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Jan. 16, 2013 at 2:08 PM
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Dow losses ground

NEW YORK, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- The blue chip Dow index lost ground Wednesday, dragged down by U.S. jet maker Boeing.

Boeing stock dropped 3.5 percent after All Nippon Airways grounded its 787 Dreamliner fleet for inspections after one of its new jets was forced to make an emergency landing, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Boeing wasn't the only Dow component in the red. Nineteen of 30 Dow companies were down in early-afternoon trading.

The Dow Jones industrial average staged a comeback from earlier losses, climbing from 66 points behind to a loss of 21.79 points, or 0.16 percent, to 13,513.10. The Nasdaq composite index added 9.94 points, or 0.32 percent, to 3,120.72. The Standard and Poor's 500 gained 0.80 points or 0.05 percent, to 1,473.14.

The 10-year treasury note rose 4/32 to yield 1.827 percent.

Against the dollar, the euro fell to $1.3296 from Tuesday's $1.3305. The dollar was lower at 88.60 yen from 88.78 yen.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index dropped 2.56 percent, 278.64 points, to 10,600.44.

In London, the FTSE 100 index lost 0.22 percent, 13.33 points, to 6,103.98.

Inflation slowed down in 2012

WASHINGTON, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Consumer prices rose at about half the pace in 2012 than they did in 2011, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said.

Prices overall rose 1.7 percent last year, a marked slowdown from 2011, when prices rose 3 percent.

With the Consumer Price Index unchanged in December, the annual inflation rate is also a slowdown from November, when the 12-month CPI stood at 1.8 percent.

The CPI for the year, released Wednesday, came in slightly under expectations and safely below the U.S. Federal Reserve's target rate of 2 percent.

The price index for gasoline fell in December, dropping 2.3 percent -- the only major index to decline in the month. Food prices rose 0.2 percent in the month, and 1.8 percent over the past 12 months.

Core prices, the category that excludes food and energy items, rose 0.1 percent in December and 1.9 percent over the 12 months of 2012. The core price category is closely watched as it illustrates how much energy price changes have affected prices overall.

On an unadjusted basis, the price index for medical care services rose 3.7 percent in 2012, while heating oil prices rose 3.6 percent. Transportation costs rose 2.6 percent, while the cost of shelter rose 2.2 percent.

The price of new vehicles rose 1.6 percent, but the price of a used vehicle dropped 2 percent, the report said.

German gold move may spark 'chain reaction'

FRANKFURT, Germany, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Germany's plans to repatriate some 60 percent of its vast gold reserves stored in U.S. and French vaults "may trigger a chain reaction," a research group said.

"This move by the Bundesbank may trigger a chain reaction, prompting other countries to start repatriating the gold stored in London, New York or Paris," the Center for Research on Globalization said in a note ahead of Wednesday's expected central bank announcement to bring home $115 billion in gold bullion stored at the Federal Reserve of New York and the Bank of France in Paris.

"So far, only countries that have a strained relationship with the U.S. have resorted to gold repatriation," said the research group, based in Montreal. "Now, Bundesbank will be seen as walking in Hugo Chavez's footsteps."

The Venezuelan president, now reported ill with cancer complications, repatriated $11 billion in gold bullion in 2011 and 2012 -- a move he called a "sovereign" step to protect his country's foreign reserves from the U.S. and European economic turmoil.

"If gold repatriation becomes a worldwide trend, it will be obvious that both the U.S. and U.K. have lost their credibility as gold custodians," the research group said.

The Deutsche Bundesbank's repatriation announcement was first reported by the Handelsblatt business daily. A statement from Germany's central bank said simply its news conference Wednesday would be about managing its 270,000 gold bars, the world's No. 2 supply after that of the United States.

Handelsblatt said Germany would take back some of the 1,500 tons of gold bullion it stores at the New York Fed and all 450 tons held with the Bank of France.

The reported decision follows criticism last year by a German independent auditing office known as the Federal Court of Auditors, or Bundesrechnungshof. The office said Germany's gold held abroad had "never been verified physically" and was not under proper control.

Horse meat found in ground beef

LONDON, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- British supermarket giant Tesco pulled ground beef from sale Tuesday after inspectors reported finding horse meat in burgers sold in Britain and Ireland.

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland reported that 37 percent of the burgers it tested showed traces of horse DNA, The Daily Telegraph reported. Some Everyday Value Beef Burgers were as much as 29 percent horse meat.

"The presence of illegal meat in our products is extremely serious," said Tim Smith, a Tesco executive. "Our customers have the right to expect that food they buy is produced to the highest standards."

Investigators also found horse DNA in ground beef products sold by Iceland, ALDI, Lidl and Dunnes, officials said.

Pig DNA was reportedly discovered in a wide variety of beef products. This raises questions for Jews and Muslims whose dietary rules ban pork.

Beef containing horse DNA came from Liffey Meats and Silvercrest food processing plants in Ireland and Dalepak Hambleton in North Yorkshire.

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