Beijing, Jan 2 (AP/UNB) — Asian stock markets tumbled Wednesday as 2019 trading began, after surveys showed Chinese manufacturing weakening.
KEEPING SCORE: The Shanghai Composite Index lost 1.1 percent to 2,465.29 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 2.6 percent to 25,161.03. Japan's markets were closed. Seoul's Kospi lost 1.3 percent to 2,013.80 and Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 shed 0.9 percent to 5,593.80. Manila advanced while Singapore and Jakarta retreated. New Zealand was closed.
CHINESE FACTORIES: Surveys by China's government and a major business magazine showed activity weakened in December as global and domestic demand cooled. Forecasters said that could send shockwaves through Asian economies that supply Chinese factories with raw materials and components. Chinese export growth has held up as producers rushed to fill orders before possible new U.S. tariff hikes in Washington's trade battle with Beijing, but forecasters said that effect may be fading.
ANALYST'S COMMENT: The Chinese manufacturing downturn "raises a few red flags," said Vishnu Varathan of Mizuho Bank in a report. The slide is "not entirely surprising given more challenging global trade conditions," but it is "potentially symptomatic of far sharper underlying demand pullback," said Varathan. China's trade and investment ties with its neighbors mean the slowdown "will reverberate more widely to other Asian exporters."
CURRENCY: The dollar edged down to 109.36 yen from Monday's 109.67. The euro declined to $1.1446 from $1.1466.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 41 cents to $45.00 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained 8 cents on Monday to close at $45.41. Brent crude, used to price international oils, slumped 53 cents to $53.27 per barrel in London. It added 59 cents the previous session to close at $53.80.
Washington, Jan 1 (AP/UNB)- Ivanka Trump is set to launch a White House effort aimed at women's global economic empowerment in early 2019.
A formal launch for the initiative was planned for next week but has been postponed amid uncertainty about the government shutdown, the White House said Monday. The original plan for the event included remarks from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton, as well as from officials from a host of government agencies, financial organizations and private businesses, including the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, Walmart and Bank of America.
The initiative, which is backed by the State Department and the National Security Council, seeks to align government agencies behind the mission of supporting women's economic development around the world. It will also include private-sector investment. First daughter Ivanka Trump, a White House adviser who has made supporting women in business part of her portfolio, led the policy process over the past year and a half.
"I look forward to continuing to work with the interagency and members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to advance women's access to vocational training, fuel female entrepreneurship and lift legal and social barriers that restrict our full and free economic participation," Ivanka Trump said in a statement to The Associated Press.
Bolton said in a statement that the initiative "directly supports President Trump's National Security Strategy."
Ivanka Trump previously led an effort to launch a World Bank fund to help drive women's entrepreneurship. She recently advocated for the Women's Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment Act, which has passed Congress. That legislation bolsters efforts focused on women by the United States Agency for International Development.
Tokyo , Dec 31 (AP/UNB) — A Japanese news report says former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn will be detained at least through Jan. 11.
Ghosn, who led Nissan Motor Co. for two decades saving the Japanese automaker from near bankruptcy, was arrested Nov. 19 on suspicion of falsifying financial reports.
He also faces a breach of trust allegation, for which his detention had been approved previously through Jan. 1.
Kyodo News said the Tokyo District Court approved prosecutors' request for a 10-day extension on Monday.
The court was not immediately available for comment. Much of the nation's government offices are shut down for the New Year's Eve and New Year's holidays.
Ghosn has been charged in the first set of allegations, about under-reporting Ghosn's pay by about 5 billion yen ($44 million) in 2011-2015.
Dhaka, Dec 29 (UNB) - Huawei Technologies' rotating Chairman Guo Ping said the Chinese tech giant's revenue in 2018 is expected to be US$108.5 billion, up 21 percent year-on-year.
In his new year’s speech, he also said that Huawei has secured 26 5G contracts till now and its smartphone shipments in 2018 are also expected to surpass 200 million units.
Huawei is currently the world’s largest telecom equipment maker and the second largest smartphone seller.
Gu Ping, rotating chairman of Huawei said, “More than 160 cities and 211 Fortune Global 500 companies have selected Huawei as their partner for digital transformation. We have shipped more than 200 million smartphones, and have made remarkable breakthroughs in both our PC business and IoT ecosystem for smart homes. Huawei Cloud has launched over 140 cloud services in 18 categories, and we are working with our partners to serve global customers with 37 availability zones across 22 regions.”
“This year Huawei also announced AI strategy and launched a full-stack portfolio of AI solutions for all scenarios,” he added.
“Our business performance remains strong, and this is by far the most direct form of validation that we can receive from our customers. It is also our best response to negative conjecture and market restrictions. Here I would like to thank all of our customers and partners, as well as the public, for your trust and support. Thanks to our employees for your incredible, hard work. No matter what changes we might face, our procurement strategy will remain unchanged.”
“We will keep our policy consistent especially for our US suppliers and firmly collaborate with them for shared success. In the coming year, we will see new waves of development in digitization and intelligence, and we may very well encounter even greater difficulties. If we can develop the simplest possible network architecture, make our transaction models as simple as possible, ensure the highest level of cyber security and privacy protection, produce the best products, and provide the best services, no market can keep us away.”
In his speech, Guo Ping said about Huawei’s core business and future operational strategy. He said, “The Carrier Software & Core Network Business Dept has set a benchmark for other departments in terms of both organizational and business transformation. In 2019, we will fully enhance our software engineering capabilities to build trustworthy, quality products.”
“Our products and solutions have earned the trust of our customers in more than 170 countries and regions. We have a very strong track record in cyber security. Huawei has never and will never present a security threat. We will hold ourselves to the highest standards, placing cyber security and privacy protection at the very top of our agenda.”
Guo Ping finished his speech saying, “Over the past three decades, we have served our customers with religious devotion, working closely with them and our partners to bring telecommunications technology beyond the confines of ivory towers and labs and give it practical application in cities and remote regions the world over.
By doing this, we are bridging the digital divide between developed and underdeveloped countries and regions, and connecting more than three billion people around the world. We can proudly say that we have left a profound impact on the course of human civilization.
Today, as an important leader and contributor in the ICT industry, Huawei is now a member of more than 380 industry organizations, where we serve in 300+ key positions and submit more than 6,000 proposals each year. I have no doubt that we will achieve what we've set out to do: to bring digital to every person, home and organization for a fully connected, intelligent world.”
Dhaka, Dec 29 (AP/UNB) -Wall Street capped a week of volatile trading Friday with an uneven finish and the market's first weekly gain since November.
Losses in technology, energy and industrial stocks outweighed gains in retailers and other consumer-focused companies. Stocks spent much of the day wavering between small gains and losses, ultimately unable to maintain the momentum from a two-day winning streak.
Even so, the major stock indexes closed with their first weekly gain in what's been an otherwise painful last month of the year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 rose more than 2 percent for the week, while the Nasdaq added nearly 4 percent. The indexes are still all down around 10 percent for the month and on track for their worst December since 1931.
"It seems like convulsions in either direction have been the real norm for much of December and that's certainly been the case this week," said Eric Wiegand senior portfolio manager for Private Wealth Management at U.S. Bank. "The initial push higher and then seeing it subside a little bit is perhaps getting back to a little bit more of a normal environment, reflecting the reality that we have still a number of issues overhanging the market."
The market's sharp downturn since October has intensified this month, erasing all its 2018 gains and nudging the S&P 500 closer to its worst year since 2008.
Investors have grown worried that the testy U.S.-China trade dispute and higher interest rates would slow the economy, hurting corporate profits. This week, with trading volumes lower than usual because of the Christmas holiday, served up some pronounced swings in the market.
A steep sell-off during the shortened trading session on Christmas Eve left the major indexes down more than 2 percent. On Wednesday, stocks mounted a stunning rebound, posting the market's best day in 10 years as the Dow shot up more than 1,000 points for its biggest single-day point gain ever.
The market appeared ready to give much of those gains back on Thursday, before a late-afternoon reversal that erased a 600-point drop in the Dow left the market with a two-day winning streak.
"The market was so oversold and then Wednesday and Thursday were key reversal days, but also stronger closes than opens," said Janet Johnston, portfolio manager at TrimTabs Asset Management.
"The market was starting to price in the worst-case scenario: a recession," Johnston said
Still, the market's downturn has left stocks substantially less expensive than they were heading into the fourth quarter, Johnston noted.
"And that sets up a good buying opportunity," she said.
On Friday, the S&P 500 index fell 3.09 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,485.74. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 76.42 points, or 0.3 percent, to 23,062.40. The average had briefly climbed to 243 points.
The Nasdaq added 5.03 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,584.52. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks climbed 6.11 points, or 0.5 percent, 1,337.92.
Technology companies, a big driver of the market's gains before things deteriorated in October, were among the big decliners. Alliance Data Systems dropped 1.4 percent to $149.82.
Oil prices recovered after wavering in midmorning trading. Benchmark U.S. crude rose 1.6 percent to settle at $45.33 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, inched up 0.1 percent to close at $52.20 a barrel in London.
Despite the rise in oil prices, energy sector stocks declined. Cabot Oil & Gas slid 3.5 percent to $22.95, while Hess lost 2.8 percent to $40.38.
Retailers and other consumer-focused companies fared better. Amazon rose 1.1 percent to $1,478.02.
Wells Fargo rose 0.5 percent to $45.78 on news that the lender has agreed to pay $575 million in a national settlement with state attorneys general over its fake bank accounts scandal. The San Francisco-based bank has acknowledged that its employees opened millions of unauthorized bank accounts for customers in order to meet unrealistic sales goals.
Tesla climbed 5.6 percent to $333.87 after naming two independent directors to its board under an agreement with federal regulators.
Homebuilders fell broadly in the morning after the National Association of Realtors said its pending home sales index fell last month as fewer Americans signed contracts to buy homes. Higher mortgage rates and prices are squeezing would-be buyers out of the market, especially in the West. The stocks mostly recovered by mid-afternoon. William Lyon Homes gained 3.4 percent to $10.81.
Bonds prices recovered after midday dip, sending the yield on the 10-year Treasury down to 2.72 percent from 2.74 percent late Thursday.
The dollar declined to 110.41 yen from Thursday's 110.74 yen. The euro weakened to $1.1442 from $1.1449.
Gold edged up 0.1 percent to $1,283 an ounce and silver gained 0.8 percent to $15.44 an ounce. Copper rose 0.5 percent to $2.68 a pound.
Overseas, major indexes in Europe closed higher while markets in Asia mostly rose. London's FTSE 100 gained 2.3 percent, while the Nikkei 225 index fell 0.3 percent.