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Kyodo economic news summary.

TOKYO, May 12 Kyodo

---------- Crude oil closes at 3-month low in N.Y.

NEW YORK - Oil prices fell sharply Thursday in New York, with the benchmark prices closing at the $48 level for the first time in about three months, due to the rising dollar and a report on slowing global demand.

The benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude for June delivery settled at $48.54 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down $1.91 from the previous day's close, after touching the day's low of $48.30.

---------- U.S. House panel kills FY 2006 budget for bunker-buster nukes

WASHINGTON - A U.S. House of Representatives appropriations subcommittee on Thursday struck out all of the $4 million requested by the Energy Department to promote research on bunker-buster nuclear arms for fiscal 2006.

A congressional source said the House Appropriations Energy and Water Development Subcommittee is also likely to kill $4.5 million separately requested by the Defense Department for the new weapon, called the ''robust nuclear earth penetrator.''

---------- Dollar firm at upper 106 yen range in early Tokyo deals

TOKYO - The U.S. dollar held firm early Friday in Tokyo, maintaining its level in the upper 106 yen range that it had reached in overnight trading overseas on strong U.S. retail sales for April.

At 9 a.m., the dollar was quoted at 106.74-76 yen against Thursday's 5 p.m. quotes of 106.72-82 yen in New York and 106.18-21 yen in Tokyo.

---------- Tokyo stocks open lower following heavy losses in U.S. blue chips

TOKYO - Stocks opened lower on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Friday in a wide range of issues following a triple-digit decline in the U.S. blue-chip index overnight.

In the first 15 minutes of trading, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average fell 52.25 points, or 0.47 percent, to 11,025.69. The broader Tokyo Stock Price Index of all First Section issues lost 5.54 points, or 0.49 percent, to 1,134.95. The Second Section also declined.

---------- U.S. to fine airlines $3,300 per violation of new passport rule

WASHINGTON - The United States will start requiring those entering the nation without a visa to hold a machine-readable passport as scheduled on June 26 and will fine carriers $3,300 per violation for transporting travelers without it, the Homeland Security Department said Thursday.

The United States currently does not require visas from citizens of Japan and 26 other countries as part of a visa waiver program.

---------- Ford ratings cut, CEO to forgo pay

NEW YORK - Moody's Investors Service cut Ford Motor Co.'s credit ratings to the lowest investment grade on Thursday, a week after Standard & Poor's slashed its ratings to junk, due to lower profit expectations and shrinking market share.

William Ford, chairman and chief executive officer of the world's second-largest automaker, told a shareholders meeting the same day that he will accept no compensation until the company's business recovers.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Date:May 16, 2005
Words:493
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