*Hugo Boss opens more stores, boosts marketing spending. BERLIN, May 6- German fashion house Hugo Boss expects investments in its stores and marketing to deliver a pick up in sales and profit growth over the rest of the year, it said on Wednesday, after posting lower-than-forecast first-quarter earnings. Hugo Boss said first-quarter sales in China fell 3 percent,...» Read More
The company also narrowed its 2012 profit forecast to a range of $2.08 to $2.24 per share, from $2.04 to $2.30. Merck, based in Whitehouse Station, N.J., said net income was $1.73 billion, or 56 cents per share. Excluding acquisition, integration and restructuring charges totaling $1.2 billion, net income was $2.93 billion, or 95 cents per share.
DETROIT-- Shares of Goodyear Tire& Rubber Co. fell more than 10 percent on Friday as the company's third-quarter net income and revenue dropped on lower tire sales in Europe. The Akron, Ohio, company's results fell short of Wall Street's expectations as problems in Europe offset cost cuts and profits in North America.
PHILADELPHIA-- Cable giant Comcast Corp., the nation's largest provider of TV and high-speed Internet services, more than doubled its net income in the third quarter, helped by fewer cancelations of video service than expected and by breaking even on the expensive-to-produce London Olympics.
SINGAPORE, Oct 26- Brent futures fell more than $1 on Friday to slip below $108 a barrel, as investors waited for key U.S. economic data to gauge the demand growth outlook for oil, with rising supplies weighing on prices. Brent crude had slipped as low as $107.40 a barrel and traded at $107.67 by 0648 GMT. U.S. oil slipped 76 cents to $85.29, after ending up 32 cents.
HONG KONG, Oct 26- Mainland China shares closed at three-week lows on Friday, posting their first weekly slip in four with growth-sensitive sectors leading losses after Chinese media reported that fund managers were pessimistic about the fourth quarter.
LONDON, Oct 26- European equity markets eased on Friday, weighed down by a fresh batch of gloomy corporate outlooks as demand for everything from cars to building materials is crippled by the euro zone economic crisis.
SINGAPORE, Oct 26- Gold dropped more than half a percent in volatile trade on Friday, heading for its third week of decline after shares fell in Asia and the U.S. dollar firmed, while persistent fears about the health of the global economy also dragged. Gold hit a high for the day at $1,714.65 an ounce before slipping to $1,702.96 by 0618 GMT, down $8.23.
Those worries weighed on risky assets, with Tokyo's Nikkei share average down 1.4 percent and the MSCI index of Asia-Pacific shares outside of Japan off 1.2 percent, while boosting the appeal of safe haven assets, such as government bonds.
TOKYO/ SYDNEY, Oct 26- The yen steadied in Asian trading after hitting a four-month low against the dollar early Friday, but it was still on track for a second week of losses as markets geared up for the Bank of Japan to ease policy next week. The dollar was down about 0.4 percent at 79.99 yen after rising as high as 80.38 yen early in the session.
TOKYO, Oct 26- Japan's Nikkei share average was knocked off a four-week high on Friday on concern that Chinese funds face heavy redemptions after a poor quarterly performance, and as disappointing earnings from Fanuc Ltd dragged.
Both firms reported losses after the market close on Thursday, contributing to a sour trading session in Asia. The downbeat mood carried over to Europe and is likely to dominate when Wall Street opens later.
LONDON, Oct 25- International oil company BP, weakened and distracted by its troubles in the United States and Russia, is in danger of losing touch with the leaders in an industry where strength and focus yield the richest pickings. ``I can't help thinking they've sort of lost their way.'' Everywhere you look, they're falling behind, `` said a senior executive of one rival this week.
*Iran to seek more coking coal as steel imports banned. Despite the setbacks, industry sources say producers in Ukraine are providing Iran with coking coal, also known as metallurgical coal, and coke- key steel ingredients.
SINGAPORE, Oct 26- Brent futures fell more than $1 to slip below $108 a barrel on Friday as investors waited for key U.S. economic data to gauge the demand growth outlook for oil with rising supplies weighing on prices. Brent crude had slipped $1.02 a barrel to $107.47 by 0527 GMT. U.S. oil slipped 90 cents to $85.15, after ending up 32 cents.
MILAN-- An Italian court is set to deliver verdicts Friday against former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and 10 others in a six-year-old tax fraud trial. Prosecutors have demanded a sentence of 3 years and eight months for Berlusconi and three years and four months for the chairman of his Mediaset conglomerate, Fedele Confalonieri.
*Storm causes deaths in Cuba, Haiti and Jamaica. NASSAU, Oct 26- Hurricane Sandy pounded the Bahamas with battering winds and rain on Friday, sweeping over the island chain after killing 21 people across the Caribbean and posing a menacing threat to the U.S. East Coast.
TOKYO, Oct 26- Japan's Nikkei share average fell from a four-week high on Friday on concerns Chinese funds may face heavy redemptions after local media reports of poor quarterly earnings, and after a disappointing result at index heavyweight Fanuc Ltd. The Nikkei lost 1.4 percent to 8,933.06, while the broader Topix dropped 1.4 percent to 741.23.
LONDON, Oct 26- European stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Friday as lacklustre numbers from global giants Apple and Amazon set a gloomy backdrop for the release of U.S. GDP data later in the day. At 0601 GMT, futures for the Euro STOXX 50 and France's CAC were down 0.9 percent, while contracts on Germany's DAX shed 0.5 percent.
VEVEY, Switzerland, Oct 26- It looks like mission control: in a Swiss market town, an array of screens in Nestle's headquarters tracks online sentiment. Other companies, such as PepsiCo, Danone and Unilever, have exploited the opportunities to promote themselves online.