Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Citi hopes boost Asia stocks but China gloomy

China businesses less worried about growth: survey

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese businesses are slightly less worried about the economic outlook and their businesses' prospects than they were three months ago, according to a quarterly survey by the central bank. The survey of more than 5,500 firms showed that, while businesses saw the economy as being significantly worse in the first quarter than the final three months of 2008, their expectations about growth in the second quarter improved somewhat.

China exports slump; IMF warns on toxic banks

BEIJING/ZURICH (Reuters) - A drop in Chinese exports and falling prices in Japan and Germany underscored the weakness of the world economy, while the IMF said governments are moving too slowly to rid banks of their toxic assets. The warning from International Monetary Fund head Dominique Strauss-Kahn on Wednesday came despite signs of recovery at U.S. banking group Citigroup Inc , which buoyed stock markets in the United States and Asia.

Madoff faces life in prison on 11 criminal charges

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bernard Madoff, accused of an "unprecedented" $50 billion financial swindle, was charged on Tuesday with 11 criminal counts that could put him in prison for the rest of his life. Madoff, 70, a former Nasdaq stock market chairman and money manager, is expected to plead guilty on Thursday, his lawyer said.

Toshiba shares jump as report of profit surprises

TOKYO (Reuters) - Shares of Japan's Toshiba Corp <6502.t> gained 9.5 percent after a newspaper reported it would likely see an operating profit of about $1 billion next business year, in sharp contrast with analyst estimates for a loss. The Nikkei daily said lower fixed costs and growth in its infrastructure business would likely bring Toshiba back into the black in the year to March 2010, despite persistent weakness in the chip and consumer electronics sectors.

United Tech to cut 11,600 jobs

BOSTON (Reuters) - United Technologies Corp , whose products range from elevators to jet engines, plans to cut 11,600 jobs as it adapts to an economy that has grown worse than it expected just three months ago. The diversified U.S. manufacturer also cut its 2009 profit forecast by roughly 13 percent and lowered its revenue target as it is no longer relying on an economic recovery later this year, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

Uptick rule eyed, Fed chief backs accounting tweak

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Regulators will consider reviving the "uptick" restriction on short-sellers of stocks and a top monetary official lent his support on Tuesday to modifying an accounting rule that has forced banks to take billions of dollars in writedowns. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said he was opposed to suspending mark-to-market accounting but said the rule tended to reinforce economic trends and improvements could be made.

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