LONDON: Tata Steel said 720 British jobs could become redundant in its speciality and bar business, which is being refocused on high-value markets like aerospace. Most of jobs at risk are at the firm’s Rotherham-based business, which has been underperforming due to cut-price steel imports into Britain, and electricity costs which are more than double those of key European competitors. Tata Steel said it would work closely with those at risk and with their trade union representatives to redeploy employees and minimise number of compulsory redundancies.

US jobless claims

WASHINGTON: Initial claims for US unemployment insurance benefits fell last week as the economy adds a solid number of jobs each month, government data released on Thursday showed. New jobless claims dropped by 15,000 to 281,000 in the week ending July 11, the Labour Department reported. The decline in claims was stronger than analysts expected, with the consensus estimate for a 283,000 reading.

European car sales

MILAN: The European carmakers’ association says auto sales surged 15 per cent in June for the biggest month-on-month increase in more than five years. The ACEA carmakers’ association said on Thursday that the region posted its 22nd month of growth with sales of 1.36 million units. All major markets posted double-digit gains.

TSMC profit growth

TAIPEI: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing said on Thursday its second quarter profit growth slowed to 33 per cent year-on-year as sales fell for the second consecutive period on weaker smartphone demand in China and other emerging markets. The world’s biggest contract microchip maker by revenue had posted 65 per cent growth in first quarter.

Swatch earnings hit

BERLIN: Swatch Group on Thursday reported net income of 548 million francs for January to June period, 19.4 per cent less than a year earlier. At the same time, sales rose 2.2 per cent to 4.19 billion francs. Swatch pointed to the impact of the ‘massively overvalued’ currency but said it expects a strong second-half performance.