Judge urges firms to settle
A US federal judge appeared ready to trim millions from a US$1.05 billion jury verdict Apple Inc won over Samsung Electronics this summer as she urged the two smartphone companies to settle their myriad legal actions around the world. US District Judge Lucy Koh said on Thursday she would issue a series of rulings over the next several weeks resolving the many legal issues raised at the hearing on Thursday. Samsung is seeking a new trial or a reduction of the verdict that resulted from a lawsuit Apple filed last year. Apple, on the other hand, urged the judge to add millions more to the award and permanently ban the US sales of eight Samsung smartphone models.
US to probe silica trade
Washington on Thursday announced a new trade probe aimed at China, investigating alleged dumping of silica bricks into the US market by Chinese producers. Responding to a complaint by Utah Refractories Corp, the US Department of Commerce said that it would investigate whether Chinese producers were selling the bricks into the US market at less than fair value. Imports of Chinese-made silica bricks, refractory materials used for lining high-temperature furnaces, jumped from US$19.7 million in 2009 to US$43.2 million last year, the department said.
Unemployment rate rises
The unemployment rate rose to a new record of 26 percent in September, underscoring the economic plight in the country as it heads toward a sixth year of recession. The Greek Statistical Authority said on Thursday that 1.295 million people — more than a fourth of the workforce in this nation of 10 million — were recorded as unemployed in September. Unemployment rose from 25.3 percent the previous month and 18.9 percent a year earlier.
Trade deficit decreases
The trade deficit shrank by 6.2 percent in October from September to 4.69 billion euros (US$6.1 billion) because of increases in exports of chemicals, refined oil products and grains, the customs service said yesterday. In the 12 months to September the trade deficit came in at 66.7 billion euros. Last year the trade deficit totalled 73.7 billion euros. Exports rose by 0.6 percent over the month to hit 37.8 billion euros in October according to seasonally adjusted data.
Export shipments drop
Shipments by export-dependent Malaysia slipped in October as demand from the increasingly important Chinese market dropped sharply, the government said yesterday. Total exports contracted 3.2 percent year-on-year as the lower shipments to China removed a buffer that has helped shield trade from the impact of the eurozone troubles. October exports were valued at 61.29 billion ringgit (US$20.08 billion), down from 63.35 billion ringgit in October last year, the trade ministry said.
Holiday group posts profit
French holiday group Club Mediterranee yesterday posted a stable net profit of 2 million euros (US$2.6 million) for its reporting year this year, despite a slowdown in its main market in Europe as it continued to target developing markets. The travel and leisure specialist, which returned to profitability last year, said that given the uncertain outlook for the European economy it would not pay a dividend.