LONDON - Bloomberg UK factory output rises
British manufacturing output unexpectedly rose in April thanks to higher production of aircraft and motor vehicles, official data showed yesterday. The Office for National Statistics said manufacturing output rose by 0.1 percent in April against analysts' predictions of no change. That left output up 0.1 percent on the year. Industrial production also rose versus expectations of no change, up 0.2 percent on the month.
LONDON - Reuters
Qatar may hold steel, cement costs
Qatar plans to freeze the price of steel and cement for three years and extend a diesel subsidy as it seeks to tackle near-record inflation, a newspaper reported yesterday. Still, the world's biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas, has no plans to revalue its currency or drop its dollar peg, Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani was quoted by Gulf Times as saying.
DOHA - Reuters
Australia shares end down 2.8 percent
The Australian share market has closed at its lowest level in two months on concerns about oil prices, the credit crunch and the global economy. Yesterday, the first day of trading after a three-day long weekend, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index closed down 154.6 points, or 2.8 percent, to 5437.5, its low for the day. It was the biggest one-day fall in the share market since March 20, when the exchange fell 3.1 percent.
SYDNEY - The Associated Press
China's benchmark index tumbles
China's stocks plunged 8.1 percent, the most since February 2007, after the central bank ordered lenders to set aside record reserves to curb credit growth and inflation. About 200 of the benchmark stock measure's 300 members slumped by the 10 percent daily limit, dragging CSI 300 Index 45 percent below its Oct. 16 record. The gauge fell 282.94 points to 3,206.56 in ********* its lowest close since April 19, 2007.
SHANGHAI - Bloomberg
Egypt inflation rises to 19.7 pct
Consumer prices in urban parts of Egypt rose 19.7 percent in the year to May, a 19-year high for inflation, the state statistics agency CAPMAS said yesterday. The inflation rate compared with 16.4 percent in the year to April, itself a three-year high. Sharp rises in the prices of fuel, transport and certain foodstuffs were among the main factors behind the rise.
CAIRO - Reuters