European stocks fell for the first week since June as Greece’s prime minister asked the leaders of Germany and France for a two-year reprieve from cutting government spending and Japan’s trade deficit widened.
The STOXX Europe 600 Index dropped 1.8 percent to 268 this past week, snapping its longest winning streak since 2006. Still, the benchmark measure has advanced 15 percent from this year’s low on June 4 after a summit of euro-area policymakers agreed to ease repayment terms for Spanish banks and European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi pledged to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro.
“The recent equity market weakness is a product of profit-taking and the expectation that growth could be weak, but inflation will be maintained by stimulus moving forward,” said Daniel Weston, a portfolio adviser at Schroeder Equities GmbH in Munich. “Japan’s trade numbers highlighted slowing global growth, and comments from Europe and the US have leaned towards further accommodative policy.”
Greece must implement reforms if it wants further international loans under the terms of its second bailout from the EU, according to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Speaking at a joint press conference with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras in Berlin on Friday, she said that the leaders of the 17-nation single currency would wait for a report from the troika due next month before making their decision. Samaras was to meet with French President Francois Hollande in Paris yesterday.
Draghi may wait until Germany’s Constitutional Court rules on the legality of the euro-area’s permanent bailout fund before announcing the details of his planned government bond-purchase program, two central bank officials said on Friday.
Stocks fell after Germany’s Bundesbank said on Monday Aug. 20 that the ECB’s proposal to buy bonds entailed “significant stability risks.”
The new program could be “unlimited” and decisions that involve greater sharing of solvency risks should be taken by governments or parliaments, not by central banks, it said.
Japan had a trade deficit of ￥517.4 billion (US$6.6 billion) last month, the country’s finance ministry reported on Wednesday. That compared with a ￥60.3 billion surplus in June and a ￥270 billion forecast deficit in a Bloomberg News survey of 28 economists.
National benchmark indices fell in all of the 18 Western European markets except Greece this week. The UK’s FTSE 100 slipped 1.3 percent, while Germany’s DAX retreated 1 percent. France’s CAC 40 dropped 1.6 percent.
An index of mining stocks was among the worst-performing industry groups on the STOXX 600 this week. Rio Tinto lost 4.2 percent and ArcelorMittal declined 5.8 percent.
Gogoro Inc (睿能創意) yesterday launched its first electric bicycle, the Gogoro Eeyo 1, in Taiwan, after unveiling the bike in New York in late May and in France on Tuesday. The company said it would also introduce the series in other European countries such as Germany and the Netherlands. The “Eeyo project” is the fourth of Gogoro’s eight projects that concentrate on smart transportation, which includes Gogoro’s electric scooter, battery swap system and electric scooter sharing service, company founder and chief executive officer Horace Luke (陸學森) told a media briefing in Taipei. “There are various types of city commuters. We will not
EXPERIMENTAL DRUG: While news about a COVID-19 vaccine is more eye-catching, developing a treatment would be more viable, the Senhwa boss said Senhwa Biosciences Inc (生華科) aims to raise NT$1.5 billion (US$50.57 million) by issuing 15 million new common shares in the third quarter of this year to fund the research of new drugs, including the experimental drug Silmitasertib for the treatment of COVID-19, the company said on Monday. That would be the firm’s largest fundraising effort after it raised more than NT$1.4 billion from an initial public offering on the Taipei Exchange (TPEX) in April 2017, chief financial officer Sarah Chang (張小萍) told the Taipei Times by telephone. The price of the new shares would depend on the firm’s average share price
NOT A PANACEA: Offering 5G services would not solve the problem of declining telecom incomes, chairman Sheih Chi-mau said, expecting a flat 5G telecom revenue Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) yesterday became the nation’s first telecom to debut its 5G services, offering tiered tariffs that include a threshold of NT$599 and flat rates, as it aims to switch half of its subscribers to the 5G network within three years. Subscribers would have unlimited data transmission for monthly fees starting at NT$1,399 — the same flat rate as when the company launched its 4G service in 2014 — and they can subscribe to the highest-rate plan for NT$2,699 per month for faster data transmission speeds and larger bandwidth, the company said. Data transmission speeds would be within the range
STAYING AHEAD: TSMC expects its sales this year to grow 14 to 19 percent and could spend up to US$3.52 billion on research and development, leaving its rivals far behind Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) reported that the US last year approved 99 percent of its patent applications, which placed the tech giant among the top patent holders in the US. In its Corporate Social Responsibility Report, TSMC said it last year secured about 3,600 patents worldwide, including more than 2,300 in the US. As of the end of last year, TSMC owned more than 39,000 patents, the report said. The company last year filed almost 6,500 patent applications worldwide and ranked among the top 10 patent applicants in the US. In Taiwan, it was the largest patent applicant for the fourth