Hong Kong shares lead Asia equity markets lower. "In some ways it is reminiscent of 2008 with tightening credit markets, bank shares under pressure and worries central banks are powerless," said Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy at AMP Capital, though he suspects markets are overly pessimistic this time. The flight from risk told on most Asian shares, with...» Read More
BEIRUT-- Syrian activists say a string of government airstrikes on rebel areas in the country's north has killed at least 20 people, leveled buildings and forced residents to dig through mounds of rubble in search of survivors.
RICHMOND, Va.-- Cigarette maker Philip Morris International Inc.' s third-quarter net income fell more than 6 percent, despite higher prices, as the company sold fewer cigarettes. Philip Morris International said it earned $2.23 billion, or $1.32 per share, in the third quarter, down from $2.38 billion, or $1.35 per share, a year ago.
NEW YORK-- Morgan Stanley reported higher revenue and net income for its third quarter Thursday thanks to gains in its bonds and asset management businesses. Excluding an accounting charge, the bank earned $535 million for common shareholders in July to September, up from $39 million a year ago.
WASHINGTON-- Industrial and medical equipment maker Danaher's third-quarter net income rose 5 percent from year-ago results that were depressed by a loss on early debt retirement. Danaher Corp. earned $548.7 million, or 77 cents per share, for the period ended Sept. 28.
By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark oil for November delivery was down 21 cents at $91.91 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, which is used to price international varieties of oil, was down 47 cents to $112.86 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
Southwest Airlines eked out a small third-quarter profit in spite of a September slowdown, the company said on Thursday. Southwest has been using a mix of fare increases and sales to try to get its prices to a level that travelers will pay.
MILAN-- Shares in Italian bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena have shed 6 percent of their value after Moody's cut the bank's credit rating to junk status. Moody's has dropped the ratings in the world's oldest running bank by two notches to Ba2 from Baaa3 with a negative outlook.
GENEVA-- Nestle SA, the world's biggest food and drink company, on Thursday said its sales growth slowed to 11 percent in the first nine months of 2012 as demand eased both in developed economies and emerging markets, where high growth is starting to cool off.
MADRID-- Spain raised 4.6 billion at a sharply lower cost Thursday amid growing expectations that the cash-strapped country will soon make a request for international help to deal with its finances. Spain says it will soon decide whether to look to tap a European Central Bank bond-buying program largely designed to keep a lid on its borrowing costs.
Authorities said around 70,000 protesters took to the street in two separate demonstrations in Athens during the country's second general strike in a month as workers across the country walked off the job to protest new austerity measures the government is negotiating with Greece's international creditors.
MGM China Holdings Ltd. said it formally accepted a land concession contract from the Macau government for a 7.2 hectare plot in the Cotai district, an area of reclaimed land that's earmarked for all new casinos in the Asian gambling haven. MGM China said it is paying $161.4 million for the land, including a $56.2 million down payment.
LONDON-- Markets were largely steady Thursday, after solid gains this week, on signs that China's economy is not slowing as quickly as feared, the U.S. is recovering and Spain will soon request a bailout.
SAN FRANCISCO-- Google Inc.' s third-quarter earnings should reveal whether investors' recently rejuvenated optimism about the Internet search leader's growth prospects is justified.
HONG KONG-- The Chinese arm of U.S. casino company MGM Resorts International says it has signed a long-awaited land deal to build a new casino resort in Macau, the world's biggest gambling market. MGM said it is paying $161.4 million for the land, including a down payment of $56.2 million.
MADRID-- Spain has raised 4.6 billion at a sharply lower cost amid growing expectations that the cash-strapped country will soon make a request for international help to deal with its finances. The Treasury sold 1.51 billion in 10- year bonds Thursday at an average interest rate of 5.46 percent, down from 5.66 percent in the last such auction Sept. 20.
BERLIN-- German Chancellor Angela Merkel endorsed a proposal for a top European Union official to be given the power to veto member governments' budgets, and suggested Thursday that the bloc could set up a new fund to finance projects in struggling countries.
LISBON, Portugal-- The junior party in bailed-out Portugal's coalition government has ended days of political tension by endorsing a plan for severe tax increases next year, ensuring the new austerity measures are approved in Parliament.
BEIRUT-- Syria's state news agency says rebels have blown up two oil and gas pipelines in the northeast near the Iraqi border. The pipelines ran between Deir al-Zour and the city of Palmyra in central Syria. Rebels seeking to overthrow President Bashar Assad have repeatedly bombed such pipelines.
BANGKOK-- Stock markets rose Thursday after an unexpectedly strong U.S. housing report renewed confidence in the world's biggest economy and the latest data from China suggested the worst of its slump is over.