US wholesale inflation at 27-year high U.S. wholesale prices spiked by their largest margin in 27 years in the year to July as inflationary pressures continue to roil the world's largest economy, a government survey showed Tuesday. The report showed that the Labor Department's producer price index (PPI), a key gauge of inflation at the wholesale level, rose by a hefty 9.8 percent in July from a year ago. That marked the biggest surge in annualized headline prices at the factory and farm gate since a 10.4 percent gain was recorded in June 1981.
WASHINGTON - Agence France-Presse
Venezuela seizes control of cement companies
Venezuelan government officials backed by National Guard troops seized control of cement plants owned by Mexico's Cemex SAB after failing to reach a deal on terms for nationalizing them. As a deadline for talks expired at the stroke of midnight Monday, Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez raised a fist in the air while flag-waving workers cheered at a Cemex plant.
CCAS, Venezuela – The Associated Press
Researchers disclose Merck Vioxx study
A 1999 Merck & Co. study of its since-withdrawn painkiller Vioxx, touted to participating doctors and patients as meant to show whether Vioxx caused fewer stomach problems than another drug, was primarily a stealth marketing strategy, researchers report. The true purpose was to get lots of doctors and patients in the habit of using Vioxx just in time for its launch.
TRENTON, New Jersey – The Associated Press
Bank of Japan keeps key interest rate steady
Japan's central bank left its key interest rate steady Tuesday, choosing again to hold to the status quo amid increasing nervousness about the country's slowing economy. Facing the prospect of recession, the seven-member central bank policy board voted unanimously during a two-day meeting to keep the benchmark overnight call rate at 0.5 percent.
TOKYO - The Associated Press Virgin Blue sees profit plunge 55 percent
Australian airline Virgin Blue Holdings Ltd. reported Tuesday a nearly 55 percent drop in annual net profit, hurt by record jet fuel costs. The airline posted a net profit after tax of 97.7 million Australian dollars ($84.5 million) for the year ended June 30, down from $215.8 million Australian dollars ($186.6 million) in the previous year.
SYDNEY – The Associated Press
Zimbabwe annual inflation rate soars to 11.2 million
Zimbabwe's annual inflation rate soared to 11.2 million percent in June, state media reported on Tuesday quoting figures from the central statistical agency. "Zimbabwe's annual rate of inflation surged in June to 11.2 million percent," The Herald reported. "It gained 9,035,045.5 percentage points from the May rate of 2,233,713.4 percent."
HRE – Agence France-Presse
DMG first-half profit declines 79 pct
Doğan Media Group, or DMG, Turkey's biggest media group, said first-half profit fell 79 percent compared with a year ago. Net income dropped to YTL 31.5 million ($26.6 million) from YTL 150.8 million in the same period of last year, DMG told the Istanbul Stock Exchange in a preliminary filing for tax purposes. Sales at DMG fell 3 percent to YTL 16.3 billion. Interest income dropped 31 percent to YTL 19.1 million.
ANK – Bloomberg

Türk Telekom raises its prices by 5 pct
Türk Telekomunikasyon, Turkey's biggest fixed-line phone company, has raised itsprices by 5 percent as of yesterday. The Ankara-based company announced the price increase in a filing with the Istanbul Stock Exchange Monday night. Separately, Turk Telekom said first-half net income was YTL 1.8 billion ($1.5 billion) in a filing with the tax authorities published on the Web site of the bourse.
ISTANBUL – Bloomberg
Turkish Airlines first-half profit drops 95 pct
Turkish Airlines, or THY, Turkey's national airline, posted a 95 percent decline in first-half profit. Net income fell to YTL 5.9 million ($5 million) in the six months ending June 30 from YTL 111.2 million in the same period a year earlier, the firm said in a preliminary filing for tax purposes.
ANK - Bloomberg