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UN agency: Global food prices up sharply in July

ROME (AP) â¿¿ International food prices rose sharply in July after three months of decline, driven by a spike in grain and sugar prices, a United Nations report said Thursday.

Severe drought gripping the U.S. Midwest has sent corn prices soaring by almost 23 percent and expectations of worsened crop prospects in Russia because of dry weather sent world wheat prices up 19 percent.

The U.S. is the world's No. 1 exporter of corn, soybeans and wheat and the price hikes are expected to be felt across the international marketplace, hurting poor food-importing countries, according to a study by British charity Oxfam.


E-Trade ousting its CEO; naming chairman to post

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ E-Trade Financial has ousted its CEO, Citigroup veteran Steven Freiberg, just two years into a four-year contract as the online broker deals with declining trading.

The company said Thursday that it's looking for a new CEO as it adjusts its business strategy, which is focused on strengthening its financial position. It named its chairman to the top spot until a permanent replacement can be found.

E-Trade has been struggling as individual consumers pull money out of the stock market. The New York company's net income dropped 16 percent in the April-June quarter as investors made far fewer trades than a year ago. Faced with less trading activity, E-Trade said it was focusing on managing costs and dialing back on risk to strengthen earnings.


JPMorgan revises 1Q profit down amid trading probe

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ JPMorgan Chase on Thursday formally revised its first-quarter financial results to show a lower profit, after finding that traders at its main investment arm had overstated the value of certain derivatives.

The reduction followed the bank's internal investigation into the nearly $6 billion in trading losses revealed in recent months.

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