Paulson in China :

BEIJING: US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson arrived in Beijing on Wednesday for talks with top Chinese economic officials amid tensions over trade and exchange rates. Paulson is to meet with Vice Premier Wu Yi, Finance Minister Jin Renqing and other officials. He called the trip important but hasn’t disclosed the agenda for his talks or what message he would deliver to Chinese leaders. —AP

Coup shakes markets :

SINGAPORE: Thailand’s unexpected overnight military coup rattled Asian financial markets Wednesday and pressured the Thai baht and other regional currencies, though its economic repercussions remained unclear. The news prompted Fitch Ratings to say it was considering lowering the credit rating of the country’s sovereign debt and seven major Thai banks. Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services said it was putting six major Thai companies, including Thai Oil Public Co, on negative watch. —AFP

Aeroflot’s large orders :

MOSCOW: Russian flag carrier Aeroflot will buy planes from both Boeing Co and Airbus, the RIA-Novosti agency cited the company’s chief executive as saying Wednesday. Speaking in the Siberian city of Irkutsk, Valery Okulov said Aeroflot would buy 22 Boeing jetliners in 2010-2012 and the same number of Airbuses from 2012-2016, the agency reported. “We intend to acquire both Boeings and Airbuses,” Okulov said.—AP

Microsoft’s Xbox :

TOKYO: Microsoft Co said on Wednesday it will launch its Xbox 360 video game console in India this week and in Africa next week, and start selling external high-definition DVD players for the game unit in Japan in November. The rollout plans for India and Africa were announced in Tokyo by Corporate Vice President Peter Moore, and come as the company tries to shore up sales ahead of expected intensified competition later this year from Sony and Nintendo. — AP

Energy meet in China :

BEIJING: China will host a gathering in October of five major energy-consuming nations on ways to deal with high oil prices, Chinese and South Korean officials said on Wednesday. The meeting, which will bring together senior officials from China, the United States, Japan, India and South Korea, may result in a call for stable energy prices, they said. In South Korea, an official with the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy said the proposal for the meeting came from China. — AP