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  • Reuters World News Highlights 1800 GMT Oct 31 Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 | 6:00 PM ET

    JERUSALEM- Most Israelis would be reassured if Mitt Romney won next week's U.S. presidential election, feeling they had an unquestioning friend rather than a dispassionate critic in the White House.

  • *Cleveland Clinic compiles annual list of top innovations. Oct 31- The best medical innovations for next year include an almond-size device implanted in the mouth to relieve severe headaches and a handheld scanner resembling a blow dryer that detects skin cancer, the Cleveland Clinic said on Wednesday.

  • Bank loan standards ease, loan demand up-Fed survey Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 | 5:59 PM ET

    WASHINGTON, Oct 31- The U.S. Federal Reserve said on Wednesday that some banks continued to ease lending standards for businesses and consumers, while a number reported improved borrower appetite for real estate and auto loans in the last three months.

  • EURO GOVT-Bunds rebound after strong auction Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 | 5:57 PM ET

    *Germany sells 1.7 bln euros of 2044 bonds. *France also finds high demand for long-term debt. Investors snapped up long-term debt from Germany and France as a recent European Central Bank- inspired lull in the three-year-old crisis persuaded some investors to look at longer-maturities.

  • METALS-Copper up but set for weakest month since May Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 | 5:55 PM ET

    *Market awaits China's official PMI on Thursday. LONDON, Oct 31- London copper rose on Wednesday, buoyed by a softer dollar, but gains were limited with U.S. stock markets falling after a two-day closure for the storm Sandy and as metals investors stayed wary about demand from China.

  • *Short-term gas demand lower on lost power generation. NEW YORK, Oct 31- As the U.S. The United States last year initiated closer scrutiny of U.S. nuclear plants and their safety features following the earthquake, tsunami and subsequent flooding in Japan that caused a nuclear plant meltdown there.

  • *Lumber futures rise the $10 daily limit. *Hope for repair demand also boosts Home Depot shares. Chicago Mercantile Exchange November, January and March lumber futures rose by the daily trading limit of $10 per thousand board feet and were locked at those levels to effectively shut down trading.

  • Oct 31- Casino operator MGM Resorts International posted a larger loss, missing analysts' expectations, due to a steep drop in tax benefits, soft demand in Las Vegas and disappointing margins in Macau. Shares of the operator of the Mirage and Bellagio casino resorts MGM Resorts fell 4.1 percent to $10.16 on the New York Stock Exchange.

  • Storm-closed US nuclear power plants may boost natgas use Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 | 5:45 PM ET

    *Short-term gas demand lower on lost power generation. NEW YORK, Oct 31- As the U.S. The United States last year initiated closer scrutiny of U.S. nuclear plants and their safety features following the earthquake, tsunami and subsequent flooding in Japan that caused a nuclear plant meltdown there.

  • Oct 31- Knight Capital told clients on Wednesday to route all stock orders away from the brokerage due to power issues as a result of the massive storm that slammed into the U.S. East Coast. It said clients should ``seek an alternate destination'' for trading in NYSE- listed and Nasdaq stocks, along with options trades.

  • Barclays CEO juggles client grab with cost cuts Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 | 5:41 PM ET

    LONDON, Oct 31- Barclays' new boss Antony Jenkins must decide in the coming months whether to pick up business left open by a retreat from investment banking by UBS and other rivals, or push even harder with cuts to the British bank's own operation.

  • JERUSALEM, Oct 31- Potash Corp, the world's No. 1 fertilizer maker, is ramping up efforts to buy Israel Chemicals Ltd, appealing directly to Israel's prime minister to back a deal that would rank as the largest foreign takeover of an Israeli company.

  • Oct 31- MasterCard Inc reported a quarterly profit that handily topped market estimates as more people, particularly in Asia, opted to use credit and debit cards instead of cash. MasterCard has been boosting its presence outside the United States, cashing in on higher-growth markets in Asia and the Nordic countries.

  • *Dow off 0.2 pct, S&P 500 down 0.2 pct, Nasdaq off 0.5 pct. Traders made it through the darkened streets of downtown Manhattan before sunrise to the New York Stock Exchange at 11 Wall Street, one of the only buildings with any electricity in that area after Sandy crippled power supply and disrupted mass transit throughout the New York metropolitan region.

  • UPDATE 3-Facebook shares fall as lock-up period expires Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 | 5:38 PM ET

    Oct 31- Facebook Inc shares fell nearly 4 percent in busy trade on Wednesday as the company allowed employees to start selling roughly 230 million shares less than six months after its rocky market debut.

  • *Wheat jumps on 300,000 tonnes Egypt purchase. LONDON, Oct 31- Commodities edged higher on Wednesday as investors dipped back into risky assets, but the sector was on track for its worst monthly loss since May as worries resurfaced about demand for raw materials.

  • WRAPUP 1-Veto threats fly in EU budget fight Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 | 5:32 PM ET

    *France objects to proposed farm subsidy cuts. BRUSSELS, Oct 31- France joined a growing list of European Union governments threatening to veto the bloc's next long-term budget, turning up the heat at the start of divisive bargaining over a 1 trillion euro spending plan.

  • *To cut 20 pct of U.S. workforce, 30 pct of Asia- CEO. Oct 31- GT Advanced Technologies, a solar and LED equipment maker, said it would slash about 25 percent of its workforce and would l i kely report third-quarter revenue at the low end of its forecast due to weak demand in its main market, Asia.

  • Oct 31- New York power company Consolidated Edison Inc said Wednesday about 786,000 homes and businesses in New York City and Westchester County were still without power due to the devastation wrought by the massive storm, Sandy.

  • UPDATE 2-U.S. poised to hit debt limit before 2013 Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 | 5:27 PM ET

    WASHINGTON, Oct 31- The Obama administration said on Wednesday that the nation would hit the legal limit on its debt near the year's end, although it can tap emergency measures to stave off a default and keep the government running into early 2013..