Gold hits six-week high
Gold advanced for a fifth day to the highest level in more than six weeks on signs the Federal Reserve may delay an interest rate increase as inflation remains low and the selloff in emerging markets spreads. Gold for immediate delivery climbed as much as 1.4 percent to US$1,168.39 an ounce, the highest level since July 7, before trading at US$1,158.75 by 2:57pm in Singapore, according to Bloomberg generic pricing. The metal has surged 3.9 percent this week and is set for the biggest such gain since January. Fed officials showed concern over low inflation, according to the minutes of last month’s meeting, signaling a possible rate increase in December instead of next month. China’s decision to devalue amid slower growth and prospects for higher US interest rates have spurred selling across emerging markets and commodities.
Eurozone gains momentum
The eurozone economy picked up momentum this month, with an improvement in Germany lifting a business index to close to its highest level in four years. Markit Economics said yesterday that its composite Purchasing Managers’ Index of manufacturing and services rose to 54.1 from 53.9 last month, close to the four-year high reached in June. That is above the 50 mark that divides expansion from contraction and compares with a median estimate of 53.7 in a Bloomberg survey of economists. The increase was partly led by Germany, the region’s largest economy, where a factory index rose to the highest level in more than a year. That offset “disappointing” numbers in France, where manufacturing shrank for a second month.
Samsung eyes NASDAQ
South Korea’s dominant Samsung conglomerate is to make its first entry into US stock markets next year with the listing of a biotechnology affiliate, a company official said yesterday. The listing of Samsung Bioepis on the NASDAQ Stock Market is aimed at securing funds for investment in the field of biosimilars — a new breed of drugs that mimic the effects of biologic drugs made from living cells. “With an underwriter already designated, preparations are under way for the public stock listing of Bioepis in the first half of next year,” a Samsung official said. Bioepis are to be the first Samsung affiliate to list in the US. Samsung Electronics controls 46 percent of Samsung BioLogics, which in turn holds 90 percent of Bioepis. The Samsung group is already remarkably diverse, with interests ranging from electronics to construction and shipbuilding and sees biotechnology as a revenue growth engine for the future.
Seoul sees spending slump
South Koreans spent less of their incomes on shopping, leisure and bills last quarter, underscoring the challenge the government faces in boosting domestic demand. Household spending as a percentage of disposable income, excluding items like tax and pensions, fell to 71.6 percent in April-June from 72.3 percent in the first three months of the year, the statistics office said in a statement yesterday. With exports dropping every month this year, South Korea is relying on a revival in consumption to support its economy. The decline in the consumption rate comes after the central bank cut interest rates four times in the past year to a record low of 1.5 percent and the government introduced its largest-ever budget this year.
NOTABLE SHIFT: By 2030, 50% of all laptops would be assembled in Southeast Asia, while Taiwan would still mostly focus on research and development, a report said Global laptop and desktop computer supply chains are expected to shift significantly away from China in the next 10 years, a Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC, 產業情報研究所) report said. By 2030, only 40 percent of global laptop production would remain in China, said the report, which was released on Thursday. “The reshuffling of the global supply chain will be one of the most important trends in the next 10 years,” the institute said in the report. “In the long run, key component makers will follow laptop assemblers in moving out of China.” The Taipei-based institute predicted most key component makers
Merck Group Taiwan yesterday said that it plans to invest substantially on expanding its fab in Kaohsiung’s Lujhu District (路竹) to better serve its local customers, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電). The company said it plans to expand its production space by 50 percent in the next five years and its workforce by about 40 percent, Merck Group Taiwan managing director Dick Hsieh (謝志宏) told a media briefing in Taipei. Hsieh declined to disclose investment details, but said that the latest investment would exceed the total amount Merck has invested in Taiwan over the past few years. Those investments would be
Yageo Corp (國巨), the world’s third-largest supplier of multilayer ceramic capacitors, has formed a strategic alliance with Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) to develop key electronic components for electric vehicles and digital healthcare, it said yesterday. The alliance is to help Yageo boost its revenue from high-end components for vehicles and industrial, medical and aerospace devices, as well as those used in 5G and Internet-of-Things devices, the company said. The companies signed the strategic alliance agreement at Yageo’s headquarters in New Taipei City’s Sindian District (新店). Their cooperation is to start this quarter, the companies said in a joint statement. “Through the cooperation
INVEST IN TAIWAN: A metal components casting firm and the world’s largest maker of aluminum bicycle rims also obtained approvals to join the program Solar Applied Materials Technology Co (SOLAR, 光洋應用材料), a part of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) “green supply chain,” has pledged to invest NT$1 billion (US$34.1 million) to build a new plant at the Tainan Technology Industrial Park (台南科技工業區), the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday. SOLAR has been collaborating with TSMC to extract precious metals from waste and reuse them as “sputtering target” material in high-end semiconductor manufacturing, a TSMC press release issued in May said. Established in 1978, SOLAR also offers key materials and integrated services to customers in the optoelectronics, information and communications technology, petrochemicals and consumer electronics industries,