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  • ATHENS, Oct 3- The European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund troika expect Greece's economy to contract by 5 percent next year, more than the government's 3.8 percent forecast, a senior finance ministry official said on Wednesday.

  • LONDON/ NEW YORK, Oct 3- The euro zone's economic woes accelerated last month and China's slowdown looked likely to extend to a seventh quarter, surveys on Wednesday showed, while the United States proved the bright spot with better-than-expected news on services and jobs.

  • WAfrica Crude-Easier on unsold November cargoes Wednesday, 3 Oct 2012 | 12:17 AM ET

    *Qua Iboe valued at dated plus $2.20- $2.60. LONDON, Oct 3- Nigerian crude oil differentials slipped a little on Wednesday as a small overhang of November-loading cargoes encouraged sellers to move lower. *Qua Iboe: 5- 10 cents per barrel lower, traders said.

  • PARIS, Oct 3- A quest by President Francois Hollande to show he can halt industrial closures by rescuing two mothballed blast furnaces in northeast France risks backfiring, with industry experts doubting any buyer will come forward. With joblessness at over 10 percent and his ratings in free-fall, Hollande persuaded steel giant ArcelorMittal.

  • Louis Vuitton to sell luxury paper and pens Wednesday, 3 Oct 2012 | 12:13 AM ET

    PARIS, Oct 3- Louis Vuitton is branching out into luxury pens and stationery as the upmarket leather bag maker looks for new ways to retain its exclusive image, after it launched high-end jewellery and hired an expert to create a perfume.

  • UPDATE 3-Telefonica starts sale of O2 Germany stake Wednesday, 3 Oct 2012 | 12:11 AM ET

    *Telefonica to list German unit around end of month. *Telefonica smallest player in Germany, room to grow. MADRID/ FRANKFURT, Oct 3- Telefonica SA started the sale of up to 20 percent of its O2-branded German unit, hoping to raise up to 1.5 billion euros from a share offering designed to help cut the Spanish group's huge debts.

  • Europe Power-Spot rises after German holiday slump Wednesday, 3 Oct 2012 | 12:11 AM ET

    *Germany's Cal 13 falls to three-month low on data. Germany's benchmark electricity contract for 2013 delivery hit a three-month low on the back of lower oil prices and gloomy macro-economic data. Germany's baseload contract for Thursday delivery rose 2.13 euros to 44.5 euros per megawatt hour.

  • A series of recent investor meetings with Fitch's EMEA Food Retail team in London, Frankfurt, and Paris underlined that investors are concerned to what extent ratings are at risk due to increased business and credit risks for European food retail companies.

  • TEXT-Fitch rates Mornington Funding 2012-1 notes 'AAAsf' Wednesday, 3 Oct 2012 | 12:08 AM ET

    The proceeds of the issuance of notes by Mornington will be used to acquire the rights and obligations of the senior loan lender A in the Paragon Fourth Funding Limited secured credit facility agreement from Macquarie Bank Limited.

  • Police seize papers from Italy federation, Napoli Wednesday, 3 Oct 2012 | 12:07 AM ET

    ROME-- Financial police raided the Italian football federation and Napoli club offices Wednesday to seize documents involving the buying and selling of players and relations with agents. The federation said police confiscated contracts, agent relations and other documents involving Napoli players, without citing names of the players involved.

  • "In the case of Russia, there has been a steady net outflow of capital over the past couple of years, which calls into question its ability to run any kind of current account deficit," said Neil Shearing, chief emerging market economist at Capital Economics, a consultancy in London.

  • MANILA, Oct 3- The Asian Development Bank cut most of its 2012 and 2013 growth estimates for developing Asia on Wednesday as a slump in global demand weighs on the region's powerhouses China and India and on its other export-dependent economies.

  • Snowboard World Cup tour loses 2nd Big Air event Wednesday, 3 Oct 2012 | 12:06 AM ET

    OBERHOFEN, Switzerland-- The International Ski Federation says organizers have cancelled a Snowboard World Cup scheduled at Stockholm on Nov. 17 "due to economical reasons." Snowboarders start earning points at World Cups this season to qualify for the Sochi Winter Olympics in February 2014.

  • BRIEF-KBC says meets capital requirements Wednesday, 3 Oct 2012 | 12:05 AM ET

    BRUSSELS, Oct 3- KBC Groupe SA:. *KBC says EBA test shows KBC bank meets the 9 percent core tier 1. ratio including the sovereign buffer.

  • Prosecutors seek to strip war criminal of profits Wednesday, 3 Oct 2012 | 12:04 AM ET

    THE HAGUE, Netherlands-- Prosecutors in the Netherlands are asking judges to confiscate just over 1 million in profits made by a businessman from selling chemicals to Saddam Hussein that the Iraqi dictator turned into poison gas. A Dutch court convicted Frans van Anraat of war crimes in 2005. He is serving a 16 1/ 2- year prison sentence.

  • Italy - Factors to watch on Oct. 3 Wednesday, 3 Oct 2012 | 12:00 AM ET

    *Italy's public debt is sustainable and the average yields paid on new government paper issued so far this year are lower than they were before the crisis, the head of Italy's Debt Management Office said in a newspaper interview published on Wednesday.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 3- U.S. solar panel producers, who have already won preliminary duties on billion of dollars of solar panel imports from China, appear well positioned to win longer-term relief in coming weeks as the U.S. government makes its final decisions.

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

  • Floods, econ worries hit Thai Sept consumer confidence Tuesday, 2 Oct 2012 | 11:58 PM ET

    *Worries over new flooding hurt confidence. BANGKOK, Oct 3- Data from University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce. -Consumer confidence in Thailand edged up in August, lifted by government stimulus measures and delays in tax increases as the economy continued to recover from devastating flooding in late 2011. But global economic risks could weigh on sentiment.

  • Asian stocks post modest gains as US data awaited Tuesday, 2 Oct 2012 | 11:11 PM ET

    The U.S. Labor Department will release employment data for September on Friday. Markets in mainland China and South Korea were closed for public holidays. "Holidays in China and hesitancy ahead of Friday's US jobs report will keep market activity restrained today," analysts at Credit Agricole CIB in Hong Kong said in a report.