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  • COPENHAGEN, Denmark-- Debt-ridden Spain and Italy could hinder the European Union from achieving its goal of cutting greenhouse emissions under an international climate pact, the EU's environmental agency said Wednesday.

  • TOKYO, Oct 24- Japan's Nikkei share average snapped a seven-session winning streak on Wednesday as poor U.S. earnings prompted investors to pocket gains on export-focused firms, although better-than-expected Chinese manufacturing data helped limit losses.

  • NEW YORK-- The Energy Department is expected to report on Wednesday that the nation's crude oil supplies grew by 1.7 million barrels in the week ended Oct. 19, according to a survey of analysts by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

  • SINGAPORE, Oct 24- Gold trimmed gains Wednesday after early bargain hunting tapered off and worries about the global economy resurfaced, but festive demand from top consumer India could help shore up prices.

  • DETROIT-- Goodyear Tire& Rubber Co. faced a challenging third quarter in a sputtering economy, and its results could reflect that when they are released before the markets open on Friday.

  • TOKYO, Oct 24- Japan's Sumitomo Life Insurance plans to increase yen bond holdings in the six months to March, while taking a more cautious stance on foreign bonds, a senior official said on Wednesday.

  • BEIJING, Oct 24- China's economy is making a slow, steady recovery from its weakest period of growth in three years, a survey of purchasing managers signalled on Wednesday, with new orders and output at their highest in months.

  • WASHINGTON-- U.S. sales of new homes likely rose at a steady pace in September after a slight dip the previous month, further evidence that the housing market is steadily improving. Economists forecast that sales of new homes increased 2.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 382,000 last month, according to a survey by FactSet.

  • *Yuan eases slightly to 6.2510/ dollar. *Traders wary of hitting strong side of trading band. SHANGHAI, Oct 24- China's yuan eased on Wednesday, responding to a slightly weaker central bank midpoint, but still hovered near recent record levels, as traders say corporate yuan demand remains robust.

  • TOKYO, Oct 24- Japan's Nikkei average snapped a seven-session winning streak on Wednesday as poor U.S. earnings prompted investors to pocket gains on export-focused firms, although better-than-expected Chinese manufacturing data helped limit losses.

  • FRANKFURT, Germany-- German automaker Volkswagen AG says net profit rose 58 percent in the third quarter because of an accounting boost from its takeover of Porsche. Volkswagen said it was sticking to its earnings forecast despite what it called "growing headwinds" in the business environment.

  • HONG KONG, Oct 24- Mainland Chinese shares rose on Wednesday, outperforming most Asian peers and lifting the Hong Kong market to just short of a year-high after a survey of purchasing managers showed China's economy making a steady recovery. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong was down 0.4 percent.

  • *Vegas less powerful in casino world after Macau boom. With no full-time staff in Asia and a mission that includes nurturing an industry increasingly dependent on China- controlled Macau, the granddaddy of U.S. gambling regulators may ultimately prove powerless to police a global business of which Las Vegas is no longer the capital, industry veterans said.

  • MOSCOW-- Ratings agency Moody's has placed Rosneft and TNK-BP on review for downgrade following Rosneft's agreement to by the joint venture between BP and a group of Russian oligarchs. State-owned Rosneft on Monday unveiled a deal to buy TNK-BP, Russia's third-largest oil producer.

  • STOCKHOLM-- Nordea AB, the largest banking group in the Nordics, has posted a near 70 percent increase in third-quarter profits mainly thanks to higher household lending and a tighter rein on costs, but said loan losses keep growing, especially within shipping and the Danish housing market.

  • GENK, Belgium, Oct 24- Ford Motor Co is poised to tell unions on Wednesday that it will close its factory in the Belgian town of Genk, which employs 4,300 workers, as it tries to stem losses in Europe and match capacity to tumbling demand.

  • MELBOURNE, Oct 24- Deutsche Bank has built a 5.2 percent stake in Australian takeover target GrainCorp in recent months, a move that could pay off handsomely as the target's shares have soared and could climb even higher if rival bids appear.

  • STOCKHOLM-- Swedish truck maker AB Volvo has reported a sharp drop in profits for the third quarter, blaming it on an overall slowdown in demand, warning more cuts in its production rates are possible.