Nikkei rises above 15,000 on weak yen, dollar resilient
SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Japan’s Nikkei share average surged to a 5-1/2-year high on Wednesday as Japanese exporters rallied after the yen’s recent slide, while the dollar showed resilience, supported by signs of an improving U.S. economy. The dollar eased 0.1 percent to 102.22 yen, but still remained near Tuesday’s high of around 102.40 yen, the greenback’s strongest level against the Japanese currency since October 2008.
Walmart checks Bangladesh factories; retailer accord elusive
(Reuters) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc stepped up Bangladesh factory inspections while U.S. and European retailers pursued separate accords to try to prevent another disaster in a garment industry where more than 1,200 workers have died in the past six months. Wal-Mart, the world’s biggest retailer, said it does not plan to sign a fire and building safety agreement backed by some of Europe’s biggest apparel brands because it believes its own safety inspection plans will get faster results.
TSX up on energy and industrials; BlackBerry falls
TORONTO (Reuters) – Toronto’s main stock index rose on Tuesday, as energy and industrial stocks rose in tandem with gains in U.S. stocks, more than offsetting pullbacks in key stocks such as BlackBerry and Bombardier Inc . Energy stocks, which suffered steep losses in April, rose 0.67 percent despite a retreat in the price of oil, helped by the continued momentum in U.S. stock indexes.
Boeing resumes deliveries of 787 Dreamliners
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Boeing Co resumed deliveries of its high-tech 787 Dreamliner jet on Tuesday, ending a period of nearly four months in which it was unable to provide new planes to customers because of safety concerns about the battery system. The delivery of the first jet with a redesigned battery system marks a turning point in Boeing’s 787 crisis, allowing the jet maker to book revenue for completed sales of the jet, which costs $207 million at list prices.
After ATM heist, India’s IT sector again in unwelcome spotlight
MUMBAI/BANGALORE (Reuters) – A breach of security at two payment card processing companies in India that led to heists at cash machines around the world has reopened questions on the risks of outsourcing sensitive financial services to the Asian nation. Global banks that ship work to be processed in India, either in-house or to big IT services vendors, were already under pressure to step up oversight of back-office functions after a series of scandals last year.
HSBC targets additional $2-3 billion cost savings by 2016
HONG KONG (Reuters) – HSBC said on Wednesday that it would target additional cost savings of $2 billion to $3 billion in 2014-2016, as Europe’s biggest bank cuts jobs and sells noncore businesses to bolster profitability under a restructuring plan led by CEO Stuart Gulliver. In a strategy update, HSBC also said it would aim for a cost-efficiency ratio in the “mid-50s”, up from 48-52 percent previously, a goal it had been struggling to achieve amid sluggish growth outside Asia. It maintained its long-term target for return on equity of 12 to 15 percent.
Boeing to fix batteries on all Dreamliner jets by end-May
NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Boeing Co will complete fixing the batteries in all 50 of its high-tech 787 Dreamliner jets by the end of this month, Dinesh Keskar, senior vice president for sales in Asia Pacific, told Reuters on Wednesday. The planes had been grounded worldwide since January following incidents of overheating in the batteries providing auxiliary power. Boeing has since worked to develop new battery housings to prevent a repeat of the incidents.
Analysis: For all the debt, there’s a shortage of bonds
LONDON (Reuters) – Debt may be everywhere but there’s a scarcity of bonds. With governments awash with debt and furiously selling new securities to fund bloated budget deficits, the idea of a bond shortage on the marketplace may sound puzzling.
Two unions seek to combine in American, US Air merger
(Reuters) – Two unions that represent ground workers at American Airlines and US Airways Group said on Tuesday they would combine to become the bargaining agent for nearly 30,000 employees after the airlines merge. The move comes as the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, a third union, seeks to represent mechanics at US Airways.
Lonmin’s South Africa workers strike for second day
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Workers at platinum producer Lonmin’s South African shafts continued a wildcat strike for a second day on Wednesday, raising concerns that the bitter turf war between rival unions could escalate into anarchy and violence. Production at all Lonmin’s 13 shafts was halted on Tuesday as protesters demanded the closure of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) offices at Lonmin, which said last week that the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) now represented over 70 percent of its workforce.