Both the West and Moscow are unwilling to stand down over Russia's annexation of Crimea, raising concerns that tit-for-tat sanctions are here for the long-run and could even be increased.» Read More
*FirstGroup shares fall 18 pct; company says followed guidelines.
*Australia trade deficit balloons unexpectedly. LONDON, Oct 3- The euro zone's economic woes increased last month and China's slowdown looked likely to extend to a seventh quarter, surveys showed on Wednesday, but there was better-than-expected news on U.S. jobs.
*FTSE 100 edges up 0.1 percent, lifted by bank and mining stocks. The blue-chip FTSE 100 index was up 0.1 percent, or 4.25 points, at 5,813.70 points around midday. Signs of the index holding above the 5,800 point level-- seen by many technical traders as key to propelling further gains-- have enabled modest, short-term increases on the FTSE 100 this week.
China's official services PMI slowed to 53.7 percent in September from 56.3 in August, highlighting the economy's seventh straight quarter of slowdown, while Australia posted weak export data.
LONDON, Oct 3- British prompt gas prices rose to a one-week high on Wednesday as a drop in flows from liquefied natural gas terminals and low imports from the Netherlands and Norway left the market undersupplied. Gas for within-day delivery rose 1.20 pence to 61.70 pence per therm at 1014 GMT, the highest since Sept. 26, while day-ahead gas.
*Spread betters offering 179- 189 pence range. LONDON, Oct 3- Order books for the London stock market listing of Royal Bank of Scotland's insurance business, Direct Line Group, have been covered three days into a nine day investor roadshow, sources close to the transaction said on Wednesday.
LONDON, Oct 3- The London Stock Exchange's. Kevin Milne, who headed post-trade services at the LSE until June, has become chief executive of Rate Validation Services, a Singapore- based firm that provides benchmark rates to investment banks, the company said in a statement.
The asset management business of Aviva Plc named Patrick Brien as chief executive of its Asia Pacific region. Bank of Nova Scotia named Troy Wright as president and chief executive of its Mexican unit, Grupo Financiero Scotiabank Mexico, on Tuesday.
*China, Europe services PMI disappoint. LONDON, Oct 3- Crude oil prices fell on Wednesday, as weak data from Europe and China dimmed the outlook for demand, while Europe's festering debt crisis added to the gloom. Brent November crude futures had fallen 96 cents to $110.61 a barrel by 1000 GMT.
LONDON, Oct 3- Low steel consumption in Europe is eating into ferrous recyclers' margins, an EU industry body said on Wednesday. Among the largest metals scrap recycling groups operating in Europe are Australia's Sims Metal Management, EMR, a privately-owned British company whose turnover was around 1-3 billion pounds in the last few years, and Germany's TSR.
By Dasha Afanasieva and Kirstin Ridley. LONDON, Oct 2- A former UBS trader wept in a London court on Tuesday after reading an email in which "rogue trader" Kweku Adoboli, a former colleague accused of fraud, admitted to unauthorised trades that risked undermining the Swiss bank and colleagues.
LONDON-- Markets were subdued Wednesday as investors awaited a run of U.S. economic figures and after Spain's prime minister indicated his cash-strapped country would not request a bailout imminently.
LONDON, Oct 3- France's Areva has dropped out of the race to buy British nuclear new-build project Horizon, a source familiar with the deal said, three months after announcing it was bidding for it with China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding.
JOHANNESBURG, Oct 3- Richard Brasher, the former UK head of Tesco, has been appointed chief executive of South Africa's No.2 grocer Pick n Pay as the retailer looks for ways to regain domestic market share and fend off encroachment from U.S. giant Wal-Mart.
Oct 03- Fitch Ratings has assigned Great Places Housing Group Limited's proposed GBP200m secured bonds an expected Long-term local currency rating of' AA-'.
*British Columbia Premier Christy Clark has issued a veiled threat to withhold electricity needed to operate controversial oil sands pipelines if the projects do not meet her demands.
*Tanzania claims 50 pct of lake, Malawi all of it. LILONGWE, Oct 3- Malawi has cut off dialogue with Tanzania in a long-time territorial dispute concerning Lake Malawi, thought to sit over highly coveted oil and gas reserves. Malawi claims sovereignty over the entirety of Africa's third largest lake, while Tanzania says 50 percent is part of its territory.
*First female FTSE CEO to step down at year end. *Move sparks speculation of FT Group sale. The first female chief executive of a FTSE 100 company had previously declared that the famous pink-paged FT title would only be sold "over my dead body".
LONDON, Oct 3- Capita PLC:. *Criminal records bureau contract update. Capita beyond 31 March 2013.
LONDON, Oct 3- Key Euribor bank-to-bank lending rates hit fresh record lows on Wednesday, as the huge volume of cash pumped into the banking system by the European Central Bank and the prospect of further cuts in its interest rates extended a year-long slide.