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  • By Sinead Cruise and Chris Vellacott. LONDON, Oct 12- A plan to allow British employers to give shares to workers who sign away employee rights could leave the same staff with soaring tax bills, experts warn.

  • *Turkey- Syria tensions, lower N. Sea output support. Brent and U.S. crude remained on track to post weekly gains of around 2 percent, as the turmoil in the Middle East, especially in Syria, continues to intensify.

  • FACTBOX-UK utilities' latest tariff changes Friday, 12 Oct 2012 | 11:50 AM ET

    LONDON, Oct 12- Britain's' Big Six' energy suppliers, which control 99 percent of the market, are expected to increase energy tariffs this winter following a rise in underlying wholesale prices, network costs and mandatory government schemes to reduce carbon emissions and help disadvantaged households.

  • STOCKS NEWS EUROPE-UK small caps close 0.3 pct higher Friday, 12 Oct 2012 | 11:48 AM ET

    The FTSE Small Caps index closes 0.3 percent higher, outperforming falls of 0.6 percent on the FTSE 100 and 0.5 percent on the FTSE 250. Morgan Sindall gains 1.3 percent as the UK construction and regeneration group says it has been appointed preferred delivery partner for a 1.1 billion pounds contract at the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant.

  • Commodity stocks pull European shares cautiously lower Friday, 12 Oct 2012 | 11:34 AM ET

    *STMicroelectronics rallies on break-up talk. LONDON, Oct 12- European blue chip shares ended the week in negative territory with weakness in commodity stocks outpacing gains in healthcare and consumer staples.

  • LONDON, Oct 12- Frantic drilling activity across the United States has at last begun to moderate, as the industry responds to the plunge in prices for natural gas and now liquids such as butane and natural gasoline.

  • --We are assigning our' BBB-' issue rating to Prologis European Properties Fund II FCP' s proposed $300 million senior unsecured notes to be issued through its financing vehicle Prologis International Funding II S.A..

  • UK promises major inquiry on 1989 stadium disaster Friday, 12 Oct 2012 | 11:21 AM ET

    LONDON-- A U.K. watchdog has launched its biggest-ever investigation into police actions, opening a new inquiry Friday into the 1989 Hillsborough stadium disaster that left 96 fans dead and whole communities angry over a decades-long police cover-up.

  • BRUSSELS, Oct 12- China has expressed concerns about a potential EU investigation of telecom equipment makers Huawei and ZTE Corp over illegal subsidies, a European Commission official said on Friday.

  • LONDON, Oct 12- Peripheral banks unwilling or unable to lengthen their maturity profiles are building up a redemption hump which they will have to face just as billions of euros of cheap ECB money is coming up for repayment.

  • Oct 12- Fitch Ratings has downgraded The Co-operative Bank plc's (Coop,' BBB+'/ Rating Watch Negative/' F2') GBP600m mortgage covered bonds to' AA+'/ RWN from' AAA'/RWN.

  • Oct 12- Fitch Ratings has downgraded Yorkshire Building Society's GBP1.8bn mortgage covered bonds to' AA+', Stable Outlook from' AAA'/Rating Watch Negative.

  • UPDATE 3-UK energy bills to rise as winter looms Friday, 12 Oct 2012 | 11:02 AM ET

    *British Gas prices to rise 6 pct from Nov. 16. LONDON, Oct 12- Two of Britain's biggest energy suppliers are raising their prices just as millions of cash-strapped consumers switch on their central heating for the winter, saying higher costs made the move unavoidable.

  • By Luke Baker and John O'Donnell. It was prepared by Herman Van Rompuy, who as president of the European Council will chair a European Union summit next week.

  • UK regulator to have last word in retail bank reform Friday, 12 Oct 2012 | 10:52 AM ET

    LONDON, Oct 12- Britain's main financial regulator will decide what activities the country's retail banks are able to carry out under a new reform aimed at shielding taxpayers from having to bail out the industry again.

  • --We are placing our' BBB' long-term and' A-2' short-term ratings on Telefonica and three of its subsidiaries, and our issue ratings on Telefonica and six of its subsidiaries on CreditWatch negative.

  • Short-end trap adds to peripheral bank funding woes Friday, 12 Oct 2012 | 10:39 AM ET

    LONDON, Oct 12- Peripheral banks unwilling or unable to lengthen their maturity profiles are building up a redemption hump which they will have to face just as billions of euros of cheap ECB money is coming up for repayment.

  • Europe Power-Spot up, curve near 2012 lows Friday, 12 Oct 2012 | 10:30 AM ET

    In France, workers at E.ON coal-fired plants were striking again on Friday, having started selected actions on Monday in a dispute over site closures and job losses. Monday baseload in France was up by 12.25 euros at 58.50 euros a megawatt hour.

  • Global LNG-Asian prices steady as supply tightens Friday, 12 Oct 2012 | 10:26 AM ET

    LONDON, Oct 12- Asian spot prices of liquefied natural gas steadied this week amid early signs that potential supply disruption from Nigeria and Indonesia may offset weak Japanese demand.

  • JP Morgan, US data shore up markets Friday, 12 Oct 2012 | 10:24 AM ET

    LONDON-- Upbeat earnings from JP Morgan Chase& Co. and a strong U.S. consumer confidence survey helped shore up markets Friday, though investors remained cautious after buying up stocks aggressively the previous day.