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Europe Top News and Analysis United Kingdom

  • By Chris Reese and Kirsten Donovan. NEW YORK/ LONDON, Oct 4- The amount of seasonally adjusted U.S. commercial paper contracted for a fifth consecutive week in the week ended Oct. 3, Federal Reserve data showed on Thursday. U.S. seasonally adjusted commercial paper outstanding fell $15 billion to $975.1 billion in the latest week.

  • By Claire Ruckin and Owen Sanderson. LONDON, Oct 4- Spain's Banco Santander is selling a loan portfolio of up to 2.5 billion euros to Bank of America Merrill Lynch, banking sources said on Thursday.

  • *Forties bid up to dated plus 60 cents. LONDON, Oct 4- North Sea Forties crude differentials rose for a fourth day on Thursday due to large-scale disruption to October loadings, but no offers emerged as the market waited for the November loading programme, expected on Friday.

  • *Commission cannot force states to apply recommendations. BRUSSELS, Oct 4- Regulators and operators should act now to improve safety at nuclear power plants, the EU energy commissioner said on Thursday, following inspections across the European Union.

  • By Estelle Shirbon LONDON, Oct 4- Kweku Adoboli, the ex-UBS. Bertrand told the court that as far as he was aware, the desk had made about $70 million in profits in the first half of the year, mostly from proprietary trading conducted by Adoboli and the other senior trader on the desk, John Hughes.

  • LONDON, Oct 4- Russian Urals crude strengthened on Thursday as traders cited scarce remaining barrels from the October programme and increased refining runs in Russia and Europe. "I think the market will tighten for November-December as refiners come back on stream in Russia, so you would see less barrels for exports," a trader with a major said.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 4- Marc Lasry's Avenue Capital Group hedge fund is downsizing and laying off roughly 6.5 percent of its staff, according to an employee memo reviewed by Reuters.

  • BUENOS AIRES, Argentina-- The flagship of Argentina's navy has been ordered held in Africa by a judge answering a complaint from a U.S. hedge fund. Courts in the United States and Britain have granted judgments worth $1.6 billion to the hedge fund, but it and other bondholders are still suing for billions more and Argentina has refused to pay.

  • LONDON, Oct 4- Spain's economy cannot recover while doubts remain over whether the currency bloc will remain intact, Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said on Thursday.

  • LONDON, Oct 4- Polyus Gold International Ltd:. *As at 30 September 2012 no. of conditions to completion of the transaction. *Update on sale of kazakhaltyn mmc jsc and norox mining company limited.

  • Barclays announced a shake up at its investment banking business aimed at streamlining the business in the face of a more challenging outlook for the industry. Wells Fargo's international group named Christopher Lewis as executive vice-president and head of global trade services.

  • *Barclays investment bank boss Ricci unveils management shake-up- memo. LONDON, Oct 4- Barclays announced a shake up at its investment bank on Thursday as the group tries to cut costs in a tough market and reduce risks to its reputation following the Libor scandal.

  • LONDON, Oct 4- Britain's FTSE 100 share index stalled near the top of its recent range on Thursday, supported by prospects of global central bank stimulus but struggling to break fresh ground ahead of a potentially gloomy earnings season.

  • LONDON, Oct 4- European shares closed fractionally lower on Thursday as a gloomy economic outlook dented sentiment, outweighing a boost to risk appetite from global monetary stimulus. became the latest victim of the European downturn on announcing it would have to cut costs and sell a business due to a decline in demand from southern Europe and Britain.

  • *Turkey strikes on Syria raise regional security fears. NEW YORK, Oct 4- Oil prices rose on Thursday as Turkey's retaliatory strikes on a Syria sparked additional concern about potential disruptions to Middle East oil supply, while U.S. gasoline futures rallied after a fire at a refinery in Texas.

  • By Claire Ruckin and Owen Sanderson. LONDON, Oct 4- Spain's Banco Santander has sold a 2.5 billion euro loan portfolio to Bank of America Merrill Lynch, banking sources said on Thursday, part of efforts by Spain's banks to plug a capital shortfall. Santander, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Bankia declined to comment.

  • The price of oil is rising the most in two months after tensions rose between Syria and Turkey. Oil rose to $91.63, a jump of $3.49, or 4 percent, in morning trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The increase came as Turkey's military fired on targets in Syria for the second day.

  • LONDON-- Unilever has announced that it will consider selling its Skippy peanut butter business in the US and Canada as part of a strategic review. The company says it is also considering other options for the brand.

  • LONDON-- The NBA is coming back to London with a regular-season game between the Detroit Pistons and New York Knicks in January. The NBA says the Pistons and Knicks will play on Jan. 17 at the O2 Arena, the site of this year's Olympic gold-medal game.

  • Oct 4- Oil rig maker Lamprell said its chief executive Nigel McCue had stepped down along with two other senior managers, a day after its new chairman said he wanted to make changes at the top in the light of the company's fourth profit warning in a row.