June 27, 2012 |
Any traveler among the former French colonies of West Africa in the early 1990s could have foretold the future of the euro. The prospects weren't pretty. Most countries of Francophone West Africa were then, as they are still, members of a single currency zone very much like the Eurozone. Legal tender for the 13 countries was a pair of essentially identical currencies known collectively as the CFA franc — named from the French acronym for "African Financial Community. " France, which kept the CFA fixed at an exchange rate of 50 CFA to one French franc, had created the zone partially to maintain political ties for its former colonies, but mostly to maintain its mercantile dominance.
April 17, 2012 |
BEIJING — China has widened the daily trading range for the yuan in another small step to liberalize its currency. The move, effective Monday, allows the yuan to rise or fall in a single day as much as 1%, double the previous limit. The effort signals a willingness by China to allow its currency to move with market forces. That could help appease trading partners who have long accused Beijing of keeping the yuan artificially weak to give its exporters an advantage over foreign competitors.
April 16, 2012 |
BEIJING -- China's yuan weakened against the dollar Monday, the first day it was allowed to fluctuate against the greenback within a wider range. The exchange rate closed at 6.3150, down 0.3% from the 6.2960 daily fixing set by the central bank to open trading Monday. The central bank said over the weekend that it would double the amount the exchange rate could rise or fall in a single day to as much as 1%. The move is aimed at introducing more volatility into the exchange rate to discourage speculators or capital inflows that could contribute to inflation.
January 25, 2012 |
Fast-food giant McDonald's Corp. had a solid fourth quarter, with a profit of $1.38 billion, up 11% compared with the same period a year earlier. Sales jumped 10% to $6.8 billion. But higher ingredient costs, foreign exchange rates, higher tax rates and other matters clouded Wall Street's view of the company's future. At the end of trading Tuesday, McDonald's shares were down $2.20, or 2.2%, at $98.75. In remarks to analysts, executives said menu price increases could be coming on top of the three increases the company instituted last year.
October 20, 2011 |
Still reeling from industry speculation that AMR Corp. may be near bankruptcy, the parent company of American Airlines reported a third-quarter loss of $162 million, or 48 cents a share, attributing it mostly to higher fuel costs and unfavorable foreign-exchange rates. The nation's third-largest airline reported that revenue per available seat mile rose 8.1% for the quarter. But airline executives said the higher revenue was eclipsed by a $653-million, or 41%, increase in fuel costs from the same period last year — the last time the company reported a profit.
March 13, 2011
The lights are still on at the Eiffel Tower. They keep ringing up sales at Prada in Rome, and London is getting ready to start partying for about a year and a half, beginning with the April 29 wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey. All in all, you wouldn't know that Europe has suffered through an economic crisis as brutal as ours, because strong social programs in the social democracies we love to visit — England, Italy and France — keep people at work, which is part of the problem.