Europe Top News and Analysis United Kingdom

  • SINGAPORE, Oct 25- Brent futures rose above $108 on Thursday as positive economic data out of the world's top oil consumer, the United States, revived hopes of a recovery in demand growth, although a worsening outlook for Europe capped gains.

  • LONDON-- WPP PLC, the world's largest advertising group, has lowered its full-year outlook after not doing as well as expected from the Olympics, the U.S. presidential campaign and the European soccer championships.

  • LONDON-- Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has reported a 56 percent drop in net income in the third quarter as it suffered from the loss of exclusivity on a big-selling drug. For the three months ending Sept. 30, AstraZeneca said Thursday that net profit fell to $1.5 billion compared to $3.5 billion a year earlier.

  • Benchmark crude for December delivery was up 24 cents to $85.97 per barrel at midday Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract dropped 94 cents, or about 1 percent, to finish at $85.73 per barrel.

  • The Labor Department says that weekly applications for U.S. unemployment benefits fell last week to 369,000. That's consistent with modest hiring. The National Association of Realtors said its index of home sale agreements rose slightly in September. The dollar rose to 80.29 Japanese yen from 79.78 yen and to 0.9343 Swiss franc from 0.9325 Swiss franc.

  • No one is certain yet that remains dug up last month at a Leicester parking lot are those of the monarch immortalized by William Shakespeare for his willingness to trade his kingdom for a horse. Archaeologists found the bones beneath the site of the Grey Friars church in Leicester, central England.

  • German industrial conglomerate BASF, consumer products company Unilever and Swiss bank Credit Suisse all enjoyed strong share price gains after their reports. Procter& Gamble, for example, led the Dow Jones industrial average higher after the giant consumer products company reported earnings that beat analysts' expectations.

  • LONDON-- British publishing and education company Pearson PLC says it is in talks with German media group Bertelsmann SE over merging the firms' Penguin and Random House publishing operations. Pearson is publisher of the Financial Times and Penguin Group books.

  • LONDON-- The Northern Ireland city of Londonderry has announced a program of arts events ranging from punk to painting to celebrate its role as the U.K.' s "city of culture" for 2013..

  • LONDON-- A London landmark that is a ceremonial passageway from Trafalgar Square toward Buckingham Palace will be converted from office space into a luxury hotel, Britain's government said Thursday. The Admiralty Arch was leased for 99 years to development company Prime Investors Capital, which plans to turn it into a five-star, 100- bedroom hotel.

  • NEW ORLEANS-- BP PLC said Thursday it has capped and plugged an abandoned piece of equipment that is believed to be the source of a sheen spotted near the site of its massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. BP and the Coast Guard both say no oil has been seen leaking out of the container since it was capped and plugged.

  • Benchmark oil gained 13 cents to $85.86 a barrel at midday in New York after rising as high as $86.75 in the morning. Brent crude added 45 cents to $108.30 a barrel in London. Pump prices fell another 2 cents overnight to a national average of $3.60 a gallon.

  • LONDON-- British police say 300 potential victims of a disgraced BBC entertainer, the late Jimmy Savile, have come forward so far since details emerged earlier this month that he was among the country's most prolific sex offenders.

  • SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 24- Zynga Inc raised the lower end of its 2012 earnings outlook after quarterly revenue beat Wall Street's rock-bottom expectations, driving its shares 13 percent higher.

  • LONDON, Oct 25- Former UBS trader Kweku Adoboli will start telling his side of the story in court on Thursday, seeking to convince a jury that he did not act dishonestly when he made the trades that cost the Swiss bank $2.3 billion.

  • SYDNEY, Oct 25- The dollar drifted off a two-week peak against a basket of major currencies on Thursday after the Federal Reserve stuck to its stimulus progamme, while a less-dovish-than-expected New Zealand central bank gave the kiwi dollar a boost. As a result, the euro climb off a near two-week low of $1.2921 to $1.2970.

  • BEIRUT/ CAIRO- Syria said on Wednesday its military command was still studying a proposal for a holiday ceasefire with rebels- contradicting international mediator Lakhdar Brahimi's announcement that Damascus had agreed to a truce.

  • LONDON, Oct 24- Incoming New York Times chief Mark Thompson told Reuters on Wednesday that his U.S. employer had given him full support since a sexual abuse scandal erupted at Britain's BBC where he had been in charge until last month.

  • *Net revenue down 6 pct to $409 mln vs Street's $411.9 mln. Oct 24- Nasdaq OMX Group Inc's profit fell nearly 20 percent in the third quarter due to a steep drop in trading volumes of U.S. and European equities, the exchange operator said on Wednesday.

  • Investing in London Property

    Piers Clanford, Managing Director at Berkeley Homes (Capital) talks about investing in the U.K. property market. He says half of the buyers in London's property market are from outside of the U.K., and that interest from Asia is on the rise.