- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The top business news from The Associated Press for the morning of Tuesday, August 5, 2008:

Oil falls below $120 on demand concerns

Oil prices fell nearly $2 a barrel Tuesday on expectations the economic downturn in the U.S. will erode consumer demand for crude products. The U.S. dollar’s gains against the euro also contributed to lower oil futures’ prices.

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Wall Street heads for moderately higher open

NEW YORK (AP) _ Wall Street headed for a higher open Tuesday as investors awaited the Federal Reserve’s meeting on interest rates and eyed with cautious optimism the declining price of oil. The Fed, seeking to support an anemic U.S. economy and also contain inflation, is expected to keep its benchmark federal funds rate steady at 2 percent. As always, investors will be keen to see in the Fed’s economic assessment statement what its bias is toward future rate moves. The Fed announcement is expected at 2:15 p.m. EDT.

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SocGen second-quarter net profit drops 63 percent

PARIS (AP) _ French bank Societe Generale SA said Tuesday net profit fell 63 percent in the second quarter, after its investment banking unit posted a loss. Net profit dropped to €644 million ($1 billion) in the second quarter from €1.74 billion a year ago, SocGen said in a statement.

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D.R. Horton posts smaller 3Q loss on lower charges

DALLAS (AP) _ Homebuilder D.R. Horton has posted a smaller loss in its fiscal third quarter, as charges to write down the value of property declined. Fort Worth, Texas-based D.R. Horton posted a loss of $339.3 million, or a loss of $1.26 per share, compared with a year-ago loss of $823.8 million, or a loss of $2.62 per share.

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Air France-KLM quarterly earnings drop 59 percent

PARIS (AP) _ Air France-KLM said Tuesday it would deepen cost-cutting plans this year after rising oil prices led to a higher fuel bill and a steep drop in first quarter earnings. Europe’s largest airline said it would seek to save an additional €190 million (US$296 million) on top of the €430 million (US$669 million) already budgeted, taking the total planned savings for the year to €620 million (US$965 million).

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Toyota lays off 800 line workers at Japan plant

TOKYO (AP) _ Japanese automaker Toyota has laid off 800 people at a plant in southwestern Japan, or about 10 percent of the plant’s work force, in response to declining sales in North America, a company official said Tuesday. All the job cuts _ carried out in June and August at Toyota Motor Corp.’s wholly owned subsidiary Toyota Motor Kyushu _ applied to workers sent by job-referral agencies. Japanese companies are increasingly relying on such agencies for temporary workers called “haken” to be flexible to market demand.

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Starbucks offers afternoon drink deal nationwide

NEW YORK (AP) _ Looking to bring more value-seeking consumers through its doors for a late afternoon caffeine fix, Starbucks Corp. said it will now offer its morning customers any iced grande beverage for $2 after 2 p.m. The price is a big cut from the normal price of most grande-sized iced drinks. A grande iced latte, for example, costs about $4. To get the discount, customers must present a receipt from their morning Starbucks visit.

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Tight for cash, people, businesses seek to recycle

GLENSHAW, Pa. (AP) _ Forklifts rumble around the scrapyard, grabbing pieces of metal and plunking them on scales: Will the junk be worth a tank of gas or a cart of groceries? Nationwide, recycling facilities are doing brisk business. Weekends are the busiest, when people have time to bring in scraps like copper wire, brass bits, aluminum window frames and rotted pipes and cans, hoping to make some extra money.

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No change expected in Fed interest rates

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Federal Reserve, caught between mounting job losses and rising inflation, is likely to sit tight and hope that the interest rate cuts it has already provided will be enough to heal a sick economy. Private economists believe that when the central bank concludes its one-day meeting on Tuesday, it will announce that its target for the federal funds rate, the interest that banks charge each other, will remain at 2 percent.

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Big Yahoo shareholder demands review of board vote

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ A major Yahoo Inc. shareholder has asked for a review of how its votes were cast in last week’s re-election of the Internet company’s board, raising questions about whether the opposition to the directors may have been understated. Capital Research Global Investors, which owns a 6.2 percent stake in Yahoo, demanded the review Monday, Capital spokesman Chuck Freadhoff said. Capital World Investors, a related fund that owns nearly 10 percent of Yahoo’s stock, didn’t make the same request.

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Gold Prices

LONDON (AP) _ Gold traded in London at $884.00 per troy ounce, down from $905.75 late Monday.

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Japan Markets

TOKYO (AP) _ The benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average slipped 18.52 points, or 0.14 percent, to 12,914.66 in its third straight losing session.

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Dollar-Yen

TOKYO (AP) _ The dollar fell to 107.78 yen Tuesday afternoon from 108.22 yen late Monday.

A service of The Associated Press. Copyright 2008 All rights reserved.

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