Nikei index rises
JAPANESE shares have risen after finance ministers of the G20 group of nations avoided singling out Japan for criticism over the recent yen weakness. The yen has dipped nearly 15 per cent against the US dollar since November amid Japan's efforts to stoke inflation. There were concerns that a criticism from G20 may prompt Japan to alter its aggressive stance. The fears were that it would result in the yen rising again and hurt Japan's plans to spur growth. Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 2.2 per cent
Gold mine raid
DOZENS of masked intruders have raided a gold mining operation in northern Greece, officials say. The attackers used petrol bombs and flammable liquid to set fire to machinery, vehicles and containers, police told the Associated Press. The Hellas Gold site is due to open in 2015 and expected to create new jobs in the recession-hit Halkidiki region. But it has faced protests from environmentalists who say development would cause irreversible damage. Citizens' groups have been trying to halt the project since 2011, when the Greek government allowed Hellenic Gold, a subsidiary of Canadian company Eldorado Gold, to dig in the region.
GERMANY is demanding explanations from the online retail giant Amazon after a TV documentary showed seasonal workers being harassed by security guards. A TV documentary by state broadcaster ARD said employees' rooms were searched; they were frisked at breakfast and constantly watched. Employment Minister Ursula von der Leyen said some employment agencies could lose their operating licences. In a statement, Amazon said it would follow up complaints.
THAILAND'S economic growth exceeded expectations in the last three months of 2012 as it continued to recover from the previous year's devastating floods. Gross domestic product surged 18.9 per cent in the October-December period, from a year earlier. Most analysts had forecast a figure close to 15 per cent compared with the previous quarter, the economy grew by 3.6 per cent.