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A mini-iPad? Apple suppliers start producing smaller tablet, report says

These are stories Report on Business is following Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012.

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Apple works on smaller iPad
A smaller version of the popular iPad appears to be in the works.

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Asian manufacturers of components have now begun to produce a smaller tablet for Apple Inc., The Wall Street Journal reports today, citing sources.

The iPad, now in its third iteration, has been a huge success but other companies have jumped in with smaller tablets.

The newspaper quotes sources saying the new tablet's display will be 7.85 inches, compared to the iPad's 9.7 inches, and will have lower resolution.

Caisse cuts Quebecor Media stake
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec is cutting its stake in Quebecor Media Inc. in a $1.5-billion deal unveiled this morning, The Globe and Mail's Steve Ladurantaye reports.

The Caisse's interest in Quebecor Media falls to 24.6 per cent from 45.3 per cent as Quebecor Media and its parent Quebecor Inc. buy some of the interest.

"Our intention was to take advantage of the window of opportunity created by the favourable conditions on the debt markets to increase our interest in Quebecor Media," said Pierre Karl Péladeau, chief executive officer of both Quebecor Inc. and Quebecor Media.

Home prices up
The average price of a two-storey home in Canada was 4 per cent higher than a year ago in the third-quarter, at $403,747, while condos saw prices rise 1.8 per cent to $243,607, according to a Royal LePage survey.

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But sales are slowing and prices are likely to follow suit, chief executive officer Phil Soper suggested, while adding that because of low interest rates the downward pressure on prices should be "minimal," The Globe and Mail's Tara Perkins reports.

"A drop in the number of homes trading hands typically precedes a period of softening house prices," he said.

Markets mixed
Global markets are mixed, but somewhat tame, so far this morning.

Tokyo's Nikkei slipped 0.5 per cent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng inched up.

In Europe, the Paris CAC 40 was just about flat by about 8:15 a.m. ET, while London's FTSE 100 and Germany's DAX were up about 0.3 per cent.

Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 futures were up.

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"Bailout or no bailout remains the question in Spain, with the economy minister … saying the government will take the best decision for the country," said Benjamin Reitzes of BMO Nesbitt Burns, referring to the speculation over soon the Spanish government will seek a full-scale rescue.

"Not entirely sure what that means, but a bailout request is likely just a matter of time, though Spain's PM said a request is not imminent. Commodity prices are mostly lower: WTI crude is down 0.5 per cent to $91.45, Brent crude is down 0.8 per cent to $110.70, gold is up $4 at $1779, base metals are largely weaker (COMEX copper is down 0.4 per cent), while the grains are softer as well."

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