Business

Asian markets plunge after Wall St battering

  HONG KONG, China (AFP) — Asian markets posted big early losses Thursday, after Wall Street suffered one of its worst batterings in two years in the previous session. Downcast earnings reports from retailers had exacerbated worries about consumer resilience and corporate profitability Wednesday, sparking a rough day’s trade. On Thursday morning, Hong Kong was down by more than three percent, while Tokyo was down by about 2.5 percent. Among the biggest losers in Hong […]

UK inflation jumps to 40-year peak

  by Roland JACKSON Agence France Presse Britain’s annual inflation rate surged to a 40-year high last month on rocketing energy costs, official data showed Wednesday, sparking opposition calls for the government to announce an emergency budget to combat a cost-of-living crisis. Consumer prices index inflation hit 9.0 percent in April from 7.0 percent in March, the Office for National Statistics said in a statement. The ONS estimated that April was the highest level since […]

Nissan reports first full-year net profit in three years

  TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — Nissan reported a positive full-year net profit for the first time in three years on Thursday, citing cost-saving efforts and a stronger US market, but issued cautious forecasts. The Japanese auto giant was on a rollercoaster even before the disruption caused by the pandemic and, more recently, the conflict in Ukraine. It had battled slowing demand and the fallout from the arrest of its former chief Carlos Ghosn and is […]

Saudi Aramco becomes world’s most valuable company

Saudi Aramco on Wednesday dethroned Apple as the world’s most valuable company as surging oil prices drove up shares and tech stocks slumped. The Saudi Arabian national petroleum and natural gas company, billed as the largest oil producing company in the world, was valued at $2.42 trillion based on the price of its shares at close of market. Apple, meanwhile, has seen its share price drop over the past month and was valued at $2.37 […]

Global cost of cybercrime topped $6 trillion in 2021: defence firm

ROME, Italy (AFP) — The global cost of cybercrime topped $6 trillion last year, as the coronavirus pandemic caused online activity to soar, the head of Italian defence, security and aerospace giant Leonardo said Tuesday. “New cybersecurity threats over the last two years have been a ‘collateral damage’ of the Covid-19 pandemic and the acceleration of digitalisation it induced,” Alessandro Profumo said at the opening of the Cybertech Europe 2022 conference in Rome. “Cyberattacks have […]

Bitcoin falls below $30,000, lowest since July 2021

TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — Bitcoin slumped below $30,000 for the first time since July 2021 on Tuesday as cryptocurrencies track sinking markets with investors spooked by aggressive US monetary tightening and surging inflation. The world’s largest cryptocurrency by market value fell as low as $29,764 in Tuesday trade, before recovering above $30,000, extending a recent collapse in price as investors desert assets viewed as risky. Bitcoin’s value has more than halved since a November surge […]

Markets, oil prices fall on weak Chinese data

  PARIS, France (AFP) — Stock markets and oil prices fell in holiday-thinned trade Monday as traders digested weak Chinese economic data and a looming US interest rate hike. Equities kicked off the month of May on the wrong foot after Wall Street finished a tough April by closing sharply down on Friday following disappointing results from tech giant Amazon. Paris and Frankfurt were down in midday trading while London was closed for a bank […]

Samsung Electronics posts 58.57 percent jump in Q1 net profit

SEOUL, South Korea (AFP) — South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics posted a 58.57 percent rise in first-quarter net profits on Thursday, largely driven by steady memory chip demand and brisk smartphone sales. The world’s biggest memory-chip maker is the flagship subsidiary of the giant Samsung group, by far the largest of the family-controlled empires known as chaebols that dominate business in South Korea, Asia’s fourth largest economy. The conglomerate is crucial to the South’s […]

Russia’s Gazprom halts gas supplies to Poland, Bulgaria: company

  MOSCOW, Russia (AFP) — Russia’s energy giant Gazprom said Wednesday it had stopped all gas supplies to Poland and highly dependent Bulgaria after not receiving payment in rubles from the two EU members. President Vladimir Putin last month said Russia will only accept payment for deliveries in its national currency, with buyers required to set up ruble accounts or have their taps turned off. Gazprom said in a statement it notified Bulgaria’s state-owned gas […]

Elon Musk reaches deal to buy Twitter for $44 bn

    NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, struck a deal Monday to buy Twitter for $44 billion, capping a saga complete with hostile takeover threats before delivering him personal control of one of the most influential social media platforms on the planet. Twitter famously served as a megaphone for former US president Donald Trump before the platform banned him, and Musk — a self-proclaimed “free-speech absolutist” — has […]

Oil prices sink more than 5% on China demand fears

  LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — World oil prices sank more than five percent Monday on fears that China’s worsening Covid outbreak could slam demand from the major energy consumer. Europe’s benchmark contract Brent North Sea crude fell as low as $101.20 per barrel and US WTI oil dropped to $96.85. China is struggling to get a grip on a renewed Covid outbreak that has forced Shanghai — the country’s biggest city — into lockdown […]

Oil prices up as traders weigh demand and supply issues

  HONG KONG, China (AFP) — Oil began inching upward on Thursday after a day of losses over demand concerns linked to the Covid-19 lockdown in China. Ongoing restrictions in the country, including in the economic hub of Shanghai where tens of millions are confined to their homes, have hit transport networks but traders are balancing the demand shock alongside threats to supply caused by the war in Ukraine with European Union countries mulling bans […]