*Ford to close Southampton plant, Dagenham stamping plant. LONDON/ BASILDON, England, Oct 25- Ford will stop making vans in Britain next year, with the potential loss of 2,000 jobs, a union leader said, as part of a plan by the U.S. car maker to drag its European operations back into profit.
LONDON-- Ford pressed ahead Thursday with its plan to slash production in Europe, announcing another plant closure and 1,500 more job cuts, as it warned that annual losses in the region will exceed $1.5 billion this year and next.
*UK Q3 GDP beats expectations; outlook good for China factories. *WPP, Daimler, France Telecom fall on earnings. LONDON, Oct 25- European shares rose on Thursday after China said factory output was set to accelerate and Britain's economy grew faster than expected in the third quarter.
HOUSTON-- ConocoPhillips said Thursday that net income fell 30 percent in the third quarter as it sold assets and oil and natural gas prices fell. Houston- based ConocoPhillips made $1.8 billion, or $1.46 per share, compared with $2.6 billion, or $1.91 per share, a year earlier.
*Ford to close Southampton plant, Dagenham stamping plant. LONDON/ BASILDON, England, Oct 25- Ford will stop making vans in Britain next year, with the potential loss of 2,000 jobs, as part of a plan by the U.S. car maker to drag its European operations back into profit.
*Large number of Brazil mills still open for crushing. LONDON, Oct 25- ICE raw sugar futures bounced off a three-week low on Thursday, although the upside was capped by fast progress in Brazil's harvest and surplus supplies, while coffee and cocoa also edged higher.
Oct 25- Canadian oil and gas producer Nexen Inc said it still expects a $15.1 billion takeover bid by China's CNOOC Ltd to close in the current quarter. Ottawa has promised to release a set of clear guidelines for large foreign investments when it announces its decision on the CNOOC takeover bid around Nov. 11.
LONDON, Oct 25- German government bonds slipped on Thursday, pulled down by falls in UK gilts after data showed Britain rebounded strongly from recession in the third quarter.
*Eyes on next week's Bank of Japan policy meeting. Spot gold was up 0.8 percent at $1,714.36 an ounce at 1034 GMT, bouncing off Wednesday's seven-week low of $1,698.39, while U.S. gold futures for December delivery were up $14.90 an ounce at $1,716.50.
LONDON-- UK police say officers have identified 300 potential victims of the late Jimmy Savile, the disgraced BBC entertainer now believed to be a predatory pedophile. The BBC has been rocked by allegations that Savile sexually abused underage teens over several decades, sometimes on BBC premises.
BERLIN-- German authorities ordered a recall Thursday of some batches of Novartis flu vaccine as a precautionary measure after the company reported the appearance of small particles in the manufacturing process. Italy's health ministry banned the sale of four Novartis flu drugs on Wednesday.
LONDON, Oct 25- Global shares and commodity markets rose on Thursday, pulled out of their recent slide by encouraging data from Britain and China and the U.S.
*Q3 sales fall 19 pct to $6.68 bln vs consensus $6.75 bln. *Core EPS $1.51 vs consensus $1.44; full-year outlook held. LONDON, Oct 25- AstraZeneca's sales slumped by a bigger-than-expected 19 percent in the third quarter, underscoring the challenges confronting the drugmaker's new chief executive, Pascal Soriot.
LONDON/ SHANGHAI, Oct 25- Copper edged up on Thursday, snapping four sessions of losses, supported by the U.S. Federal Reserve's renewed commitment to keep stimulating economic growth and by improving manufacturing data from top metals consumers China and the United States.
*Coming Up: U.S. Weekly jobless claims at 1230 GMT. LONDON, Oct 25- Brent crude oil rose above $108 per barrel on Thursday, consolidating after seven days of falls as better-than-expected data suggested the world economy was recovering, but analysts said the overall outlook for oil prices was bearish.
*Strong demand for cleaning, hair and skin products in China. LONDON, Oct 25- Unilever's quarterly sales growth beat forecasts as demand for cleaning and personal care products in China helped the consumer goods group outshine larger rival Nestle.
Royal Dutch Shell plc, Europe's largest oil company, is expanding its substantial presence in the North Sea with a $525 million purchase of stakes in oil fields there from Hess Corp.. The fields are operated by a separate company, Apache Corp.. Hess, which is based in New York, has sold off $2.4 billion worth of assets this year.
LONDON, Oct 25- Britain rebounded strongly from recession in the third quarter, posting its strongest quarterly GDP growth in five years, boosted at least in part by robust Olympics spending, official data showed on Thursday. But it was still much better than expected and may mean Britain's full 2012 economy will not be in the red.
NEW YORK-- Zynga Inc.' s battered stock got a boost in premarket trading Thursday after the social gaming company's third-quarter results may have given some investors hope that it will be able to revive growth. Zynga's shares rose 31 cents, or 15 percent, to $2.44 before the stock market opened.
LONDON-- Carmaker Ford announced Thursday it will cut 1,500 jobs in Britain, closing a plant and eliminating a stamping and tooling facility, as it warned that losses in Europe will exceed $1.5 billion this year. Ford Motor Co., which on Wednesday announced the closure of another plant in Brussels, is struggling in Europe, as are many major carmakers.