BERLIN: German industrial production stalled in May as the construction and energy sectors weighed on overall output. Production was unchanged compared with the previous month, when it was up 0.6 per cent. That was slightly below economists’ forecasts for a 0.1 per cent increase. Tuesday’s number followed a moderate decline of 0.2 per cent in factory orders for May. Economist Carsten Brzeski at ING-DiBa said the weak data for the month appeared to be a result of the month’s large number of public holidays rather than anything to do with the latest crisis in Greece. He said production figures still indicate that Europe’s biggest economy grew in the second quarter, though not by much.

UK industrial data

LONDON: British industrial output unexpectedly rose thanks to strong oil and gas production but manufacturing fell, underscoring a challenge for Finance Minister George Osborne before Wednesday’s budget statement. Industrial output rose by a monthly 0.4 per cent in May, official figures showed on Tuesday, beating all forecasts from economists in a Reuters poll who had predicted a drop of 0.2 per cent. Oil and gas output, which had been strong in the previous two months as global oil prices began to recover from last year’s fall, leapt by 7.3 per cent from April, the biggest increase in more than a year. An official at Office for National Statistics said government believed the rise might be linked to a tax cut announced in March.

Samsung stock sale

SEOUL: A South Korean court on Tuesday rejected a US hedge fund’s request to block the sale of treasury stocks by construction firm Samsung C&T, clearing the path for the $8 billion merger of two Samsung affiliates. The planned merger, which would see Cheil Industries acquire Samsung C&T Corp through an all-stock deal, is the latest in a series of moves by Samsung’s founding Lee family to boost control over the conglomerate ahead of a generational power transfer. The US hedge fund, Elliot Associates, which holds a 7.12 per cent stake in Samsung C&T, has opposed the merger, arguing that it ‘significantly undervalues’ the construction firm’s stock.

Australia holds rate

SYDNEY: Australia’s central bank on Tuesday kept interest rates on hold at two per cent for the second-straight month, saying accommodative monetary policy was needed with economic growth subdued. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has slashed rates by 250 basis points since November 2011 to support the resources-dependent economy as it experiences a sharp fall in mining investment.