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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, March 10, 2010

BUSINESS BRIEFS
Job openings rise 7.6% in January

Advertiser Staff and News Services

WASHINGTON Job openings rose sharply earlier this year, evidence that employers are slowly ramping up hiring as the economy improves.

The number of openings in January rose about 7.6 percent, to 2.7 million, compared with December, the Labor Department said. That's the highest total since February 2009.

The report is a sign the economy is soon likely to generate consistent job gains. Some economists expect employers to add up to a net 300,000 jobs in March, though as many as a third of them could be temporary hiring for the 2010 Census.

CRACKDOWN ON BETS AGAINST EURO

BRUSSELS European officials urged the U.S. to join in a crackdown on speculators who bet against Europe's currency union, warning they might ban some credit default swaps opaque financial instruments blamed for worsening the world financial crisis.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said yesterday that "quick action is needed," calling on the U.S. to "make a gesture" and curb the trades.

ABBOTT TO BUY FACET BIOTECH FOR $450M

NEW YORK Abbott Laboratories says it will buy Facet Biotech for about $450 million in cash, expanding the company's access to biotechnology drugs, including a potential treatment for multiple sclerosis.

Facet and its partner Biogen Idec plan to move the potential multiple sclerosis drug daclizumab into late-stage development in the second quarter. The company also has potential cancer treatments in various stages of development with other partners.

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