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Friday Morning Business Brief

January 24, 2014, 5:35 AM

Friday Morning Business Brief

Signs that China's economy is slowing is worrying investors. There was a big stock sell-off on Wall Street yesterday after an HSBC survey of Chinese manufacturing fell to the lowest point since July. The Dow dropped 176 points. The S&P 500 lost 16. And the Nasdaq declined 24 points. Today, Procter & Gamble will report financial results before the market opens. Futures point to a decline at this morning's opening.

  • Asian stock markets were mostly lower today on lingering concerns over the slowing Chinese economy. Early European trading also pointed to a lackluster end to the week. China's Shanghai Composite Index bucked the downward trend. Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose above $97.50. The dollar gained against the euro and fell against the yen.
  • Greece's finance minister says the country is still in tough negotiations with representatives of its international creditors over the course of its economic reform program. The minister insists there is no cause for concern and that the government is not being pressed to impose new austerity measures.
  • South Korean electronics powerhouse Samsung says for the first time in more than two years, its quarterly net profit declined from the previous quarter. Samsung says its net earnings for the fourth quarter fell 11 percent from the third quarter to $6.8 billion. It's the first time in nine quarters that profits didn't grow from the previous quarter. Compared to a year earlier, earnings inched up 4 percent and sales rose 6 percent.
  • A government warning about the dangers of increased use of trains to transport crude oil is giving a boost to supporters of the long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline. U.S. and Canadian accident investigators are urging their governments to impose new safety rules on so-called oil trains, warning that a "major loss of life" could result from an accident involving the increasing use of trains to transport large amounts of crude oil. Pipeline supporters say the unusual joint warning highlights the need for the pipeline to carry oil from western Canada to U.S. refineries.

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