*Turkey, Syria fighting stokes concern over Mideast supply. LONDON, Oct 11- Brent crude oil reached its highest 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.
Oct 11- U.S. carrier Alaska Airlines said on Thursday it will buy 50 737 single-aisle jetliners, worth $5 billion at list prices, from Boeing Co in its largest order yet. The order includes 37 of Boeing's upcoming 737 MAX, the new-engine variant of the popular 737 that offers better fuel efficiency.
By Matt Scuffham and Kylie MacLellan. LONDON, Oct 11- Insurer Direct Line made a solid stock market debut on Thursday, marking a milestone in parent Royal Bank of Scotland's recovery efforts. The bank said the sale was the next important step in its recovery plan, having earlier this year finished paying back emergency loans to Britain and the United States.
*Some nuclear experts worry about proliferation risks* They say laser enrichment plants smaller, harder to detect* Iran says it "possesses" laser know-how but won't use it By Fredrik Dahl.
Oct 11- Fitch Ratings has affirmed Royal Bank of Scotland plc's GBP10.0bn equivalent mortgage covered bonds at' AAA' with a Stable Outlook following a review of the programme. The rating is based on RBS's Long-term Issuer Default Rating of' A', the Discontinuity Cap of 4 and the asset percentage of 65.2% that Fitch takes into account in its analysis.
*Sprint jumps on reports of possible Softbank deal. NEW YORK, Oct 11- U.S. stocks advanced on Thursday after data showed initial jobless claims fell to the lowest level in more than four and a half years, suggesting improvement in a key factor for economic growth.
PARIS, Oct 11- A push to extend France's wealth tax to artworks is stirring up a new fiscal flap for President Francois Hollande's Socialist government as it carries out an unpopular belt-tightening drive.
BAKU, Azerbaijan-- Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliev has criticized a consortium led by BP PLC for a slump in production at the Caspian Sea nation's main oil field. A spokesperson for BP Azerbaijan said the company is working together with Azerbaijan's state oil company to address production issues.
LONDON, Oct 11- Office Of Fair Trading:.
NEW YORK-- One piece of good news on jobs was enough Thursday on Wall Street. That one piece of good news was enough to help traders forget about a drumbeat of worrisome developments, like a widening U.S. trade deficit, higher unemployment in Greece and a ratings cut for Spain. `.
LONDON, Oct 11- Britain's energy minister wants to financially support two pilot carbon capture and storage projects, a technology the UK is banking on to reduce climate-warming emissions and to develop as a new export product.
RABAT, Morocco-- The Standard& Poor's rating agency on Thursday revised Morocco's outlook downward to negative from stable because of Europe's financial crisis, a high deficit and lagging reforms. Morocco sought help from the International Monetary Fund in August, winning a $6.2 billion precautionary credit line.
Oct 11- Standard& Poor's Ratings Services said today that its ratings and outlook on Spain- based integrated oil and gas company Repsol S.A. are unchanged by the downgrade of the long-term sovereign credit rating on the Kingdom of Spain to' BBB-' from' BBB+' with a negative outlook.
OTTAWA, Oct 11- A new Canadian composite leading indicator, released for the first time on Thursday, showed a rise of 0.1 percent in August and suggested Canada will avoid a recession this year.
*Europe still biggest drag on world growth. LONDON, Oct 11- Next year offers only a slight improvement for a global economy hit by recession in Europe and slowing or moribund growth in Asia and the United States, according to Reuters polls of hundreds economists worldwide.
Oct 11- Fitch Ratings has revised Russia's Ivanovo Region's Outlook to Negative from Stable. Fitch has also affirmed the region's Long-term foreign and local currency rating at' BB-', its Short-term foreign currency rating at' B' and National Long-term rating at' A+'.
MILAN, Oct 11- Italy's government could raise 1 billion euros a year from a tax on financial transactions but the levy risks hurting small investors more than speculators, the head of an Italian brokers' association said.
LONDON, Oct 11- Lonmin PLC:. *Final amendment of mining right and settlement with keysha. with an amount of approximately $4.0 million.
The news could help President Barack Obama in his tight race for re-election on Nov. 6 against Republican challenger Mitt Romney, who says Obama has mishandled the economy. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 30,000 to a seasonally adjusted 339,000, the Labor Department said.
ZURICH, Oct 11- Leading drugmakers will help set up psychological centres for victims of child sex abuse in an effort to counter the long-term health problems suffered by victims.