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  • LONDON, Oct 4- Norddeutsche Landesbank, one of Germany's largest wholesale banks, is poised to issue a 144 a covered bond, the first US dollar offering of its kind since 2006.. German banks have been absent from the 144 a space since November 2006, when Essen Hypo sold a USD1.25bn long five-year that matured in January 2012.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 4- U.S. stock index futures rose on Thursday, ahead of a central bank decision in Europe and the release of U.S. data on the labor and manufacturing sectors.

  • Euroclear cuts bond deal with Russian exchange Thursday, 4 Oct 2012 | 7:32 AM ET

    LONDON, Oct 4- Russian bond trading is set to become easier for the world's top investment banks under a deal cut by the Russian stock market and one of Europe's top share settlement firms.

  • LONDON, Oct 4- The Bank of England shied away from stepping up its programme of government bond buying on Thursday, as the economy is showing signs of growth and new schemes to boost credit may yet spur lending.

  • US STOCKS-Futures gain ahead of ECB meeting, U.S. data Thursday, 4 Oct 2012 | 7:26 AM ET

    NEW YORK, Oct 4- U.S. stock index futures rose on Thursday, ahead of a central bank decision in Europe and the release of U.S. data on the labor and manufacturing sectors. *The U.S. Labor Department releases first-time claims for jobless benefits for the week ended Sept. 29 at 8:30 a.m. EDT.

  • RLPC-Carlyle hires banks for RAC dividend payout Thursday, 4 Oct 2012 | 7:18 AM ET

    LONDON, Oct 4- Private equity firm Carlyle Group. has hired BNP Paribas and Deutsche Bank to arrange a 260 million pound loan for UK roadside rescue business RAC to pay itself a dividend. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, HSBC, JPMorgan and UBS are also bookrunners on the deal, the banks and the company said in a statement.

  • Bank of England holds key rate at 0.5 percent Thursday, 4 Oct 2012 | 7:09 AM ET

    LONDON-- The Bank of England has held its key lending rate at the all-time low of 0.5 percent for the 44th month and decided not to increase its economic stimulus program of bond purchases. Thursday's announcement by the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee was widely expected.

  • STOCKS NEWS EUROPE-UK small caps steady around midday Thursday, 4 Oct 2012 | 7:01 AM ET

    The FTSE Small Cap index is steady in midsession trade, lagging a 0.2 percent rise on the FTSE 100 and a 0.7 percent gain on the FTSE 250.

  • Bank of England keeps bond buying plan unchanged Thursday, 4 Oct 2012 | 7:00 AM ET

    LONDON, Oct 4- The Bank of England opted against stepping up its programme of government bond purchases on Thursday as the economy is showing some signs of growth and new schemes to boost credit may yet spur fresh lending.

  • UK shares eye one-week highs in thin, jittery trade Thursday, 4 Oct 2012 | 7:00 AM ET

    *FTSE 100 up 0.2 pct, near one-week highs. LONDON, Oct 4- Britain's FTSE 100 hovered around one-week highs on Thursday, in thin, jittery trade, with investors unwilling to put on big bets ahead of a European Central Bank meeting later in the session and a key U.S. job reports on Friday. By 1023 GMT, the UK's FTSE 100.

  • LONDON, Oct 4- Britain's gas production is set for a three percent boost next year from current levels after BP's Devenick North Sea gas field started production on Thursday, Energy Minister John Hayes said.

  • EU poised to agree ban on Iranian gas imports-sources Thursday, 4 Oct 2012 | 6:51 AM ET

    BRUSSELS, Oct 4- The European Union is poised to ban imports of Iranian gas into Europe as part of its efforts to ratchet up pressure on the Islamic Republic over its nuclear programme, diplomats said on Thursday.

  • Europe shares turn positive again in volatile trade Thursday, 4 Oct 2012 | 6:41 AM ET

    LONDON, Oct 4- European shares rose to go back into positive territory during a volatile session on Thursday, with traders expecting key indexes to stay within tight rages while uncertainty persists over the euro zone's debt crisis.

  • Austrian gravesites get digital twist Thursday, 4 Oct 2012 | 6:41 AM ET

    VIENNA, Oct 4- The fabled Viennese fondness for fine funerals and "a schoene Leich"- a beautiful corpse- is about to get a modern twist. The first QR codes will start appearing on graves in Austria within weeks, said Joerg Bauer, project leader for Austrian bereavement company Aspetos, who has been working on the QR project for five years.

  • LONDON, Oct 4- An intensification of Spain's recession poses the biggest risk to the country's' investment grade' credit rating the head of Fitch's sovereign ratings team said on Thursday.

  • Business spooked by UK tax avoidance clampdown Thursday, 4 Oct 2012 | 6:26 AM ET

    LONDON, Oct 4- The activists who have protested in recent months at the tax arrangements of some leading British companies are united with many politicians in wanting to cut corporate tax avoidance.

  • UK cycling glory drives boost in bike sales Thursday, 4 Oct 2012 | 6:25 AM ET

    Halfords Group PLC, which sells transport and leisure accessories, said bike sales have surged since Bradley Wiggins in July became the first Briton to win the Tour de France and Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton helped the country win multiple gold medals at the Olympics.

  • The European Central Bank is not expected to cut rates at the monthly policy making session despite weaker economic data, but was seen likely to be pressed on negotiations with Spain over its financing needs in the news conference which follows.

  • *Japan smelter offers $85 a tonne for 2013 vs $100 for 2012* Top producer Codelco said to be mulling $105 a tonne. TOKYO, Oct 4- Japan's biggest copper smelter, Pan Pacific Copper, is in talks with buyers in China to slash its term premium for 2013 shipments by 15 percent from this year, a source familiar with the matter said, as demand slows in the metal's top consumer.

  • *Seadrill may move to London, Singapore* CEO Thorkildsen disagreed with move, leaves firm.