BIZ BRIEFS

Oil prices start rising

LONDON: Global oil prices climbed on Monday after OPEC’s president called for the powerful cartel to slash output by one million barrels per day in response to a recent drop in prices. Traders were also absorbing news of a nuclear test by North Korea which has raised concerns over the Iranian nuclear energy crisis as well. — AFP

Industrial output up

BERLIN: Industrial output in Germany expanded by 1.9 per cent in August, after already rising by 0.8 per cent in July. The increase this month was mainly due to higher output in the key manufacturing sector. Manufacturing output grew by 2.3 per cent and construction output was up by 1.2 per cent, while energy output declined by 1.9 per cent. — AFP

Czech inflation falls

PRAGUE: Czech inflation was 2.7 per cent in September on a 12-month comparison after 3.1 per cent in August. In September, consumer prices fell by 0.7 per cent from the August figure. Prices rose in August by 0.2 per cent compared with July. The lower cost of package holidays at home and abroad, the first drop in the cost of petrol after rises during the previous five months. — AFP

Trade surplus narrows

WIESBADEN: The German trade balance showed a surplus of 11.2 billion euros in August, down from 13.2 billion euros in July. On a 12-month basis the German trade surplus was lower than the 11.6 billion euros recorded in August 2005. Germany, exported goods worth 69.4 billion euros in August, up by 9.6 per cent on the year. — AFP

Industrial output rises

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian industrial output rose at a slower pace of five per cent year-on-year in August compared to 7.3 per cent in July. Data showed slower year-on-year growth in the manufacturing and electricity sectors while the mining sector declined. The softening figures were within an expected range and reflected slower growth in demand. — AFP

eBay’s online shop

LONDON: Auction website eBay is hoping to tap into Britain’s growing army of online shoppers and fashion followers with eBay Express. At express.ebay.co.uk goods have a fixed price, and are brand new. All sellers are professionals vetted by eBay, and all offer a returns policy and guaranteed delivery date. It is hoped it will coax the more nervous shoppers on to the web, as well as those too pressed for time. — The Guardian

Lithuanian inflation

VILNIUS: Lithuania’s central bank chief said that it can realistically hope to join the eurozone ‘starting from 2010’, but warned that inflation would remain a key obstacle to its euro ambitions. It believe that a period starting in 2010 is most realistic for joining the eurozone, but if conditions are unfavourable, the target date could be delayed. — AFP