US, European stocks rise on data, quieter politics

  NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — US stocks rose following a more placid session in terms of national politics on Friday, while European equities were boosted by data showing modest eurozone inflation. US equities have been pressured this week amid talk of additional US tariffs and as President Donald Trump has shaken up his Cabinet, moving to replace Rex Tillerson as secretary of state with current CIA Director Mike Pompeo. White House watchers are girding […]

Asian markets mixed after week of fluctuation

HONG KONG, China (AFP) — Asian investors remained on edge Friday as the curtain came down on another volatile week for markets with fears of a global trade war playing off against a positive economic outlook. Investors have swung from optimism to pessimism since last week’s controversial move by Donald Trump to throw up tariffs on imports of some metals, with the removal of his moderate secretary of the state adding to the unease. However, […]

Nike cites ‘conduct’ violations, top executive out

NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — Sportsgear maker Nike on Thursday announced the surprise departure of top executive Trevor Edwards, who was considered a potential successor to the firm’s CEO. Without making any direct connection, a Nike spokeswoman told AFP there had been “conduct inconsistent with Nike’s core values and against our code of conduct.” The spokeswoman said there were “no direct allegations of misconduct against Trevor Edwards,” who carried the title “brand president.” The […]

China to see driverless cars “in 3 to 5 years” — Baidu

BEIJING, China (AFP) — Self-driving cars will hit the roads in China “within three to five years,” the founder of Chinese internet giant Baidu, one of the world’s leading designers of driverless cars, said Thursday. That is a lot sooner than predicted by China’s information technology minister, who last week said it would only be a reality in 8-10 years, citing constraints related to security. “I’m more optimistic than him, I think it will come […]

Shell to sell New Zealand assets to OMV for $578 million

VIENNA, Austria (AFP) — Anglo-Dutch energy giant Royal Dutch Shell has announced it will sell assets in New Zealand to the Austrian oil and gas group OMV for $578mn. The deal includes stakes in the Maui and Pohokura gas fields and follows the company’s sale of its stake in the Kapuni field last year. Shell opened operations in New Zealand in 1911, but in 2015 announced a review of activities there as part of a […]

Toys ‘R’ US to shut down US operations

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Toys ‘R’ Us said late Wednesday it will liquidate all of its US stores, heralding the end of what had been a pillar of the toy industry. “This is a profoundly sad day for us as well as the millions of kids and families who we have served for the past 70 years,” CEO Dave Brandon said in a statement. © Agence France-Presse

Asian markets extend losses as trade war fears return

HONG KONG, China (AFP) — Asian markets continued a global sell-off Thursday and the dollar weakened as trade war fears return to the fore, with worries Donald Trump will go full-steam ahead with his “America First” protectionist agenda. Investors are back on the ropes after the US said Wednesday it would take action at the World Trade Organization against Indian export subsidies. That came soon after it emerged Trump is considering tariffs on billions of […]

Toys ‘R’ Us to shut or sell all US stores: reports

NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — Toys ‘R’ US plans to sell or close all of its US stores, potentially hitting 33,000 jobs, US media reported Wednesday. The debt-plagued retailer, which filed for bankruptcy protection in September, told employees that the retailer planned to file liquidation papers ahead of a Thursday court hearing, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post reported. “We’re putting a for sale sign on everything,” CEO David Brandon said on a […]

‘Panama Papers’ law firm shuts down operations

PANAMA CITY (AFP) — The law firm at the heart of the “Panama Papers” global tax evasion scandal that brought down two world leaders announced Wednesday it would shut down operations, citing negative press and what it called unwarranted action by authorities. “Reputational deterioration, the media campaign, the financial consequences and irregular actions by some Panamanian authorities have caused irreparable damage, resulting in the total ceasing of public operations at the end of this month,” […]

Asian markets slump on fears of White House foreign policy shift

  HONG KONG, China (AFP) — Asian markets tumbled on Wednesday as news that Donald Trump had replaced his moderate secretary of state with a hawk fanned fears of instability in the White House and a more hardline approach to foreign affairs. News that Rex Tillerson had been sacked rattled US equities, which had been buoyed earlier Tuesday by a soft inflation report that tempered talk of a sharp rise in interest rates. The former […]

Hong Kong airline Cathay Pacific sees annual loss, outlook upbeat

HONG KONG, China (AFP) — Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific on Wednesday booked the first back-to-back annual loss in its seven-decade history but said it was in the black for the second half and was upbeat about the next year. The firm’s report was its worst since 2008 during the global financial crisis, as lower-cost Chinese airlines ate into market share while it took a major hit from fuel costs. “Increased fuel costs are […]

Blocked Broadcom-Qualcomm tie-up highlights 5G security fears

by Rob Lever Agence France-Presse WASHINGTON, United States – The unusual move by President Donald Trump to block a proposed takeover of Qualcomm by a Singapore-based chip rival highlights growing concerns about the rise of Chinese competitors. Trump issued an order Monday barring the proposed $117 billion acquisition, citing credible evidence such a deal “threatens to impair the national security of the United States.” It would have been the biggest-ever deal in the tech sector. Trump’s order made […]