- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 14, 2008

The top business news from The Associated Press for the morning of Thursday, Aug. 14, 2008:

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The number of homeowners stung by the dramatic decline in the U.S. housing market jumped last month as foreclosure filings grew by more than 50 percent compared with the same month a year ago, according to data released Thursday. Nationwide, more than 272,000 homes received at least one foreclosure-related notice in July, up 55 percent from about 175,000 in the same month last year and up 8 percent from June, RealtyTrac Inc. said. That means one in every 464 U.S. households received a foreclosure filing last month.

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EU: Euro economy shrinks in second quarter

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) _ Euro-zone growth braked sharply in the second quarter as major economies Germany, France and Italy shrank, EU statistics showed Thursday, with high fuel and food prices holding back consumer spending. Growth in the 15 economies that share the euro currency contracted by 0.2 percent from the first quarter, expanding just 1.5 percent from the same period a year ago, the EU statistical agency Eurostat said in a first estimate that it may change at a later date.



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Oil rises to near $117 on falling inventories

SINGAPORE (AP) _ Oil prices rose for a second day Thursday in Asia, approaching $117 a barrel after U.S. gasoline supplies fell more than expected in a weekly government report. Light, sweet crude for September delivery rose 75 cents to $116.75 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange by midafternoon in Singapore. The contract jumped $2.99 overnight to settle at $116 a barrel.

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Intel PCs to wake up for phone calls

NEW YORK (AP) _ Intel Corp. is unveiling new technology that will let computers wake up from their power-saving sleep state when they receive a phone call over the Internet. Current computers have to be fully on to receive a call, making them impractical and energy-wasters as replacements for the telephone.

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Paula Wagner leaving UA as chief executive

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Tom Cruise’s producing partner Paula Wagner said Wednesday she will leave her job as chief executive of United Artists to produce projects independently. Wagner will continue to co-own the studio with Cruise and “be attached to UA’s most exciting film properties,” UA and its parent company Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. added in a joint statement.

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Analyst: Cablevision not seeking acquisitions

Cablevision Systems Corp. executives met with major shareholders this week to talk about strategic options for the company, but while many alternatives remain open they are not seeking to go private again or mount another major acquisition, an analyst said. Chris Marangi, a cable and entertainment analyst for Gabelli & Co. who was involved in the discussions, said one new thing Cablevision is considering is managing the operations of other cable systems for a fee.

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Korean Air records 2Q net loss on fuel, currency

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) _ Korean Air Lines Co. posted a second-quarter net loss amid soaring fuel costs and a weak South Korean currency, it said Thursday. Korean Air, South Korea’s biggest airline and the world’s largest international cargo carrier, recorded a net loss of 289 billion won ($279 million) in the three months ended June 30, the company said in a statement. It lost 214.4 billion won in the same period a year ago. The most recent loss was the airline’s third straight on a quarterly basis.

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InBev 2Q profit climbs 8.6 percent on tax savings

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) _ Brewer InBev SA’s second-quarter profit climbed 8.6 percent despite flat sales and higher costs as it paid less tax. InBev made 542 million euros ($808 million) for the three months ending June 2008, up from from €499 million ($680 million at earlier exchange rate) for the same period in 2007.

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Scandinavian SAS swings to 2Q loss; more job cuts

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) _ Scandinavian airline SAS AB reported a second-quarter loss Thursday because of high fuel costs and weaker demand, and warned of further job cuts and fleet reductions. The Stockholm-based carrier said that net loss in the three months through June 30 was 411 million kronor ($70 million), down from a net profit of 607 million kronor in the same period in 2007.

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Wal-Mart to make $1 billion expansion in Brazil

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) _ Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced on Wednesday that it will invest the equivalent of at least $1 billion in Brazil to expand its operations in Latin America’s biggest country. The announcement was made in a statement issued shortly after Craig Herkert, president and CEO of Wal-Mart’s America’s division, and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva met in the capital city, Brasilia.

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Japan Markets

TOKYO (AP) _ Japanese shares fell Thursday for the third straight session, as news of the country’s largest corporate failure this year dampened investor sentiment. The benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average lost 66.25 points, or 0.51 percent, to 12,956.80, closing under the 13,000-level for the first time since Aug. 5. The broader Topix index lost 0.61 percent to 1,238.9.

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Dollar-Yen

TOKYO (AP) _ In currency trading Thursday, the dollar gained slightly to 109.41 yen from 109.18 yen late Wednesday.

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

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