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Fri, Sep 04, 2009 - Page 10 News List

QUICK TAKE

■ ECONOMY

Euro zone recovering

The euro zone services economy jumped back almost to recovery last month, with Germany powering back to growth and France just an inch away too, a PMI survey showed yesterday. The data should reassure the European Central Bank as it meets that the worst of a severe recession is over even though a return to economic growth may be slow while unemployment remains high. It is widely expected to leave rates on hold at a record low of 1.0 percent later in the day. Markit’s Eurozone Flash Services Purchasing Managers’ Index of about 2,000 companies rose to 49.9 last month from 45.7 in July and was even higher than the 49.5 recorded for the flash.

■ JAPAN

Strong yen good for nation

The country must not step into the foreign exchange markets to curb the yen’s rise unless currency rates move abnormally, a senior lawmaker in the new ruling party said, adding that a strong yen was basically good for the domestic economy. “We should be neutral on currency policy at least. There’s no need to take policy to help the yen rise but it’s wrong to try to boost exports by driving the yen low,” said Hirohisa Fujii, a 77-year-old top adviser to the Democrats. “Basically, a strong yen is good for Japan,” Fujii said, adding that it would help reduce import costs and boost consumers’ purchasing power.

■ ELECTRONICS

Tie-up to develop chips

NEC Corp and Renesas Technology Corp are among Japanese companies planning to jointly develop processor chips that run electronics ranging from televisions to cameras, Nikkei English News reported, without saying where it obtained the information. The group, which includes Fujitsu Ltd, Toshiba Corp, Panasonic Corp, Hitachi Ltd and Canon Inc, intends to create a standard of power-saving processors by the end of March 2013, the Nikkei said yesterday. The Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will provide between ¥3 billion (US$32 million) and ¥4 billion to help fund the project, the report said.

■ INTERNET

Costolo named Twitter CEO

Twitter Inc, owner of the site that lets people post short messages, hired Dick Costolo, a former Google Inc executive, as chief operating officer. Costolo will start next week, Jenna Sampson, a spokeswoman for Twitter, said in an e-mail yesterday. Costolo was the cofounder and CEO of Feedburner Inc, a news feed service bought by Google in 2007. He is a long-time friend of Twitter cofounders Biz Stone and Evan Williams, Sampson said.

■ CELLPHONES

Nokia on the offensive

Nokia, the world’s largest mobile phone manufacturer, said it was slow to react to the rise of new devices, such as the iPhone, and has launched a major offensive to win back market share from its rivals Apple and Research in Motion, the maker of the BlackBerry e-mail device. The company is hoping to capitalize on its unlimited music service with the launch of three new products yesterday: Two revamped devices that use the music service and a “lite” version of the touchscreen N97. They follow last week’s launch of the N900, the first smartphone ever made by Nokia, which uses the open-source Linux operating system, and its first ever laptop, the Nokia 3G netbook.

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