News In Brief

A 1 million-barrel-a-day cut in crude oil production was expected to be announced by OPEC as the Monitor went to press. Such a reduction, to take effect Sept. 1, would be the third this year by the 11-member cartel in its effort to hold futures prices as close as possible to the $25-per-barrel level. The average of a so-called "basket" of seven crudes stood at $23.46 Tuesday amid eroding global demand. The combined cuts will total 3.5 million barrels. Sentiment among members for the latest reduction was said to be so strong that a consensus was reached by telephone, eliminating the need for an emergency meeting in Vienna next month.

In layoff developments:

* Infineon Technologies, a spinoff of the German engineering conglomerate Siemens, was reported close to announcing 5,000 job cuts on top of a hiring freeze imposed earlier this week. The Munich-based company, Europe's second-largest maker of semiconductors, lost $323 million in the year's second quarter and already has projected a fourth-quarter loss.

* The world's largest manufacturer of paint, Akzo Nobel NV, said it will eliminate 2,000 jobs. The Arnhem, Netherlands, company also produces specialty chemicals and phamaceuticals.

* Another 1,000 employees will be laid off by chemical giant DuPont, the company said in announcing a $213 million second-quarter loss. DuPont cut 4,500 jobs in April.

* Arrow Electronics, the world's largest distributor of electronic components and computer products, will cut 1,000 jobs and discretionary spending and will consolidate facilities in an effort to save $100 million a year, an announcement said. Arrow is based in Melville, N.Y.

* CNet Networks, a technology news provider, announced 300 job cuts, or 15 percent of its workforce. The move follows a 10 percent reduction in February. CNet, based in San Francisco, operates, ZDNet, and TechRepublic.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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