Iran woos India

NEW DELHI: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has asked India to invest in infrastructure projects worth $8 billion, including an expanded role in developing a strategic port that will open up access to Central Asia, Iran’s envoy to New Delhi said on Friday. The port of Chabahar in southeast Iran is central to India’s efforts to circumvent arch-rival Pakistan and open up a route to landlocked Afghanistan where it has developed close security ties and economic interests. Rouhani suggested the larger role for India during a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of a summit in Russia days before the historic nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, Iran’s ambassador to India said.

US consumer prices

WASHINGTON: US consumer prices rose for a fifth straight month in June as the cost of gasoline and a range of other goods increased, further signs of firming inflation that strengthen the case for an interest rate hike this year. The Labour Department said on Friday its Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.3 per cent last month after increasing 0.4 per cent in May. Last month’s increase pushed the year-on-year CPI rate into positive territory for the first time since December. The energy-driven disinflationary trend appears to have run its course.  Firming price pressures, together with a tightening labour market and strengthening housing could give the Fed confidence that inflation will gradually rise toward its two per cent target.

GE reports loss

NEW YORK: General Electric (GE) reported a loss on Friday for the second quarter due to restructuring costs, although profits from industrial businesses rose. GE reported a loss of $1.36 billion for the quarter ending June 30, compared with a profit of $3.54 billion a year ago. Revenues rose 1.5 per cent to $32.75 billion. The loss follows GE’s announcement this month that it would take a $4.3 billion charge related to a plan to sell most GE Capital businesses in order to focus on industrial segments.