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With our investment news briefs, Money Morning provides investors with a quick overview of the most important investing news stories from all around the world.
BofA Fast Tracks TARP Payback; Brazil Unemployment Reverses in April; Taiwan GDP Falls 10.24%; Emirates Airline Posts 80% Profit Nosedive; Dollar Swoons Against Euro, Yen; GM and UAW Reach Tentative Accord; Leading Indicators Surge to 4-Year High; Copper Slumps on Poor Sentiment
- Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) intends to pay back $45 billion in loans it borrowed from the U.S. government through the Trouble Assets Relief Program (TARP) by the end of the year, The Financial Times reported. And it intends to do so by accelerating its program to raise capital. Sources told the FT that BofA is on track to raise more than $35 billion by the end of September.
- Brazil's unemployment rate fell to 8.9% in April from 9.3% in March, Bloomberg reported. "The labor market stopped getting worse, that's definitively good news," Julio Gomes de Almeida, a consultant at the Brazilian Research Institute for Industry Development, told Bloomberg.
- Taiwan's economy shrank a record 10.24% in the first quarter, as a result of slowing exports and a lack of private investment. Taiwan's statistics agency cut its full-year growth forecast but also believes the worst is over. "I think we have more or less seen the bottom for Taiwan's GDP, in terms of dollar value, in the first quarter. We will start seeing improvement in the second, third and fourth quarters this year," chief statistician Shih Su-mei told a news conference, Reuters reported.
- Emirates airline posted an 80% drop in full-year profit, and gave a grim short-term assessment. "As we move into the new financial year, the outlook is not improving," Chairman Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum said in the statement, Bloomberg reported. "Although fuel prices are dropping, demand for business and first-class traffic is still weak in many markets."
- The dollar fell to its lowest levels against the euro since January and dropped versus the yen yesterday (Thursday) as Treasuries fell and gold prices increased. The spread between yields on 10-year notes and Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS), reflecting the outlook among traders for consumer prices, reached 1.73%, the highest level since September, raising inflation fears as the U.S. budget deficit widens, Bloomberg reported.
- Workers will hold a ratification vote on an agreement reached by General Motors Corp (NYSE: GM) and the United Auto Workers (UAW) union leadership on contract changes and restructuring $20 billion in debt owed to a trust fund for retiree healthcare, Reutersreported. Details of the tentative agreement are being withheld until GM workers are briefed on the proposed new contract, which was reached after a round of talks involving representatives of the U.S. Treasury, the union said in a statement.
- The Conference Board's index of U.S. leading economic indicators rose 1% in April, more than forecast. A separate report showed manufacturing in the Philadelphia area shrank in May at the slowest pace in eight months, signaling the deepest recession in 50 years could end later this year, Bloomberg reported. The leading indicators gauge registered its biggest gain since November 2005, the Conference Board said today. The .
- Copper lost as much as 4% yesterday (Thursday) before narrowing losses near the close, Reuters reported. The metal, often seen as an economic barometer, was dragged down by a drop in broad market sentiment amid fresh signs of economic weakness. Copper for July delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange's COMEX division slipped 5.55 cents to settle at $2.0510 a pound.