UK inflation strikes nine-year peak as economy reopens

by Roland JACKSON LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — British annual inflation spiked in August to a nine-year peak on the reopening economy, but last year’s figure had been skewed by a restaurant discount scheme, official data showed Wednesday. The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) soared to 3.2 percent, the highest level since March 2012, the Office for National Statistics said in a statement. That marked a record acceleration from 2.0 percent in July, but the ONS […]

US stocks fall again in ‘exhausted’ market

NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — Wall Street stocks ended lower again Thursday as markets weighed better employment data against uncertainty over US monetary policy and President Joe Biden’s infrastructure package. US jobless claims dropped for a second straight week, hitting a new pandemic low and getting closer to their level before Covid-19 broke out. Meanwhile, the European Central Bank (ECB) said it would slow the pace of its massive monthly bond purchases and lifted […]

Asian markets lifted by recovery hope, Tokyo breaks 30,000

HONG KONG, China (AFP) — Asian markets rose Tuesday, extending recent gains on optimism about the global outlook, though rising Delta coronavirus cases and worries about a slowdown in the economic recovery continue to cast a shadow. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 briefly broke 30,000 for the first time in five months on growing expectations for a fresh injection of stimulus after Japan’s prime minister said he would step aside. Traders were also cheered by a better-than-forecast […]

Asian markets mostly up as weak US data soothes taper worries

HONG KONG, China (AFP) — Asian markets mostly rose Monday after a big miss on US jobs creation last month fuelled optimism that the Federal Reserve will hold fire on tapering its massive financial support programme, while Tokyo extended last week’s rally on hopes for more economic stimulus. Closely watched data on Friday showed about a third of the expected number of new jobs were added to the world’s top economy in August, largely because […]

Philippine Airlines files for bankruptcy

Philippine Airlines said Saturday it was filing for bankruptcy in the United States to slash $2 billion in debt as it tries to survive an industry gutted by the coronavirus pandemic. The national carrier of the Philippines said the filing will allow it to restructure contracts and cut debt by at least $2 billion while getting $655 million in fresh capital when it emerges from the Chapter 11 process. PAL will also downsize its fleet […]

Asian markets fluctuate as traders weigh recovery against Delta

HONG KONG, China (AFP) — Asian markets were mixed Wednesday as investors tried to assess whether the global recovery will be resilient enough to withstand the fast-spreading Delta Covid variant, with optimism being tested by the stuttering rollout of vaccines and a spike in infections in some countries. China’s drive to tighten its grip on the world’s number two economy with a swathe of new regulations for private enterprises is also weighing on sentiment, while […]

Japanese giant wants soy sauce to be the ‘ketchup of India’

Every dish tastes better with a dash of soy sauce, even dessert: that’s the ambitious pitch of Japanese food giant Kikkoman, hoping to persuade Indians to use it in curries, sweets and everything in between. Convincing 1.3 billion people to add a staple of East Asian cuisine to their butter chicken and samosas is no cakewalk but it will likely be easier than the brand’s 1960s push into the United States. “When we entered the […]

Bitcoin jumps above $50,000 for first time since May

HONG KONG, China (AFP) — Bitcoin broke back above $50,000 on Monday for the first time in three months as investors piled back into the cryptocurrency on bargain-buying. The unit climbed around two percent to $50,249.15, its highest since mid-May, when it began tumbling on a range of issues including China’s crackdown on cryptocurrencies and Tesla boss Elon Musk’s decision to stop accepting it on concerns about the environmental impact of mining. The electric car […]

Taliban inherit untapped $1 trillion trove of minerals

The Taliban now hold the keys to an untouched trillion-dollar trove of minerals including some that could power the world’s transition to renewable energies, but Afghanistan has long struggled to tap its vast deposits. The Taliban are already in a financial bind since they returned to power 20 years after their ouster, as major aid donors halted their support for Afghanistan. Endless wars and poor infrastructure have prevented the country from getting its hands on […]

UK unemployment dips as economy reopens

LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Britain’s unemployment rate dipped in the second quarter on reopening of the economy that has resulted in record-high vacancies, official data showed Tuesday. While the number of payroll employees has surged, it remains below the pre-pandemic total, the Office for National Statistics added. The unemployment rate eased to 4.7 percent in the second quarter from 4.8 percent in the three months to the end of May, the ONS said in […]

Asia markets down on Delta variant gloom

HONG KONG, China (AFP) — Asian markets were broadly down Tuesday as investors weighed record gains on Wall Street against fears the resurgent Delta coronavirus variant may put the brakes on the global economic recovery. Major US indices rebounded overnight from a slow start as bargain hunters stepped up purchases — leaving both the Dow and S&P 500 finishing narrowly positive to extend a streak of record-high closes to a fifth straight day. Buoyed by […]

Asian markets drop as traders eye Fed move, Delta spread

HONG KONG, China (AFP) — Asian markets fell Friday as a broadly positive week drew to a close with investors pricing in the likelihood that Federal Reserve officials will start withdrawing the vast financial support put in place at the start of the pandemic. The fast-spreading Delta virus variant, which is forcing governments to introduce containment measures, and the Chinese government’s campaign to tighten its grip on the world’s number two economy were also playing […]