US numbers improve
Companies in the US continued to add a solid number of jobs last month, increasing payrolls by 200,000 as the labor market improves, payroll firm ADP reported on Wednesday. ADP revised downward the February payrolls number to 205,000 from 214,000, but overall private-sector job growth has held above 190,000 for five months. Companies with at least 500 employees slowed hiring, adding 39,000 jobs last month, about half the increase in February.
BlackRock to cut 400 jobs
BlackRock Inc plans to cut about 400 jobs in what might be the biggest round of layoffs to date at the world’s largest money manager, people with knowledge of the matter said. The reductions, equal to about 3 percent of the firm’s 13,000 employees, would be announced in the coming weeks, the people said. Despite the cuts, the firm would continue to invest and hire in key areas and expects to end the year with a higher headcount, one of the people said. In a memo to employees, BlackRock said the job cuts have not yet been finalized.
Eurozone confidence falls
A closely watched survey shows that economic confidence across the 19-country eurozone fell for a third consecutive month last month, reaching a 13-month low, the latest in a run of figures to indicate that the recovery is losing pace. In its monthly assessment of confidence, the EU’s executive arm said its economic sentiment indicator fell 0.9 points to 103.0 last month. The European Commission said the deterioration in sentiment was due to lower confidence among consumers as well as managers in the services and construction sectors. The commission said that its survey results were collected before the Brussels terror attacks on Tuesday last week.
Portugal outlook falls
Portugal’s central bank on Wednesday lowered its growth forecast for this year due to slowing investment by companies and a worsening global outlook. The eurozone nation is now set to see GDP increase by 1.5 percent, the central bank said. That was down from its previously forecast 1.7 percent growth for this year. The Portuguese government still holds on to its forecast of the economy expanding by 1.8 percent this year, while the EU sees 1.6 percent growth and the IMF just 1.4 percent.
Turkey’s GDP grows 4%
Turkey’s GDP grew 4 percent last year from a year earlier, the nation’s statistics office said yesterday, beating expectations and helped by an unexpectedly robust fourth quarter. The economy grew 5.7 percent in the final quarter of last year from the same period a year earlier, the office said in a statement, well above the market consensus. The full-year growth figure was well above the 2.9-percent reading in 2014.
Italian firm names new head
Telecom Italia SpA on Wednesday appointed Flavio Cattaneo as its new chief executive, nine days after his predecessor quit following a clash with France’s Vivendi SA, the company’s biggest shareholder. Marco Patuano stepped down on Monday last week after Vivendi reportedly demanded larger-than-planned cuts under a restructuring program he had outlined for this year to 2018.
Softbank Group Corp plans to keep a stake in the chip designer Arm Ltd, even if it sells a partial interest to Nvidia Corp, the Nikkei reported. The companies are negotiating terms, the newspaper reported, citing sources. Softbank might take a stake in Nvidia after it buys Arm, the report said. Nvidia and Arm might also merge through a share swap, and Softbank would become a major shareholder in the combined company, it said. The two parties aim to reach a deal in the next few weeks, the sources said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Nvidia is the
MOVING FROM CHINA? The article did not name the company, but Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron were among firms chosen for a production-linked incentive plan in India An Apple Inc vendor is looking at shifting six production lines to India from China, which could result in US$5 billion of iPhone exports from the South Asian nation, the Times of India reported, citing people familiar with the matter who it did not identify. The establishment of the facility would create about 55,000 jobs over about a year, the newspaper reported, not naming the Apple vendor. It would also cater to the domestic market and expand operations to include tablets and laptops, the newspaper reported. Samsung Electronics Co and Apple’s assembly partners are among 22 companies that have pledged 110 billion
Gold surged to a fresh record on Friday, fueled by US dollar weakness and low interest rates, while silver headed for its best month since 1979. Spot bullion is up more than 10 percent this month, as US real yields lingered near record lows. While the ferocity of rallies in gold and silver cooled in the middle of the week, most market watchers predict there might be more gains ahead. Both metals have added about 30 percent this year, with gold and silver exchange-traded funds boosting holdings to a record, as concern about the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic fuels demand for
‘ONE-STOCK SHOW’: Turnover hit an all-time high as TSMC continued to determine the local market’s direction and surpassed Visa in market capitalization The TAIEX early yesterday hit an all-time intraday high on the back of soaring Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) shares, before tumbling back to the previous day’s close as the contract chipmaker could not single-handedly prop up the index. The TAIEX rose more than 400 points in the first 20 minutes of trading to hit a record 13,031.7 points, but later pared its gains to close down 0.01 percent at 12,586.73. Turnover was NT$343.252 billion (US$11.63 billion), the highest in the Taiwan Stock Exchange’s history. TSMC continued to dictate the market’s direction, as its early surge by the daily