What Is Important in the Financial World (4/15/2013)
Microsoft Needs Smart Watch
All the other major tech companies want to build a smart watch to compete with smartphones and tablets, so why shouldn't Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT). It needs a product success more than any of its competitors, now that it is clear its Windows 8 flagship product is a flop. According to the Wall Street Journal:
Earlier this year, Microsoft asked suppliers in Asia to ship components for a potential watch-style device, the executives said. One executive said he met with Microsoft's research and development team at the software company's Redmond, Wash., headquarters. But it's unclear whether Microsoft will opt to move ahead with the watch, they said.
Gold Miners Dumped
The latest casualty of the drop in gold prices is gold-mining stocks. CNBC reports:
As gold prices extended their decline on Monday, investors dumped shares of gold miners on worries over their profitability as the yellow metal trades below the key psychological level of $1,500 an ounce.
Shares of Australian-listed Kingsgate Consolidated, a gold producer and exploration company, and miner Beadell Resources plunged 15 percent, while Newcrest Mining, which operates gold and copper mines, tumbled more than 8 percent.
The drubbing in gold-related stocks was not confined to Australia, with gold producers in China also falling sharply. Shanghai-listed Zhongjin Gold fell 6.5 percent, while Zhaojin Mining tumbled more than 9 percent in Hong Kong.
EU Officials to State Their Case
As European Union leaders go to the G-20 conference this week, they will try to make the case that their austerity measures have started to work, that they eventually will repair the balance sheets of weak nations and get them out of recession. According to Bloomberg:
A two-year slump, 19 million unemployed and five countries on emergency aid are no reason to take bold, immediate action to spur economic growth, according to European officials set to defend their handling of the debt crisis in Washington this week.
Shrugging off the U.S. Federal Reserve's stimulus and the Bank of Japan's reflation campaign, Europe's economic managers say they are on the right track in propping up the 17-nation euro zone, even if evidence is taking time to filter through.
"The euro area has made further progress in the implementation of its comprehensive crisis-response strategy," European Union officials will tell the Group of 20 finance ministers this week, according to a draft statement obtained by Bloomberg News at an EU meeting in Dublin two days ago. The bloc expects "a mild recovery setting in toward mid-2013 and strengthening in the second half of 2013 and in 2014."
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