LONDON, Oct 7- The yen rose on Wednesday after the Bank of Japan left monetary policy unchanged and Governor Haruhiko Kuroda struck an optimistic note about the economy despite recent weakness. "Some investors had been hoping for signs of easing from the BOJ," said Niels Christensen, FX strategist at Nordea. But the BOJ will be under pressure to ease later in the year...» Read More
SAN FRANCISCO-- A federal appeals court will hear arguments in a case seeking to stop California's first-in-the-nation mandate requiring petroleum refiners and ethanol producers to make cleaner fuels for millions of cars and trucks in the state.
LONDON-- Inflation in Britain has fallen to 2.2 percent in September, its lowest annual rate in nearly three years. The Office for National Statistics said Tuesday that housing and household services costs were largely behind the decrease from August's 2.5 percent rate, as higher utility prices imposed in 2011 dropped out of the calculation.
By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark crude for November delivery was up 12 cents at $91.97 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract finished Monday down 1 cent at $91.85 in New York. In London, Brent crude slipped 47 cents to $115.33 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.
The unlikely success story of Softbank Corp. President Masayoshi Son has taken another leap with his latest mega-deal, announced Monday, to take a 70 percent stake in U.S. mobile phone carrier Sprint Nextel Corp. for $20 billion.
TAIPEI, Taiwan-- A Hong Kong media magnate highly critical of China is selling one of his Taiwanese companies to a group headed by a local businessman whose family has substantial interests on the mainland.
WASHINGTON-- More than 56 million Social Security recipients will find out Tuesday how much their monthly payments will go up next year. The increase is tied to a government measure of inflation being released Tuesday morning. Social Security payments for retired workers average $1,237 a month, or about $14,800 a year.
BATUMI, Georgia-- Georgia's Black Sea resort of Batumi was once a bleak site: Roads were dotted with potholes, the city was pitch dark at night, running water was scarce and the city's best hotel was infested with rats.
MONTPELIER, Vt.-- Don't let the bright eyes and bushy tails fool you. In southern Vermont, Clarence Boston said he hasn't seen such an infestation of pests in the 33 years he has been an orchardist on 60 farms in five states. This year's squirrel boom in parts of Vermont followed two seasons of bountiful acorn and beechnut crops and last year's mild winter.
MOSCOW-- Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday called for a ban on all tobacco ads, as the government prepares a bill that would also phase out smoking in public. World Health Organization says that some 40 percent of Russia's adult population smokes, one of the highest rates in the world.
GENEVA-- Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding AG on Tuesday reported a 7 percent increase in sales of its pharmaceutical products for the first nine months of 2012, powered by demand for its cancer drugs.
Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 1.3 percent to 8,689.29 and South Korea's Kospi climbed 0.9 percent to 1,941.45. Benchmarks in Taiwan, Singapore, and New Zealand also rose. Toshiba Corp. jumped 2.7 percent and Sony Corp. rose 1.5 percent in Tokyo, where exporters were also aided by a slightly weaker yen.
MANDAN, N.D.-- Novaspect Holdings Inc., which supplies and services valves and other flow-control components for the energy industry, is building a facility in Mandan, N.D.. The company expects to have about 30 employees within two years, and an annual payroll of $2.6 million.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.-- Missouri payrolls increased by 2,500 in September as the state's unemployment rate declined to 6.9 percent, the lowest mark since late 2008.. The state Department of Economic Development released the report Tuesday.
BOSTON-- Shares of WD-40 Co. tumbled on Tuesday after the maker of spray lubricant and cleaning products reported disappointing quarterly results and a sharp decline in sales to European customers.
LOS ANGELES-- The founders of the studio behind "Shrek," "Madagascar" and "Kung Fu Panda" are donating $90 million to a Hollywood charity that offers support to seniors and health services for members of the entertainment industry.
Mattel Inc., the largest U.S. toymaker, said Tuesday that its net income rose 22 percent in the third quarter, helped by sales of Fisher Price and Monster High dolls and cost costs. Total quarterly revenue: Up 4 percent to $2.08 billion. _ American Girl: Up 16 percent to $102 million.
MCLEAN, Va.-- Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corp. is buying ARINC Inc.' s defense systems engineering and support unit for about $154 million in cash. The parent company of consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton said Tuesday that the division will complement its existing service base.
SHORT HILLS, N.J.-- Investors Bancorp Inc. has closed on its $135 million acquisition of Marathon Banking. "The addition of Marathon more than doubles our branch network in the New York market and provides opportunities for us to enhance our commercial franchise," Investors Bancorp President and CEO Kevin Cummings said in a statement.
NO NUKES: German Chancellor Angela Merkel defended her government's decision to phase out nuclear power and switch to renewable energies within a decade, but acknowledged the need to speed up the plan. Business leaders have criticized the way the switchover has been managed, saying the costs are spiraling and hurting some companies.
INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION: Output at the nation's factories, mines and utilities increased a modest 0.4 percent in September after falling 1.4 percent in August.