europe

Gas Prices Around the Globe: The Highs and the Lows

With U.S. gas prices near historic highs, Americans are anxious about the cost of filling up. But we still feel far less pain at the pump than drivers in many other developed nations. On the flip side, if you drive in the right world cities, you can still pay less than $1 a gallon.

Why the Dollar Is Stuck at Three-Month Lows

One would think that with the Mideast crisis East, oil prices skyrocketing and U.S. manufacturing rebounding smartly, the buck would be flying high. But no. Why that's so may lie in international perceptions about where interest rates are heading.

IMF Lays Out the Challenges Ahead for Global Recovery

In its latest report, the IMF applauds national policymakers for stabilizing credit markets and putting the global economy on a recovery track. However, thorny problems remain -- including how to prevent overheating in emerging markets, and how to cut the U.S. deficit while lowering its unemployment rate.

Ford Shares Tank on Its Earnings Disappointment

Ford shares headed down sharply after the company announced quarterly earnings 18 cents per-share lower than analyst expectations. The miss cast a shadow on the report from Ford, which posted its best annual profit in a more than decade -- $6.6 billion.

Why Japan Is Rushing to Aid Europe: It's All About China

World markets got a boost this week from Japan's pledge to help overly indebted EU nations. What's behind Japan's move? Sure, the spirit of global cooperation is part of it. But much more significant is Tokyo's need to keep pace with Beijing in the influence game.

A Rising Economy Is Pushing Down Treasurys

Doomsayers insist the recent rapid rise in yields signals the nation's creditors finally getting fed up with financing U.S. deficits. But a stronger argument can be made for blaming the better-than-expected economic reports that have been piling up recently.

European Melodrama Reveals a Shaky Economy

Europe is struggling with bloated deficits and austerity measures that are creating political unrest and discord. At risk is the very fiber of cooperation and teamwork that is the tenant of the European Union.

France's AAA Credit Rating Could Be at Risk

France could lose its top AAA credit rating as Europe%u2019s debt crisis spreads, Bloomberg News reported. "If problems in the euro zone aren%u2019t solved quickly, then the conditions of refinancing will be expensive for these countries and the ratings agencies will do more downgrades," Ralf Ahrens, who helps manage about $20 billion as head of fixed income at Frankfurt Trust, told Bloomberg News. "We already see these dynamics in the market. I see France as a risk."

Despite World's Problems, U.S. Stocks Will Thrive in 2011

Economic news out of China, South Korea, Europe and the rest of the world can have unpredictable consequences for U.S. stocks. But in this short video, Fund manager James Altucher says our economy can handle the ups and downs and explains why stocks will do well in 2011.

European Regulators Raid Drugmakers in Collusion Probe

European antitrust officials raided drug makers including AstraZeneca Plc (AZN) as part of an investigation into possible collusion to keep cheap generic medicine off the shelves. The European Commission said it raided a "limited number" of pharmaceutical companies that may have obstructed the sale of generic medicines Bloomberg News said.

Severe Weather Closes Airports, Spreads Chaos in Europe

Severe weather closed airports in Geneva, London and Edinburgh, spreading chaos through Europe%u2019s transportation system. London Gatwick airport, the second-busiest in the U.K, will be closed until at least tomorrow morning while snow is cleared away, Bloomberg News reported. Geneva airport is shut until at least 2 p.m. local time, while flights were cancelled at Frankfurt thanks to strong tailwind.

Greece Cleared to Receive Next Batch of Rescue Loans

Greece received the green light for the next installment of its 110 billion euro ($150 billion) bailout package. Representatives of the IMF, ECB and EU said they were recommending that the country receive the third batch of loans under the program, The Associated Press said. The loans are worth 9 billion euros.

GM's IPO: Recovery -- Not the End of the Road

Considering where the iconic carmaker has been in recent years, the pending IPO -- and robust investor demand for shares -- is a remarkably positive step. But GM still has plenty of problem spots that will need fixing if this historic event is to have lasting meaning.

Unilever Gets Approval to Buy Sara Lee Unit

Unilever (UL) won approval from the European Union to buy Sara Lee Corp%u2019s (SLE) shower gel and European detergents business. Unilever agreed to sell off the Sanex deodorant and body-wash brands in the region as part of the deal, Bloomberg News reported. The sale allays competition worries about the 1.3 billion euro ($1.76 billion) deal, the European Commission said.

Europe and IMF to Discuss Aid Package for Irish Banks

European and International Monetary Fund officials will meet in Dublin tomorrow to discuss the possibility of aid for Ireland%u2019s ailing banking sector. "If banking problems are too big for this small country to manage, Europe has made it clear they%u2019ll help," Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan said, according to Bloomberg News.

Ireland in Talks With European Officials About 'Market Conditions'

Ireland is in talks with European officials about "market conditions" amid widespread speculation that the country will accept some form of bailout. "Ongoing contacts continue at official level with international colleagues in light of current market conditions," a Finance Ministry spokesman said in an email late yesterday, Bloomberg News reported.

Ford to Make 500 Temp Jobs Permanent at German Plant

Ford said Friday it plans to offer permanent positions to 500 temporary workers at a plant in Saarlouis, Germany, that will build the next-generation Focus compact car, which begins production next month. The plant will be the only supplier of the new Focus model to Western Europe.

EU Will Support Ireland 'If Needed'

Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, said the EU would support Ireland "if needed" as concerns grow about the country%u2019s public finances. Yields on Irish bonds have hit record highs, a sign investors are worried about the country%u2019s ability to meet all its debt obligations, BBC News said.

BMW Allegedly Blocked Car Sales to Swiss Citizens

Swiss antitrust authorities are investigating BMW for allegedly blocking vehicle sales to Swiss citizens in some parts of Europe. The Swiss Competition Commission said it has information that BMW distribution branches in the European Economic Area are barring sales of BMW and Mini brand vehicles to Swiss citizens, Bloomberg News said.

Sony Sees 'Very, Very Strong' Christmas Gaming Sales in Europe

Sony Corp (SNE) forecast "very, very strong" holiday sales for its video-game consoles in Europe, with high demand for the PlayStation 3. Andrew House, head of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, said that European sales will help Sony exceed its target of selling 15 million PS3s in its fiscal year.

Dollar Falls to 15-Year Low Against Yen

The dollar fell to a 15-year low against the yen and the weakest since January against the euro on speculation that the Federal Reserve will ease monetary policy. The dollar slipped 0.8% to 81.13 yen at 6:37am in New York, from 81.81 yen on Wednesday. Earlier, it fell to 80.89 yen, the weakest since 1995. The dollar fell to as low as $1.4122 against the euro, the weakest since Jan. 26.

Allied Irish Banks to Sell M&T Bank Stake for $2 Billion

Allied Irish Banks (AIB), the lender being taken over the Irish government, will raise roughly $2 billion by selling its 22.4% stake in M&T Bank Corp (MTB). The Dublin-based bank will offer 26.7 million notes for a price of $77.50 each, Bloomberg News said. The notes will be exchanged for shares in M&T by Nov. 15.

Political Gridlock in the U.S. vs. China's Political Savvy

While American pols deal in brinksmanship over taxes and the economy, China's leaders are smoothly gaining influence on the world stage. Witness the good will generated by Premier Wen Jiabao on his recent whirlwind tour of Europe.

China Promises Continued Support for Europe

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao said his country will support European bonds and the euro currency. "I have made clear that China supports a stable euro," he said, according to BBC News.