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Europe News London

  • LONDON-- The Bank of England has held its key lending rate at the all-time low of 0.5 percent for the 44th month and decided not to increase its economic stimulus program of bond purchases. Thursday's announcement by the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee was widely expected.

  • LONDON, Oct 4- The Bank of England opted against stepping up its programme of government bond purchases on Thursday as the economy is showing some signs of growth and new schemes to boost credit may yet spur fresh lending.

  • *FTSE 100 up 0.2 pct, near one-week highs. LONDON, Oct 4- Britain's FTSE 100 hovered around one-week highs on Thursday, in thin, jittery trade, with investors unwilling to put on big bets ahead of a European Central Bank meeting later in the session and a key U.S. job reports on Friday. By 1023 GMT, the UK's FTSE 100.

  • LONDON, Oct 4- Britain's gas production is set for a three percent boost next year from current levels after BP's Devenick North Sea gas field started production on Thursday, Energy Minister John Hayes said.

  • LONDON, Oct 4- European shares rose to go back into positive territory during a volatile session on Thursday, with traders expecting key indexes to stay within tight rages while uncertainty persists over the euro zone's debt crisis.

  • LONDON, Oct 4- An intensification of Spain's recession poses the biggest risk to the country's' investment grade' credit rating the head of Fitch's sovereign ratings team said on Thursday.

  • LONDON, Oct 4- The activists who have protested in recent months at the tax arrangements of some leading British companies are united with many politicians in wanting to cut corporate tax avoidance.

  • Halfords Group PLC, which sells transport and leisure accessories, said bike sales have surged since Bradley Wiggins in July became the first Briton to win the Tour de France and Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton helped the country win multiple gold medals at the Olympics.

  • The European Central Bank is not expected to cut rates at the monthly policy making session despite weaker economic data, but was seen likely to be pressed on negotiations with Spain over its financing needs in the news conference which follows.

  • *Japan smelter offers $85 a tonne for 2013 vs $100 for 2012* Top producer Codelco said to be mulling $105 a tonne. TOKYO, Oct 4- Japan's biggest copper smelter, Pan Pacific Copper, is in talks with buyers in China to slash its term premium for 2013 shipments by 15 percent from this year, a source familiar with the matter said, as demand slows in the metal's top consumer.

  • *Seadrill may move to London, Singapore* CEO Thorkildsen disagreed with move, leaves firm.

  • LONDON, Oct 4- Brent crude oil rose more than $1 per barrel on Thursday as fresh tension between Syria and Turkey raised fears over the security of oil supplies from the Middle East. Turkish artillery hit targets near Syria's Tel Abyad border town for a second day on Thursday after a mortar bomb fired from the area killed Turkish civilians.

  • *Credit Suisse integrated boutique Clariden Leu last year. FRANKFURT/ DUBAI, Oct 4- Falcon Private Bank, a Swiss private bank owned by Abu Dhabi fund Aabar Investments, said it will acquire a London- based unit of boutique Clariden Leu from Credit Suisse, including some 2 billion Swiss francs in assets.

  • LONDON-- Financial markets remained subdued Thursday in the run-up to the monthly policy meeting of the European Central Bank and another round of U.S. economic data. "Investors will be meticulously analyzing any indications... as to whether Spain is actually any closer to requesting a bailout," said Shavaz Dhalla, financial trader at Spreadex.

  • LONDON, Oct 4- Turkish stocks fell 1.6 percent on Thursday and credit default swaps jumped after a sharp escalation in political risks caused by retaliatory military raids within the Syrian border. "Clearly a short-term risk for Turkey and Turkish assets," said Simon Quijano-Evans, chief EEMEA economist at ING. MSCI emerging stocks rose 0.3 percent.

  • WARSAW/ LONDON, Oct 4- Poland's goal of reducing its dependence on Russian gas took a step forward on Thursday after it secured the final investments to start construction of its first liquefied natural gas terminal, expected to start importing gas from Qatar in 2014..

  • *Japan smelter offers $85 a tonne for 2013 vs $100 for 2012. TOKYO, Oct 4- Japan's biggest copper smelter, Pan Pacific Copper, is in talks with buyers in China to slash its term premium for 2013 shipments by 15 percent from last year, a source familiar with the matter said, as demand slows in the metal's top consumer.

  • By Saeed Azhar and Kelvin Soh SINGAPORE/ HONG KONG, Oct 4- Standard Chartered's. Six of Standard Chartered's 16 directors hold executive positions at the bank, including CEO Peter Sands, Finance Director Richard Meddings and Asia Chief Executive Jaspal Bindra.

  • *James Bond films celebrate 50 years on Friday. LONDON, Oct 4- As a new documentary shows, the real story behind the James Bond film franchise is almost as dramatic as the 007 fantasies themselves, full of twists and turns, personality clashes, heroes, villains, beautiful women and narrow escapes.

  • LONDON, Oct 4- A leading media watchdog has accused Iran of trying to cow journalists into silence and self-censorship, adding to international pressure on Tehran over its treatment of activists and the press.