Business and Economy

Shares mostly lower following Fed decision to further reduce stimulus

TOKYO—Shares were lower Thursday as weak economic data from China and Japan deepened jitters over ongoing reductions in U.S. monetary stimulus. The U.S. Federal Reserve’s decision to further “taper,” or reduce, its mortgage and long-term bond purchases roiled markets, cutting short a rebound spurred by aggressive interest rate hikes by the Turkish central bank. In …

Philippine economy expanded 7.2 per cent in 2013, disasters hit 4Q

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine economy expanded 7.2 per cent in 2013 despite the havoc wrought in the last months of the year by a super typhoon, an earthquake and a weekslong gun battle that shut down a major port city. Even then, the Philippines was the second best performing economy in Asia after China in the fourth quarter, growing 6.5 per …

Oil stays above $98 as data signal stronger U.S. demand

The price of oil was little changed Friday, remaining above US$98 a barrel as signs of stronger recoveries in the U.S. and Japan prompted expectations of greater demand for crude. Benchmark U.S. crude for March delivery lost 21 cents to $98.02 at 12 a.m. ET in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The …

Japan sees rises in inflation, factory output, as stimulus led recovery gains momentum

TOKYO—Japan’s consumer price index rose 0.4 per cent in 2013, the first increase in five years, in further evidence the recovery in the world’s third-largest economy is gaining momentum. A flood of cash from central bank asset purchases and other government spending has underpinned demand, helping to boost growth despite a weakening in Japan’s trade …

US claims in lawsuit that KBR took kickbacks, submitted false claims on Iraq defence contract

WASHINGTON—The federal government is suing Kellogg, Brown & Root Services Inc., charging that the defence contractor submitted false claims and took kickbacks in connection to a U.S. Army contract in Iraq. The government alleges that KBR employees took kickbacks from two Kuwaiti companies that it hired as subcontractors in 2003 and 2004, then filed claims …

Investigators: Oil train crash could cause ‘major loss of life;’ issue safety recommendations

WASHINGTON—Warning that a “major loss of life” could result from an accident involving the increasing use of trains to transport large amounts of crude oil, U.S. and Canadian accident investigators urged their governments Thursday to impose new safety rules. The unusual joint recommendations by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board and the Transportation Safety Board …

Tesla announces China price for cars: $121,000 versus $81,000 in United States

BEIJING—Tesla Motors announced a $121,000 sticker price for its Model S electric sedan in China, and called the relatively low cost for the Chinese market a “big risk” because some buyers might think the car is lower quality. The fledgling U.S. automaker said Thursday it will add only unavoidable taxes and shipping charges to its …

UN labour agency: global jobless number topped 200 million in 2013, job growth lags workforce

GENEVA—The United Nations’ labour agency says the number of unemployed people around the world rose above 200 million last year as job opportunities failed to grow at the same pace as the global workforce. The International Labor Organization said Monday that an estimated 201.8 million people were unemployed in 2013. That’s 4.9 million more than …

World stocks mixed after retreat on Wall Street over poor corporate earnings

MANILA, Philippines—World stocks traded mixed Friday, with a patchy performance in Asia and early gains in Europe and U.S. futures a day after losses on Wall Street. Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed 0.1 per cent lower at 15,734.46. China’s Shanghai Composite index sank 0.9 per cent to 2,004.95, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.6 per cent …

Sears Canada cuts more than 1,600 jobs, partly through outsourcing

TORONTO—Another round of job cuts is rippling through the operations of Sears Canada Inc. (TSX:SCC), affecting more than 1,600 positions as the company looks for ways to lower expenses. The retailer says it has eliminated 283 jobs at warehouses across much of the country in a move to simplify logistics. The warehouses affected are in …

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