Fri, Dec 13, 2013 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

TRADE

Russia tables US trade deal

Russia on Wednesday proposed a series of bilateral trade negotiations with the US under the umbrella of a hoped-for new trade agenda between the two countries, a senior Russian official said. He said that the idea of establishing a framework for talks that could lead to up to five separate deals — beginning with a pact on investment — was floated during a meeting between Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov and US Trade Representative Michael Froman on Wednesday.

CENTRAL BANKING

South Korea, NZ hold rates

The Bank of Korea yesterday kept its key interest rate unchanged at 2.5 percent for the seventh straight month as the South Korean economy shows signs of a moderate recovery, while inflation remains tame. Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand left the official cash rate unchanged at a record low of 2.5 percent, but signaled that it would rise “as needed” to keep inflation in check, citing the high New Zealand dollar, a robust housing market and strong demand for the country’s agricultural commodities.

AUSTRALIA

Joblessness on the rise

The unemployment rate climbed to 5.8 percent last month as the nation’s mining-fueled boom fades, but analysts said it was unlikely to spark an interest rate cut. The outcome was 0.1 percentage points higher than in October and in line with expectations, with the number of unemployed increasing by 3,400. The labor participation rate was steady at 64.8 percent, its lowest level since October 2006.

STOCKS

Facebook to join S&P 500

Facebook is to join the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index, replacing technology supplier Teradyne Inc, while Abercrombie & Fitch is downgraded from the benchmark index. S&P Dow Jones Indices on Wednesday announced a broader reshuffling of several of its market trackers, effective after the close of trading on Friday next week. Shares of Menlo Park, California-based Facebook Inc have surged 86 percent this year. The company is also joining the S&P 100 index.

AIRLINES

Air Canada orders Boeings

Air Canada announced on Wednesday it had placed a firm US$6.5 billion order for 61 Boeing Co’s 737 MAX narrow-body aircraft, with options on 18 more planes and purchase rights for 30 others. The order — which comes as the airline seeks to replace its aging Airbus A320 and A321 fleet — concerns 33 of the MAX 8 version of the 737 and 28 of the MAX 9 aircraft, with substitution rights between them, as well as for 737 MAX 7 aircraft. Deliveries for the Boeing order are due to begin with two aircraft in 2017, with 16 the following year, 18 in 2019, 16 in 2020 and nine in 2021.

INTERNET

Yahoo Mail still down

An outage at Yahoo Mail stretched into its second day on Wednesday, prompting the US Internet pioneer to apologize to unhappy users. Yahoo would not disclose the number of e-mail accounts knocked out of service since late on Monday night California time. Jeffrey Bonforte, Yahoo’s senior vice president of communication products, said in a short message posted on microblogging site Tumblr that the outage was caused by a “hardware problem” at one of the company’s data centers.

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