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  • JOHANNESBURG, Oct 17- Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene will have his work cut out at next week's budget to try and reassure disillusioned South Africans that the government still has gas in its tank to pull the economy out of the doldrums. Twenty years after Nelson Mandela swept the African National Congress to power, pledging to unleash the economy and ensure...

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 17- The general in charge of U.S. forces in the Middle East said on Friday the U.S.-led air strikes on Islamic State militants are having an impact on the group, but the campaign will take time. General Lloyd Austin, head of the U.S. Central Command, said the United States is focusing its strikes on the Syrian border town of Kobani because the Islamic...

  • LONDON, Oct 17- European stocks were on track for their steepest daily rise in over a year on Friday as stronger U.S. data helped fuel a rebound from recent, sharp losses and worries about Greece's political stability eased. The index had fallen nearly 12 percent over the previous month, as a raft of weak euro zone macro economic data raised the specter of a new...

  • Long-term investors ready to buy Brazil after election Friday, 17 Oct 2014 | 10:35 AM ET

    RIO DE JANEIRO/ SAO PAULO, Oct 17- Long-term foreign investors are growing more optimistic about Brazil no matter who wins this month's presidential election but they say an opposition victory could unleash a flood of new money. Rousseff's economic policies have been roundly criticized by investors for tipping Brazil into a recession while damaging...

  • AUSTIN SAYS KOBANI IS NOT A DIVERSION, MAIN U.S.

  • Oct 17- General Electric Co reported a slightly higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Friday, with cost cuts that helped boost margins across its industrial businesses offsetting revenue that missed analysts' targets. GE reported a 4 percent rise in organic revenue, which excludes acquisitions, at its industrial manufacturing businesses, where Chief...

  • NEW YORK, Oct 17- U.S. consumer sentiment rose in October to the highest in more than seven years, boosted by views on personal finances and the national economy, a survey released on Friday showed. The Thomson Reuters/ University of Michigan preliminary October reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment came in at 86.4, the highest since July 2007.

  • FOCUSING ON SYRIAN TOWN OF KOBANI BECAUSE OF LARGE NUMBER OF TARGETS DUE TO ISLAMIC STATE OFFENSIVE.

  • SANTIAGO, Oct 17- The shine may soon come off Chile's decade-long copper boom as technical and regulatory problems in getting new mines into production highlight just how hard it will be to keep ratcheting up the supply. Chile is expected to produce a record 5.83 million tonnes of copper this year, rising to 6.23 million next year, state copper commission...

  • Oct 17- ITT Educational Services Inc said it signed up more students than it forecast in the quarter ended June 30, more than doubling its market value and offering some relief to the U.S. for-profit education sector. The data, the first from ITT since May, drove up shares of other for-profit colleges including Corinthian Colleges Inc, which also nearly doubled.

  • FORCES IN MIDDLE EAST SAYS WASHINGTON DETERMINED TO' DEFEAT AND ULTIMATELY DESTROY' ISLAMIC STATE MILITANTS.

  • MOSCOW, Oct 17- Investment by Russian companies fell sharply in September and real wages declined, underlining the gloomy outlook for an economy under pressure from Western sanctions. "The data looks weak, given the fact that investment is in contraction mode," said Dmitry Polevoy, economist at ING. Investment has fallen every month this year except June,...

  • TREASURIES-Prices off as global markets recover Friday, 17 Oct 2014 | 10:09 AM ET

    *Wall Street, European stocks up. Treasuries prices posted their second straight day of declines on Friday as Wall Street and European stock markets bounced back from a sharp sell-off. But on Friday, Wall Street's main indices were up nearly 1 percent, and the MSCI index of world stocks was ahead 0.85 percent.

  • LONDON, Oct 17- "In short, this is not a takeover; it is a marriage". That's how Charles Li, chief executive of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, described the 1.38 billion sterling purchase of the London Metal Exchange back in 2012.. He was speaking at the LME's annual black-tie dinner at the Grosvenor House in London, conceding that it was the first time he himself, once...

  • Fiber network company Zayo's shares jump in debut Friday, 17 Oct 2014 | 10:05 AM ET

    Oct 17- Shares of fiber network company Zayo Group Holdings Inc rose as much as 17 percent in their market debut on Friday, valuing the company at about $5.2 billion. The stock opened at $21.51 and touched a high of $22.25 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Morgan Stanley, Barclays and Goldman Sachs were lead underwriters for the IPO.

  • MOSCOW, Oct 17- A slight recovery in oil prices and the start of the end-of-month tax period dragged the rouble off record lows on Friday, providing some much-needed relief for Russia's ailing currency. The rouble has been pummelled by risk aversion to Russian assets because of the Ukraine crisis, a dramatic slump in oil prices to multi-year lows and Western...

  • U.S. consumer sentiment at highest since July 2007 Friday, 17 Oct 2014 | 10:00 AM ET

    NEW YORK, Oct 17- U.S. consumer sentiment rose in October to the highest in more than seven years, boosted by views on personal finances and the national economy, a survey released on Friday showed. The Thomson Reuters/ University of Michigan preliminary October reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment came in at 86.4, the highest since July 2007.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 17- U.S. stocks were higher at the open on Friday, following a batch of solid earnings reports that eased concerns about the impact of weak global demand on U.S. growth and businesses. General Electric shares rose 2.8 percent to $24.94 after the company reported third-quarter earnings that topped analyst expectations, pushing the S&P industrial...

  • *Platinum, palladium recover after sharp losses. LONDON, Oct 17- Gold inched down on Friday as shares rebounded, but was still set for a second straight weekly gain as concerns over the global economy have raised speculation the U.S. "Gold has had a good week because just about everything else has had a bad week.