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TMCNet:  AP Business NewsBrief at 7:02 a.m. EST

[January 22, 2013]

AP Business NewsBrief at 7:02 a.m. EST

(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Verizon Communications 4Q loss widensNEW YORK (AP) _ Verizon Communications' fourth-quarter loss widened, dragged down by restructuring, pension and Superstorm Sandy costs. The company activated a record number of new devices on its contract-based plans during the period. The parent of the country's biggest wireless carrier lost $4.23 billion, or $1.48 per share, for the period ended Dec. 31. That compares with a loss of $2.02 billion or 71 cents per share, a year ago.



DuPont reports 4Q earnings droppedDOVER, Del. (AP) _ The DuPont Co. says weakness in performance chemicals and electronics and communications, coupled with costs associated with growth initiatives, led to a sharp drop in fourth-quarter income. The company on Tuesday reported net income for the quarter ending Dec. 31 of $111 million, or 12 cents per share. That's down from $373 million, or 40 cents per share, for the fourth quarter of 2011.

Obama stands his ground on fiscal debatesWASHINGTON (AP) _ President Barack Obama devoted one word _ "deficit" _ to the issue that brought Washington to the brink of fiscal crises time and again during his first term. But it was the paragraph that followed in his inaugural address that foreshadowed what's to come _ more hard bargaining and more last-minute deals driven by Obama's own conviction that he now wields an upper hand.

Bank of Japan sets 2 percent inflation targetTOKYO (AP) _ Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared a "monetary regime change" Tuesday as the central bank bowed to government pressure, setting a 2 percent inflation target aimed at helping the country emerge from its prolonged bout of deflation. "This opens a passageway toward bold monetary easing," Abe told reporters after the Bank of Japan and government jointly announced the inflation target and plans for "open-ended" central bank asset purchases similar to the strategy followed by the U.S. Federal Reserve to keep market interest rates low.

Markets shrug off Bank of Japan movePARIS (AP) _ World markets shrugged Tuesday after the Bank of Japan's announcement of a new round of bond purchases that many thought wasn't bold enough. Surprisingly good results from a German investor confidence survey tempered losses later in the morning, but many traders were waiting for earnings releases later in the day from the U.S. Google, Johnson & Johnson and IBM are among those set to report results.

EU grouping set for financial transaction taxBRUSSELS (AP) _ A group of 11 European Union countries are set to get the green light to push ahead with the introduction of a financial transaction tax, Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan said Tuesday. The European Commission, the EU's executive branch, has suggested that trades in bonds and shares be taxed at 0.1 percent and trades in derivatives at 0.01 percent. The money raised could run into billions of euros and help shore up the finances of cash-strapped countries in Europe.

Sharp rise in German investor optimismBERLIN (AP) _ A closely watched survey shows an unexpectedly sharp rise in German investor confidence, suggesting increasing optimism over how financial markets will perform in the coming months. The ZEW institute said Tuesday its indicator of economic sentiment rose by 24.6 points in January over the month before to an overall 31.5 points _ its highest level since May 2010. Economists had predicted a more modest rise to 12 points.

Interest rates down as Spain sells $3.7 bln debtMADRID (AP) _ Spain has sold (EURO)2.8 billion ($3.7 billion) in short-term bills and seen the interest rates it has to pay fall sharply. The amount raised was more than target and provides further evidence that investors are growing less concerned over the country's economic future.

UK public sector borrowing higher than expectedLONDON (AP) _ U.K. public sector borrowing was higher than expected in December, another setback in the government's plans to reduce its deficit. The Office for National Statistics said Tuesday that net public sector borrowing was 15.4 billion pounds in December, compared with 14.8 billion pounds a year earlier and 200 million pounds above the market consensus.

Cyprus insists against privatizations in bailoutNICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) _ Cyprus' government spokesman says there's no reason to consider privatizing state-owned companies now because it's not yet certain that the public debt burden would be too heavy for the country to bear once it receives rescue money from international creditors. Cyprus is negotiating a bailout mostly to rescue its banks. But it can only get a bailout if it is deemed to have a realistic chance at repaying the rescue loans. That will be determined by a yet-unfinished report on the banks' needs.

(c) 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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