While there's still a war to be fought, the austerity advocates are pretty clearly winning the battle over how to fix the global economy.» Read More
SINGAPORE, Oct 24- Brent crude futures climbed towards $109 a barrel on Wednesday, snapping a six-day losing streak after economic data from China suggested a strengthening recovery in the world's No. 2 oil consumer. Brent crude had risen 46 cents to $108.71 a barrel by 0239 GMT.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates-- In back-to-back Asian summits this month, Iran's president made sure to carve out special time to look east. At one gathering in Azerbaijan, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reminded the president of Kazakhstan about the vision of a railway linking the heart of Central Asia with Iran's warm ports.
BERLIN-- European Central Bank president Mario Draghi meets German lawmakers Wednesday as he tries to win over public opinion for a controversial bond-buying plan that is designed to keep a lid on the borrowing costs of indebted countries, such as Spain and Italy.
FRANKFURT, Germany-- Business software maker SAP AG saw its third quarter profit fall from a year ago because of a large one-time gain booked then, but the company raised its sales outlook for the year and said its business in cloud computing was growing fast.
BEIJING, Oct 24- China's manufacturers saw growth shrink for a 12th successive month in October, but output at a three-month high and the most robust order books since April signal a strengthening recovery, preliminary results of a purchasing managers survey show.
NEW YORK, Oct 23- Dow Chemical Co, the largest chemical maker in the United States, said on Tuesday it plans to cut 5 percent of its workforce and shutter 20 plants as part of a restructuring program aimed at countering a slowing global economy. Rival DuPont slashed its earnings forecast and announced 1,500 jobs cuts.
Exporters shed after a rally propelled by a weaker yen over the past week and a half, with automakers Toyota Motor Corp and Honda Motor Co down 1.3 and 1.4 percent respectively, and construction machinery maker Komatsu Ltd slipping 2.1 percent.
HONG KONG, Oct 24- Hong Kong shares were set to start lower on Wednesday after eight straight days of gains, and as investors wait for a preliminary survey of manufacturing activity in China due later in the day. Anhui Conch Cement, China Overseas Land& Investment, Angang Steel are among companies expected to report third-quarter earnings later in the day.
TOKYO, Oct 24- U.S. crude futures steadied below $87 a barrel in early Asian trade on Wednesday as investors waited for data on China's economic health, after weak corporate earnings and forecasts pointed to a still distressed global economy.
NEW YORK-- Shares of Dow Chemical Co. jumped Wednesday after the manufacturing giant said it will close some 20 manufacturing facilities and eliminate 2,400 jobs in an effort to cut costs in the slow global economy.
PARIS-- The extent of the European car industry's troubles was laid bare Wednesday, when France's government tossed a financial lifeline to the continent's No. 2 automaker, Peugeot Citroen, and Ford said it would shut a plant in Belgium, cutting 9,500 jobs.
FORD RETREATS: After an extended sales slump in Europe, Ford announced the closure of its factory in in eastern Belgium _ one of its main European factories. Ford expects to lose more than $1 billion this year in Europe. HUMAN TOLL: Ford's factory in Genk Ford Genk represents more than 30 percent of the car production in Belgium.
*HSBC flash China manufacturing PMI due around 0145 GMT. Asian markets will also focus on HSBC's latest report on China's manufacturing sector due around 0145 GMT, with any negative surprise likely to further hurt fragile sentiment. The MSCI index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan eased 0.3 percent on Wednesday.
LONDON-- Cooks, cleaners and dozens of other female workers won a key equal pay ruling at Britain's High Court on Wednesday in a case which lawyers say will effectively extend the amount of time people in this country have to file such claims.
ATHENS, Greece-- Greece's Finance Minister said the country has been granted a long-sought extension to meet the terms of its bailout program _ but the claim was swiftly shot down as "speculation" by the European Central Bank and lead lender Germany.
DALLAS-- Consumer products company Kimberly-Clark net income rose 20 percent, helped by cost cuts and lower costs for commodities like fiber and other raw materials. The company, which makes Kleenex tissue and Huggies diapers, also raised its earnings projection for the year and said it was ending some diaper operations in Europe.
BERLIN-- A German discount clothing chain says it will pay $500,000 to the relatives of some 260 workers who died in a blaze at a factory in Pakistan last month. The payment amounts to less than $2,000 for each victim at the Karachi factory where workers produced garments for German company KiK and others.
BEIJING-- China's manufacturing improved this month, adding to signs a recovery might be taking shape after a sharp slump in the world's No. 2 economy. A preliminary version of HSBC's monthly purchasing managers' index rose to a three-month high of 49.1 points on a 100- point scale, the bank said Wednesday.
*Wall St selloff, Moody's action hit risk appetite. *HSBC's flash China PMI data, Australia CPI in focus. Traders said the market was likely to stay cautious in the lead up to HSBC's latest report on China's manufacturing sector due around 0145 GMT.
RESTRUCTURING PLAN: The Dow Chemical Co. will eliminate about 2,400 jobs and close roughly 20 manufacturing facilities as part of a restructuring plan as it faces slowing economic growth in Europe and elsewhere.