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Fri, Mar 04, 2005 - Page 12 News List

World Business Quick Take


■ Electronics
Philips to shut UK factory

Electronics giant LG Philips said on Wednesday it would close a British factory that has made television screen tubes for more than 30 years, resulting in the loss of 760 jobs. The company -- a joint venture between Korea's LG and Dutch electronics producer Philips -- said the plant in Durham, northeast England, would cease production in July. "Consumer demand for flat screen technologies and larger tubes in Europe, coupled with damaging dollar exchange rates, has left us no option other than closure," plant director Dave Coppock said. "We've seen a 30 percent fall in our prices over the past two years. The plant has incurred heavy losses, and with no sign of recovery we simply cannot sustain this position any longer," Coppock said.

■ Oil

Prices drop in Asian trade

Oil prices dipped slightly in Asian trade yesterday after hitting four-month highs above US$53 a barrel overnight amid persistent supply concerns, dealers said. At 3:25pm, New York's April contract for light, sweet crude was down US$0.09 to US$52.96 from the close of US$53.05 in New York on Wednesday. The April contract rose US$1.37 in New York on Wednesday to its highest close since Oct. 26, amid renewed concerns that global demand was outpacing supply. John Kilduff at Fimat USA said the markets were worried about demand as economic growth appeared to be holding firm in many places around the world. With demand expected to stay strong, many are betting oil prices will remain above US$50 a barrel with fund managers also propping up the market, analysts said.

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