Power utility CEZ seeks participation in the privatization of three Slovak distributing companies (Zapadoslovenska, Stredoslovenska and Vychodoslovenska energetika). The three distributors are medium-sized companies with 601,000-965,000 customers.
Unions and reps of car maker Skoda Auto agreed on the cancellation of Friday afternoon shifts in December and on an extension of the company holiday from Jan 2 to Jan 4 of next year, aiming to cut output by 1,800 vehicles. As Skoda Auto is the largest domestic industrial producer and country's biggest exporter we can expect an impact on macroeconomic indicators (index of industrial output and trade balance).
Americans are still cautious. The Conference Board reported its index of consumer confidence in U.S. fell to 82.2 this month, the lowest in 7 1/2 years, as Americans' assessment of current conditions declined.
The Bank of Canada yesterday announced that it is lowering its target for the overnight rate by one-half of one percentage point to 2.25 per cent. The operating band for the overnight rate is correspondingly lowered, and the Bank Rate is now 2.5 per cent. Bank of Canada has diminished its interest rates by 3.5 per cent form the beginning of the year.
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