China Overtakes US As World’s Largest Goods Trading Nation: Commerce Ministry

(Reuters) –China overtook the United States as the world’s largest goods trading nation in 2013, the country’s Ministry of Commerce announced on Saturday. The ministry’s statistics, preliminarily confirmed by the WTO Secretariat, showed that China’s annual trade in goods reached 4.16 trillion U.S. dollars in 2013. Exports of the world’s second largest economy rose 7.9 percent year on year, reaching 2.21 trillion U.S. dollars, and its imports rose 7.3 percent year on year, reaching 1.95 trillion U.S. dollars. Meanwhile, the U.S. […]

Australia’s Qantas Cuts 5,000 Jobs, Sheds Aircraft After Hefty Loss

(Reuters) — Australian carrier Qantas Airways Ltd plans to cut 15 percent of its workforce, sell older jets and reduce capital spending after reporting a first-half loss amid growing competition in both international and domestic operations. The deep cuts are part of Qantas’ plans to slash costs by A$2 billion ($1.8 billion) over the next three years – a bid by the airline to convince the federal government and investors it is worthy of the state assistance it says it […]

Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox goes dark in blow to virtual currency

By Ruairidh Villar, Sophie Knight and Brett Wolf TOKYO/ST LOUIS Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:47pm EST (Reuters) – Mt. Gox, once the world’s biggest bitcoin exchange, abruptly stopped trading on Tuesday and its chief executive said the business was at “a turning point,” sparking concerns about the future of the unregulated virtual currency. Several other digital currency exchanges and prominent early-stage investors in bitcoin responded with forceful statements in an attempt to reassure investors of […]

Seeking cheap stocks, chaos no problem? Try Libya

By Ulf Laessing TRIPOLI Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:05pm EST (Reuters) – Investing in Libyan stocks may sound like an absurd idea at a time when the North African country is descending into chaos and armed militias seize oil ports or ministries at will. Ever since the ouster of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya’s government has been struggling to establish law and order and assert control over a vast desert nation awash with arms. But […]

HSBC to announce bonuses totaling $4 billion: report

LONDON Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:46am EST (Reuters) – HSBC will announce staff bonuses totaling just under 2.4 billion pounds ($4 billion) globally for 2013 and is expected to report a significant rise in pretax profit, Sky News reported on its website on Saturday without citing its sources. Referring to an unnamed source close to the bank, Sky also said Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver will receive a 1.8 million pound bonus as part of an […]

Big drop in U.S. housing recorded due to brutally cold winter

(Reuters) – U.S. housing starts recorded their biggest drop in almost three years in January as harsh weather disrupted activity, but the third month of declines in permits hinted at some weakness in the housing market. Wednesday’s data was the latest suggestion that a brutally cold winter was putting a big dent in the economy. But severe weather cannot be blamed for all the slowdown in growth as the economy appears to have ended 2013 […]

Candy Crush Saga maker King plans U.S. stock market debut

(Reuters) – King, the company behind the hit mobile phone game “Candy Crush Saga,” is planning a U.S. stock market debut that some analysts think could value it at more than $5 billion and herald a flurry of technology company listings this year. The successful flotation of Twitter in November and a surge in Facebook’s share price have fueled speculation that a string of technology firms could come to market, including music-sharing service Spotify, lodging […]

NZ court rules Megaupload warrant legal, dealing blow to Dotcom

(Reuters) – A New Zealand court on Wednesday ruled that the search warrant used in the arrest of Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom on U.S. online piracy charges was legal, dealing a blow to the internet entrepreneur who is fighting extradition to the United States. Acting on the request of U.S. authorities, the New Zealand government successfully appealed a 2012 ruling that police used illegal warrants when they arrested the tycoon in January 2012 at his […]

Asia stocks in hesitant mood; euro holds gains

(Reuters) – Asian share markets were in hesitant mood on Wednesday as investors keep a wary eye on interest rates in China, though the euro left the dollar in its dust after more soft U.S. economic data. The action was light, with MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan barely changed and Australia up a slim 0.3 percent. Shanghai stocks were flat while Seoul lost 0.6 percent. Japan’s Nikkei pared its early losses to […]

First U.S. bitcoin ATMs to open soon in Seattle, Austin

(Reuters) – Robocoin said on Tuesday that later this month it will install the first automated teller machines in the United States that let users buy and sell bitcoin, the latest step into the mainstream for the digital currency. The kiosks, to be installed in Seattle, and Austin, Texas, are similar to ATMs but have scanners to read government-issued identification such as a driver’s license or a passport to confirm users’ identities. The ATMs will […]

China overtakes India as world’s largest gold consumer

According to a study by the World Gold Council, China has become the biggest consumer market for the precious metal. It toppled India, which had led the table ever since official data were first made available. The survey found that Chinese customers had bought a total of 1,066 tons of gold products in 2013, up 32 percent from 2012, while their Indian counterparts had purchased 975 tons, up 13 percent from 2012 levels. The council […]

BP must face shareholder suit over 2006 Alaska oil spill

By Dan Levine SAN FRANCISCO Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:41pm EST (Reuters) – A U.S. appeals court on Thursday revived a shareholder lawsuit against BP PLC over statements the company made in the wake of a 2006 oil spill in Alaska. The ruling from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco allows shareholders to proceed with some securities fraud claims against BP after a lower judge had dismissed them. Representatives for BP […]