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Around the business world

Daily Staff Report

Ford vehicle sales slide 7 percent due to slump in truck purchases: DETROIT – Ford Motor Co. sold nearly 7 percent fewer vehicles last month than in June 2005, as higher gas prices held truck buyers at bay, the company reported Monday.But while sales of light trucks plummeted 14.6 percent, the company saw a bright spot in car sales, which rose 8.6 percent, as demand for the company’s new mid-size sedans remained high. In total, the company sold 269,404 cars and light trucks of the Ford, Lincoln and Mercury brands – a 6.8 percent drop.GM forging global alliance: DETROIT – With the recent announcement that foreign competitors Renault SA and Nissan Motor Co. are considering purchasing a significant stake in GM, the hunter has become the hunted. If the proposed partnership goes forward, it would reshape the global auto industry and may give struggling GM the aid it needs to revive.Economy growth continues to slow: NEW YORK – The nation’s manufacturing sector expanded in June, but at a slower pace than analysts expected, according to an industry survey. The government, meanwhile, says that construction spending fell in May by the largest amount in nearly two years. Both reports reinforce the belief of many experts that the U.S. economy has begun to slow as higher interest rates have reduced demand for housing while rising fuel prices have put a crimp in consumer spending.Wall Street walking tall: NEW YORK – Wall Street kicked off the third quarter with a sharp advance Monday as mild manufacturing and construction data lifted hopes about interest rates and energized investors in light pre-holiday trade.Oil prices rise on anticipation of increased demand: NEW YORK – Oil prices rise on anticipation that large numbers of Americans will take to the road for Independence Day. Strong U.S. economic data and nagging concerns over Iran’s nuclear defiance also put a high floor under prices. The New York Mercantile Exchange was closed for the U.S. holiday.Credit card delinquencies are skyrocketing – NEW YORK – Rising interest rates and higher gasoline prices are putting the squeeze on consumers’ budgets, and many are finding it harder to keep up with their bills. Credit counseling agencies say that consumers are flocking to seek help. “My phones are going crazy,” said Howard Dvorkin, president of the nonprofit Consolidated Credit Counseling Services Inc. in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. “Consumers are carrying an exorbitant amount of debt – and they don’t have any savings to fall back on if things don’t go right.”South Korean firms target Qualcomm: SEOUL – Two U.S. semiconductor manufacturers have filed a complaint against Qualcomm Inc. alleging it abused its dominant market status in South Korea, the country’s antitrust regulator said Monday. Perodua takes the lead in te Malaysian car market: RAWANG, Malaysia – Only 13 years in the business, Malaysian compact car maker Perodua is proof that a shortcut to success is possible. Long considered a poor sibling to domestic rival Proton, Perodua has upstaged its big brother and overtaken Proton as market leader this year in Malaysia, Southeast Asia’s largest passenger car market.Airbus builder goes through management shakeup: PARIS – European defense group EADS vows to put Franco-German management tensions behind it and resolve the crisis at Airbus, the day after the French CEO and the civil jet unit’s German head lost their jobs in a much-anticipated shake-up.BP production expected to fall: LONDON – BP PLC said it expected production in the second quarter to fall by 2.5 percent because of changes to Venezuelan law, and that it’s taking an additional $500 million (393.3 million euro) charge related to a refinery disaster in Texas.Japan economy perking up: TOKYO – Japanese companies are more optimistic about their business prospects, a central bank survey says, sending stocks higher and fanning speculation that the bank will raise interest rates as early as next week.Chinese stocks rise: BEIJING – Just days before China’s biggest IPO, stocks rose to a two-year high Monday after the government announces rules allowing investors to borrow from brokerages to buy and sell shares.WTO trade talks stalled: NEW YORK – Failure by top trading powers to resolve their differences in global commerce negotiations augurs badly for the world’s poor, a top U.N. official said Monday, urging countries to do their utmost to save the troubled Doha round of trade talks.Carribean countries waiting for oil: SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – One year after 13 Caribbean countries signed a deal with Venezuela to buy oil for preferential terms, most of them have not received a single drop of fuel, while those that have are still paying high prices at the pump. Cash-strapped Caribbean countries welcomed the pact known as Petrocaribe as a way to counter soaring oil prices. But eight nations say they haven’t gotten fuel shipments yet, largely because they’re figuring out how to handle them. By Miranda Leitsinger. Vail, Colorado


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