A look at economic developments around the globe

AP News
Posted: Oct 08, 2010 1:47 PM
A look at economic developments around the globe

A look at economic developments and activity in major stock markets around the world Friday:


BERLIN _ German exports declined slightly for the second consecutive month in August, official data showed Friday, but the slip didn't appear to herald trouble for Europe's biggest economy.

Germany exported goods and services worth euro75.1 billion ($104.9 billion) in August, down 0.4 percent from the previous month, the Federal Statistical Office said.

Exports already had declined by 1.6 percent in July, following two months of strong growth.

Exports have long been the main strength of the German economy and helped it to spectacular quarter-on-quarter growth of 2.2 percent in the April-June period. That helped the 16-nation eurozone to growth of 1 percent.


TOKYO _ Japan's Cabinet on Friday approved 5.05 trillion yen ($61 billion) in new economic stimulus, the latest in a string of measures to shore up the country's lethargic economy amid a battering from the strong yen.

The plan also called for funding to secure rare earths needed for Japan's advanced manufacturing after China last month imposed a de facto export ban on the minerals amid a territorial dispute between the two Asian giants.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan's new package aims to boost Japan's gross domestic product by 0.6 percentage points, create or save up to 500,000 jobs and take other steps to help small and medium sized businesses.


TORONTO _ Canada's economy lost 6,600 jobs in September for the second time in three months, even though the unemployment rate edged down one-tenth of a point to 8 percent.

Statistics Canada said Friday the unemployment rate fell because fewer workers, particularly young people, were actively looking for employment.

While the job losses last month were small, it appears to confirm the economy, which had once been churning out jobs at a rate of over 50,000 a month during the first half of the year, has ground to a halt.


LONDON _ The Dow Jones index breached the 11,000 mark for the first time since May as world stocks recovered Friday on mounting expectations that the Federal Reserve will ease monetary policy further next month following weak U.S. jobs data.

While the prospect of more dollars in the system helped support stock markets _ the new money will look for a home _ it kept the pressure on the U.S. currency ahead of a key meeting of finance ministers in Washington, D.C.

In Europe, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares closed down 4.52 points, or 0.1 percent, at 5,657.61 while Germany's DAX rose 15.42 points, or 0.3 percent, at 6,291.67. The CAC-40 in France ended down 7.29 points, or 0.2 percent, at 3,763.18.


ATHENS, Greece _ Greece will issue euro900 million ($1.26 billion) worth of 26-week treasury bills next week as part of its regular sales of short-term debt, the country's debt management agency said Friday.

The T-bills will be issued Oct. 12 and will have a settlement date of Oct. 15. Noncompetitive bids of up to 30 percent of the auction amount can also be submitted until noon on Oct. 14.


MONTREUX, Switzerland _ Leading European defense companies warned Friday that cuts to military programs could cause long-term harm to the industry's research and development capabilities, even as they looked beyond the continent for new business to make up anticipated shortfalls.

Multinational programs such as the Eurofighter jet and Airbus A400M military transport plane were essential to preserving future R&D capacity, said Domingo Urena-Raso, chief executive of Airbus Military and president of European defense industry group ASD.


BRUSSELS _ European regulators on Friday backed tough new rules on bankers' bonuses that would cap the amount of cash bankers can receive upfront.

The new rules would apply to managers or traders responsible for decisions about risk taking. Regulators are hoping to halt pay practices they think encouraged the reckless investments that led to banks getting into trouble and needing bailouts by taxpayers during the financial crisis.

In draft guidelines, the London-based Committee of European Banking Supervisors said 40 percent to 60 percent of any bonus should be deferred.

On top of that, at least half of any bonus should be paid in noncash instruments such as shares.


LISBON, Portugal _ Portugal could face its most complete shutdown of public services in more than 20 years next month after the two largest trade union alliances agreed to join in a general strike.

The Nov. 24 strike is to protest government austerity measures aimed at cutting Portugal's heavy debt load, which has brought a financial crisis.