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Abercrombie books loss, plans review of Ruehl unit

May 15, 2009 3:29 am | by KRISTEN A. LEE - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Abercrombie & Fitch Co. reported a deeper-than-expected loss for the first quarter on Friday and said it is deciding the future of its Ruehl business, which is aimed at older shoppers than its namesake teen apparel chain.The company, which has resisted cutting prices as drastically...

China pledges more help for exporters as FDI falls

May 15, 2009 3:19 am | by ELAINE KURTENBACH - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

SHANGHAI (AP) — China is urging its banks to be careful about how they dole out a flood of credit, while promising new help for exporters and other companies hamstrung by the economic slowdown.In a notice posted on its Web site, the central bank appealed to banks to "ensure the loans go into the...

Microsoft, China's Hangzhou set 'model city' pact

May 15, 2009 1:22 am | by ELAINE KURTENBACH - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

SHANGHAI (AP) — Microsoft Corp. announced a partnership aimed at helping make the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou a model for innovation and protection of intellectual property, in the company's latest attempt to combat rampant software piracy.A three-year agreement signed Friday calls for setting...

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Euro zone contracted by massive 2.5 pct in Q1

May 15, 2009 1:07 am | by PAN PYLAS - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

LONDON (AP) — The economy in the 16 countries that use the euro shrank by a massive 2.5 percent in the first quarter as a global recession sapped the industrial exports that Europe relies on for growth and jobs.Germany, the euro zone's biggest economy, saw output plunge by 3.8 percent as demand for...

EU clears Germany's plan to nationalize Hypo

May 15, 2009 12:57 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union has approved the German government's plans to nationalize Hypo Real Estate Holding AG, further paving the way for the takeover of the troubled lender.The EU Commission said Friday the move "does not raise any competition concerns" allowing it to "unconditionally"...

Ag secretary: Rural areas need to promote benefits

May 15, 2009 12:26 am | by JIM SALTER - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

PORTAGEVILLE, Mo. (AP) — The federal government needs to help rural areas promote their advantages to the American public and find ways to create higher-paying jobs outside of urban areas, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says."Sometimes we think any job is something we should focus on," said...

Singapore retail sales fall 7.3 percent in March

May 14, 2009 11:31 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

SINGAPORE (AP) — The fall in Singapore retail sales worsened in March as shoppers cut back on spending amid a deep recession.The statistics department said Friday that retail sales fell 7.3 percent from a year earlier following a 5.5 percent fall in February.Sales of furniture and household...

German economy shrank 3.8 pct in 1st quarter

May 14, 2009 10:50 pm | by PATRICK McGROARTY - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's economy shrank by 3.8 percent in the first quarter, the sharpest decline since record-keeping began in 1970, as demand for the country's exports dried up amid the global economic crisis, government data showed Friday.The steep drop in January-March over the previous three...

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Panasonic slumps to $4 billion yearly loss

May 14, 2009 10:50 pm | by TOMOKO A. HOSAKA - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — Panasonic Corp. slumped deep into the red last fiscal year, joining the expanding club of big Japanese brands shellshocked by their rapid descent from cash cow to money loser.The world's biggest plasma TV maker Friday reported a 378.96 billion yen ($4 billion) loss for the fiscal year...

European markets recoup losses on US resilience

May 14, 2009 10:19 pm | by PAN PYLAS - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

LONDON (AP) — European stock markets recovered most of their losses Friday after Wall Street performed better than expected amid a few signs that the downturn in the U.S. economy was easing.In Europe, Germany's DAX closed down 0.97 point, or a bare 0.02 percent, at 4,737.50 while the CAC-40 in...

Singapore's Temasek sells Bank of America stake

May 14, 2009 9:29 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

SINGAPORE (AP) — Singapore state investment company Temasek sold its stake in Bank of America Corp., a move that likely added to large losses last year from its investments in U.S. and European banks.Temasek held 188.8 million Bank of America shares in January, worth about $2.6 billion, after it...

Mitsubishi UFJ scraps purchase of Citigroup unit

May 14, 2009 8:58 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — Japan's biggest bank says it has scrapped plans to buy Citigroup Inc.'s Japan trust banking unit.In December, a unit of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., known as MUFG, agreed to buy NikkoCiti Trust and Banking Corp. in an all-cash deal valued at 25 billion yen ($261.2 million).MUFG...

Foreign investment in China down 22.5 pct in April

May 14, 2009 8:53 pm | by ELAINE KURTENBACH - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

SHANGHAI (AP) — China's foreign direct investment fell in April for a seventh month as companies cut back amid the global financial crisis, the Commerce Ministry said Friday.The ministry reported that foreign direct investment in China totaled $5.89 billion in April, down 22.5 percent from a year...

May rally for energy prices stalls

May 14, 2009 8:13 pm | by CHRIS KAHN - AP Energy Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Rapidly climbing energy prices stalled this week as a steady stream of dismal financial news suggested that even if the global economy has bottomed out, it will be some time before demand for crude rebounds.Benchmark crude for June delivery dropped $2.28 to settle at $56.34 a barrel...

Chrysler dealers across country react to closures

May 14, 2009 8:08 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Chrysler LLC says it is seeking to close about a quarter of its 3,200 U.S. dealerships by early next month, saying the network is antiquated and has too many stores competing with each other. Here's a look at what dealers and community leaders in some affected towns and cities had to say about the...

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