*China to encourage wind, solar, biofuel and natural gas. BEIJING, March 5- China's top state planning agency pledged on Thursday to accelerate policies to promote cleaner and renewable sources of energy and tackle overcapacity in polluting industrial sectors. China is trying to strike a balance between improving its environment, suffering from more than...» Read More
Sept 18- Rite Aid Corp, the third-largest U.S. drugstore chain, cut its full-year profit forecast for the second time, citing lower margins in its pharmacy business, sending its shares down 11 percent in premarket trading.
IHS, whose businesses include Cambridge Energy Research Associates and technology market research firm iSuppli, raised its revenue forecast to $2.23 billion- $2.24 billion for the full year ending Nov. 30, from its previous range of $2.17 billion- $2.23 billion.
*Jobless claims fell 36,000 last week. WASHINGTON, Sept 18- The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, suggesting that a sharp slowdown in job growth last month was probably an aberration.
*Futures up: Dow 44 pts, S&P 6 pts, Nasdaq 13 pts. NEW YORK, Sept 18- U.S. stocks were set to rise at the open on Thursday, with the S&P 500 on track to test resistance at its record high a day after the U.S.
Sept 18- Stock market indexes provider MSCI Inc declared its first-ever quarterly dividend and more than doubled its stock repurchase program to $850 million from $300 million. MSCI will pay Goldman Sachs $300 million in cash and expects to receive about 4.5 million shares of its common stock.
NEW DELHI, Sept 18- A standoff between Indian and Chinese soldiers overshadowed a visit to New Delhi by Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday, with a $20 billion investment pledge eclipsed by robust comments from India's new Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the dispute.
LONDON, Sept 18- European shares hit session highs on Thursday after data showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week.
TORONTO, Sept 18- Air Canada said on Thursday it will start charging some economy passengers for their first checked bag on flights within Canada and to the Caribbean and Mexico, days after rival WestJet Airlines Ltd introduced a similar fee.
FRANKFURT, Sept 18- The European Central Bank saw far less demand than expected on Thursday for its new four-year loans to banks, raising doubts about a stimulus package it hopes will stave off deflation and revive the euro zone economy.
*West says Iran cooperation with IAEA needed for nuclear deal. The United States and the European Union said they were concerned about the slow headway so far in the U.N. atomic agency's long-running inquiry into allegations that Iran has worked on designing a nuclear weapon.
WASHINGTON, Sept 18- U.S. housing starts and permits fell in August, but upward revisions to the prior month's data suggested the housing market continued to gradually improve. Groundbreaking declined 14.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual 956,000- unit pace, the Commerce Department said on Thursday.
*Britain implores Scotland to stay, offers more powers. EDINBURGH, Sept 18- Scotland voted in a referendum on Thursday to choose whether to end the 307- year-old union with England and become an independent nation or stay within the United Kingdom- a decision which could have consequences across the globe.
Sept 18- ConAgra Foods Inc, the maker of Hunt's Ketchup and Chef's Boyardee pastas, on Thursday reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit and said its consumer foods business was recovering. Net income rose to $484.5 million, or $1.12 per share, in the first quarter ended on Aug. 24 from $147.2 million, or 34 cents per share, a year earlier.
PARIS, Sept 18- French cancer immunotherapy specialist OSE Pharma has registered with market regulator AMF for an initial public offering aimed at financing late-stage trials of its Texopi drug for the most common form of lung cancer, the company said on Thursday.
Sept 18- Canadian oil producer Penn West Petroleum Ltd, under fire after it uncovered accounting irregularities in July, said its audit committee determined that the company needs to review results going back to 2007..
LONDON, Sept 18- The Swiss franc and Norwegian crowns both gained after central bank meetings on Thursday, their moves a reflection of the greater volatility and activity that has begun to return to currency markets after a slack year.
TOKYO, Sept 18- The head of Sony Corp's PlayStation division hopes to raise its profit outlook for this year, in stark contrast to the Japanese electronics firm's mobile business which has forecast deep losses and sent Sony's stock reeling.
Sept 18- Stock market indexes provider MSCI Inc declared its first-ever quarterly dividend and more than doubled its stock repurchase program to $850 million from $300 million.
NEW DELHI, Sept 18- China became the latest nation to line up for a stake in India's civil nuclear energy drive on Thursday, agreeing to open talks on cooperation in a sector that New Delhi sees as the solution to its chronic power problems.