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TOKYO Fukushima nuclear plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co <9501.T> said on Wednesday it would have to seek more government funds to tackle the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster, as cleanup costs soar four months after the utility was nationalized. A senior minister said the government saw no alternative to providing continued support for the utility, known as Tepco. Tepco officials suggested the costs of compensation and decontamination could double to 10 trillion yen ($ 124.55 billion), making greater government support vital. “If the costs ballooned to 10 trillion yen, double our estimate of a few months ago, we could […]

MADRID The European Commission is forecasting a 1.5 percent decline in Spanish gross domestic product in 2013, significantly worse than the 0.5 percent contraction penciled in by the Spanish government, El Pais reported on Tuesday. Citing a draft of the forecasts which are due to be officially announced on Wednesday, the newspaper said the Commission sees the Spanish economy falling by 1.6 percent this year and growing by 0.5 percent in 2014. This compares with the Spanish government’s forecast for a 1.5 percent fall in GDP in 2012 and growth of 1.2 percent in 2014. The Commission also has more […]

The federal government will re-open on Wednesday, according to the Office of Personnel Management. The move increases the likelihood the Labor Department will be able to report employment data for Friday, though the agency has only said it is striving to do so.

PARIS France’s Socialist government has checked that its plan to provide 7 billion euros in financial guarantees to the lending arm of ailing carmaker PSA Peugeot Citreon complies with EU rules, the government’s spokeswoman said on Wednesday. “We have checked that all this is Euro-compatible,” Najat Vallaud-Belkacem told a news conference after the weekly cabinet meeting. (Reporting By Elizabeth Pinneau and Julien Ponthus; editing by Daniel Flynn and Mark John)

TORONTO The Canadian government blocked Malaysian state oil company Petronas’ C$ 5.17 billion ($ 5.22 billion) bid for gas producer Progress Energy Resources Corp on Friday, in a ruling that could have huge implications for the far larger proposed takeover of Nexen by China’s state-owned CNOOC. “I can confirm that I have sent a notice letter to Petronas indicating that I am not satisfied that the proposed investment is likely to be of net benefit to Canada,” said Christian Paradis, Canmada’s Minister of Industry in a statement. Petronas has up to 30 days to make any additional representations and submit […]

TOKYO Japan’s government downgraded its view of the economy for the third straight month in October as worries about Europe’s debt crisis and China’s slowdown intensified, adding pressure on the central bank to offer further stimulus to support growth. It was the longest streak of downgrades since five straight months of cuts made just after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, underscoring Tokyo’s growing alarm that the prolonged overseas slowdown may again nudge Japan into recession. Economics Minister Seiji Maehara said that while it was too early to judge whether Japan may slip into recession, the economy’s trend was […]

The kerfuffle today over volatile jobless claims data is of a piece with the long history of how these numbers are reported and then revised. These kinds of problems have cropped up in the past, and the number involved falls within the statistical range of revisions to prior week numbers. Initial jobless claims–a measure of layoffs–were down a whopping 30,000 to a seasonally adjusted 339,000 in the week ended Oct. 6, the Labor Department said. However, revisions to the government’s numbers can be significant, ranging anywhere from 30,000 to 60,000, data show. You can see the examples of anomalies below. […]

Greater job growth and a more rapid recovery will not occur until the economy undergoes a number of adjustments and this process cannot be accelerated by Federal Reserve monetary policy or other government actions, said Charles Plosser, the president of the Philadelphia Fed Bank, on Thursday. The economy was over-invested in housing and finance when the crisis hit. These sectors are shrinking now and labor and capital must be reallocated to other uses. At the same time, the labor force needs to be “at least partially retooled” to match the skills employers demand, Plosser said in a speech to the […]

JPMorgan Chase & Co Chief Executive Jamie Dimon on Wednesday lashed out at the government for a lawsuit alleging misdeeds at Bear Stearns, more than four years after JPMorgan was asked to rescue the teetering financial giant. Dimon said the company is still paying the price for doing the Federal Reserve “a favor” by buying Bear Stearns in early 2008. “I’m going to say we’ve lost $ 5 billion to $ 10 billion on various things related to Bear Stearns now. And yes, I put it in the unfair category,” Dimon said, speaking at a Council on Foreign Relations event […]

LONDON Britain will veto the proposed $ 45 billion merger between EADS and BAE Systems if its “red line” conditions are not met, British Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said on Sunday. He told BBC radio the merged aerospace-defence group could not be controlled by any one government. “It is not necessary to have no French or German government interest in the company. It is necessary to reduce that stake below the level at which it can control or direct the way the company acts,” he said. (Reporting by Tim Castle; editing by Ron Askew)

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