AP Executive Morning Briefing

Friday, April 24, 2009

AP Executive Morning Briefing

The top business news from The Associated Press for the morning of Friday, May 8, 2009:

Toyota sees losses growing this year

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. said it sank into a 765.8 billion yen ($7.7 billion) net loss for the January-March quarter, bringing its loss for the full fiscal year to a bigger-than-expected 436.94 billion yen — its worst result ever. The outlook amid a serious global auto slump is even grimmer: The world’s biggest automaker projects that net losses will deepen to 550 billion yen for the fiscal year through March 2010.

Banks’ ’stress test’ lift cloud of uncertainty

WASHINGTON (AP) — Government exams of the nation’s biggest banks have helped lift a cloud of uncertainty that has hung over the economy. The so-called stress tests — a key Obama administration effort to boost confidence in the financial system — showed nine of the 19 biggest banks have enough capital to withstand a deeper recession. Ten must raise a total of $75 billion in new capital to withstand possible future losses.

Layoffs might ease, but firms in no mood to hire

WASHINGTON (AP) — Employers are letting up a bit on the mass layoffs they resorted to earlier this year to cope with the recession, but the unemployment rate is climbing because many businesses remain wary of hiring given all the economic and financial uncertainties. The Labor Department on Friday is slated to release a report expected to show that a net total of 620,000 jobs were lost in April. If analysts are correct, the figure — while still big — would be an improvement from March’s 663,000 job losses and mark the fewest reductions since November.

Japan’s top chipmaker Toshiba posts record loss

TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s top chipmaker Toshiba Corp. tumbled to a record annual loss amid sinking global demand that has forced it to cut thousands of jobs. Toshiba reported Friday a 343.6 billion yen ($3.5 billion) net loss for the fiscal year ended March, compared with a 127.4 billion yen profit in the previous year. It was the company’s biggest loss ever and its first annual net loss in seven years.

RBS posts first quarter loss of $1.29 billion

LONDON (AP) — Royal Bank of Scotland on Friday reported a first-quarter loss of 857 million pounds ($1.29 billion) as writeoffs from the financial crisis increased despite a jump in revenues, and warned the next two years would be difficult. The loss compared with a profit of 245 million pounds a year earlier.

World markets gain after US bank test; jobs eyed

HONG KONG (AP) — Asian stocks ended the week on a high note Friday as investors braced for a key U.S. jobs report that could bolster — or undercut — a growing belief that recession in the world’s largest economy is starting to ease. European markets opened higher. Shares across Asia were lower early in the session, but recovered as results from the U.S. government’s long-awaited bank “stress tests” proved to be roughly within expectations and lifted uncertainty over the market. Oil prices and Wall Street futures both turned higher, while the dollar strengthened against the yen.

Oil rises above $57 on economic recovery hopes

SINGAPORE (AP) — Oil prices rose above $57 a barrel Friday in Asia as investors bet that a year-end recovery in the global economy will boost oil demand. Traders have shaken off weeks of dismal economic news amid signs that the slowdown has eased and a recovery could gain steam by the end of the year.

Commerzbank posts 1Q net loss $991 million

FRANKFURT (AP) — Germany’s Commerzbank AG reported Friday a large first quarter loss as the bank, struggling to recover from the effects of the global financial crisis, made provisions for bad loans and investments. The Frankfurt-based bank said it lost €861 million ($991 million) in the January-March period compared with a net profit of €280 million in the first quarter of 2008.

Study of Gates Foundation shows global influence

SEATTLE (AP) — A new study of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation illustrates its global reach with spending on health issues, but notes a need for accountability on whether the money is being spent in the most effective way. The world’s largest philanthropic foundation focuses its global health giving on eradicating diseases such as malaria and AIDS. It also works to aid agricultural development in Africa and Asia and improve education in the United States.

Google CEO doesn’t see problem with his Apple role

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) — Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt is taking a government inquiry into his role on Apple Inc.’s board in stride, expressing confidence that the probe won’t find any evidence that the ties between the two companies throttle competition in mobile phones and other technology fields. In a media session held Thursday before Google’s shareholders meeting in Mountain View, Schmidt said he hasn’t considered stepping down from Apple’s board because he doesn’t view the maker of the iPhone, iPod and computers as a “primary competitor.” He echoed that sentiment when a shareholder later asked him to step down from Apple’s board to avoid further government scrutiny.

Japan Markets

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese stocks extended gains Friday after the U.S. government’s tests of major banks helped lift a veil of uncertainty over the global financial system. The benchmark Nikkei 225 stock average added 47.13 points, or 0.5 percent, to 9,432.83, setting a fresh six-month high. The broader Topix index advanced 1.1 percent to 895.35.


TOKYO (AP) —In currencies, the dollar was trading at 99.35 yen Friday from 99.09 yen late Thursday.

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