*Gold slips after six straight weeks of gains. SINGAPORE, July 14- Gold ticked lower on Monday as Asian share markets gained strength, but the metal stayed close to a four-month high hit last week on safe-haven demand from escalating tensions in the Middle East and Ukraine.» Read More
STOCKHOLM-- Volvo Cars, owned by China's Geely Holding Group, has decided to temporarily halt production at its main Swedish plant for one week as demand in the automotive market continues to slip in recession-hit Europe. The Goteborg- based carmaker says Monday the production halt will affect some 3,300 employees and will last from Oct. 29 to Nov. 2.
LISBON, Portugal-- Portugal's government is putting the finishing touches to a draft budget for next year which is expected to be one of the toughest in the country's recent history. The finance minister has said the spending plan will include an "enormous" increase in taxes as well as further cuts in public services and civil service layoffs.
BAKU, Azerbaijan-- Azerbaijan's top energy official urged further scrutiny of the international consortium developing the Caspian Sea nation's main oil field amid mounting irritation at a slump in output.
LJUBLJANA, Slovenia-- Andrej Plut has always thought he was fortunate to live in Slovenia, at one time the most prosperous of the former republics of Yugoslavia and a star among the eastern European states that joined the EU after the fall of communism.
While the global economic crisis that began in 2008 has shown few signs of abating in pockets, particularly in Europe, the luxury sector overall has been in recovery since 2010, when high-end consumers resumed their easy spending habits.
MUMBAI, India-- India's inflation accelerated to 7.8 percent in September after the government hiked subsidized fuel prices to rein in the budget deficit. "Core inflation has remained sticky," said Sonal Varma, economist at Nomura Financial Advisory and Securities in Mumbai. "
By afternoon in Europe, benchmark oil for November delivery was down 11 cents to $91.75 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Benchmark oil fell 21 cents Friday to settle at $91.86 per barrel on the Nymex. Brent crude, which is used to price international varieties of oil, added 57 cents to $115.19 per barrel in London.
STOCKHOLM-- A Swedish committee is getting ready to present the winners of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, the last of this year's Nobel awards to be announced. The economics prize was not among the original prizes established in the will of Alfred Nobel, a Swedish industrialist also known for inventing dynamite.
LEWISTON, Maine-- A Maine brewery is planning an expansion that will quadruple its capacity over time. Baxter Brewing Co. said Monday its brewery in Lewiston will grow from 8,000 barrels to more than 33,000 barrels by the time the expansion is complete.
HARRISBURG, Pa.-- Pennsylvania state agencies and local governments in places where drilling for natural gas is occurring learned Monday how much money they will get out from a fund that has already collected more than $200 million in "impact fees" from drillers.
NEW YORK-- New York City's transit authority unveiled its latest fare and toll proposals for rails, bridges and subways on Monday, including one that would raise the 30- day unlimited subway MetroCard from $104 to $125. The Metropolitan Transit Authority has said the 2013 hike would bring in $450 million a year to support the nation's largest transit system.
In midday trading, benchmark crude oil was down 99 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $90.87. The Commerce Department says retail sales rose 1.1 percent last month. On Friday, the International Energy Agency issued a new report predicting slower growth in demand for oil over the next five years.
Shares of Workday Inc. jumped Monday in its second day of trading as a public company. The company raised $637 million in its IPO, selling 22.8 million shares for $28 each, above the expected range of $24 to $26 per share. It competes with giant corporations in enterprise software like Oracle Corp. and SAP AG.
NEW YORK-- Shares of Clearwire Corp., which operates a wireless data network, hit a 52- week high after Japan's Softbank Corp. agreed to pay $20.1 billion for a 70 percent stake in Sprint Nextel Corp.. THE SPARK: Sprint owns 48 percent of Clearwire but doesn't control its board. It's also Clearwire's biggest customer, reselling access to its network as " Sprint 4 G."
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia-- Southeast Asia's top budget carrier AirAsia said Monday it has aborted an $80 million deal to buy Indonesia's Batavia Air because it will be too risky for shareholders. Our aggressive focus in Indonesia remains and we will push our Indonesian IPO plans while still maintaining close co-operation with Batavia Air. "
WASHINGTON-- Asia's top powers have doubled defense spending in the past decade, spurred by the explosion in military expenditure by China, new research shows. The research covers China, Japan, India, South Korea and Taiwan, which account for some 87 percent of Asia's defense spending.
BALTIMORE-- Millennial Media Inc. raised its third-quarter revenue forecast Monday on increasing demand, but the mobile advertising company said it expects to post a net loss for its third quarter. The Baltimore- based company anticipates revenue of $46.5 million to $47 million, up from its prior outlook of $43.5 million to $45 million.
CHICAGO-- Economists foresee only tepid growth for the coming year, with unemployment back above 8 percent for the first half of 2013.. The quarterly survey by the National Association for Business Economists released Monday predicts growth will be weak overall but should slowly accelerate through 2013..
BANGKOK-- Asian stock markets fell Monday as hopes dimmed for aggressive moves by China to stimulate its slowing economy.