Sun, Jun 05, 2016 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

UNITED STATES

Deficit less than predicted

The trade deficit in April increased less than expected, as exports of goods rebounded strongly, suggesting that trade would be a boost to economic growth in the second quarter. The Department of Commerce on Friday said the trade gap rose 5.3 percent to US$37.4 billion. March’s trade deficit was revised down to US$35.5 billion, which was the smallest since December 2013, from the previously reported US$40.4 billion. Overall exports of goods and services rose 1.5 percent to US$182.8 billion in April, while imports of goods rose 2.4 percent to US$178.9 billion in April, pointing to a pickup in domestic demand.

CANADA

Merchandise gap narrows

The nation’s merchandise trade deficit narrowed to C$2.94 billion (US$2.27 billion) in April from March’s record shortfall, Statistics Canada said on Friday. The deficit was wider than the C$2.5 billion forecast of economists in a Bloomberg survey. Export volumes — a measure that strips out the effect of fluctuating prices — rose 0.5 percent on the month, less than the 0.8 percent increase in imports, indicating net trade will be a drag on growth, economists said. Shipments in and out of Canada increased after declining for two straight months. Exports climbed 1.5 percent to C$41.8 billion, not enough to undo the slide from January’s C$46.1 billion. Imports rose 0.9 percent to C$44.7 billion.

OIL

BP to settle Gulf lawsuit

BP PLC on Friday announced that it has agreed to pay US$175 million to settle a class-action lawsuit filed by investors who accused the oil giant of misleading them about the rate of oil flowing after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. In a brief statement, BP said it would pay the investors over this year and next year. US District Judge Keith Ellison still needs to approve the deal. BP said the agreement does not resolve other securities-related litigation relating to the disaster, which killed 11 workers and poured millions of gallons of crude oil into the Gulf for 87 days.

ACCOMODATION

Airbnb to probe racism

Airbnb Inc on Friday said it is cracking down on racism after booting one home-sharing host for blatantly discriminating against a woman of color who had made a reservation. A freshly launched review of how hosts and guests interact online and in the real world should be completed by September, when the San Francisco-based start-up is to announce the findings and what it will do about them. Airbnb said that it has enlisted former American Civil Liberties Union head Laura Murphy to lead its discrimination-fighting efforts.

BANKING

SoftBank sells more shares

SoftBank Group Corp increased the amount of money it will raise from selling down its stake in China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (阿里巴巴) to US$10 billion, after exercising an option to dispose of more shares through a trust. That is up from a previous figure of US$8.9 billion, which was itself raised by US$1 billion from an initial announcement early last week. SoftBank is selling shares in Alibaba for the first time since first buying in about 16 years ago.

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