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  • Oct 31- U.S. federal energy regulators threatened to fine Barclays roughly $470 million to settle allegations that the bank and four traders manipulated California energy markets from November 2006 to December 2008.

  • FOREX-Euro, AUD calm ahead of China PMI Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 | 11:22 PM ET

    *Market awaits China manufacturing data due 0100 GMT. Trading was expected to remain subdued in early Asian dealings as investors wait for the latest reading on China's manufacturing data due around 0100 GMT. There are still question marks over the leadership transition in China,'' said Greg Gibbs, senior FX strategist at RBS in Singapore.

  • TOKYO, Nov 1- Japan's Nikkei share average is expected to tread water on Thursday after month-end buying in the previous session took the index to close up for the month and ahead of the key U.S. jobs data on Friday.

  • Sandy's hit is hard to gauge for economists Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 | 11:08 PM ET

    NEW YORK, Oct 31- Massive storm Sandy could slow growth in the already weak U.S. economy to as little as 1 percent in the fourth quarter. A large chunk of property that was damaged as the storm raged through New Jersey, New York and beyond will be rebuilt or repaired, ranging from power plants and subway systems to beachfront towns hammered as Sandy struck the shore.

  • UPDATE 4-Barclays hit by fresh U.S. investigations Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 | 10:58 PM ET

    FERC says may fine Barclays $470 million. LONDON, Oct 31- Barclays, already rocked by an interest-rate rigging scandal, on Wednesday disclosed new U.S. regulatory investigations into the bank's financial probity and also said its profit was hit by charges for mis-selling insurance.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 31- The Pentagon on Wednesday said it would continue to support ``large numbers'' of BlackBerry phones made by Research in Motion Ltd even as it moves forward with plans that would allow the U.S. military to begin using Apple Inc's iPhone and other devices.

  • WRAPUP 1-France, Britain set stage for EU budget wrangling Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 | 10:44 PM ET

    *France objects to proposed farm subsidy cuts. BRUSSELS/ LONDON, Nov 1- British Prime Minister David Cameron came under pressure to act tough on the European Union budget and France threatened to use its veto, signalling a divisive start to bargaining over the 1 trillion euro long-term spending plan.

  • *BG blames Brazil tie-ins, Egypt, North Sea, U.S. for shortfall. *Agrees $1.93 deal with China's CNOOC. LONDON, Oct 31- British oil and gas firm BG Group told investors to expect no output growth in 2013 due to project delays and other factors, prompting a dive in its highly rated share price that wiped out as much as a fifth of its value.

  • PREVIEW-U.S. auto sales seen up 11 pct in October Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 | 10:38 PM ET

    *Storm Sandy may cost industry 100,000 vehicle sales. DETROIT, Oct 31- U.S. auto sales are set to rise 11 percent in October, led by Toyota Motor Corp and Honda Motor Co which benefited from increased demand for compact cars as gasoline prices remained high across the country.

  • Oct 31- MetLife Inc, the largest U.S. life insurer, reported a third-quarter loss on a large goodwill impairment charge and derivative losses tied to its credit spreads and a change in interest rates. MetLife lost $984 million, or 92 cents per share, in the quarter, compared with a year-earlier profit of $3.43 billion, or $3.21 per share.

  • *AT&T, T-Mobile USA sign wireless roaming agreement. *Sprint, AT&T say making progress in network improvements. Sprint Nextel Inc, the No. 3 U.S. wireless provider, and AT&T, the No. 2 wireless service, said they were making progress in improving their wireless services.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 31- Corporate treasurers laid in extra cash reserves as the devastating storm Sandy approached the U.S. East Coast, to ensure they could meet payrolls, buy inventory and contend with other short-term needs after the storm hit.

  • *Euro zone ministers confer on how to keep Greece afloat. *Greece slashes forecast of 2013 primary budget surplus. BRUSSELS/ ATHENS, Oct 31- Greece revealed on Wednesday that it will overshoot its deficit and debt targets again next year because of a deeper than forecast recession as euro zone finance ministers debated how to keep the near-bankrupt state afloat.

  • *Ameridose says FDA asked it to improve sterility testing. *FDA concerned about availability of several drugs. The Westborough, Massachusetts- based company, which was closed on Oct. 10, said it had not received any reports of adverse reactions to the products it is recalling but that the FDA has asked it to improve its sterility testing processes.

  • Reuters World News Highlights 2200 GMT Oct 31 Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 | 10:00 PM ET

    BRUSSELS/ ATHENS- Euro zone finance ministers made progress on Wednesday on ways to keep Greece afloat, Germany said, as talks between Athens and its foreign lenders near conclusion over reforms it must implement to receive fresh emergency loans.

  • *Third-quarter FFO 23 cents matches Wall St view. Improving retail sales and consumer confidence have been good news for mall owners, including Simon Property Group Inc and Macerich Co, which have seen stronger sales at their tenants' stores in the third quarter.

  • *Four other New York hospitals already evacuated. evacuated, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Wednesday. About 500 patients at the city hospital near the East River in Manhattan are affected.

  • Big US companies squirreled cash in face of storm Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 | 9:48 PM ET

    NEW YORK, Oct 31- Corporate treasurers laid in extra cash reserves as the devastating storm Sandy approached the U.S. East Coast, to ensure they could meet payrolls, buy inventory and contend with other short-term needs after the storm hit.

  • Companies such as environmental cleanup specialist Clean Harbors Inc, building supply chains Home Depot Inc and Lowe's Cos Inc, building products makers Owens Corning and Beacon Roofing Supply Inc, and generator manufacturer Generac Holdings Inc surged in early trading on the assumption that the recovery from Sandy will take years and boost sales.

  • *France objects to proposed farm subsidy cuts. BRUSSELS/ LONDON, Oct 31- British Prime Minister David Cameron came under pressure to act tough on the European Union budget and France threatened to use its veto, signalling a divisive start to bargaining over the 1 trillion euro long-term spending plan.