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  • Oct 3- British soft drinks group Britvic and Irn-Bru maker AG Barr said the takeover panel had agreed to extend "the put up or shut up" deadline on their 1.3 billion pound merger. The deadline, which was due to expire on Wednesday, has now been extended to Oct. 31.

  • BRIEF-African Barrick expands Bulyanhulu project Wednesday, 3 Oct 2012 | 2:15 AM ET

    LONDON, Oct 3- African Barrick Gold PLC:.

  • Sainsbury's beats Q2 sales forecasts Wednesday, 3 Oct 2012 | 2:15 AM ET

    *Q2 LfL sales up 1.9 pct ex fuel. LONDON, Oct 3- J Sainsbury, Britain's third-biggest supermarket group, posted better than expected quarterly sales growth, boosted by strong take-up of its own label range and the roll out of its convenience stores.

  • *China official services PMI slows. *China, South Korea on holidays. TOKYO, Oct 3- The dollar firmed while most riskier assets fell on Wednesday as data from China and Australia deepened gloom about the global economic outlook, further reducing risk appetite already hurt by uncertainty about the timing of Spain's request for a bailout.

  • Pearson CEO Scardino to step down after 16 years Wednesday, 3 Oct 2012 | 2:12 AM ET

    LONDON, Oct 3- Marjorie Scardino, the chief executive of publishing group Pearson, is to step down at the end of the year after 16 years in the job, bringing to an end a period of transformational change for the group.

  • *Earnings before tax and exceptional items are in line with our expectations.

  • NORDIC STOCKS - Factors to watch on Oct 3 Wednesday, 3 Oct 2012 | 2:11 AM ET

    HELSINKI, Oct 3- The following stocks may be affected by newspaper reports and other factors on Wednesday:. The Oslo- listed oil driller said it plans to replace Chief Executive Alf Thorkildsen with Fredrik Halvorsen, the head of its Archer affiliate, and is looking to relocate management outside Norway.

  • BRIEF-Dunelm first quarter sales grow Wednesday, 3 Oct 2012 | 2:07 AM ET

    LONDON, Oct 3- Dunelm Group PLC:. *Q1 total sales value 151.8 million STG. *Q1 total sales growth +13.8 percent.

  • UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Wed, Oct 3 Wednesday, 3 Oct 2012 | 2:05 AM ET

    *Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening 9 to 14 points, or as much as 0.2 percent, lower on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers.

  • Russia's Promsvyazbank sets IPO price range Wednesday, 3 Oct 2012 | 2:05 AM ET

    MOSCOW, Oct 3- Promsvyazbank, one of Russia's largest privately owned lenders, set an indicative price range on Wednesday for its initial public offering of stock at $10- $12 per Global Depository Receipt.

  • Stock Pick: Sainsbury's v Tesco  Wednesday, 3 Oct 2012 | 2:00 AM ET

    UK retail chains Sainsbury's and Tesco both reported earnings early on Wednesday. Jim McCaughan, chief executive of Principal Global Investors, tells CNBC which he thinks is the better stock pick.

  • Russian markets - Factors to Watch on Oct 3 Wednesday, 3 Oct 2012 | 1:51 AM ET

    MOSCOW, Oct 3- Here are events and news stories that could move Russian markets on Wednesday. EVENTS: MOSCOW- Russia Calling VTB Capital investment conference. MOSCOW- Press conference by Aeroflot Chief Executive Vitaly Savelyev and SAP executives.

  • Spain's tax take tumbles as companies go abroad Wednesday, 3 Oct 2012 | 1:50 AM ET

    MADRID, Oct 3- Spain's corporate tax take has tumbled by almost two thirds from pre-crisis levels as small businesses fail and a growing number of big corporations seek profits abroad to compensate for the prolonged downturn at home.

  • LONDON, Oct 3- European stocks were set for a mixed open, albeit in a tight range, on Wednesday as investors balanced new gloomy economic data and uncertainty about Spain's debt crisis with underlying monetary support from central banks across the world. Financial spreadbetters expected Britain's FTSE 100.

  • African Markets - Factors to watch on Oct 3 Wednesday, 3 Oct 2012 | 1:03 AM ET

    *TANZANIA- Bank of Tanzania to auction a 10- year fixed rate Treasury bond. *KENYA- The Nairobi Securities Exchange and FTSE International launch the. *KENYA- Central Bank of Kenya auctions 364- day and 182- day Treasury bills.

  • French and Benelux stocks-Factors to watch on Oct. 3 Wednesday, 3 Oct 2012 | 12:59 AM ET

    Ipsen said that Inspiration Biopharmaceuticals had not raised third-party financing by the contractual deadline of Sept. 30 and that it was therefore no longer obligated to pay the additional $12.5 million in exchange for Inspiration equity. The parties continue to explore various options, Ipsen said.

  • Official: France not worried about EADS-BAE merger Wednesday, 3 Oct 2012 | 12:47 AM ET

    PARIS-- A French official says France's government is working out a common position with Germany on the proposed merger between Franco-German aerospace group EADS and Britain's BAE Systems. France and Germany have long fought for an equal say in EADS, which owns plane maker Airbus.

  • UPDATE 4-Spanish investors in Gecina file for bankruptcy Wednesday, 3 Oct 2012 | 12:46 AM ET

    *Natixis, Banco Popular and Bankia highest exposure. By Carlos Ruano and Tracy Rucinski. MADRID, Oct 3- Two Spanish investment firms that own 31 percent of French property company Gecina have filed one of the biggest bankruptcy actions in Spanish history after a bank refused to refinance a 1.6 billion euro loan.

  • Swiss stocks - Factors to watch on October 3 Wednesday, 3 Oct 2012 | 12:43 AM ET

    ZURICH, Oct 3- Swiss stocks were set to open slightly weaker on Wednesday as gloomy economic data from China and uncertainty over the Spanish debt crisis were somewhat offset by continuing underlying monetary support from central banks around the world.

  • European shares edge down on Spain, growth concerns Wednesday, 3 Oct 2012 | 12:35 AM ET

    *Gecina falls as 2 owners file for bankruptcy. LONDON, Oct 3- European shares edged lower on Wednesday on concerns about Spain, the focal point of the regional debt crisis, and slowing global growth, with indexes keeping to recent tight trading ranges. As the market waits for Spain to request a bailout, investors have remained reluctant to commit further to equities.