Tue, May 09, 2017 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

MONETARY

China’s forex reserves rise

Chinese foreign-exchange reserves rose for a third month last month, beating estimates, as tighter capital controls kept money from flowing out of the country and the yuan was stable. Reserves climbed US$20.45 billion to US$3.03 trillion, the People’s Bank of China said on Sunday, compared with a median estimate of US$3.02 trillion in a Bloomberg survey of economists. The onshore yuan declined 0.2 percent against the US dollar last month, the third month in a row in which it has not moved by more than 0.22 percent. It has appreciated 0.6 percent against the greenback so far this year. A gauge of swings in the onshore yuan against the US currency is at the lowest level since August 2015.

AUSTRALIA

Business confidence jumps

Australian business confidence surged to the highest level since 2010 and companies’ conditions advanced further, signaling economic growth could accelerate. The sentiment index jumped 7 points to 13 last month, according to a National Australia Bank Ltd’s survey of more than 400 firms conducted from April 21 to 28. The business conditions gauge — a measure of hiring, sales and profits — climbed to 14 from a revised 12, driven mainly by employment, the bank said.

ENERGY

Russia backs output cut

The Russian Ministry of Energy yesterday voiced its support for a suggestion from Saudi Arabia that OPEC and its allies extend their oil output cuts into next year, doubling down on an effort to eliminate a supply surplus and boost prices. Russia and Saudi Arabia, the largest of the 24 nations that agreed to cut production, are reaffirming their commitment to the deal amid growing doubts about its effectiveness against surging US production. Oil has surrendered almost all its gains since their deal late last year. Ministers are to meet again in Vienna on May 25 to make the final decision on any extension.

REAL ESTATE

UK quarterly prices drop

UK housing prices recorded their first quarterly decline in more than four years, adding to signs that the property market is cooling. In the three months to April, prices fell 0.2 percent compared with the previous three months, lender Halifax said in a report yesterday. Last month alone, prices slipped 0.1 percent, meaning they have not risen for the past four months. Almost every UK gauge is now pointing to a housing slowdown. Annual growth based on data from Nationwide Building Society is at the weakest in almost four years, while gains in asking prices for homes have also lost momentum. Mortgage approvals fell to a six-month low in March, the Bank of England said.

MACROECONOMICS

German factory orders rise

German factory orders expanded for a second month as Europe’s largest economy picked up speed. Orders, adjusted for seasonal swings and inflation, rose 1 percent in March, after expanding an upwardly revised 3.5 percent in February, data from the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy in Berlin showed yesterday. The typically volatile reading compares with a median estimate for a 0.7 percent gain in a Bloomberg survey. Orders were up 2.4 percent from a year earlier, when adjusted for working days. The Bundesbank said the German economy probably gathered momentum in the first quarter on the back of strong consumer spending and a brightening outlook for manufacturers.

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