The Bank of England raised Thursday UK interest rates to 5.25% from 5% in an effort to curb inflation and surprising analysts who were expecting the decision for next month.
The European Central Bank balancing growth against inflation held its key interest rate steady at 3.5% Thursday but is expected to keep a close eye on prices and economic momentum ahead of a possible increase in March.
Oil plunged Thursday to its lowest level price since May 2005, below 52 US dollars a barrel, following the continued steep rise in heating oil stocks in United States and a resumption of crude pumping top Europe by Russia.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) grew in 2006 for the third consecutive year to reach 1.2 trillion US dollars according to initial estimates released Tuesday by the United Nations, which also warned that economic growth is likely to slow this year because of high commodity prices and other factors.
China's trade surplus in 2006 reached a mind bogging 177.5 billion US dollars compared to 102 billion in 2005, reported Wednesday the Chinese news agency Xinhua.
United States president George W Bush and the European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso ratified Monday their commitment to seek fresh ways of overcoming differences and reaching an agreement on the Doha Round trade talks.
Moeller-Maersk and 407 other shipping lines increased their capacity to move containers 14 percent in 2006, the fastest pace in six years, as trade expanded, data from Containerisation International showed.
Controversy erupted in Britain following reports in the London press that the Royal Navy will experience a drastic cut to its surface fleet and promotion for RN officers is to be frozen for five years as a result of cost cutting measures.
Britain's Royal Navy fishery patrol ships received a new lease on life when the Ministry of Defence settled a GBP 52 million (USD 101 million) deal with Portsmouth shipbuilders. The new contract with VT Group effectively guarantees that the HMS Tyne, HMS Severn and HMS Mersey will remain at sea until the end of 2013.
The European Union called on the United States to show leadership in reviving the stalled Doha trade talks ahead of meetings in Washington next Monday of top EU officials with President George W. Bush and the new Democrat congressional leaders.