LONDON, Oct 25- International oil company BP, weakened and distracted by its troubles in the United States and Russia, is in danger of losing touch with the leaders in an industry where strength and focus yield the richest pickings. ``I can't help thinking they've sort of lost their way.'' Everywhere you look, they're falling behind, `` said a senior executive of one rival this week.
*Iran to seek more coking coal as steel imports banned. Despite the setbacks, industry sources say producers in Ukraine are providing Iran with coking coal, also known as metallurgical coal, and coke- key steel ingredients.
The U.S. economy is on the mend and has been getting better, but JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon said chief executives he has spoken to have told him they are already making decisions to protect their companies from a looming "fiscal cliff."
MILAN-- An Italian court is set to deliver verdicts Friday against former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and 10 others in a six-year-old tax fraud trial. Prosecutors have demanded a sentence of 3 years and eight months for Berlusconi and three years and four months for the chairman of his Mediaset conglomerate, Fedele Confalonieri.
SINGAPORE, Oct 26- Brent futures fell more than $1 to slip below $108 a barrel on Friday as investors waited for key U.S. economic data to gauge the demand growth outlook for oil with rising supplies weighing on prices. Brent crude had slipped $1.02 a barrel to $107.47 by 0527 GMT. U.S. oil slipped 90 cents to $85.15, after ending up 32 cents.
*Storm causes deaths in Cuba, Haiti and Jamaica. NASSAU, Oct 26- Hurricane Sandy pounded the Bahamas with battering winds and rain on Friday, sweeping over the island chain after killing 21 people across the Caribbean and posing a menacing threat to the U.S. East Coast.
VEVEY, Switzerland, Oct 26- It looks like mission control: in a Swiss market town, an array of screens in Nestle's headquarters tracks online sentiment. Other companies, such as PepsiCo, Danone and Unilever, have exploited the opportunities to promote themselves online.
*MSCI Asia ex- Japan tumbles, Nikkei eases in choppy trade. Financial spreadbetters expect London's FTSE 100, Paris's CAC-40 and Frankfurt's DAX to open down as much as 1.2 percent. The MSCI index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan tumbled 1.2 percent, and was set for a weekly drop of about 1.5 percent, which would be its largest weekly decline in two months.
Benchmark oil for December delivery was down 78 cents to $85.26 a barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 32 cents to finish at $86.05 a barrel in New York on Thursday, the only day this week that oil prices have risen. Brent crude fell 79 cents to $107.70 a barrel in London.
Sara Jordan, Assistant Professor, University of Hong Kong and David Smith, Lecturer, University of Sydney discuss the presidential candidates' positions as they approach the November elections. Smith says that Obama is the current favorite while Jordan she says that polls are irrelevant indicators at this point of the campaign. They explain why.
*Ottawa wanted to review China, Malaysia deals together. OTTAWA/ CALGARY, Oct 26- Malaysian state-owned oil company Petronas was so confident last Friday that its purchase of Progress Energy Resources Corp would be approved by Canada that company officials had drafted a press release to announce the news.
*Agrium believes Jana campaign is effectively over. Shareholders are taking notice as both Agrium and Jana work the phones and hold meetings to make their respective cases, according to investors and sources close to Jana and the company. Agrium's shares closed at $105.88 apiece on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.
*Apple to launch iPhone 5 in China in December. SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 25- Apple Inc delivered a second straight quarter of disappointing results and iPad sales fell well short of Wall Street's targets, marring its record of consistently blowing past investors' expectations.
BANGKOK-- World stock markets fell Friday ahead of the U.S. government's estimate of economic growth in the latest quarter, which is expected to show improvement but not enough to jolt the global economy out of its doldrums. Europe's debt crisis has added to headwinds while emerging powerhouses such as China have also slowed.
The stronger pace of expansion, however, is still expected to fall short of what is needed to make much of a dent in unemployment, and will offer little cheer for the White House ahead of the closely contested Nov. 6 presidential election.
DETROIT-- The Detroit Tigers are in the World Series for the second time since 2006. But much of the city seems seasons away from its own grand slam. Whole Foods is building a store north of where the Tigers play, and wealthy optimists are snapping up vacant downtown office buildings and filling them with workers.
"After last year's small crop, we saw peanut butter prices on average rise 30 percent or more," said Patrick Archer, president of the American Peanut Council. " A 10 percent decrease on a $3 jar of peanut butter, for example, would translate to a savings of 30 cents.
*Shares down 2 pct in Seoul. SEOUL, Oct 26- South Korean technology powerhouse Samsung Electronics Co posted a fourth straight record quarterly profit- of $7.4 billion- with strong sales of its Galaxy range of phones masking sharply lower sales of memory chips.
BEIJING, Oct 26- China's largely rubber stamp parliament has expelled disgraced former senior politician Bo Xilai, state news agency Xinhua said on Friday, paving the way for formal criminal charges to be laid against him.
*Apple full-year revenue jumps 45 pct to $156.5 bln. SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 25- Apple Inc delivered a second straight quarter of disappointing results and iPad sales fell well short of Wall Street's targets, marring its record of consistently blowing past investors' expectations.