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Business News Archive - November 21, 2008

Asian-Pacific ministers, meeting in Lima Peru, said they're ready to meet in Geneva for an early conclusion to the stalled Doha Round of free trade talks. The ministers representing the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum said in a statement Thursday they "will step up our engagement with our partners

China plans to proceed with a $2.5 billion oil and gas pipeline through Myanmar to connect its Yunnan province, with construction set to start next year. Mi Gongsheng, director of the province's reform and development commission, told the official Xinhua news agency the pipeline is one of a series of large energy projects in which the province plans to invest about $10.5 billion. China is a major trading partner of Myanmar, formerly called Burma, which has been under military rule since the 1960s.

Major Asia-Pacific markets pared off opening losses Friday and closed in positive territory, giving a hopeful sign for next week's sessions. The Friday opening once again fell in line with the overnight Wall Street collapse but the tide turned as the day wore on. On the Tokyo Stock Exchange, Japan's

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A precipitous slide in Citigroup Inc shares this week has prompted talks of selling part or all of the company, sources said.

The surprise development of falling prices has experts worried that such a hiccup could greatly stall the U.S. economy, economists said.

Crude oil prices rose overnight on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after dropping below $50 per barrel Thursday for the first time in two and a half years. Crude oil prices gained 80 cents Friday to $50.22 per barrel, but the four-month slide that began in July has been precipitous.

U.S. markets caught a brief respite from a week of sell offs, rising modestly Friday morning in an atmosphere dominated by recession worries. Citigroup Inc. shares rose 1.7 percent after a four-day run that combined to drop its value 50 percent.

The average price at the gas pump nationwide fell below $2 per gallon Friday, a quiet retreat compared to the uproar caused by record high prices this summer. The national average price fell to $1.989, AAA said, a drop of more than $2.12 per gallon from the record of $4.114 per gallon set July 17. March 9, 2005 was the last date prices were this low, CNNMoney reported Friday. This summer, we thought ($2 a gallon gasoline) was impossible, and now we have crossed the threshold, said Ben Brockwell of Oil Price Information Services. It's an important psychological barrier, he said. Gasoline prices have steadily dropped, falling for more than 60 consecutive days.

University of Michigan economists Friday forecast declines in employment and a slow economy though 2009 with a sluggish recovery starting in 2010. Unemployment, they predicted, would reach around 8 percent next year. While the current financial crisis is an extreme event that has raised fears of economic collapse, we are not forecasting economic catastrophe but rather a recession that is best characterized as moderately severe, economist Joan Crary said, the Detroit Free Press reported. Crary predicted the recession will be worse than the downturns of 1990-1991 and 2001, but less severe than 1974-1975 and 1981-1982, the Free Press said. The economists, including Stanley Sedo and Janet Wolfe, predicted the gross domestic product will fall by 1 percent in 2009 and gain 2 percent in 2010. The forecast includes the loss of another 2.4 million jobs.

Word of the Day
tessitura
  • The prevailing range of a vocal or instrumental part, within which most of the tones lie.
This word is Italian in origin and comes from the Latin 'textura,' web, structure.