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Top News & Analysis United States

  • WASHINGTON-- A report is showing that more Americans are keeping up with their credit-card payments. The American Bankers Association says the percentage of bank-issued credit cards that were 30 days or more overdue fell to an 11- year low in the second quarter. That came as consumers keep a tighter grip on their finances amid economic uncertainty.

  • HONG KONG, Oct 4- Gambling revenue in Macau rose a weaker-than-expected 12.3 percent in September, indicating China's slowing economy is increasingly hurting the appetite of wealthy mainland gamblers to place bets in the world's largest casino market.

  • LONDON, Oct 4- European shares rose on Thursday as better economic data from the United States eased fears over global growth, while the euro strengthened ahead of an European Central Bank policy meeting later where is expected to keep rates unchanged.

  • *To finance acquisition through cash, loans* Mitsubishi UFJ Lease shares climb 3.0 percent* Japan firms are expanding aircraft lease operations TOKYO, Oct 4- Mitsubishi UFJ Lease& Finance Co.

  • Oct 4- U.S. retailer Costco Wholesale Corp. Net sales at Issaquah, Washington- based Costco rose 8 percent to $9.31 billion in the five weeks ended Sept. 30. Excluding the impact of gasoline prices and foreign exchange, comparable September same-store sales were up 5 percent, Costco said.

  • At the same time, Hawaii cattle ranchers ship 40,000 live cattle each year to California, Kansas and other states, while just 4,000 are slaughtered for meat sales in Hawaii.

  • SYDNEY, Oct 4- Australian shares extended their gains by 0.3 percent on Thursday, hitting a 14- month high after banks offset losses in mining, as investors eyed further interest rate cuts in the wake of soft retail sales data. Top banks continued this week's post rate-cut gains, led by Westpac Banking Corp.

  • *Morgan Stanley is in talks to sell a majority stake in its commodities business to the Qatar Investment Authority. *Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings is putting pressure on Standard Chartered to appoint more independent directors.

  • *Jittery investors await U.S. job data, watch Europe. *Social unrest in Iran, Turkey- Syria clashes in focus. SINGAPORE, Oct 4- Brent futures edged up towards $109 per barrel on Thursday as a steep drop in the previous session brought in bargain hunters, while investors awaited further cues from a European Central Bank policy meeting and critical U.S. jobs data.

  • -U.S. multinational investment in Ireland last year was the second highest on record at $30.5 billion, according to a report commissioned by the American Chamber of Commerce. -Allied Irish Banks is ready to sell a 650 million euro Irish property loan portfolio to U.S. private equity bidder Lone Star at a discount of around 60 percent.

  • agreed to buy U.S. aircraft leasing firm Jackson Square Aviation from Oaktree Capital Group LLC for about $1.3 billion yen, signaling rising interest from Japanese companies to tap the growth potential of aviation finance industry. Japan's No. 3 lender Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group.

  • *Britain's FTSE 100 is set to open 12 to 17 points higher, or as much as 0.3 percent, according to financial bookmakers. FTSE index closed up 0.3 percent, or 16.36 points higher, at 5,825.81 points on Wednesday driven by gains in "defensive" stocks seen as the most resilient to an economic downturn.

  • SYDNEY, Oct 4- Australian shares extended their gains by 0.3 percent on Thursday, hitting a 14- month high after banks offset losses in mining. Top banks continued this week's post rate-cut gains, led by Westpac Banking Corp.

  • *Hyundai global sales reach 371,743 vehicles* Hyundai ramps up output after strike ends* Production rises in U.S., China help ease tight supply SEOUL, Oct 4- South Korea's Hyundai Motor Co.

  • BERLIN, Oct 4- EADS Chief Executive Tom Enders is prepared to talk about guarantees for jobs and production sites in a planned merger of the company with Britain's BAE Systems, he told Germany's Bild daily on Thursday.

  • LONDON Oct 4-* Britain's FTSE 100 is set to open 12 to 17 points higher, or as much as 0.3 percent, according to financial bookmakers. FTSE index closed up 0.3 percent, or 16.36 points higher, at 5,825.81 points on Wednesday driven by gains in "defensive" stocks seen as the most resilient to an economic downturn.

  • **DENTSU INC FALLS, SMBC NIKKO CUTS RATING**. Dentsu fell 2.4 percent to 1,858 yen, marking its seventh straight losing session and striking a three-year low, after SMBC Nikko Securities downgraded Japan's biggest advertising company to' underperform' from' neutral', lowered its target price and cut earning forecasts.

  • LONDON, Oct 4- European shares were set to rise on Thursday, mirroring gains in the United States and Asia, with investors positioning for more soothing data and some clarity on Spain's likely aid request during a European Central Bank press conference after its rate verdict.

  • Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will likely meet on Oct. 11 on the sidelines of International Monetary Fund meetings in Tokyo, a source familiar with the matter said.

  • MELBOURNE, Oct 4- Australia's Billabong International Ltd lost almost a quarter of its market value after a report said the last remaining bidder, private equity firm TPG Capital Management LP, might follow former suitors and ditch its takeover offer for the surfwear retailer.