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  • 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.

  • *NYC could lose up to $1 billion total in economic activity. NEW YORK, Oct 31- The aftermath of super storm Sandy is costing New York City up to $200 million a day in permanently lost economic activity, including everything from the sale of pizza slices to corporate mergers and other Wall Street deals, the city's comptroller said on Wednesday.

  • *New Jersey Senators asked for more federal money. NEW YORK/ WASHINGTON, Oct 31- New York state on Wednesday asked the U.S. federal government to pay all the costs of cleaning up and repairing damage from massive storm Sandy that tore through the Northeast this week and crippled New York City.

  • Oct 31- Billionaire investor Carl Icahn bought 10 percent of Netflix Inc, presaging another bruising corporate battle and raising the possibility that the pioneering video-streaming company would get acquired.

  • 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.