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  • China central bank reins in yuan rise with weaker fix Thursday, 1 Nov 2012 | 5:20 AM ET

    SHANGHAI, Nov 1- China's central bank set a weaker midpoint for the yuan against the dollar on Thursday aiming to slow the currency's rise, dealers said, as it hit the strong-side limit of the trading band for a third straight day. The People's Bank of China set its midpoint at 6.3017 per dollar, slightly weaker than Wednesday's fix of 6.3002.

  • Nov 1- New York power company Consolidated Edison Inc restored power to about 2,000 homes in lower Manhattan and 28,200 in the Brighton Beach area of Brooklyn on Wednesday afternoon, it said in a statement. That included about 227,000 homes and businesses in Manhattan and 74,000 in Brooklyn.

  • Riyadh industrial building hit by explosion -witness Thursday, 1 Nov 2012 | 5:13 AM ET

    RIYADH, Nov 1- An industrial building in eastern Riyadh was almost entirely destroyed by a large explosion on Thursday, a Reuters witness said. The building was almost levelled by the blast, with one corner left standing, the witness said. Nearby vehicles were on fire and at least five fire engines were arriving at the scene.

  • BANGALORE, Nov 1- India' a manufacturing growth inched up in October from September's 10- month low, supported by a pick up in new orders and an easing of price pressures, a survey released on Thursday showed.

  • HONG KONG, Nov 1- Mainland Chinese shares lifted Hong Kong markets with their best daily performance in nearly a month on Thursday, boosted by stronger Chinese economic data and a report that more city governments were easing restrictions on the real estate sector. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong rose 0.8 percent.

  • *HSBC index highest since February, but still below 50. BEIJING, Nov 1- China's economy is finally regaining some traction, official and private sector factory surveys showed on Thursday, although they pointed to a sluggish recovery with the latter recording its 12th straight month of slowing growth.

  • French firm: 7 kidnapped sailors freed in Nigeria Thursday, 1 Nov 2012 | 4:30 AM ET

    LAGOS, Nigeria-- Kidnappers freed six Russian sailors and an Estonian on Wednesday who had been abducted from a ship off Nigeria's southern delta, a French oil and gas services company said. Typically, foreign companies operating in Nigeria's Niger Delta pay cash ransoms to free their employees after negotiating down kidnappers' demands.

  • *Icahn says Netflix undervalued, possible takeover target. *Netflix shares jump 14 percent on Nasdaq.

  • UPDATE 2-Hyundai Motor shares tumble on recall rumours Thursday, 1 Nov 2012 | 3:54 AM ET

    SEOUL, Nov 1- Hyundai Motor Co shares fell more than 5 percent on Thursday ahead of the release of its October auto sales figures with analysts citing market rumours that the South Korean automaker may announce a recall in the United States or face fuel-economy related lawsuits.

  • AF APNewsAlert Thursday, 1 Nov 2012 | 3:51 AM ET

    LAGOS, Nigeria-- French company: 7 sailors kidnapped off Nigeria oil delta freed unharmed.

  • *Net income forecast Y765 bln loss vs prior Y50 bln profit. *To write off Y238 bln goodwill, Y356 bln restructuring.

  • *Sony to post small Q2 operating profit on asset sale. TOKYO, Nov 1- Sony Corp is likely to say it returned to an operating profit for July-September after it sold a chemicals business, but investors still aren't sure a consumer electronics revamp will deliver the profit growth the group seeks.

  • *Net income forecast Y765 bln loss vs prior Y50 bln profit. *To write off Y238 bln goodwill, Y356 bln restructuring.

  • HOUSTON, Oct 31- Phillips 66' s increased access to cheaper crude oil from the United States and Canada boosted its quarterly profits above analyst expectations after the U.S. refining company spun off from ConocoPhillips earlier this year, the company reported on Wednesday.

  • WRAPUP 1-Visa, MasterCard profits rise with card use Thursday, 1 Nov 2012 | 12:48 AM ET

    *MasterCard quarterly profit rises 8 percent. Oct 31- Increased consumer spending and card use worldwide drove quarterly profits higher for Visa Inc and MasterCard Inc, according to new financial reports from the two payments companies.

  • PRECIOUS-Gold flat ahead of China PMI data Thursday, 1 Nov 2012 | 12:44 AM ET

    *Spot gold was little changed at $1,719.96 an ounce by 0025 GMT, after hitting a one-week high of $1,725.55 in the previous session. *Investors are awaiting China's official purchasing managers index data for October due at 0100 GMT, which is likely to show that the country's factory activity accelerated in October to its fastest pace in five months.

  • TOKYO, Nov 1- Sony Corp is likely to say it returned to an operating profit for July-September after it sold a chemicals business, but investors still aren't sure a consumer electronics revamp will deliver the profit growth the group seeks.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 31- The U.N. Security Council was forced to relocate on Wednesday for a meeting on Somalia and other issues because of extensive water damage to parts of the United Nations complex from the storm Sandy, U.N. officials and diplomats said.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 31- A U.S. free trade agreement with Panama went into force on Wednesday, five years after it was originally negotiated, opening the way for increased U.S. exports as the Central American country continues its canal expansion project.

  • Asia stocks mixed after China PMI improves Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 | 11:47 PM ET

    BANGKOK-- Asian stock markets showed modest improvement Thursday after two business surveys showed an upswing in China's manufacturing sector last month. That helped boost stocks in China and Japan.