Hong Kong's Hang Seng advanced 0.9 percent to 21,182.77 and South Korea's Kospi rose 0.1 percent to 1,935.53. The Commerce Department reported that foreign demand declined for American-made cars and farm goods. One big unknown is Spain and whether the government of the recession-mired country will ask for a financial bailout.
*Turkey- Syria tensions, lower N.Sea output support. SINGAPORE, Oct 12- Brent crude held above $115 a barrel on Friday, trading near four-week highs and on course for its biggest weekly gain in two months, supported by tensions between Turkey and Syria, lower output at North Sea oilfields and upbeat U.S. data.
*Oil prices rose on Thursday to their highest levels in weeks as tensions between Syria and Turkey escalated, while maintenance on North Sea oilfields pushed the premium for Europe's Brent crude to another one-year high.
TOKYO, Oct 12- The stand-off between Japan's government and opposition parties is a concern as it has stalled important legislation needed to fund government spending, credit rating agency Moody's Investors Service said on Friday.
WASHINGTON, Oct 11- The "Shamoon" virus that attacked Saudi Arabia's state oil company, ARAMCO, was probably the most destructive attack the business s e ctor has seen to date, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Thursday.
WASHINGTON, Oct 11- The U.S. military could act pre-emptively if it detects an imminent threat of cyber attack, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Thursday, urging stronger action to bolster America's defenses against such plots. He said a presidential executive order was being considered "while we wait for Congress to act."
By John Whitesides and Andy Sullivan. Vice President Joe Biden and rival Republican Paul Ryan battled fiercely over foreign policy and the economy in a lively debate on Thursday, with Biden aggressively defending the administration's policies and dismissing Ryan's criticism.
SALMON, Idaho, Oct 11- Conservationists on Thursday asked a state judge to end trapping of wolverines in Montana at a time when fewer than 300 of the elusive animals roam the Northern Rockies and Northern Cascades.
*Minnesota woman sues pharmacy in federal court. WASHINGTON/ BOSTON, Oct 11- The pharmacy at the center of a deadly U.S. meningitis outbreak possibly linked to tainted steroid injections faced mounting federal and state scrutiny on Thursday, including a potential criminal investigation, as the national death toll climbed to 14..
*Europe wants more focus on U.S. fiscal woes* Germany: Europe is not the source of all problems* Mixed reviews on IMF call for slower budget cuts. TOKYO, Oct 12- Greece, Spain and the euro zone's slow progress toward debt reform took centre stage at IMF meetings on Friday despite Europe's best effort to remove itself from the spotlight.
Uwe Parpart, Managing Director and Head of Research at Reorient Financial Markets, says the U.S. economy is showing positive results despite uncertainty around the election and the fiscal cliff.
By John Whitesides and Andy Sullivan. DANVILLE, Ky., Oct 11- Vice President Joe Biden and rival Republican Paul Ryan clashed sharply over foreign policy in a high-stakes debate on Thursday, with Biden aggressively defending the Obama administration's policies and dismissing Ryan's criticism as "malarkey."
MINNEAPOLIS, Oct 11- A Minnesota woman who says she received injections of the steroid at the center of a deadly outbreak of fungal meningitis in the United States on Thursday sued the company that made the suspect medication.
Oct 11- California's refiners increased their stockpiles of gasoline by more than 5 percent last week, despite a drop in production that fuelled an unprecedented spike in prices, state data showed on Thursday.
Todd Hagerman, Managing Director, Equity Research, Sterne Agee & Leach expects U.S. banks to turn in respectable profits this earnings season but says brokerage stocks are vulnerable given their run-ups so far this year.
DANVILLE, Ky., Oct 11- Vice President Joe Biden and Republican challenger Paul Ryan argued over foreign policy at a high-stakes debate on Thursday, with Democrats counting on an aggressive performance from Biden to reclaim the momentum in the race for the White House.
The new system reflects a more inclusive approach to compiling the most popular singles in the United States. From Thursday, airplay data will be compiled from more than 1,200 radio stations across the United States under a formula that recognizes and rewards cross-over artists, such as country-pop singer Taylor Swift.
CANBERRA, Oct 12- Australian shares gained more than 0.2 percent on Friday morning, recovering from two sessions of losses, as a rebound in metal prices lifted index-heavy mining stocks. Global miner BHP Billiton Ltd gained 0.8 percent to A $33.50 and major rival Rio Tinto Ltd rose more than 1.6 percent to A $56.31.
Oct 12- Younger people with advanced lung cancer who quit smoking more than a year before their diagnosis survive longer than those who continued smoking, according to a U.S. study. However, quitters who were older or who had earlier stages of lung cancer did not have an advantage, said the researchers, whose findings appeared in the journal Cancer.
OAKLAND, Calif., Oct. 11- The city of Oakland has sued to block U.S. authorities from closing down a medical marijuana dispensary that bills itself as the world's largest, marking the latest clash with federal authorities over California's cannabis industry.