- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 6, 2011


Stores: Solid gains reported for September

NEW YORK | September offered the latest sign that Americans will shop, but only when they think they’re getting a deal.

The International Council of Shopping Centers said Thursday that revenue rose 5.5 percent in September, with several retailers including Target Corp., Limited Brands Inc. and Kohl’s Corp. posting strong gains as consumers snagged discounted merchandise.

The revenue increases, which beat Wall Street estimates, leave uncertainty about whether retailers will have to offer more bargains to lure consumers to buy during the upcoming holiday shopping season. Retailers can make up to 40 percent of their annual revenue in November and December.


Price rises past $1,650, down 13% from August high

Gold is above the $1,650 mark, easing concerns among traders that a major sell-off was underway.

Gold for December delivery rose $11.60 Thursday, or nearly 1 percent, to $1,653.20 an ounce Thursday. December silver gained $1.635, or 5.45 percent, to close at $32.005.

Many traders buy and sell gold based on market momentum. A sell-off last week pushed gold below $1,600 for the first time since July. Gold is down about 13 percent from its high of $1,891.90 in late August.

Some investors see a brighter future in gold, thanks to big stimulus measures from European central banks that promise to keep interest rates low.


German minister pledges investment in country

VOULIAGMENI | Germany’s economy minister said Thursday that all of Europe must help Greece recover from economic turmoil, and that German businesses would invest in the struggling country.

Philipp Roesler’s comments came as the Greek government prepared to suspend thousands of civil servants as part of austerity measures aimed at staving off a debt default with the potential to roil the global economy.

“All the countries that are in the eurozone, we want to keep them in the eurozone,” he said after arriving in Greece at the head of a German business delegation. “The stronger ones must help the weak ones, especially in difficult times, but on the basis of economic prudence and financial stability.”

The German minister spoke to hundreds of Greek and German business executives in a hotel ballroom on the coast just outside Athens, where civil servants demonstrated during a strike a day earlier and small groups of protesters skirmished with riot police in the center of the capital.


EU to test banks’ ability to survive market turmoil

BRUSSELS | European regulators are examining whether banks on the continent have big enough buffers to sustain the worsening market turmoil, amid fears that a default by Greece could trigger another credit crunch and recession.

One of the scenarios the European Banking Authority will look at in a new report on lenders’ capital levels will be larger losses on Greek government bonds, a European official said Thursday. The fear in the market is that such an event could cause a severe credit squeeze, as happened in 2008, that would even threaten banks not exposed directly to Greece’s debt.

European Union finance ministers will discuss the results at their next meeting in early November, said the official, who was speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

The EBA said the exercise was not a new round of stress tests and would be based on the same figures as stress tests published in July, when only nine banks failed and 16 others barely passed.


VW recalls 168,000 cars because of diesel fuel leaks

DETROIT | Volkswagen is recalling 168,275 cars equipped with diesel engines because of a defect in the fuel injection system that could cause fuel leaks and fires.

The recall affects certain 2009 to 2012 Jetta midsize cars, and some 2010 through 2012 Golf small cars, as well as some Audi A3 models from the 2010 through 2012 model years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Thursday on its website. All are equipped with 2-liter TDI diesel engines.

Cracks can develop in the fuel injection system and cause fuel to leak, possibly causing fires, VW said in documents filed with federal safety regulators.

However, the company said in the documents that it doesn’t know of any fires, crashes or injuries caused by the problem.

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