S Korea jobless rate rises
South Korea’s unemployment rate inched up last month, with fewer jobs being created in the manufacturing sector, government data showed yesterday. The seasonally adjusted jobless rate stood at 3.2 percent, up from 3.1 percent in April, according to Statistics Korea. It was the first month-on-month increase since February. The statistics agency said the number of social-welfare jobs increased, while job gains in the manufacturing sector slowed down.
Indian output weak at 2%
India’s industrial output growth slid to a lower-than-expected 2 percent in April, data showed yesterday, suggesting that recovery remains sluggish. The year-on-year growth figures from factories, mines and utilities undershot market forecasts of about 2.5 percent. Manufacturing, which accounts for three-quarters of the industrial production index, grew 2.8 percent in April compared with a year earlier.
German inflation picks up
Inflation in Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, picked up last month from the two-and-a-half-year low it had reached the previous month, data from the federal statistics office Destatis showed yesterday. The cost of living in Germany increased 1.5 percent year-on-year last month, up from 1.2 percent in April, data showed. On a monthly basis, the consumer price index rose 0.4 percent from April.
Volkswagen expands recall
Automobile maker Volkswagen AG (VW) will recall nearly 26,000 cars in Australia in response to potential gearbox problems, the company said yesterday, following recalls in China, Singapore and Japan. Volkswagen Australia would recall Golf, Jetta, Polo, Passat and Caddy models manufactured between June 2008 and September 2011, the company said in a statement. The recall would affect 25,928 vehicles fitted with the seven-speed DQ200 direct-shift gearbox after car owners complained of transmission and engine failures causing loss of power. Subsidiary Audi followed suit and recalled more than 6,000 hatchbacks in Australia due to the same gearbox concerns.
Chicago exchange fined
The largest US options exchange has agreed to pay a US$6 million penalty to settle federal charges that it failed in its duty to enforce trading rules. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said on Tuesday that the penalty being paid by the Chicago Board Options Exchange was the first imposed against an exchange for failures of regulatory oversight. The Chicago exchange failed, among other things, to prevent abusive short-selling by a member firm between 2008 and last year, the SEC said.
Petronas invests in Canada
Malaysian national oil company Petronas has announced a multibillion-dollar plan to extract, liquefy and export natural gas in western Canada to energy-hungry markets in Asia. Petronas will invest between US$9 billion and US$11 billion to construct two liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants, vice president of corporate planning Arif Mahmood said. Target date for completion is late 2018. The site will be designed with the potential to add a third plant and LNG storage tank, Petronas said on its Web site. Another US$5 billion will be invested in a 750km pipeline, to be built and operated by TransCanada Corp, to supply gas to the plants, Arif said.