LONDON, July 29- Record demand for entertainment and broadband in Britain, Germany and Austria helped European pay-TV group Sky to post a slightly better-than-expected 18 percent jump in full-year operating profit on Wednesday. Sky, which formed from the combination of Britain's BSkyB, Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia to serve 20 million customers in Europe,...» Read More
Oct 31- Astral Media Inc reported a higher quarterly profit on Wednesday as revenue rose across its business segments. BCE Inc, Bell Canada's parent, agreed in March to buy Astral, its largest content provider. On Wednesday afternoon, Astral shares were down 1.3 percent at C $41.30 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
The price of lumber is higher as residents of the Northeast evaluate the devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy. Lumber for January delivery rose $10 Wednesday to end at $331.20 per 1,000 board feet on expectations that demand will pick up because of the need to repair and rebuild houses, businesses and other structures.
Companies like environmental cleanup specialist Clean Harbors, building supply chains Home Depot and Lowe's, building products makers Owens Corning and Beacon Roofing and generator manufacturer Generac Holdings surged in early trading, on the assumption that the recovery from Sandy will take years and boost sales.
*U.S. stocks flat to lower as Wall Street reopens after 2- day closure. *Oil above $109 a barrel as U.S. East Coast refineries return.
NEW YORK-- Shares of Medidata Solutions Inc. climbed Wednesday after the research software maker said it won a contract with French drugmaker Sanofi. The companies said Sanofi will use Medidata's "cloud" technology to collect and manage clinical data for its entire research and development organization.
*Stocks edge up as Wall Street reopens after two days. LONDON, Oct 31- Gold prices rose nearly 1 percent to their highest in a week on Wednesday as stock markets firmed as the New York financial markets re-opened, but were on track to end a four-month winning streak as October drew to a close.
MCLEAN, Va.-- Booz Allen, the management and technology consulting firm, said Wednesday that its fiscal second-quarter net income fell 39 percent as billable expenses fell. The company reported net income of $46.1 million, or 27 cents per share, in the quarter ending Sept. 30. Shares of Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corp. rose 82 cents, or 6.5 percent, to $13.37.
*Arabica market under pressure from Brazil producer selling. LONDON, Oct 31- Arabica coffee futures slipped on Wednesday, pressured by selling from top grower Brazil, while dry weather was expected to aid the country's sugar harvest, weighing on sugar prices. Cocoa was near unchanged in both London and New York.
*Biogen hemophilia A drug effective in trial. BOSTON, Oct 31- Biogen Idec Inc said on Wednesday its experimental treatment for patients with hemophilia A, a disorder that inhibits coagulation of the blood, controlled bleeding with fewer treatments in a late-stage clinical trial. Glenn Pierce, Chief Medical Officer for Biogen's hemophilia program.
LONDON/ SINGAPORE, Oct 31- Singapore- listed commodities firm Noble Group Ltd denied it wanted to sell its agribusiness unit, after industry sources said it was looking for a buyer as an alternative to plans for a separate share listing. JPMorgan, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs were hired for the deal.
*Say own tests, Novartis data show flu vaccines safe. ZURICH, Oct 31- Canadian and Swiss health authorities lifted a ban on Novartis's flu vaccines on Wednesday after the drugmaker showed they posed no risk to safety.
NEW YORK, Oct 31- U.S gasoline futures surged 5 percent on Wednesday as the market braced for potentially long-term fuel supply disruptions at the East Coast's second-biggest refinery following Sandy, the massive storm that devastated the Jersey shore.
LISBON, Oct 31- Portugal's parliament approved the biggest tax increases in the country's modern history on Wednesday, paving the way for a court battle over a budget which the government says is vital for keeping its international bailout afloat.
Citi's Brian Chin said that about 8 million households were without power as of Tuesday night. That number has fallen since, according to several companies that serve the hardest hit areas in New York and New Jersey.
DETROIT, Oct 31- General Motors Co expects industry auto sales in Europe to fall 4 percent to 5 percent in 2013 from 2012, when sales were the weakest in nearly two decades. Steve Girsky, GM's Europe chief, said on a conference call on Wednesday that the company is not banking on market share gains of its Opel and Vauxhall brands to financially succeed.
*Euro zone ministers confer on how to keep Greece afloat. *Greece slashes forecast of 2013 primary budget surplus.
NEW YORK, Oct 31- U.S gasoline futures surged nearly 6 percent on Wednesday as the market braced for potentially long-term fuel supply disruptions at the East Coast's second-biggest refinery following Sandy, the massive storm that devastated the Jersey shore.
*U.S. stocks flat to lower as Wall Street reopens after 2- day closure. NEW YORK, Oct 31- Wall Street began trading on Wednesday after monster storm Sandy forced a two-day closure, with shares trading lower and crude oil rising even though most refineries emerged unscathed.
Oct 31- GT Advanced Technologies will slash about 25 percent of its global workforce, the Solar and LED equipment maker said, adding that third-quarter revenue is likely to be at the low end of its forecast because of weak demand in Asia.
The government said on Wednesday it had granted permission for the finance department to add eight new staff to a group created in 2011, after Switzerland promised to relax its traditional bank secrecy and do more to help stop tax evasion.