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  • *Stronger than expected UK growth supports risk-on trade. *Treasury sells $29 billion in seven-year notes. ``Today's auction was pretty lackluster,'' said Kim Rupert, managing director of global fixed income analysis at Action Economics in San Francisco.

  • NOVO OGARYOVO, Russia, Oct 25- President Vladimir Putin flatly rejected on Thursday Western criticism of the imprisonment of the Pussy Riot punk protest band, saying its three female members deserved their fate because they threatened the moral foundations of Russia.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 25- Industrial machinery maker Gardner Denver Inc is exploring a sale and has drawn initial interest from several major private equity firms, according to people familiar with the matter, in a deal that would top $3 billion.

  • *Conoco 2012 spending seen at $15.5 billion- $16 billion. Oct 25- ConocoPhillips and Occidental Petroleum Corp reported quarterly results that topped Wall Street estimates as they produced more oil and gas than expected, even as lower prices hurt profits.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 25- Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc agreed to pay $95 million to U.S. government agencies to settle civil allegations that it illegally marketed drugs for unapproved uses, the U.S. Justice Department said on T hur sday.

  • Oct 25- The New York Times Co posted worse-than-expected results on Thursday as advertisers cut spending on both print and digital outlets, sending its shares down 22 percent.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 25- U.S. stocks eked out small gains on Thursday in another uninspiring session on Wall Street, with worries about weak business spending keeping investors wary. Based on the latest available data, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 26.34 points, or 0.20 percent, to end unofficially at 13,103.68.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 25- Microsoft Corp launched its new Windows 8 operating system and Surface tablet on Thursday in a bid to revive interest in its flagship product and regain ground lost to Apple Inc and Google Inc in mobile computing.

  • PITTSBURGH-- Federated Investors Inc. said Thursday its third-quarter net income jumped as demand for stock investments remained brisk. Federated reported its net income rose to $55.8 million, or 54 cents per share, in the July-September quarter, up 46 percent from $38.3 million, or 37 cents per share, in the third quarter of 2011..

  • *Large number of Brazil mills still open for crushing. NEW YORK/ LONDON, Oct 25- ICE raw sugar futures inched lower on Thursday, hovering above a three-week low on pressure from fast progress in Brazil's harvest and surplus supplies, while cocoa was mixed as dealers focused on the narrow ICE March/December spread.

  • SEATTLE-- An 87- year-old Seattle real-estate developer and his wife now face dozens of charges, one day after they were arrested in the French Alps. The U.S. attorney's office in Seattle said Thursday that a 43- count grand jury indictment accuses Michael Mastro and his wife, Linda, of concealing a bank account of more than $760,000 from his creditors.

  • *Ford to move Southampton production to Turkey. LONDON/ DETROIT, Oct 25- Ford motor Co unleashed a second volley of European job cuts and plant closures on Thursday in a bid to halt regional losses that the automaker now expects to surpass $3 billion over two years.

  • Oct 25- General Motors Co said it will invest $450 million to expand production in Argentina and launch a new Chevrolet model in late 2015.. The new Chevrolet, which is slated to go into production at GM's Rosario plant in October 2015, will be sold in Argentina and exported to other markets in the region.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 25- Shares on major world markets edged up on mildly positive corporate earnings and economic data on Thursday, while the U.S. dollar rallied to a four-month high against the yen on expectations Bank of Japan will ease monetary policy next week. after the S&P500 index lost 3.6 percent in the past five days, but corporate results were not strong enough to inspire significant buying.

  • RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct 25- Brazilian mining company Vale SA plans to sell underperforming assets to control costs and boost profit, executives said on Thursday, a day after reporting weak earnings and halting work on a giant iron ore mine in the West African nation of Guinea.

  • *Q3 FF0 $1.99/ share vs Street view $1.92. Oct 25- Simon Property Group Inc reported a 19 percent increase in a key earnings measure Thursday on higher rents and sales at its malls and outlet centers, easily beating estimates, and the real estate investment trust raised its outlook for the year.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 25- Industrial machinery maker Gardner Denver Inc is exploring a sale and has drawn initial interest from several major private equity firms, according to people familiar with the matter, in a deal that would top $3 billion.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 25- A panel of judges explored the ramifications Thursday of a potential reversal of hedge fund tycoon Raj Rajaratnam's conviction as they heard arguments on whether FBI wiretap evidence should have been allowed at his insider-trading trial.

  • PARIS, Oct 25- France's prosecutor has asked an investigating judge to question jailed swindler Bernard Madoff and Swiss bank UBS as part of a probe of investor losses from Madoff's multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme, a judicial source told Reuters.

  • GENEVA, Oct 25- Nigerian oil exports in December are expected reach the highest level since May, pointing to a swift recovery of production after floods knocked out a fifth of the output in the top African producer.