Unemployment rate dips
The unemployment rate dipped slightly last month to a seasonally adjusted 3.1 percent, led by job creation in the service sector, government data showed yesterday. Last month’s figure compared with 3.2 percent in July. The number of employed people stood at 25.29 million last month, up 432,000 from a year earlier — the largest on-year increase for 11 months, Statistics Korea said. The health and social welfare service sector created 175,000 new jobs last month compared with a year earlier, leading the overall job generation.
Tougher penalties passed
EU lawmakers on Tuesday backed tougher penalties and fines for insider trading and other financial market abuses, aiming to bring rogue bankers to account and restore public trust. The European Parliament voted by a large majority to impose fines of up to 15 percent of a financial entity’s annual turnover or 15 million euros (US$20 million). Individuals will face fines of up to 5 million euros and could in the most serious cases be banned for life from working in certain jobs in the financial services industry, parliament said in a statement. The new rules cover a wider range of trading venues and investment instruments such as commodity derivatives than before and “should ensure a high level of investor protection in the EU,” it said.
Mexican tax plan criticized
Coca-Cola and other soda makers in Mexico on Tuesday criticized government plans to impose a tax on sugary drinks to curb the nation’s high rates of obesity and diabetes. Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has proposed consumers pay an extra peso (almost US$0.08) for every liter of sweetened drinks, citing figures showing that the country competes with the US for the dubious title of world’s fattest nation. However, Coca-Cola de Mexico said in a statement that “a tax on beverages is ineffective to combat a problem as complex as obesity.”
TI gives Q3 forecast
Texas Instruments Inc (TI), the largest analog-chip maker, gave third-quarter sales and profit forecasts that were in line with estimates as demand for automotive and industrial parts helps counter a personal-computer slump. Revenue will be US$3.15 billion to US$3.29 billion, the company said on Tuesday. Earnings will be US$0.51 to US$0.55 a share, compared with estimates for US$0.53. In July, the company predicted sales of US$3.09 billion to US$3.35 billion. “We had expected that the first-half growth we had seen in the industrial and automotive markets would continue into the third quarter, and in fact it has,” Ron Slaymaker, vice president of investor relations, said in a conference call.
Dow Jones drops stocks
The Dow Jones industrial average is dropping Bank of America, Hewlett-Packard and Alcoa, its three-lowest priced stocks, as part of a six-company shakeup of the most widely known barometer of the US stock market. S&P Dow Jones Indices said on Tuesday it will add Visa Inc, sneaker maker Nike Inc and the investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc in the first three-for-three company change to the index since April 8, 2004. The changes will take effect at the start of trading on Sept. 23. S&P Dow Jones Indices manages the average and said the changes will not disrupt the level of the 30-company index.