Asian markets fluctuate as traders weigh economic outlook

HONG KONG, China  (AFP) – Markets drifted in Asia on Wednesday, with investors trying to navigate an uncertain economic landscape as central banks hike interest rates to fight runaway inflation, in turn fuelling fears of a possible recession. But while officials at the Federal Reserve and its peers are expected to keep tightening monetary policy for the rest of the year, talk is building that they will be able to ease up in 2023 — […]

Oil prices extend losses in Asia, equities rise

  HONG KONG, China (AFP) — Oil prices extended losses Tuesday after weak US and Chinese data reinforced recession expectations, though equities won support from hopes the figures will allow central banks to temper their pace of interest rate hikes. Stock traders tracked a Wall Street advance led by tech firms thanks to an increase in bets that the Federal Reserve will not lift borrowing costs by 75 basis points for a third straight meeting […]

Oil prices tumble on possible Iran deal, stuttering China economy

NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — Oil prices fell Monday on the prospects of a return of Iranian oil to the market and data showing China’s economic recovery stuttering under Covid-19 restrictions. Stock markets were broadly steady and the dollar traded mixed as investors digested the latest developments, including the surprise move by China’s central bank Monday to slash interest rates as a raft of data showed industrial production and retail sales growth for July […]

US gas prices fall below $4 for first time since March

NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — It’s not too late for a road trip: The US average price of gasoline at the pump has finally fallen below $4.00 a gallon, providing a bit of relief for Americans struck by massive inflation at almost every turn. In the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, prices soared, pushing past $5.00 for the first time in mid-June, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA). Falling global oil […]

Japan’s GDP expands in Q2 after Covid curbs lifted

  by Hiroshi HIYAMA Agence France Presse TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — Japan’s economy expanded in the three months to June, official data showed Monday, after the government lifted Covid-19 curbs on businesses. The world’s third-largest economy grew 0.5 percent quarter-on-quarter due to stronger consumption and capital investment, but the rise was below market expectations of 0.7 percent. While the country never imposed strict stay-at-home orders during the pandemic, the government in March removed virus restrictions […]

Five major Chinese firms to delist from NYSE

Beijing, China | AFP | Five major Chinese companies including two of the country’s largest oil producers will delist from the New York Stock Exchange, the firms said in filings on Friday. Sinopec and PetroChina — two of the world’s biggest energy firms — will apply for “voluntary delisting” of their American depositary shares, the companies said in separate statements. The Aluminum Corporation of China, also known as Chalco, as well as China Life Insurance […]

UK economy closes in on recession

London, United Kingdom | AFP | by Ben PERRY Britain’s economy shrank in the second quarter, official data showed Friday, as the country heads towards recession under a new prime minister. UK gross domestic product dropped 0.1 percent in the April-June period after a rise of 0.8 percent in the first quarter, the Office for National Statistics said in a statement. The Bank of England (BoE) expects the economy to enter a year-long recession by […]

European stocks climb at open

LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) – European stock markets climbed at the start of trading Friday, as traders focus on recession risks. London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index grew 0.3 percent to 7,486.82 points despite official data showing the UK economy contracted in the second quarter as inflation soars. In the eurozone, Frankfurt’s DAX index rose 0.1 percent to 13,712.79 points and the Paris CAC 40 gained 0.2 percent to 6,556.80. bcp/lth © Agence France-Presse  

Tokyo stocks open higher after upbeat US data

TOKYO, Japan (AFP) – Tokyo stocks opened higher Friday, rebounding following gains on Wall Street after US economic data showed inflation may be slowing. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index climbed 1.44 percent, or 401.72 points, to 28,221.05 in early trade, while the broader Topix index rose 1.07 percent, or 20.66 points, to 1,954.31. The dollar fetched 133.16 yen, against 133.05 yen in New York on Thursday. The Japanese market will likely develop “solid” gains on […]

Elon Musk sells nearly $7 billion worth of Tesla shares: document

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Elon Musk has sold nearly $7 billion worth of Tesla shares, according to legal filings published Tuesday, amid a high-stakes legal battle with Twitter over a $44 billion buyout deal. The Tesla boss sold some 7.9 million shares between August 5 and 9, according to filings published on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s website. “In the (hopefully unlikely) event that Twitter forces this deal to close and some equity partners […]

Stocks rise, oil falls tracking recession risks

  LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Stock markets largely rose and oil prices retreated Monday as investors mulled the prospect of recession in the United States and elsewhere and central banks seek to tame soaring inflation with aggressive interest rate hikes. The dollar, which had surged on Friday on the prospect of further large increases in US borrowing costs, fell back on profit-taking at the start of the new week. Speculation is growing that the […]

Facebook’s Meta takes on bond debt, in a first

SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) – Facebook-owner Meta is ending a run as one of the few major firms without debt, launching its first bond sale as the company battles uncertainty and bets heavily on its metaverse vision. Worries over the social media giant’s future and fierce competition from TikTok have sent its stock plummeting, while the firm spends billions on its plan for the internet’s next iteration. Meta reported to the US markets watchdog […]