Jobless total hits 2.96m
Unemployment rose more than four times as much as economists estimated this months as the euro area sovereign debt crisis and a long winter took their toll on Europe’s largest economy. The number of people out of work climbed a seasonally adjusted 21,000 to 2.96 million, the Nuremberg-based Federal Labor Agency said yesterday. That is the fourth straight monthly gain. The adjusted jobless rate held at 6.9 percent, just above a two- decade low of 6.8 percent.
Russia, Japan sign deal
Japan and Russia yesterday signed a deal that will see them jointly explore and develop a potentially lucrative oil and gas field off the Russian coast. Japanese firm Inpex Corp and Russia’s Rosneft state oil giant agreed to work together on the reserve, estimated to hold around 3.4 billion barrels of oil, according to the Yomiuri Shimbun, off the Russian state of Magadan. That reserve equates to around three years’ worth of oil imports for resource-strapped Japan.
EU pushes Google on search
The EU’s antitrust chief said on Tuesday that Google Inc will have to offer more changes to the way it displays search results to settle a pending case. The period to examine Google’s proposals has been extended by one month and his office will ask Google with “almost 100 percent” certainty next month to do yet more, EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia told the European Parliament. Google’s search engine enjoys a near-monopoly in Europe with a market share of above 90 percent. The EU commission, the 27-nation bloc’s antitrust authority, has been investigating since 2010 whether Google is abusing its dominant market position.
DBS offers yuan bonds
DBS Group Holdings Ltd is marketing yuan-denominated bonds in Singapore after HSBC Holdings PLC and Standard Chartered PLC sold the city-state’s first offshore notes in the Chinese currency earlier this week. DBS is considering offering three-year securities to yield about 2.70 percent, a person familiar with the matter said yesterday. HSBC sold 500 million yuan (US$82 million) of two-year debt at 2.25 percent, while Standard Chartered priced 1 billion yuan of three-year notes at 2.625 percent on May 27.
Wal-Mart fined US$81.6m
Wal-Mart Stores Inc will pay US$81.6 million after pleading guilty to criminal charges of improperly disposing of fertilizer, pesticides and other hazardous products that were pulled from stores in two states because of damaged packaging and other problems. The world’s largest retailer entered the plea in federal court in California to misdemeanor counts of violating the Clean Water Act and another environmental law regulating pesticides. In Missouri, the company pleaded guilty to improperly handling pesticides.
Moody’s upbeat on banking
Moody’s Investors Services has raised its outlook for the US banking industry for the first time in five years, citing the improving economy and banks’ stronger balance sheets. The rating agency said in a report issued on Tuesday that sustained economic growth and a better jobs picture will help banks over the next 12 to 18 months. Moody’s raised its outlook for the industry to “stable” from “negative.” It had been “negative” since 2008, the year the financial crisis struck.