U.S. cancer drug company Medivation is discussing opening its books to Sanofi, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday. » Read More
*KDDI gains in heavy trade in spite of weak earnings. TOKYO, Oct 25- Japan's Nikkei average rose to a four-week closing high on Thursday, lifted by exporters as the yen weakened on growing expectations that the Bank of Japan would further ease monetary policy next week.
Aetna Inc.' s third-quarter earnings rose 2 percent as lower-than-expected health care use and revenue gains helped the insurer trump Wall Street expectations.
*Hyundai shares up 3.9 pct after recent battering. Hyundai, which with affiliate Kia Motors is the world's fifth-biggest car maker, said its total shipments rose less than 1 percent in July-September- hit by the industrial action that cost the company lost production of more than 82,000 cars worth $1.5 billion.
WASHINGTON-- Orders for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods likely increased in September, reflecting a rebound in volatile commercial aircraft demand and a jump in retail spending. Economists expect orders for durable goods rose 7 percent in September, according to a survey by FactSet.
Gold had risen $8.27 to $1,710.20 an ounce by 0556 GMT. It fell to a 7- week low of around $1,698 on Wednesday soon after the Fed said it was sticking to its plan to keep stimulating growth until the job market improves. ``I think $1,700 is still quite a key support level.
PARIS-- Autoworkers from a Peugeot plant slated to close demonstrated Thursday in front of the PSA Peugeot Citroen headquarters, hours ahead of a meeting planned among company executives, unions and the French government. Varin insisted the government would not make decisions for Peugeot.
WASHINGTON-- The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits likely stabilized last week after seasonal factors distorted the previous two weeks. The Labor Department will release the report at 8:30 a.m. EDT Thursday. The Labor Department cautioned that the two weeks were affected by technical factors.
TOKYO, Oct 25- Japan's Canon Inc cut its full-year operating profit outlook nearly 10 percent to 356 billion yen on Thursday, hit by slow European demand and a suspension of production in China in September amid anti- Japan protests.
TOKYO, Oct 25- Japan's Nikkei share average rose to a four-week closing high on Thursday, lifted by exporters as the yen fell on growing expectations that the Bank of Japan would further ease monetary policy next week. The Nikkei climbed 1.1 percent to 9,055.20, breaking above its 5- day moving average at 9,007.43.
At 0604 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for Germany's DAX and for France's CAC were up 0.1-0.3 percent.
LISBON, Portugal-- Portugal's financial recovery program is entering a risky phase as it struggles to cut its heavy debt load amid a continuing recession, growing unemployment and mounting opposition to austerity measures, the International Monetary Fund said Thursday.
MADRID, Oct 24- Spain is ready to start funding itself for 2013, including the needs of its indebted regions, after having nearly completed its debt issuance plan for this year, the head of the Spanish Treasury said on Wednesday.
Kingfisher, once one of India's best airlines, is deep in debt and is battling for a lifeline with India's airline regulator.
MANILA, Philippines-- The Philippine central bank Thursday cut interest rates by a quarter percentage point to record lows to boost the economy amid a global slump. Amando Tetangco said the bank's fourth rate cut this year brings the cumulative reduction to one percentage point.
BANGKOK-- PepsiCo Inc. has invested $170 million in a new factory in Thailand to stay ahead in one of the few markets where it outsells Coca-Cola after ending a longstanding bottling agreement with a local company.
SHANGHAI, Oct 25- China's yuan hit the strong-side limit of its daily trading band on Thursday morning. Spot yuan hit 6.2417 versus the dollar at around 1:40 p.m., putting the dollar/yuan rate one percent below the central bank's midpoint of 6.3047.
SINGAPORE, Oct 25- Brent futures rose above $108 on Thursday as positive economic data out of the world's top oil consumer the United States revived hopes of a recovery in demand growth, although a worsening outlook for Europe capped gains.
*Yuan hits all time record high in morning trade. SHANGHAI, Oct 25- China's yuan touched its strongest ever level on Thursday and crept within a whisker of its strong-side limit, as dealers said short covering added to strong corporate demand for yuan. The People's Bank of China set its midpoint at 6.3047 on Thursday, moderately stronger than Wednesday's fix.
TOKYO, Oct 25- Asian shares inched up Thursday as signs of recovery in China and the United States eased fears of deteriorating global growth, though generally weak corporate earnings continued to make investors wary. The MSCI index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan, which fell the past four days, was up 0.1 percent.
*$139 billion in dry powder in Asia, $130 bln new funds being raised-Preqin. HONG KONG, Oct 25- The public appearance of Henry Kravis at KKR's new Singapore office underscores the private equity industry's growing interest in Southeast Asia, at a time when regional funds are growing and deal volumes are falling.