CANBERRA, Oct 12- Australian shares edged up 0.1 percent on Friday as gains in index-heavy mining stocks helped break a two-day run of losses, but the market still ended slightly down on the week. gained 0.9 percent to A $33.54 and major rival Rio Tinto Ltd rose 1.8 percent to A $56.40, helped by a rebound in iron ore prices.
CANBERRA, Oct 12- Australian shares edged up 0.1 percent on Friday as gains in index-heavy mining stocks helped break a two-day run of losses, but the market still ended slightly down on the week. Global miner BHP Billiton Ltd. gained 0.9 percent to A $33.54 and major rival Rio Tinto Ltd rose 1.8 percent to A $56.40, helped by a rebound in iron ore prices.
LONDON, Oct 12- European stocks were set to open slightly lower on Friday as expectations for a weak earnings season and lingering uncertainty about Spain's debt crisis kept investors on the back foot after healthy gains in the previous session. Financial spreadbetters expected Britain's FTSE 100 to open 15 to 18 points lower, or as much as 0.3 percent.
By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark oil for November delivery was up 21 cents to $92.28 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained 82 cents to close at $92.07 per barrel in New York on Thursday.
Weekly applications for unemployment aid fell to their lowest since February 2008, the U.S. government said Thursday. "I think you need to wait for a few months to see more figures to confirm the jobs recovery in the U.S.," said Francis Lun, managing director of Lyncean Holdings in Hong Kong.
By John Whitesides and Andy Sullivan. Vice President Joe Biden leaped to the attack against Republican challenger Paul Ryan in a lively debate on Thursday, aggressively defending the Obama administration's economic and foreign policies to try to regain momentum in the White House race.
Bank and energy stocks led the way lower after investors had a mixed reaction to earnings reports from JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo. Investors haven't had much to get excited about, with mixed results this week from U.S. companies including Alcoa, Safeway and Yum Brands. The S&P 500 is up more than 11 percent since June 1.
*Puts 5 investments worth $40 mln into separate vehicle. HONG KONG, Oct 12- Senrigan Capital, an Asia- focused hedge fund backed by Blackstone Group, has removed five investments from its portfolio and placed them into a separate vehicle after heavy losses this year, two sources familiar with the matter said.
Oct 12- Low interest rates both hurt and helped third-quarter earnings at Wells Fargo& Co, boosting mortgage lending but squeezing core profitability more than analysts expected.
Oct 12- Charges against a high-ranking Morgan Stanley banker accused of stabbing a New York City cab driver in a dispute over a long-distance fare are set to be dismissed, Connecticut police and the cabbie's attorney said on Friday.
*Pre-weekend profit taking pressures prices. *Coming up: Baker Hughes rig data, CFTC trade data Friday. NEW YORK, Oct 12- U.S. natural gas futures lost ground on Friday after four straight days of gains, lightly pressured by forecasts for fairly mild U.S. weather next week and some profit taking following the front-month's climb to a fresh 2012 high in overnight trade.
*Worries persist over whether Spain will request aid. NEW YORK, Oct 12- U.S. Worries on whether Spain will ask for a full-blown bailout to help its struggling economy stoked safety bids for Treasuries, while the Federal Reserve's latest bond purchase added to gains in longer-dated debt, analysts said.
Billionaire Vincent Bollore plans to list shares of his holding company's electric-car-and-batteries unit next year, the French tycoon told daily Les Echos in an interview. The French ad group said it had acquired 117,415 shares in LBi International NV as part of a deal to acquire the Dutch agency announced in September.
*JPMorgan has lower' London whale' losses than in 1st half. Oct 12- Two of the nation's biggest banks, Wells Fargo& Co and J.P. Morgan Chase& Co, made record profits over the last three months from a sharp rise in mortgage lending, though performance stumbles elsewhere hurt J.P. Morgan more than Wells Fargo.
NEW YORK-- Shares of Sears Holdings Corp.' s spinoff of its Hometown and Outlet Stores are declining on its debut trading day. The Hoffman Estates, Ill., company, which runs Kmart and Sears stores, had signaled in February that it would split off Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores Inc. as a separate publicly traded entity.
NEW YORK-- Canadian drugmaker Aeterna Zentaris Inc. said Friday it is selling 6.6 million units of stock and warrants to raise money for product development. Shares of Aeterna Zentaris lost 73 cents, or 23.4 percent, to $2.39 in midday trading.
NEW YORK, Oct 12- U.S. consumer sentiment unexpectedly rose to its highest in five years in October in the latest in a string of encouraging signs from the economy that may boost President Obama' s reelection hopes as voters go to the polls next month.
President Barack Obama has called for keeping tax rates the same for families making less than $250,000 annually and raising them for those above that level.
ZURICH, Oct 12- Apple, sensitive about protecting its own designs, has struck a deal to use Swiss railway operator SBB's trademark station clock design on iPads and iPhones.
LOS ANGELES, Oct 12- The retired space shuttle Endeavour set off on Friday for a trip unlike any of its previous journeys, one in which it will crawl through the streets of Los Angeles instead of hurtling through space.