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December 22: News in Pictures

  • December 22: News in Pictures

    December 22: News in Pictures

  • <p><b>A salesman displays gold chains at a jewellery showroom in Hyderabad</b> 
</p><p>
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced on Tuesday the completion of the massive gold reserve sale it began a year ago, likely drawing to a close decades of bullion divestment from the public sector.
</p><p>
The news had little impact on gold prices as the IMF had already said it sold more than 90 per cent of the total 403.3 tonnes by the end of October, but it marked an important turning point for the market, which has been lifted this year by the prospect of further buying by global central banks.
</p><p>
Many analysts now expect the public sector -- led by central banks in emerging markets, especially China -- to become net buyers of gold next year as they seek to diversify reserves away from the US dollar and Treasuries.
</p><p>
The IMF gave no further details on its sales, which began in September 2009 and quickly found willing buyers among south Asian central banks, including I

    A salesman displays gold chains at a jewellery showroom in Hyderabad

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced on Tuesday the completion of the massive gold reserve sale it began a year ago, likely drawing to a close decades of bullion divestment from the public sector.

    The news had little impact on gold prices as the IMF had already said it sold more than 90 per cent of the total 403.3 tonnes by the end of October, but it marked an important turning point for the market, which has been lifted this year by the prospect of further buying by global central banks.

    Many analysts now expect the public sector -- led by central banks in emerging markets, especially China -- to become net buyers of gold next year as they seek to diversify reserves away from the US dollar and Treasuries.

    The IMF gave no further details on its sales, which began in September 2009 and quickly found willing buyers among south Asian central banks, including I

  • <p><b>A vendor arranges packets of pulses at a wholesale market in Chandigarh</b>
</p><p>
India&#39;s headline inflation is not easing as fast as the RBI would like it to and upside risk remains, Subir Gokarn, a deputy governor at the Reserve Bank said on Wednesday.
</p><p>
The RBI left interest rates on hold last Thursday at its mid-quarter review but warned inflation was still well above its comfort level and unveiled steps to address persistently tight liquidity, adding to the possibility that it will resume monetary tightening in January.
</p><p>
India&#39;s headline inflation eased in line with expectations to 7.48 per cent in November, its lowest level in a year. Kaushik Basu, the chief economic adviser to the finance ministry said on Tuesday the headline inflation in January is expected to be lower than the November level.
</p>

    A vendor arranges packets of pulses at a wholesale market in Chandigarh

    India's headline inflation is not easing as fast as the RBI would like it to and upside risk remains, Subir Gokarn, a deputy governor at the Reserve Bank said on Wednesday.

    The RBI left interest rates on hold last Thursday at its mid-quarter review but warned inflation was still well above its comfort level and unveiled steps to address persistently tight liquidity, adding to the possibility that it will resume monetary tightening in January.

    India's headline inflation eased in line with expectations to 7.48 per cent in November, its lowest level in a year. Kaushik Basu, the chief economic adviser to the finance ministry said on Tuesday the headline inflation in January is expected to be lower than the November level.

  • <p><b>A woman walks past a sculpture of Posco&#39;s logo at its headquarters in Seoul</b>
</p><p>
South Korea&#39;s POSCO, the world&#39;s third largest steelmaker, said it will keep domestic steel prices unchanged in the first quarter of 2011 from this quarter despite a rise in raw materials costs, reflecting stagnant demand.
</p><p>
Asian steel mills are grappling with slowing demand from China, the world&#39;s biggest steel consumer, as its economy cools with the winding down of Beijing&#39;s 
stimulus measures.
</p><p>
Prices of key steelmaking ingredients such as iron ore have been rising in the current quarter after softening the previous quarter, further pressuring steelmakers.
</p><p>
\"We have decided to keep domestic prices for the first quarter of next year flat ... we think we can overcome the burden by internal cost-cuts, although prices of raw materials including iron ore are strengthening along with recovering global economies,\" Posco said in a statement on Wed

    A woman walks past a sculpture of Posco's logo at its headquarters in Seoul

    South Korea's POSCO, the world's third largest steelmaker, said it will keep domestic steel prices unchanged in the first quarter of 2011 from this quarter despite a rise in raw materials costs, reflecting stagnant demand.

    Asian steel mills are grappling with slowing demand from China, the world's biggest steel consumer, as its economy cools with the winding down of Beijing's stimulus measures.

    Prices of key steelmaking ingredients such as iron ore have been rising in the current quarter after softening the previous quarter, further pressuring steelmakers.

    \"We have decided to keep domestic prices for the first quarter of next year flat ... we think we can overcome the burden by internal cost-cuts, although prices of raw materials including iron ore are strengthening along with recovering global economies,\" Posco said in a statement on Wed

  • <p><b>Snow is cleared near Qantas and Virgin planes at Heathrow airport in west London</b>
</p><p>
Airline and international train services were limping back towards normal in parts of Europe on Wednesday, but the lingering effects of ice and snow that caused widespread chaos still weighed on schedules.
</p><p>
The disruptions to airlines and high-speed trains in continental Europe, and linking Britain to the continent, created a nightmare before Christmas scenario for tens of thousands of travellers since the weekend, when heavy snow fell.
</p><p>
They also brought calls for legislation to force airports to deal more effectively with snow and other bad weather.
</p><p>
European Union transport chief Siim Kallas said he was considering forcing airports to provide a minimum level of infrastructure support during severe weather.
</p><p>
London&#39;s Heathrow, the world&#39;s busiest international airport, and Frankfurt Airport, the biggest on the continent, which both had sever

    Snow is cleared near Qantas and Virgin planes at Heathrow airport in west London

    Airline and international train services were limping back towards normal in parts of Europe on Wednesday, but the lingering effects of ice and snow that caused widespread chaos still weighed on schedules.

    The disruptions to airlines and high-speed trains in continental Europe, and linking Britain to the continent, created a nightmare before Christmas scenario for tens of thousands of travellers since the weekend, when heavy snow fell.

    They also brought calls for legislation to force airports to deal more effectively with snow and other bad weather.

    European Union transport chief Siim Kallas said he was considering forcing airports to provide a minimum level of infrastructure support during severe weather.

    London's Heathrow, the world's busiest international airport, and Frankfurt Airport, the biggest on the continent, which both had sever

  • <p><b>Labourers sort onions at a vegetable wholesale market in Ahmedabad</b> 
</p><p>
The government has permitted duty-free imports of onions, Finance Secretary Ashok Chawla said on Wednesday.
</p><p>
Onions were subjected to a 5 per cent customs duty until now.
</p><p>
Onion prices had more than doubled in the past week due to a shortage caused by unusually heavy rain in growing areas.
</p><p>
On Tuesday, onion prices in India fell more than 30 per cent after the government banned exports to rein in the cost of the vegetable, a staple for Indians and sometimes a trigger for voter protests over inflation. 
</p><p>

    Labourers sort onions at a vegetable wholesale market in Ahmedabad

    The government has permitted duty-free imports of onions, Finance Secretary Ashok Chawla said on Wednesday.

    Onions were subjected to a 5 per cent customs duty until now.

    Onion prices had more than doubled in the past week due to a shortage caused by unusually heavy rain in growing areas.

    On Tuesday, onion prices in India fell more than 30 per cent after the government banned exports to rein in the cost of the vegetable, a staple for Indians and sometimes a trigger for voter protests over inflation.

  • <p><b>A visitor looking at Toyota Motor&#39;s vehicles is reflected on a black vehicle at its showroom in Tokyo</b> 
</p><p>
Toyota Motor Corp unveiled on Wednesday the third-generation Vitz hatchback, its top-selling gasoline car in Japan, saying the subcompact gets best-in-class mileage of 26.5 km/litre.
</p><p>
The Vitz competes with segment leader Honda Motor Co&#39;s Fit and Nissan Motor Co&#39;s March, and sold about 125,000 units in Japan in the business year that ended in March 2010.
</p><p>
Its fuel economy, measured under Japanese test methods, beats the March&#39;s 26.0 km/litre and the Fit&#39;s 24.5 km/l, Toyota said.
</p><p>
Toyota set a monthly sales target of 10,000 Vitz cars in Japan. Pricing starts at 1.06 million yen ($12,660).
</p>

    A visitor looking at Toyota Motor's vehicles is reflected on a black vehicle at its showroom in Tokyo

    Toyota Motor Corp unveiled on Wednesday the third-generation Vitz hatchback, its top-selling gasoline car in Japan, saying the subcompact gets best-in-class mileage of 26.5 km/litre.

    The Vitz competes with segment leader Honda Motor Co's Fit and Nissan Motor Co's March, and sold about 125,000 units in Japan in the business year that ended in March 2010.

    Its fuel economy, measured under Japanese test methods, beats the March's 26.0 km/litre and the Fit's 24.5 km/l, Toyota said.

    Toyota set a monthly sales target of 10,000 Vitz cars in Japan. Pricing starts at 1.06 million yen ($12,660).

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