AFP World Economic News Summary

The top world economic stories on Thursday:


TOKYO: The head of the Bank of Japan hit back at claims it is manipulating the yen, saying the BoJ's monetary easing was solely aimed at stoking economic growth at home, a day before a meeting of G20 finance ministers where avoiding a "currency war" was expected to dominate discussion.


BRUSSELS: The recession in the 17-nation eurozone deepened sharply in the fourth quarter of 2012 as the debt crisis continued to sap growth and confidence as jobs are lost, with the outlook remaining uncertain and weak, official data showed.


FRANKFURT: Professional forecasters surveyed by the European Central Bank have cut their eurozone growth forecast to zero this year and to 1.1 percent next year, the ECB said.


TOKYO: Japan's economy shrank for a third quarter at the end of 2012, data showed, leaving it mired in recession owing to weak export demand, but analysts and the central bank eyed a rosier outlook.


NEW DELHI: India's inflation rate unexpectedly retreated to a more than three-year low last month, data showed, opening the door to more interest rates to revive a sharply slowing economy.



Europe's scandal over horsemeat-tainted food spiralled after Britain announced the discovery of a potentially harmful drug in horsemeat sent to France, and Germany became the latest country to be drawn in.


BRUSSELS: A financial transactions tax to be adopted by 11 EU states will raise 30-35 billion euros each year but controversially, the levy will also be applicable world-wide, the European Commission said.


NEW YORK: American Airlines parent company AMR Corp and US Airways announced that their boards have approved a merger agreement to create the largest US airline.



Anglo-Australian mining titan Rio Tinto posted its first annual loss in 18 years, plunging US$2.99 billion into the red on hefty writedowns on its Mozambique coal and aluminium businesses.


VEVEY, Switzerland: Swiss-based food giant Nestle announced an 11.5-percent increase in net profit for 2012, beating analysts' forecasts with a figure of 10.6 billion Swiss francs (8.8 billion euros, $11.5 billion).


PARIS: Leading French bank BNP Paribas reported an 8.3-percent rise in net profit last year to 6.55 billion euros ($8.76 billion), falling short of expectations owing to exceptional items but doing better than most of its rivals.