Airbus A350’s first flight reopens race
The Airbus A350’s maiden flight ended with a safe landing Friday, setting the stage for intensifying competition with U.S. rival Boeing in the long-haul, wide-body aircraft market.
The four-hour flight from Toulouse marks a key step on the path to full certification for the jet, which can carry between 250 and 400 passengers and is the European aircraft maker’s best hope for catching up in a long-haul market dominated by Boeing’s 787 and 777. Toulouse airspace closed for both take-off and landing.
Oil price is highest since January
Oil rose to the highest level since January amid concerns about a possible escalation in Syria’s civil war.
Benchmark oil for July delivery rose $1.16 to close at $97.85 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil finished the week with a gain of $1.82 a barrel, or 1.9 percent.
The Middle East is a key source of crude oil and important transit routes cross the region, so conflicts which threaten disruptions in crude production or supply usually push oil prices higher.
Oil’s closing price was the highest since Jan. 30.
IMF: US economy has been improving
The U.S. economy is on sounder footing than it was a year ago but still is being restrained by government spending cuts and tax increases, the International Monetary Fund said Friday.
The IMF’s annual report on the U.S. economy noted that the underlying fundamentals are gradually improving: Home prices and construction are rising, household finances have strengthened and employers are steadily adding jobs. The outlook was much more optimistic than IMF’s 2012 report.
The IMF forecasts economic growth of just 1.9 percent this year, the same as its April forecast. That would be down from 2.2 percent in 2012.
The IMF says the tax increases and spending cuts that kicked in this year will shave about 1.5 percentage points from growth.
EU gets deal on trade-pact mandate
The European Union worked around French objections Friday to agree on a free trade negotiating mandate for sweeping talks with the United States that President Barack Obama wants to officially open next week.
Under Friday’s deal, trade ministers at a meeting in Luxembourg agreed to France’s demand to keep its movie and television industry out of the hotly anticipated trans-Atlantic talks.
The outcome should allow Obama and his EU counterparts to announce the start of negotiations for a deal expected to provide a big boost to growth and jobs by eliminating tariffs and other barriers that have long plagued economic relations.
Vindicator wire reports
Selected local stocks
Aqua America, .76, 31.34 .02
Clear Channel, .61 27.21 —.28
Cortland Bancorp, 10.00.00
Farmers Nat., .126.06 —.10
First Energy, 2.20, 38.32—.26
FirstMerit Corp., .64,18.77 —.24
First Niles Financial, .32,6.50.00
First Place Fin., .0032.00
FNB Corp., .48,11.10—.33
General Electric, .76,23.51—.17
Motors Liquidation, .0422.00
Huntington Bank, .20, 7.53—.20
JP Morgan Chase, 1.52,53.11—1.06
Key Corp, .22,10.39—.29
LaFarge, 16.61 —.25
Macy’s, 1.00, 48.47—.29
Parker Hannifin, 1.80, 97.39—.63
RTI Intl. Metals,28.68—.36
Simon Prop. Grp.,4.60,166.06.96
Stoneridge 11.67 .44
United Community Fin. 4.1801—.0599
Selected prices at 4 p.m. Friday. Provided by Stifel Nicolaus. Not to be construed as an offer or recommendation to buy or sell any security.