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  • *MSCI Asia ex- Japan tumbles, Nikkei eases in choppy trade. Financial spreadbetters expect London's FTSE 100, Paris's CAC-40 and Frankfurt's DAX to open down as much as 1.2 percent. The MSCI index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan tumbled 1.2 percent, and was set for a weekly drop of about 1.5 percent, which would be its largest weekly decline in two months.

  • 1 in 4 Spaniards out of work at end of 3rd quarter Friday, 26 Oct 2012 | 5:52 AM ET

    The National Statistics Institute said Friday that 85,000 more people joined the ranks of the unemployed between July and September, raising the total to 5.78 million. Spain is under pressure to ask for outside aid to help deal with its debts.

  • MOSCOW, Oct 25- The Kremlin on Thursday dismissed talk that Russian President Vladimir Putin has a back problem that prompted him to postpone foreign visits and might require surgery. Putin, who began a six-year presidential term in May and turned 60 on Oct. 7, was seen to be limping at an Asia-Pacific summit in the Pacific port of Vladivostok in early September.

  • REFILE-Kremlin dismisses talk Putin has back trouble Friday, 26 Oct 2012 | 5:35 AM ET

    MOSCOW, Oct 25- The Kremlin on Thursday dismissed talk that Russian President Vladimir Putin has a back problem that prompted him to postpone foreign visits and might require surgery. Putin, who began a six-year presidential term in May and turned 60 on Oct. 7, was seen to be limping at an Asia-Pacific summit in the Pacific port of Vladivostok in early September.

  • ExxonMobil executive killed in Belgium Friday, 26 Oct 2012 | 5:16 AM ET

    BRUSSELS-- An executive for ExxonMobil, the world's largest oil company, has been killed in front of his wife on a street in a suburb of the Belgian capital of Brussels. Nicholas Mockford, a British national, was shot as he left an Italian restaurant in Neder-over-Heembeek on Oct. 14.

  • Oil retreats to near $85 per barrel Friday, 26 Oct 2012 | 5:07 AM ET

    Benchmark oil for December delivery was down 78 cents to $85.26 a barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 32 cents to finish at $86.05 a barrel in New York on Thursday, the only day this week that oil prices have risen. Brent crude fell 79 cents to $107.70 a barrel in London.

  • The Italian carmaker is preparing to present third-quarter results and has pledged to give a strategy update on Oct. 30, just days after a perfect storm of plant closures, plunging profit and a state bailout rocked Europe's automotive industry.

  • Air France strike at vacation start seems limited Friday, 26 Oct 2012 | 4:51 AM ET

    PARIS-- A strike by some Air France employees at the start of a nationwide two-week school vacation is delaying flights but the company has said the effect will be limited. Some flights from Paris Friday morning were slightly delayed. One flight to Bordeaux was canceled, but it was unclear why.

  • World stocks fall ahead of US growth data Friday, 26 Oct 2012 | 4:48 AM ET

    BANGKOK-- World stock markets fell Friday ahead of the U.S. government's estimate of economic growth in the latest quarter, which is expected to show improvement but not enough to jolt the global economy out of its doldrums. Europe's debt crisis has added to headwinds while emerging powerhouses such as China have also slowed.

  • The stronger pace of expansion, however, is still expected to fall short of what is needed to make much of a dent in unemployment, and will offer little cheer for the White House ahead of the closely contested Nov. 6 presidential election.

  • *Rebound in UK growth helps push sterling higher. TOKYO/ SYDNEY, Oct 26- The recently-battered yen got a respite in Asian trading after hitting a four-month low against the dollar early Friday, but it was still on track for a second week of losses as markets geared up for the Bank of Japan to ease policy next week.

  • 1 in 4 Spaniards out of work at end of Q3 Friday, 26 Oct 2012 | 3:37 AM ET

    MADRID-- One in four Spaniards are now officially out of work. Spain's National Statistics Institute says the country's unemployment rate rose around 0.4 percentage points in the third quarter on the previous three months to 25 percent. Spain is under pressure to ask for outside aid to help deal with its debts.

  • *Gold seen trading in $1,700- $1,740 range next week. SINGAPORE, Oct 26- Gold was a tad higher on Friday but heading for its third week of decline after shares inched lower in Asia, the U.S. dollar firmed, and fears about the health of the global economy lingered.

  • Ericsson profit plunge as operators turn cautious Friday, 26 Oct 2012 | 3:09 AM ET

    STOCKHOLM-- Swedish wireless equipment maker LM Ericsson has posted a 43 percent plunge in third-quarter net profits as operators have grown more cautious about the economic outlook.

  • *Shares down 2 pct in Seoul. SEOUL, Oct 26- South Korean technology powerhouse Samsung Electronics Co posted a fourth straight record quarterly profit- of $7.4 billion- with strong sales of its Galaxy range of phones masking sharply lower sales of memory chips.

  • Survey: German consumers increasingly confident Friday, 26 Oct 2012 | 3:04 AM ET

    Germany's economy, which was worth a little under 2.6 trillion last year, in comparison with the U.S.' s 12 trillion, has seen two consecutive years of robust growth. But the Economy Ministry last week cut its growth forecast for 2013 to 1 percent from 1.6 percent, though increased this year's outlook slightly from 0.7 percent to 0.8 percent.

  • Cynthia Carroll to step down as Anglo-American CEO Friday, 26 Oct 2012 | 2:47 AM ET

    LONDON-- Cynthia Carroll says she will step down as chief executive of mining company Anglo American PLC as soon as her successor is chosen. In a statement released by the company on Friday, Carroll made no reference to reports that some investors had lost faith in her leadership and were pressing for her to go.

  • Oil retreats below $86 per barrel Friday, 26 Oct 2012 | 1:50 AM ET

    Benchmark oil for December delivery was down 86 cents to $85.18 a barrel at midday Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 32 cents to finish at $86.05 a barrel in New York on Thursday, the only day this week that oil prices have risen. Brent crude fell $1.04 cents to $107.45 a barrel in London.

  • TOKYO, Oct 26- Japan's cabinet approved a 422.6 billion yen economic stimulus package of subsidies and tax grants on Friday that will tap budget reserves to avoid selling new debt.

  • Toyota global vehicle sales up 28 pct in Jan-Sept Friday, 26 Oct 2012 | 1:26 AM ET

    TOKYO-- Toyota sold 7.4 million vehicles around the world in the first nine months of the year, up 28 percent from a year earlier, but its strong growth faces headwinds from a sales plunge in China that could unseat it as the world's top automaker.