Biz bits

Kennametal lays off 26 before plant's sale


Kennametal laid off 26 employees Thursday in an effort to "right size" the facility before its sale to a Chinese drill bit company.

Top-Eastern Drill Co. is purchasing a line of drill bits from Kennametal in addition to four facilities -- Evans among them. The sale is expected to close Tuesday, said Christina Reitano, Kennametal's corporate communication manager.

The layoffs involved personnel in production and management, she said.

Also, Top-Eastern Drill representatives were in the Evans plant Thursday to meet with employees, though they've not announced plans for the facility.

In other news

KIMBERLY-CLARK CORP. said Thursday that it plans to cut 1,600 jobs, or 3 percent of its global work force, as it slims down in the tough economy. The company plans to make the cuts primarily among salaried and nonproduction workers, and executives said the company doesn't plan to close any plants.

OIL PRICES JUMPED above $70 a barrel Thursday after the government said that the economy might be faring better than previously thought. Meanwhile, the national average gasoline price lost 0.9 cents to $2.667 a gallon.

RATES FOR 30-YEAR home loans edged up this week, remaining above record lows reached over the spring. The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 5.42 percent.