*China and Japan had been vying for $5 billion contract. *Japan, China to be invited to bid for medium-speed rail project. JAKARTA, Sept 4- Indonesia's 11th- hour decision to scrap plans for the nation's first high-speed railway has sown confusion among top investors China and Japan, potentially undermining the strong foreign investment that has been a rare...» Read More
BEIRUT/ CAIRO- Syria said on Wednesday its military command was still studying a proposal for a holiday ceasefire with rebels- contradicting international mediator Lakhdar Brahimi's announcement that Damascus had agreed to a truce.
WASHINGTON, Oct 24- South Korea's Samsung Electronics, the world's top maker of smartphones, infringed Apple patents to make its smartphones and tablets, a U.S. trade panel judge said in a preliminary decision issued on W edn esday. The full International Trade Commission will decide in February whether to uphold or reject the judge's decision.
*Sees EBIT at 8 bln eur in 2012, no longer 9 bln. *Mercedes plans to cut costs by 2.0 bln eur by end-2014. FRANKFURT, Oct 24- Germany's Daimler warned on Wednesday that it would miss its earnings forecast this year by about 1 billion euros and would not improve profit margins next year as expected, blaming ``significantly more difficult market conditions.''.
LONDON, Oct 24- Incoming New York Times chief Mark Thompson told Reuters on Wednesday that his U.S. employer had given him full support since a sexual abuse scandal erupted at Britain's BBC where he had been in charge until last month.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand-- A former New Zealand coal mine boss pleaded not guilty Thursday to 12 labor law violations involving the underground explosion nearly two years ago that killed 29 miners.
MEXICO CITY, Oct 24- Mexican corn miller and tortilla maker Gruma said on Wednesday its third-quarter profit rose 73 percent from the year earlier period, boosted by higher prices. Third-quarter profit rose to 267 million pesos from 154 million pesos a year earlier, when foreign exchange losses hurt earnings.
*Net revenue down 6 pct to $409 mln vs Street's $411.9 mln. Oct 24- Nasdaq OMX Group Inc's profit fell nearly 20 percent in the third quarter due to a steep drop in trading volumes of U.S. and European equities, the exchange operator said on Wednesday.
Oct 24- Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz chided U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for not seriously addressing the troubled U.S. housing market during the recent series of presidential debates.
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 24- Zynga Inc raised the lower end of its 2012 earnings outlook after quarterly revenue beat Wall Street's rock-bottom expectations, driving its shares 12 percent higher. The news proved a rare bright spot for Zynga, which is trying to stave off user losses that prompted it to slash its 2012 outlook twice in recent months.
Oct 24- Retailer Best Buy Co Inc on Wednesday warned earnings and same-store sales would fall for its fiscal third quarter, and said the head of its U.S. business will leave as it starts to restructure under a new chief executive. Best Buy shares fell 6 percent in after-hours trading.
NEW YORK, Oct 24- Barnes& Noble Inc said on Wednesday that customers who shopped at 63 of its stores as recently as last month may have had their credit or debit card information stolen in what the U.S. bookstore chain called a ``sophisticated criminal effort.''.
RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct 24- Brazil's Vale SA, the world's No. 2 mining company, said on Wednesday that third-quarter profit fell 66 percent compared with a year earlier after the price of iron ore dropped to three-year lows. Net income in the three months ending Sept. 30 was $1.67 billion, compared with $4.94 billion a year earlier, Vale said in a statement.
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 24- Billionaire hedge fund manager Tom Steyer says he will focus on pushing California toward an alternative energy future when he steps down from the company he founded, Farallon Capital.
UNITED NATIONS, Oct 24- Russia slammed leaks to the media from a closed-door Security Council briefing on Syria on Wednesday, saying diplomats and journalists involved should be stripped of U.N. accreditation fo r the release of confidential information.
Oct 24- Retailer Best Buy Co Inc on Wednesday warned earnings and same-store sales would fall for its fiscal third quarter, and said the head of its U.S. business unit will leave as it restructures its U.S. business into physical and online units.
Crude oil stocks in the United States jumped 5.9 million barrels last week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in a weekly report, well above the increase of 1.9 million barrels in a Reuters survey of analysts.
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 24- Zynga Inc raised the lower end of its 2012 earnings outlook on Wednesday as the company reported a slight uptick in revenue that beat Wall Street's rock-bottom expectations. Shares of Zynga jumped 16 percent to $2.47 in after-hours trade. The news was a bright spot after Zynga slashed its 2012 outlook earlier this month.
The third round of quantitative easing in the United States enacted in September, combined with increased optimism about China's economic prospects, has translated into fresh enthusiasm for Hong Kong dollars in October, forcing the Hong Kong Monetary Authority to repeatedly intervene to keep the currency within its permitted trading band.
*Brazil, Argentina grab US market share. Major importers in Asia, including South Korea, Taiwan and top buyer Japan, have turned away from the United States as U.S. corn prices soared to record highs this summer, buying feed from South America and producers in the Black Sea region.
*Dow down 0.2 pct, S&P 500 off 0.3 pct, Nasdaq off 0.3 pct. *Boeing dips after results, but Dow Chemical jumps on job-cut plans. The S&P 500 has lost 3.6 percent over the past five sessions, hurt by weak earnings outlooks and top-line revenue misses from large multinational companies.