Auto Industry, Energy, Transportation: Factors To Watch on October 18 image

Here are news stories, press reports and events to watch which may affect the auto industry, transportation and energy markets on Thursday.

Brent futures held above $113 on Thursday, buoyed by hopes for steady growth in demand after China, the world’s second-biggest oil consumer, posted growth that met expectations, and simmering tension in the Middle East provided additional support.

Czech Republic
SPP SALE DELAYED: The Slovak government will hold up a plan by German and French companies to sell a minority stake in the country’s gas transport firm SPP, to make it give up its demand to increase prices next year.

German tyre trader Delticom blamed an overall sluggish winter tyre market for weak sales and profitability in the third quarter, warning late on Wednesday it would not reach its last year’s revenue level and cutting its EBIT target to 7 percent from 8 percent.
Air Berlin, the German airline partly owned by Gulf carrier Etihad, is launching another cost-cutting programme as it struggles to return to profit.

Fiat SpA intends to maintain operations at its Italian plants, CEO Sergio Marchionne told union representatives on Tuesday, easing concern that erupted over the issue in September.

PTT Exploration and Production
The energy firm expected its 2012 sales volume to rise 4 percent, lower than previous forecast, due to a delay in start-up of the Montara field in Australia to early 2013.

BP : Russian state oil company Rosneft was closing in on control of privately-held TNK-BP on Wednesday, sending its powerful boss to London for talks with 50 percent shareholder BP after the tycoons who own the other half agreed to sell.

African Markets