US dollar hits record low
The dollar fell to another record low against the euro yesterday on growing speculation that the US Federal Reserve will cut US borrowing costs. The euro leapt to US$1.4467 in early European trading, which beat the previous record US$1.4441 that was set in New York on Tuesday. The greenback has also slid against other currencies, including the British pound and the Australian and Canadian dollars, ahead of the anxiously awaited Fed rate call yesterday. The pound surged as high as US$2.0743 -- the highest level since the second quarter of 1981.
BOJ cuts growth forecast
Japan's central bank yesterday cut its growth forecast to 1.8 percent for the current fiscal year but predicted a pick-up next year along with a return to inflation. The Japanese economy remains on track to expand by 2.1 percent in the next fiscal year, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) said, while trimming its previous projection for 2.1 percent growth this year. The bank said the downgrade for this year was partly the result of a drop in construction activity due to increased earthquake resistance standards. Consumer prices are expected to remain flat this year but rise by 0.4 percent next year, the report said.
Dumping probes decrease
The number of anti-dumping probes launched by trading nations against alleged unfairly priced imports fell sharply in the first six months of the year, the WTO said on Tuesday. Between January and June, 13 WTO members reported a total of 49 new investigations against importers, compared with 92 initiations in the first six months of last year, new data released by the WTO showed. Chinese companies remained the most frequent target of suspicions that they sold exported goods at a lower price than on their home market, with 16 fresh probes directed at exports from China. Taiwan, EU nations and South Korea were the second most frequent subjects, with four new investigations.
Alcatel-Lucent cutting jobs
Alcatel-Lucent, the French-US telecommunications equipment maker, said yesterday that it would cut 4,000 more jobs by 2009. The announcement came as the company reported its financial results for the third quarter. No details on the further reduction in staff were given. The company had previously announced job cuts in February, shortly after the merger of the French firm Alcatel and the US company Lucent.
Investors stage sit-in
Unhappy investors raided the office of a Chinese health goods company in Jinan City and staged a sit-in to protest the firm's collapse, reports said yesterday. The protests were triggered last Friday by the apparent bankruptcy of Shandong Jizheng Health Care Products Co and the disappearance of the firm's management, the South China Morning Post and other newspapers in Hong Kong reported. The protesters demanded that the city government compensate them for losses of billions of yuan in investments in the company, the Post and Ming Pao reported. The Web site of the China Anti-Pyramid Selling Association said the firm allegedly lured investors, often farmers, with promises of high rates of returns from its sales of health supplements, teas, wines and other products.