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Wires

  • NEW YORK, Oct 5- U.S. stocks rose at the open on Friday with the S&P 500 set to hit its highest since 2007, as the September payrolls report showed a surprise drop in the jobless rate and gave legs to this week's rally. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 56.93 points, or 0.42 percent, to 13,632.29.

  • LONDON, Oct 5- CNP Assurances mandated six banks on Friday morning for a dollar Reg S subordinated bond despite news that French insurance company Groupama will skip a coupon payment on a Tier 1 bond on October 22.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 5- U.S. natural gas futures traded mixed early on Friday, with front-month contracts pressured by the previous day's bearish inventory report and milder mid-month weather forecasts despite cool temperatures over the next week that should stir demand.

  • Oct 05- Fitch Ratings has affirmed Slovakia- based Slovenska Sporitelna's Long-term Issuer Default Rating at' A' with a Stable Outlook and its Viability Rating at' bbb'. SLSP's Long-term IDR is equalised with that of its 100% ultimate shareholder, Erste Group Bank AG, reflecting Fitch's view that the parent would be extremely likely to provide support to SLSP.

  • LONDON, Oct 5- Design and engineering firm WS Atkins could be next in the firing line for its part in a flawed $9 billion dollar rail deal torn up by Britain's government this week, sending its shares down 4 percent.

  • *Investors are hoping the government will continue its fiscal and economic reforms, with expectations for some minor market-friendly measures when Finance Minister P. Chidambaram meets market regulator SEBI and the Reserve Bank of India in Mumbai on Saturday.

  • JOHANNESBURG, Oct 5- Shares in Anglo American Platinum rose more than 3 percent on Friday after the company said it had dismissed around 12,000 illegally striking workers at its Rustenburg operations in South Africa.

  • MOSCOW, Oct 5- Russian Railways is likely to finance the 800 million euro purchase of a stake in logistics firm Gefco through a loan from Russian bank VTB, two industry sources told Reuters on Friday.

  • *Moody's downgrades Tata Power to B1 from Ba3; outlook stable.

  • U.S. stocks were poised to rise at the open, with the S&P 500 set to hit its highest since 2007, as a surprise drop in the jobless rate gives legs to this week's rally. S&P 500 futures rose 6.2 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract.

  • JOHANNESBURG, Oct 5- World no. 1 platinum producer Anglo American Platinum said on Friday it had fired 12,000 workers taking part in a three-week illegal strike, following through on tough talk against the wildcat stoppages in South Africa's mines.

  • PARIS, Oct 5- French nuclear company Areva. "Areva will file an objection against this decision according to the rules stipulated in the tender conditions," a spokeswoman for the company said, adding the French state-owned company believed its bid was the most competitive one.

  • Oct 5- SilverCrest Mines Inc:. *Announces increase in bought deal to $30 million. *Offering 11.8 million common shares of the company at a price of $2.55 per.

  • *Turkey- Syria violence stokes supply concern. LONDON, Oct 5- Oil held above $112 per barrel on Friday after figures showed fewer people out of work in the United States, the world's biggest oil consumer.

  • Oct 5- Southwest Airlines Co said on Friday traffic fell 2.1 percent in September, as fewer passengers boarded its planes. The Dallas- based discount carrier said traffic, measured by revenue passenger miles, fell to 7.76 billion in the month from 7.93 billion a year earlier. In the third quarter, unit revenue likely increased about 1 percent, Southwest added.

  • By Jan Lopatka and Martin Santa. BRATISLAVA, Oct 5- Poor European Union states must fight hard to prevent richer members from cutting development aid for the rest of this decade or growth across the entire bloc could be undermined, the head of the EU executive said on Friday.

  • WASHINGTON-- America's top military officer is opposing the demotion of a four-star general who is accused of spending tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars on lavish travel and other expenses in a case that has been sitting on Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's desk for weeks, U.S. officials said Thursday.

  • HOUSTON-- Actress Daryl Hannah of "Splash" fame was arrested in northeast Texas on Thursday, along with a 78- year-old landowner as the pair protested an oil pipeline designed to bring crude from Canada to the Gulf Coast.

  • CHICAGO-- A federal judge sentenced former Illinois powerbroker William Cellini to a year in prison Thursday for conspiring to shake down a movie producer, capping off the last trial to stem from the investigation of former Gov.