Thailand bans bitcoin
Bitcoin, the cybercurrency trying to go mainstream, says it has suspended trading in Thailand after officials declared it illegal. Bitcoin Co Ltd, which had applied for a money exchange license, says on its Web site that the central bank informed it on Monday that it is illegal to trade bitcoins, move them in or out of the country, or use them to buy or sell goods or services. Atlanta-based BitPay handles bitcoin transactions for more than 4,500 companies, taking payments in bitcoins and forwarding the cash equivalent to the vendor involved.
Economy shrinks 0.1%
The economy shrank 0.1 percent in the second quarter of this year, the National Statistics Institute said yesterday, as a job-killing recession continued. GDP had contracted by 0.5 percent in the previous quarter and has been shrinking since mid-2011, pushing the unemployment rate above 26 percent. On an annual basis the eurozone’s fourth-biggest economy contracted by 1.7 percent following a 2 percent decline in the first three months of the year, the institute said in a preliminary report.
S Korean output rebounds
South Korea’s industrial output rebounded last month thanks to improved manufacturing activity, Statistics Korea showed yesterday. Production in the mining, manufacturing, gas and electricity industries rose a seasonally adjusted 0.4 percent from May when it had fallen 0.1 percent, the state-run agency said. Increasing shipments of oil refinery and machinery products helped offset the impact of shrinking sales of memory chips and mobile devices, it added. On-year, the output last month was down 2.6 percent, mainly due to falling shipments of cars and mobile devices.