlier while forming the Common Economic Space (CES). They have updated the arsenals, the tasks, and the tools to achieve those four freedoms. A legal framework was created under CES as early as in 2012,” Poletaev told New Europe.
The term “four freedoms” means the movement of goods, capital, workforce, and service. It was borrowed, in principle, from the experience of the European integration, but it was used extensively as far back as in the fifties.
Poletaev also said there a lot of obstacles today in the way of the Eurasian Economic Union, and it will take time to remove them. “We can see even today that there are certain difficulties due to unequal access to the markets, for example, of the alcohol products. There is a copy right issue here. The topic is especially sensitive for the confectioners. There is also the issue of Russia’s utilization fee for vehicles,” he said.
According to him, some questions still remain open. How realistic is it to implement all of the four freedoms in full format? What difficulties can there be with respect, for example, to the migration law? Is there a danger that the workforce will move through the open borders, leaving the under-populated and already short-handed Kazakhstan to face an even worse shortage of workforce?
Poletaev also thinks that far from everyone in Russia realises that Kazakhs can benefit from a simplified hiring process. “But there are many nuances here. We can see the papers being signed, but for them to be implemented problem-free, a lot of awareness building and effective executive skills of the public workers are required,” Poletaev said.
Another expert, Marat Shibutov of the Association of Cross Border Cooperation of Kazakhstan, believes that for the principle of four freedoms to work effectively in the framework of the EaEU, a number of issues need to be resolved.
“The first issue is the policies of the trading networks in Russia that require huge volumes of goods and sizeable advertising budgets. The Kazakh manufacturer has no money for that. The second issue is the government monopoly in many industries in Belarus. This makes it impossible for Russian and Kazakhstan manufacturers to enter that market. These are the issues that stand in the way, and they need to be resolved,” Shibutov said.
As far as the capital is concerned, according to Shibutov, a notable change in the capital flows has happened since 2010, which is illustrated by the gross investment.
“Investment from Kazakhstan to the Russian Federation and Belarus is reducing considerably, three- to four-fold, while the investment of Russia and Belarus to Kazakhstan is growing. Russian investment has grown from $600 million in 2010 to $1.3 billion in 2013; Belarus – from $20 million to $125 million in 2013. That is, we can see a good flow of capital into Kazakhstan,” Shibutov said.
The expert also talked about human resources. “The official statistics is such that the number of Kazakhstanis in Russia is growing, just as the number of people from Russia in Kazakhstan. But the Russians send back from Kazakhstan about $600 million while the Kazakhs – approximately $94 million. Six hundred thousand Kazakhs constantly register in Russia. But the key problem for all is the 90 days after which the migrants must leave the country. For a common labour market, it is an extremely cautious measure. Further, there are difficulties with registration of family members, and with waiting lists for daycare and schools. But all these issued can be resolved. Other than these, as far as I know, there are no more issues,” he said.
According to Shibutov, to resolve the issues, good legislative work with the officials is needed. Without diversification of its economy, Kazakhstan will find it difficult to trade with Russia in the framework of the EaEU, another Kazakh political analyst, Zamir Karazhanov, said.
As an example, he brought up the largest city in the south of the country, Almaty.
“The question is, what effect will there be for Almaty from integration in the Customs Union or in the EaEU? We trade with Russia and Belarus, and Russia constitutes 96% of the Almaty trade turnover. The paradox is that our exports to Russia are worth only $300 million while we import two billion dollars. So, we have a trade deficit,” Karazhanov said.
According to him, the situation is similar with Belarus. “But it should be understood that this is no criticism of Russia or Belarus, rather, the criticism of us. I started to look into the reasons why that happened. In the regional gross product, manufacturing constitutes only 6%, the rest is commerce and finance. Russia has no demand for our services in this case. This is why we should diversify the economy, to create goods that can be sold to Russia,” he said.
He also noted that China, which is neither in the Customs Union, nor in the EaEU, manages to make $5 billion from its sales in Almaty annually.
“It seems to me that the four freedoms is a wonderful thing, which would allow our business to get on its feet. But the economy should be changed. I realise that Almaty is a specific city, but in a way, it is a reflection of the economy of Kazakhstan as a whole,” Karazhanov said.
Speaking at the Minsk meeting, Nazarbayev emphasised that all countries had a lot of work to do, including on creating of public awareness.
“It is important to explain in plain language to the businesses and the public those advantages that we will receive from the union. There should be no speculation on this account,” Nazarbaev stressed.
HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong police swoop in to remove barricades at a protest zone in dawn raid.News Topics: General news
People, Places and Companies: Hong Kong, China, Greater China, East Asia, Asia
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Flanker Steffon Armitage will remain at Toulon after Bath couldn't agree on financial terms with the Top 14 champion to bring the European club rugby player of the year back to England.
Bath coach Mike Ford said the deal was dead in an interview with BBC Radio on Thursday.
Armitage hoped for a transfer to Bath to attempt to break into England's squad for the Rugby World Cup next year, but breaking his three-year contract at Toulon proved harder.
Bath's request for financial help from the English Rugby Union was turned down. England won't pick players overseas unless under special circumstances. Armitage last played for England in 2010.
"We tried our best to get him but we just failed to cross the line and couldn't agree (on) the finances with Toulon," Ford said.
Bath needed a deal done by this weekend, when the European Rugby Champions Cup begins. If Armitage played, he would become cup-tied to Toulon. He is in the squad to play Scarlets on Sunday.
Toulon coach Bernard Laporte said they were prepared to release Armitage on a six-month loan if he received certainty of playing in the World Cup in England, but no guarantee was given.News Topics: Sports, Rugby, International rugby union, Rugby World Cup, Rugby union, Events, Men's rugby union, Men's rugby, Men's sports
People, Places and Companies: Bernard Laporte, England, United Kingdom, Western Europe, Europe
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's state television says two Russian warships have left a northern Iranian port after the two countries held a joint, three-day naval exercise in the Caspian Sea.
Thursday's report on the TV's website quoted Iranian Adm. Afshin Rezaei Haddad, who is Iran's navy commander in the Caspian Sea, as saying that the Russian vessels departed from the northern Iranian port of Anzali on Wednesday.
No further details were given.
It was the first visit in decades by a Russian fleet to an Iranian port in the Caspian Sea. In recent years Iran's navy has increased its bilateral relations with various countries, including China and Pakistan.
Last year, a Russian naval group docked in the southern Iranian port of Bandar Abbas on the way home from a Pacific Ocean voyage.News Topics: General news
People, Places and Companies: Russia, Iran, Caspian Sea, Eastern Europe, Europe, Middle East
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
NEW YORK (AP) — Chiquita says it is rejecting a new buyout offer from two Brazilian companies and will go ahead with its plan to merge with Irish fruit importer Fyffes.
Chiquita says the offer from investment firm Safra Group and juice company Cutrale Group isn't high enough and the Fyffes deal will bring more value to shareholders. Safra and Cutrale initially offered to buy Chiquita in August, and on Wednesday they raised their offer to $658 million, or $14 per share.
ChiquitaFyffes would be the world's largest banana supplier, and the companies plan to incorporate in Dublin to take advantage of lower tax rates. Chiquita shareholders will own almost 60 percent of the company.
Chiquita shares were unchanged at $13.61 in aftermarket trading.News Topics: Business
MIAMI (AP) — The former owner of a South Florida anti-aging clinic pleaded guilty on Thursday to charges of illegally providing performance-enhancing drugs to athletes including high-profile Major League Baseball players, most notably New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez.
Anthony Bosch, former owner of the Biogenesis of America clinic in Coral Gables, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute testosterone before U.S. District Judge Darrin P. Gayles. Bosch, who was not a medical doctor yet called himself "Dr. T," faces a maximum 10-year prison sentence but is likely to get far less because of cooperation with prosecutors and with MLB's investigation into player drug use.
"The message is clear: Cheating doesn't pay and individuals like Bosch, who distribute performance-enhancing drugs to athletes and, more importantly, to our children, will be held accountable for their actions," said Miami U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer, noting that some customers were high school age.
Defense attorney Guy Lewis said Bosch, 51, provided key information to MLB investigators that led to the suspension of 14 players, including the record season-long suspension handed to Rodriguez for this past year. Bosch also met numerous times with federal prosecutors and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents, Lewis said.
"He was faithful in terms of appearing each and every time he was requested to," Lewis said. "Each and every time he appeared, answered questions, and was available."
Rodriguez has denied taking illegal substances while with the Yankees but did admit to doing so earlier in his career with the Texas Rangers. He remains on the Yankees' roster for next season.
MLB previously sued Bosch and his clinic but withdrew the lawsuit in February. The league accused Bosch and others with conspiring to violate player contracts by providing them with banned substances.
In a plea agreement, Bosch admitted to providing testosterone to baseball players, from professionals to high school athletes. Six other people are charged in the case, and Bosch has agreed to testify against them if they go to trial.
"We are quite satisfied with what he promised he would do," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael "Pat" Sullivan.
Sentencing for Bosch is set for Dec. 18.
Follow Curt Anderson on Twitter: http://twitter.com/MiamicurtNews Topics: Sports, Doping, Drug-related crime, Criminal investigations, Legal proceedings, MLB baseball, Sports governance, Crime, High school sports, Professional baseball, General news, Law and order, Baseball, Men's sports
People, Places and Companies: Alex Rodriguez, Anthony Bosch, Guy Lewis, United States, Florida, New York City, North America, New York
U.S. stocks are ending mostly higher after recovering from an early plunge.
Energy companies rose the most after the price of crude oil turned higher.
The Dow Jones industrial average edged down 24 points, or 0.2 percent, to 16,117 Thursday. It was down as much as 206 points in early trading.
Broader indexes fared better.
The Standard & Poor's 500 edged up a fraction of a point to 1,862. The Nasdaq composite gained two points to 4,217.
Netflix plunged 19 percent after the company's subscriber growth fell short of its own forecasts following a rate increase.
The price of oil recovered slightly after three days of declines.
Benchmark U.S. crude rose 92 cents to close at $82.70 a barrel. It's still down 4 percent for the week.News Topics: Business, General news, Stock prices, Stock indices and averages, Financial markets, Stock markets, Leading economic indicators, Economy
WASHINGTON (AP) — Beyond the turmoil shaking financial markets, the U.S. economy remains sturdier than many seem to fear.
The Dow Jones industrial average has lost 874 points since Oct. 8, largely over worries about another recession in Europe, a slowdown in China and world-spanning crises that include the Ebola outbreak and the rise of the Islamic State.
Yet economists aren't reducing their forecasts for the U.S. economy. The International Monetary Fund, which heightened jitters by cutting its forecasts for global growth, has actually upgraded its outlook for the United States.
Economists say the troubles around the world aren't enough to derail a U.S. economy that's gaining strength from a stronger job market, falling fuel prices, lower mortgage rates and improvements in household finances and confidence.
"The U.S. economy is nicely insulated from most global events," says Eric Lascelles, chief economist for RBC Global Asset Management.
Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics, is keeping his forecasts for U.S. growth at 2.2 percent growth for this year and 3.4 percent for 2015. He calls the plunge in stock prices a "garden-variety correction" for an inflated market, rather than evidence of a faltering economy.
The IMF spooked investors last week by cutting its forecast for global economic growth this year to 3.3 percent from 3.4 percent. Even so, the IMF now expects the U.S. economy to grow 2.2 percent this year, up from its June forecast of 1.7 percent.
Underscoring the bright outlook, the government said Thursday that the number of Americans who applied last week for unemployment benefits — a figure that reflects the number of layoffs — reached a 14-year low. Once you factor in the growth of the U.S. labor force, the latest number means the likelihood of being laid off is the lowest it's been on government records dating to the early 1970s.
In addition, the Federal Reserve said Thursday that U.S. manufacturing production rose last month after tumbling in August.
For now, investors remain so worried about weakness across the globe that they've been dumping stocks of every geographic or industry origin.
Near the top of their worries is Europe. The 18-country eurozone's economy failed to grow at all in the second quarter of the year and might not do so in the third quarter, either. The IMF shaved its forecast for eurozone growth to 0.8 percent this year from its previous forecast of 1.1 percent.
Speaking at the Economic Club of Washington two weeks ago, Jeffrey Zients, director of the White House's National Economic Council, called Europe "our No. 1 area of concern" and said the continent could slide into its third recession since 2008. In particular, the darkening picture in Germany — the heart of business activity for the region — is raising fears. After contracting 0.2 percent in the second quarter compared with the previous three months, Germany's economy risks shrinking again in the third quarter. That would put its economy technically in recession, as defined by two consecutive quarters of economic contraction.
Still, economists downplay Europe's effect on the American economy. For one thing, Europe's struggles aren't new. It's been flailing for years. All the while, the U.S. economy has been steadily gaining momentum.
Overall, America has surprisingly little economic exposure to the world's troubles. Exports account for less than 14 percent of U.S. activity, one of the lowest such shares in the world.
It's American consumers who drive the U.S. economy. They account for nearly 70 percent of the economy. And in many ways, things are looking up for consumers.
Gasoline prices in the United States have fallen to an average $3.16 a gallon, the lowest price since 2011. Lower gas prices free up money for consumers to spend on other things — from clothing and restaurant meals to furniture and appliances — that help drive growth.
What's more, the panic on Wall Street has delivered a bonus to homebuyers or homeowners who want to finance: As investors have fled to the safety of U.S. Treasurys, they have helped drive down long-term interest rates, including for mortgages. On Thursday, mortgage giant Freddie Mac said the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage hit 3.97 percent this week — its lowest rate since June 2013.
Consumers' finances are in better shape, too, because many Americans have pared debt.
All that said, the United States won't emerge unscathed from the stalling global economy. Companies that make up the Standard & Poor's 500 index collectively generate 46 percent of their revenue overseas, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices. Their sales and earnings could be squeezed by slower growth in Europe and China. Eventually, if the trend continued, they might have to scale back hiring or cut jobs.
The powerhouse Chinese economy is expected to grow 7.4 percent this year, down from 7.7 percent in 2013, according to the IMF. The slowdown could hurt U.S. companies like 5+design, an architectural firm in Hollywood, California, that does 70 percent of its business in China.
"We've backed off new hires (in China) until we get a greater sense of where things are going," says Michael Ellis, the firm's managing principal. Still, he says his firm's business in China is likely to increase.
"When China slows, it's still growing faster than anywhere else," Ellis says.
The biggest threat to the United States may be the psychological effects of fear. Consumers who see their retirement accounts shrink along with stock indexes tend to feel more vulnerable and less likely to spend. It's the reverse of the so-called wealth effect, which occurs when rising stocks make consumers feel wealthier and more confident.
And any dramatic increase in Ebola cases in the United States could at least temporarily freeze economic activity.
"People would stop traveling," Moody's Zandi says. "That would put a pall" over the economy.
For now, the U.S. economy looks durable.
"More people are getting jobs, we're printing more paychecks, the U.S. economy stumbles on forward," says Jerry Webman, chief economist at OppenheimerFunds.
AP staff writers Christopher S. Rugaber and Jim Kuhnhenn in Washington and Carlo Piovano in London contributed to this report.News Topics: Business, General news, Economic growth, Economic outlook, Prices, Economy, Financial crisis, Gasoline markets, Motor fuel markets, Stock indices and averages, Recessions and depressions, Development banking, Financial markets, Refined petroleum product markets, Energy markets, Commodity markets, Stock markets, Banking and credit, Financial services, Industries, Ebola virus, Hemorrhagic fever, Infectious diseases, Diseases and conditions, Health
People, Places and Companies: Mark Zandi, Jeffrey Zients, China, United States, Europe, Greater China, East Asia, Asia, North America
WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite a CIA operation to vet and train moderate Syrian rebels, the U.S. finds itself without a credible partner on the ground in Syria as it bombs the Islamic State group there. That's a potentially serious flaw in the Obama administration's strategy to ultimately defeat the militants.
The U.S. strategy to crush IS rests on the use of local proxy forces, and hinges on plans to use $500 million and a base in Saudi Arabia to build an army of moderate Syrian rebels. But U.S. officials are acknowledging that as of now they don't trust any Syrian rebel group enough to coordinate on the bombing campaign.
That shows how difficult it will be to build and train a force of 5,000 capable of going after IS.News Topics: General news
People, Places and Companies: Syria, United States, Saudi Arabia, Middle East, North America
WASHINGTON (AP) — Foreign buyers of U.S. Treasury securities boosted their holdings in August to a record high. China, the largest foreign owner of Treasury debt, increased its holdings after two months of reductions.
The Treasury Department says in its monthly report that foreign holdings increased 1.1 percent to an all-time high of $6.07 trillion, after having fallen by 0.3 percent in July.
China, the top foreign buyer of U.S. Treasury debt, increased its holdings by 0.4 percent to $1.27 trillion. Japan, the No. 2 buyer, boosted its holdings by 0.9 percent to $1.23 trillion.
Foreign demand for Treasury debt is expected to remain strong this year, driven in part by geopolitical tensions that make U.S. Treasury bonds attractive as a safe haven.News Topics: Business, General news, Government securities, Treasury securities, Government debt, Government finance, Government business and finance, Government and politics, Government bonds, Debt and bond markets, Financial markets
People, Places and Companies: United States, North America
CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (AP) — The heavens are hosting an event this weekend that occurs once in a million years or so.
A comet as hefty as a small mountain will pass mind-bogglingly close to Mars on Sunday. The comet called Siding Spring will approach within 87,000 miles (140,006 kilometers) of Mars at a speed of 126,000 mph (202,767 kph).
NASA's five robotic explorers at Mars are being repurposed to witness the comet's first known visit to the inner solar system. So are a European and an Indian spacecraft circling the red planet.
The craft will observe the incoming iceball, then hide behind Mars for protection from potentially dangerous debris in the comet tail. NASA's Opportunity and Curiosity rovers will be shielded by the Martian atmosphere. They should have the best seats in the house.News Topics: Science, Mars, Space exploration, Planets, Astronomy
People, Places and Companies: Florida, United States, North America
PARIS (AP) — Forty-seven years after starring in the movie "The Fearless Vampire Killers" with his wife-to-be Sharon Tate, director Roman Polanski is adapting the famous musical version of the film for the Paris stage.
The musical "Dance of the Vampires" was first performed in 1997, and it's traveled the world. The 81-year-old Polanski hopes it will now boost Paris' dreary musical theater scene.
He said in an interview with The Associated Press Thursday that he's tried for years to get the show to the musical-averse French and is succeeding now because "vampires have become popular in the last few years."
Polanski wouldn't talk about Tate, whom he married after directing her in the film. She was brutally murdered in 1969.
"I really don't feel like talking about my life," he said.
.News Topics: Arts and entertainment, General news, Celebrity, Entertainment, Horror movies, Movies
People, Places and Companies: Roman Polanski, Sharon Tate, France, Paris, Western Europe, Europe
STOCKHOLM (AP) — Results Thursday from the if...Stockholm Open at Kungliga Tennishallen (The Royal Tennis Hall) (seedings in parentheses):Men's Singles Second Round
Tomas Berdych (1), Czech Republic, def. Dustin Brown, Germany, 7-5, 6-3.
Matthias Bachinger, Germany, def. Leonardo Mayer (5), Argentina, 7-6 (3), 6-7 (4), 6-3.
Jack Sock, United States, def. Jeremy Chardy (6), France, 7-6 (3), 6-3.
Marius Copil, Romania, def. Pierre-Hugues Herbert, France, 6-4, 6-3.
___Men's Doubles Quarterfinals
Jamie Murray, Britain, and John Peers, Australia, def. Lukasz Kubot, Poland, and Robert Lindstedt (2), Sweden, 6-1, 6-7 (5), 10-7.
Eric Butorac, United States, and Raven Klaasen (3), South Africa, def. Henri Kontinen, Finland, and Jarkko Nieminen, Finland, 7-5, 7-6 (6).
Treat Huey, Philippines, and Jack Sock, United States, def. Grigor Dimitrov, Bulgaria, and Pierre-Hugues Herbert, France, 1-6, 6-1, 10-6.MORE News Topics: Men's tennis, Tennis, Sports, Men's sports
People, Places and Companies: Tomas Berdych, Dustin Brown, Matthias Bachinger, Leonardo Mayer, Jack Sock, Jeremy Chardy, Marius Copil, Pierre-Hugues Herbert, Jamie Murray, John Peers, Lukasz Kubot, Robert Lindstedt, Eric Butorac, Raven Klaasen, Henri Kontinen, Jarkko Nieminen, Treat Huey, Grigor Dimitrov, Stockholm, France, Sweden, Western Europe, Europe
New York (AP) — Coffee futures trading on the IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) Thursday:
(37,500 lbs.; cents per lb.)Open High Low Settle Chg. COFFEE C Dec 217.65 220.60 216.30 217.10 Up 1.10 Feb 224.45 unch Mar 221.20 224.40 220.25 221.05 Up 1.15 May 223.10 225.95 222.50 223.05 Up 1.20 Jul 224.25 226.70 223.90 224.25 Up 1.25 Sep 224.50 226.90 224.10 224.40 Up 1.10 Dec 225.45 226.50 224.25 224.25 Up .90 Mar 224.60 225.50 223.35 223.35 Up .65 May 223.65 223.95 222.50 222.50 Up .55 Jul 222.25 223.15 221.60 221.60 Up .55 Sep 222.20 222.35 220.75 220.75 Up .55 Dec 220.75 221.30 220.50 220.55 Up .85 Mar 220.55 Up .85 May 220.50 Up .85 Jul 220.40 Up .85 Sep 218.55 Up .85 News Topics: Soft commodity markets, Coffee markets, Commodity markets, Financial markets, Business
New York (AP) — Cocoa futures trading on the IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) Thursday: (10 metric tons; $ per ton)Open High Low Settle Change Dec 3141 3150 3064 3086 Down 67 Mar 3120 3120 3044 3065 Down 57 May 3087 3090 3020 3044 Down 49 Jul 3077 3077 3009 3036 Down 43 Sep 3044 3057 3004 3027 Down 40 Dec 3025 3029 2994 3008 Down 39 Mar 3010 3012 2991 2991 Down 39 May 2982 Down 39 Jul 2974 Down 39 Sep 2973 Down 44 News Topics: Soft commodity markets, Cocoa markets, Commodity markets, Financial markets, Business
New York (AP) — Silver futures trading on the NY Merc Thursday:
(5,000 troy oz.; cents per troy oz.)Open High Low Settle Change Oct 1743.0 1743.0 1738.8 1738.8 Down 2.7 Nov 1737.0 1741.2 1721.0 1741.2 Down 2.7 Dec 1745.0 1754.0 1720.0 1743.7 Down 2.7 Jan 1740.5 1746.0 1735.5 1745.8 Down 2.7 Mar 1754.0 1754.0 1727.0 1748.9 Down 2.5 May 1741.5 1751.5 1733.0 1751.5 Down 2.4 Jul 1756.5 1756.5 1753.5 1753.8 Down 2.3 Sep 1747.0 1755.8 1747.0 1755.8 Down 2.3 Dec 1757.0 1758.8 1756.5 1758.8 Down 2.0 Jan 1760.3 Down 1.9 Mar 1762.3 Down 1.7 May 1764.8 Down 1.3 Jul 1767.5 Down .9 Dec 1774.4 Down .6 Jul 1785.9 Up .2 Dec 1797.2 Up .8 Jul 1820.2 Up .8 Dec 1837.2 Up .8 Jul 1868.2 Up .8 News Topics: Silver markets, Precious metal markets, Metal markets, Commodity markets, Financial markets, Business
CHICAGO (AP) — Futures trading on the Chicago Board of Trade Thursday.:Settle WHEAT (5,000 bu ; cents per bushel) Dec 517 Mar 528 3-4 May 535 1-2 Jul 542 3-4 Sep 552 1-4 Dec 566 1-2 Mar 576 May 578 3-4 Jul 574 Sep 581 Dec 589 1-4 Mar 590 1-2 May 599 Jul 570 1-2 CORN (5,000 bu ; cents per bushel) Dec 352 1-4 Mar 365 1-4 May 374 1-4 Jul 381 1-2 Sep 388 1-2 Dec 397 Mar 405 3-4 May 412 1-4 Jul 416 3-4 Sep 412 1-4 Dec 412 1-4 Jul 429 1-2 Dec 414 3-4 OATS (5,000 bu ; cents per bushel) Dec 347 Mar 335 May 328 1-2 Jul 322 Sep 325 Dec 317 Mar 317 May 317 Jul 318 Sep 318 Jul 318 Sep 318 SOYBEANS (5,000 bu ; cents per bushel) Nov 966 1-2 Jan 974 1-4 Mar 981 3-4 May 990 1-2 Jul 996 3-4 Aug 998 1-4 Sep 986 1-4 Nov 979 3-4 Jan 984 3-4 Mar 989 1-2 May 993 Jul 999 1-4 Aug 998 1-2 Sep 983 1-4 Nov 977 3-4 Jul 997 3-4 Nov 976 SOYBEAN OIL (60,000 lbs; cents per lb) Dec 32.36 Jan 32.62 Mar 32.85 May 33.02 Jul 33.19 Aug 33.26 Sep 33.27 Oct 33.09 Dec 33.06 Jan 33.25 Mar 33.49 May 33.68 Jul 33.90 Aug 33.94 Sep 33.97 Oct 33.90 Dec 33.79 Jul 33.79 Oct 33.79 Dec 33.79 SOYBEAN MEAL (100 tons; dollars per ton) Dec 334.60 Jan 328.60 Mar 322.20 May 320.60 Jul 321.40 Aug 322.10 Sep 322.20 Oct 320.30 Dec 319.80 Jan 320.60 Mar 322.40 May 323.40 Jul 324.60 Aug 324.70 Sep 324.70 Oct 324.60 Dec 319.80 Jul 319.80 Oct 319.80 Dec 319.80 News Topics: Soft commodity markets, Grain markets, Soybean markets, Coarse grain markets, Soybean oil markets, Wheat markets, Corn markets, Feed meal markets, Vegetable oil markets, Commodity markets, Financial markets, Business, Grain and edible oil markets
People, Places and Companies: Chicago, Illinois, United States, North America
WASHINGTON (AP) — A firm accused of fraud is paying a $1 million penalty in what federal regulators say is the first case of market manipulation brought against a high-speed trading firm.
The Securities and Exchange Commission also censured Athena Capital Research, which it says used a trading algorithm code named "Gravy" to manipulate the closing prices of thousands of stocks on the Nasdaq market. Athena placed a large number of rapid trades in the final two seconds of nearly every trading day over six months, the SEC says.
They were the first market-manipulation charges against a firm engaged in the super-fast electronic trading that now dominate the U.S. securities markets.
New York-based Athena neither admitted nor denied the allegations under the settlement with the SEC.News Topics: Business, General news
People, Places and Companies: Athena
STOCKHOLM (AP) — Top seed and former champion Tomas Berdych beat Dustin Brown of Germany 7-5, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals of the Stockholm Open on Thursday.
The Czech, who had a bye into the second round, is coming off finals appearances in the last two weeks in Beijing and Shanghai. He needs to reach the final here to stay in the running for a berth in the eight-man ATP Finals.
Next up for Berdych, the 2012 Stockholm champ, will be Marius Copil of Romania, who beat fellow qualifier Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France 6-4, 6-3.
Jack Sock of the U.S. put away sixth-seeded Jeremy Chardy of France 7-6 (3), 6-3 to line up defending champion Grigor Dimitrov in the quarterfinals, and qualifier Matthias Bachinger of Germany hit 15 aces as he upset fifth-seeded Leonardo Mayer of Argentina 7-6 (3), 6-7 (4), 6-3.
Fourth-seeded Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine faced Adrian Mannarino of France late.News Topics: Sports, Men's sports, Men's tennis, Tennis
People, Places and Companies: Tomas Berdych, Dustin Brown, Marius Copil, Pierre-Hugues Herbert, Jack Sock, Jeremy Chardy, Grigor Dimitrov, Matthias Bachinger, Leonardo Mayer, Alexandr Dolgopolov, Adrian Mannarino, Stockholm, France, Sweden, Western Europe, Europe
WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department says it has held direct talks with a Syrian Kurdish political party that is linked to a guerrilla group that the U.S. considers a terrorist organization.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Thursday the meeting with the Kurdish Democratic Union Party happened last weekend, outside the region.
The discussion focused on threats posed by Islamic State militants, and marked the first direct talks between the two sides.
The Kurdish group is known as the PYD and is seen as a Syrian affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK. Both aspire to create an independent nation for ethnic Kurds out of parts of Syria, Iraq, and Turkey.
The PKK has attacked Turkey for decades, and is considered a terrorist organization by Ankara and Washington.News Topics: General news, Terrorism, War and unrest, Government and politics
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