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  • BEIJING, Oct 11- Top Chinese automaker SAIC Motor Corp said on Thursday its September auto sales climbed 4.6 percent from a year earlier to 393,986 vehicles. That pace was slower than 9.2 percent year-on-year growth achieved in August. SAIC operates car ventures with General Motors Co and Volkswagen AG.

  • LONDON, Oct 11- Turkish stocks hit 17- month highs on Thursday, shrugging off an escalating conflict with Syria as data showed an improving current account picture while the Czech crown lost 0.3 percent after comments by the central bank governor.

  • TOKYO, Oct. 11- Asian credit was ending the day on a positive note in spite of overnight negative headlines from Europe, which sent equity markets into a tailspin. Stock indices in Asia dropped with the Hang Seng ending down 0.8% and the Nikkei 0.58% lower.

  • --We expect China- based conglomerate Baosteel to demonstrate lackluster operating performances and to make increasing investments in 2012-2013, leading to weaker credit protection measures. At the same time, we are lowering our long-term Greater China regional scale ratings on Baosteel and its debt to' cnAA' from' cnAA+'.

  • *Turkey, Syria fighting stokes worries about Mideast supply. LONDON, Oct 11- Brent crude oil headed for its highest close in a month on Thursday, lifted by escalating tension between Syria and Turkey, maintenance in the North Sea and a supply crunch in oil products.

  • BANGKOK-- World stock markets were mixed Thursday, with Europe posting modest gains while Asia slumped after Spain, the fourth-largest euro economy, was slapped with a two-notch credit downgrade. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.2 percent to 5,791.79, Germany's DAX added 0.4 percent and France's CAC-40 advanced 0.3 percent to 3,375.40.

  • ASHGABAT, Oct 11- Turkmenistan's economy expanded by 11.1 percent in the first nine months of 2012, slowing from 14.6 percent in the same period a year ago, President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov was quoted as saying on Thursday. Turkmenistan's economic growth hinges on the development and exports of its natural gas riches.

  • HONG KONG, Oct 11- Hong Kong shares rose on Thursday as Chinese banks and infrastructure plays gained on expectations of more government support for the economy, offsetting weakness in local property developers. The Hang Seng rose 0.4 percent, with the index of top Hong Kong- listed mainland firms up 1.9 percent to be the day's best performing benchmark in Asia.

  • LONDON-- Luxury fashion house Burberry PLC, which issued a profit warning last month, says retail sales growth slowed in the second quarter as demand weakened in Britain and China. The company said sales at stores open more than a year rose 1 percent in the three months to Sept. 30, compared with 6 percent in the previous quarter.

  • JAKARTA, Oct 11- Full text of Bank Indonesia's policy statement, translated by Reuters. Bank Indonesia will continue to strengthen coordination with government in managing domestic demand and improving balance of payments in line with the effort to maintain macroeconomic stability and sustain national economic growth.

  • LONDON, Oct 11-* U.S. stock index futures pointed to a flat to higher open on Wall Street on Thursday, with futures for the S&P 500 rising 0.2 percent, the Dow Jones trading flat and the Nasdaq 100 gaining 0.3 percent.

  • HONG KONG, Oct 11- Hong Kong shares ended higher on Thursday on the back of strength in Chinese banks and infrastructure stocks on hopes of stimulus measures, while local property developers were hit by profit-taking following their recent outperformance.

  • FRANKFURT, Oct 11- Economic growth in the euro zone economy is expected to remain weak and "high uncertainty" is weighing on confidence, the European Central Bank said on Thursday in its monthly bulletin, adding that inflation expectations remained firmly anchored.

  • SINGAPORE, Oct 11- Shanghai steel futures fell over 1 percent on Thursday after a three-day climb as the outlook for Chinese demand remained hazy despite recent gains in prices, while iron ore hit its highest since July as mills continued to replenish stockpiles.

  • Oct 11- China shares fell on Thursday as investors locked in gains in energy stocks and brokers after their strong run-up this week, while autos fell following lacklustre September vehicle sales. The CSI300 index of top Shanghai and Shenzhen listed companies fell 0.9 percent by the close while the Shanghai Composite fell 0.8 percent.

  • WASHINGTON-- Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney is promising to get tough on China to help American workers, but his plans could backfire. Romney is pledging, on his first day in office, to designate China a currency manipulator, a step no administration has taken against any country for 18 years.

  • *Turkey, Syria fighting continues, stokes worries about Mideast supply. November Brent crude rose 60 cents to $114.93 a barrel by 0626 GMT after a volatile session on Wednesday that saw the contract rising to $115.59, its highest since Sept. 17, before settling down slightly.

  • *S&P/ASX 200 index fell 7 points to 4,483.5* Lynas Corp Ltd. plunges 15 pct on Malaysia delay. Shares pulled back from 14- month highs on Wednesday after the IMF cut its growth forecast for China, Australia's biggest export market.

  • *Car parts maker Tokai Rika sags after Toyota recall. *KDDI climbs after J.P. Morgan lifts price target. TOKYO, Oct 11- Japan's Nikkei share average fell to its lowest close in more than two months on Thursday on mounting fears that upcoming corporate earnings will be weak after the U.S. results season got off to a slow start.

  • DIARY For South Africa corporate diary, click on For southern and South Africa diary, click on ECONOMIC EVENTS. Asian shares tracked Wall Street lower on Thursday as weak forecasts from U.S. corporate bellwethers underscored concern over global demand, particularly from China, and kept oil and other commodity prices under pressure.