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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Stock Market News, Financial News - Feb 19, 2009

Oil prices pause ahead of U.S. crude stocks data

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Oil prices were steady below $35 a barrel on Thursday ahead of U.S. data expected to show crude inventories in the top energy consumer have hit an 11-year high amid the worsening recession.

Oil stocks in the United States have already risen by 20 percent since September as the economic downturn crushed consumption, which helped pull crude prices more than $110 off their peaks last summer.

A day ahead of expiry, U.S. crude futures for March delivery rose 1 cent to $34.63 a barrel by 0152 GMT, while April delivery contracts rose 12 cents to $37.53. London Brent for April delivery rose 36 cents to $39.91.  (More ...)

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IMF chief - World economy might stagnate in 2009

PARIS (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund might have to lower its world growth forecasts yet again, with the global economy looking like it might stagnate this year, IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn said in a newspaper interview.

"This situation is quite clear. 2009 is already largely determined and it will be a very bad year," Strauss-Kahn told Les Echos newspaper in an interview released ahead of Thursday's publication.

In a grim assessment of the world economy, the IMF last month slashed its 2009 forecast to 0.5 percent, the weakest year since World War Two, from a November estimate of 2.2 percent. Strauss-Kahn said the final figure "could well approach zero".

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Railways finds new demand coming in from retail logistics

Financial Express

In times of recession, using railways to enhance retail logistics operations is the new buzzword among the local retail logistics fraternity. The aim is to keep multi-modal transportation options open in a cost effective way which is an integral strategy for retail logistics while expanding geographical footprints. Further, railways also has an advantage over time, says top local retail giants. Currently, railways mainly handles logistics for heavy cargo and commodities.

Future Logistics, part of the Future Group, which makes occasional use of railways for retail logistics operations between Eastern Mumbai and Kolkata now intends extending operations to metro corridors (Delhi-Mumbai-Bangalore) as well. Anshuman Singh, CEO, Future Logistics told FE, "Railways always has an advantage of time. Hence, our expectations are to now operate retail logistics through railway routes in Delhi-Mumbai-Bangalore. The aim is to keep multi model transportation options open which is an integral strategy for retail logistics in a cost effective manner."  (More ... )

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The buzz is around mobile operating systems now

Financial Express

At the world's biggest mobile phone show, the buzz is about software. While dozens of new smart phones are being introduced at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, the industry's biggest players and the newcomers that have shaken it up are less likely to be promoting their latest devices than what makes them run.

Google, one of the newcomers, received a lift on Tuesday from Vodafone, the world's largest mobile operator. Vodafone said that starting in March it will sell phones made by HTC that use Google's Android software in Britain, France, Germany, Spain and Italy.

The emergence of Android last year came after the arrival two years ago of the Apple iPhone, with its touch-screen control system, prompting a shake-up that has caused the more-entrenched players to step up their efforts. "Apple and Google have shown that with the right user interface, with the right environment in the phone, you can generate significant consumer interest and usage of the device," said Joergen Lantto, vice-president for mobile platforms at ST-Ericsson, the cell phone equipment maker.  (More ... )

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