Asian markets extend losses as virus surges in US, Europe

HONG KONG, China (AFP) — The fresh surge in coronavirus cases across the United States and Europe pushed Asian markets further down Wednesday, while investors have essentially given up on the chances of a new stimulus out of Washington. With US lawmakers unlikely to agree any new rescue package before Tuesday’s election, analysts said the new wave of virus infections and lingering uncertainty over the vote would mean equities face a wobbly few days. European […]

Samsung Electronics chairman Lee Kun-hee dies at 78

  by Sunghee Hwang Agence France Presse SEOUL, South Korea (AFP) — Samsung Electronics chairman Lee Kun-hee, who transformed the South Korean firm into a global tech titan, died at the age of 78 on Sunday, the company said. Under Lee’s leadership, Samsung rose to become the world’s largest producer of smartphones and memory chips, and the firm’s overall turnover today is equivalent to a fifth of South Korea’s GDP. Samsung’s meteoric rise helped make […]

Huawei revenue growth wilts under ‘intense pressure’

  by Dan Martin Agence France Presse SHANGHAI, China (AFP) — Huawei’s revenue growth slowed significantly in the first nine months of 2020, the Chinese telecom giant said Friday, citing “intense pressure” on operations during the coronavirus and as the US moves to cut off its access to vital components. Huawei, the leading global supplier of telecoms networking equipment and a top smartphone producer, said it grossed 671.3 billion yuan ($100.7 billion) in revenue in […]

Cathay Pacific to cut workforce by nearly a quarter

  by Jerome TAYLOR / Su XINQI Agence France Presse Cathay Pacific announced plans Wednesday to cut its workforce by nearly a quarter and close one of its short-haul airlines in an effort to survive the “devastating” impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Across the globe, airlines have been hammered as the pandemic has slashed international travel, and they face a long, hard winter after a much-hoped-for rebound failed to materialise. Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong’s flag […]

Asian markets lifted by stimulus optimism, vaccine hopes

  HONG KONG, China (AFP) Asian markets rose Wednesday on signs US lawmakers are edging towards agreeing a new stimulus for the struggling economy, while hopes for a vaccine helped temper worries about surging virus infections around the world. After months of stuttering talks, and with a deadline approaching, Democrats and the White House said they were closing the gap on their proposals, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying legislation was being drawn up. The […]

Netflix reports slowing subscriber growth; shares slide

  by Glenn CHAPMAN Agence France Presse Netflix shares slid on Tuesday after the US streaming television titan reported that subscriber growth slowed in the recently ended quarter, after booming in the early days of the pandemic. While Netflix added 28.1 million paying subscribers so far this year, only 2.2 million of them came in the third quarter, the company said in an earnings release letter. “We think this is primarily due to our record […]

China’s super rich got $1.5 trillion richer during pandemic: report

BEIJING, China (AFP) — China’s super wealthy have earned a record $1.5 trillion in 2020, more than the past five years combined, as e-commerce and gaming boomed during pandemic lockdowns, an annual rich list said Tuesday. An extra 257 people also joined the billionaires club in the world’s number-two economy by August, following two years of shrinking membership, according to the closely watched Hurun Report. The country now has a total of 878 billionaires. The […]

Australia’s unemployment rate ticks up to 6.9%

SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — Australia’s unemployment rate rose slightly to 6.9 percent in September, as the coronavirus kept the brakes on hopes of a speedy economic recovery. The country’s statistical agency said Thursday that unemployment grew 0.1 percent from 6.8 percent in August, with around 20,000 more people leaving the workforce entirely. Australia — with a population of 25 million — is experiencing its first recession in almost 30 years. The latest unemployment figures were […]

China inflation eases further as farms recover from floods, swine fever

BEIJING, China (AFP) — The rise in Chinese consumer prices slowed for a second successive month in September, official data showed Thursday, as pork supplies bounce back from the devastating African swine fever while farms recovered from flooding. The consumer price index (CPI), a key gauge of retail inflation, rose 1.7 percent last month from a year ago, compared with a 2.4 percent reading in August, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). The […]

Singapore’s economy shrinks at slower pace as virus curbs eased

SINGAPORE, Singapore (AFP) — Singapore’s coronavirus-hit economy shrank at a slower pace in the third quarter as restrictions were eased, official data showed Wednesday, but the trade-reliant city-state still faces a long road to recovery. The financial hub plunged into its first recession since the 2008 global financial crisis in the second quarter when the government closed businesses as part of drastic measures to contain infections. One of the world’s most open economies, Singapore is […]

UK unemployment jumps to 4.5% on virus fallout

LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Britain’s unemployment rate has jumped to 4.5 percent as the coronavirus pandemic continues to destroy jobs, official data showed on Tuesday. The reading for the June-August period compared with an unemployment rate of 4.1 percent for May to July, the Office for National Statistic said in a statement. Early estimates for September meanwhile “suggest that there is little change in the number of payroll employees in the UK; up 20,000 […]

Microsoft to let employees work from home permanently: report

  WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Software giant Microsoft will let employees work from home permanently if they choose to, US media reported on Friday, becoming the latest employer to expand work-from-home provisions prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Verge said most Microsoft employees are still at home as the health crisis drags on, and the company doesn’t expect to reopen its US offices until January of next year at the earliest. But when it […]