NEW YORK, April 17- U.S. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits ticked up 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 304,000 for the week ended April 12, the Labor Department said on Thursday. The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank also said factory activity in the U.S. mid-Atlantic region picked up in April at a faster clip than expected.» Read More
The euro set a fresh record high against the dollar early Friday, though the $1.50 level remained out of reach when the euro was knocked more than a cent off its peak by comments from a euro zone policymaker.
Singapore's October inflation leapt 3.6 percent from a year ago to a 16-year high, reflecting higher costs for food and transport, data showed on Friday, putting pressure on the central bank to curb rising prices.
The dollar hit new record lows against the euro, the Swiss franc and a basket of currencies on Thursday on growing belief that the U.S. Federal Reserve will cut interest rates again next month.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said the number of potential U.S. home-loan defaults "will be significantly bigger" in 2008 than in 2007, the Wall Street Journal's online edition reported.
The mood among consumers hit the skids in November as gasoline prices soared and the housing slump worsened.
Standard & Poor's expects the U.S. Federal Reserve to cut interest rates to 3.5 percent in 2008 to deal with the fallout from the housing market, S&P's chief European economist said on Wednesday at a banking conference in London.
China will clamp down on new investment projects to help keep growth in the world's fourth-largest economy on an even keel, the government said on Wednesday.
Japan's exports hit a record high in October and the trade surplus jumped by two-thirds from a year earlier, though the increase was slightly less than forecast, raising concerns that a slowing U.S. economy will hurt Japan's export-led growth.
The Federal Reserve is expecting slower growth and lower inflation next year. But minutes from the Fed's October meeting show policymarkers were reluctant to cut interest rates further.
The dollar slid to a record low versus the euro after minutes of the Federal Reserve's October meeting failed to give a clear indication on the central bank's next move on rates.
Groundbreaking for U.S. housing rebounded in October but permits for future building hit a 14-year low, indicating the grim market for home construction will likely continue to worsen.
The Fed and financial markets remain at odds over where the economy and interest rates are heading, and fresh Fed forecasts to be released Tuesday are unlikely to bridge that gap.
The dollar fell against the yen but held steady versus the euro Monday as global stock losses and high oil prices stoked uncertainty about the health of the U.S. economy and left investors wary of risky trades.
The painful collapse of the housing market along with the credit crunch will weigh down economic growth in the final three months of this year and cause economic activity to lag in 2008.
Time is running out for U.S. lawmakers to prevent millions of unsuspecting middle-income taxpayers from being hit with a tax meant for the very rich.
The dollar slipped on Friday, but was still on track for its biggest weekly gain in a month, with dealers wary of adding much to extended bets against the greenback with so much uncertainty surrounding the credit market.
Two top Federal Reserve officials on Friday suggested the U.S. economy is unlikely to need lower borrowing costs even as it navigates a possibly rocky stretch in the economy.
Chinese lunchtime television on Friday gave ordinary people a basic tip on how to play the currency markets: sell the dollar!
A top Federal Reserve official said it would take sharper than expected slowdown in growth to change the Fed's monetary policy stance in a Dow Jones interview released on Friday, casting doubt on market expectations for more interest rate cuts.
The mortgage crisis could have a "dramatic" impact on the economy by forcing banks and other financial firms to cut lending up to $2 trillion, a Goldman economist said.