Still, investors were cautious ahead of a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen later in the day at the annual gathering of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, which will be studied for any fresh signals about the timing of U.S. Investors "want to hold their positions until Yellen's speech is over, and they may take profits after that," said Norihiro Fujito, a senior investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.5 percent, on track for a weekly gain of 0.8 percent and within a few points of its July 30 high, which was its loftiest level since January 2008.
FRANKFURT/BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's economy ministry will approve the sale of utility RWE's (RWEG.DE) oil and gas unit DEA to a Russian investor despite tensions between Russia and the West over the Ukraine crisis, two people familiar with the matter said. The economy ministry said in June it was investigating whether to block the 5.1 billion euro ($6.9 billion) sale of the DEA unit to the Letter One group of investors led by Russian tycoon Mikhail Fridman, which was announced in March. Representatives of the ministry, RWE and the Letter One consortium declined to comment. Europe and the United States have imposed economic sanctions against Russia for its annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region and its backing of pro-Russian separatists, who are fighting against government forces in eastern Ukraine.
General Motors had issued a report in June which detailed how for 11 years it turned a blind eye to an ignition-switch problem linked to at least 13 deaths but largely pinned the blame on what the report described as incompetent lower-level employees, leaving top brass untouched. Concealing evidence about the faulty ignition switch could have led to a potential delay in the recall of the affected vehicles, the Journal said.