Kyodo economic news summary -2-.
---------- SMBC to invest 100 billion yen in Barclays: sources
TOKYO - Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. has entered the final phase of talks with Barclays Plc to inject some 100 billion yen into the capital base of the major British bank hit hard by the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis, sources familiar with the matter said Friday.
The two banks are also considering starting tie-ups in the areas of banking services in Asian countries and asset management, the sources said, adding an agreement is expected later this month.
---------- U.S., S. Korea close to deal on beef trade
WASHINGTON - The United States and South Korea are close to a breakthrough in a row over a bilateral beef trade that triggered waves of protests in Seoul, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said Thursday.
U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab and South Korean Trade Minister Kim Jong Hoon concluded days of talks in Washington, with Kim now returning to Seoul for consultations at home, USTR spokeswoman Gretchen Hamel said in a statement.
---------- Nikkei slips below 14,000 on renewed credit, monoline fears
TOKYO - The benchmark Nikkei stock index slipped below the 14,000 mark Friday morning for the first time in a week, as investors fled to selling on a resurgence of credit fears from warnings of more subprime-linked losses and downgrades in major U.S. monoline companies.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average lost another 132.74 points, or 0.94 percent, to 13,997.43, after falling over 2 percent Thursday. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was down 12.58 points, or 0.91 percent, to 1,363.02.
---------- Dollar stuck around 108 yen line in directionless morning trading+
TOKYO - The U.S. dollar moved within a tight range around the 108 yen line in directionless trading Friday morning in Tokyo, ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting next week.
At noon, the dollar was quoted at 107.92-97 yen, against 107.97-108.07 yen in New York and 107.51-53 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Thursday.
---------- Key 10-year JGB yield falls in morning on U.S. monoline woes
TOKYO - The yield on the benchmark 10-year Japanese government bond fell Friday morning as investors fled to the safety of bonds on a resurgence of credit fears from downgrades in major U.S. bond insurers.
In interdealer trading, the yield on the No. 293, 1.8 percent issue shed 0.040 percentage point from Thursday's close of 1.750 percent.