Sat, Jun 22, 2019 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

TECHNOLOGY

Huawei unveils shipments

Huawei Technologies Co (華為) yesterday said that it has shipped 100 million smartphones this year as of May 30. He Gang (何剛), who is president of the Huawei consumer business group’s smartphone product line, revealed the numbers at a launch event in Wuhan, China, for its Nova 5 cellphone. The phone is powered by Huawei’s new 7-nanometer Kirin 810 chipset. Huawei has been hit by curbs ordered by Washington, which threatens to cripple its supply chain. Huawei founder and chief executive officer Ren Zhengfei (任正非) on Monday said that the US ban could cost the company US$30 billion in revenue this year and that smartphone sales outside China dropped 40 percent in the past month.

ECONOMY

Eurozone activity improves

Economic activity in the eurozone improved this month, although output remained subdued and doubts remain over the outlook. A flash composite purchasing managers’ index came in at 52.1, slightly higher than economists were expecting and an improvement from a reading of 51.8 last month. The surveys point to growth of 0.2 percent in the second quarter, an improvement on the first quarter, but still weak, the report said. Growth was driven by services, while manufacturing continued a downturn. Sentiment deteriorated in both sectors. While the performance of Germany and France is improving, there is growing concern that the rest of the region is sliding closer toward stagnation, the report said.

SOUTH KOREA

Moon sacks economic aides

President Moon Jae-in yesterday sacked both of his top economic policy aides as Asia’s fourth-largest economy cools sharply due to prolonged US-China trade frictions. Moon appointed Korea Fair Trade Commission Chairman Kim Sang-jo as his chief policy secretary and First Vice Minister of Finance Lee Ho-seung as his top economic policy secretary, the presidential office said. They replace Kim Soo-hyun and Yoon Jong-won. The government’s management of the economy came under criticism from opposition parties and investors, but the new appointments fell short of indicating any major shift in policy. “There has been criticism about the way policies are executed and so today’s appointments appear to be more aimed at speedier implementation of policies than at changing policies,” said Choi Seok-won, head of research at SK Securities.

COMMODITIES

Gold passes US$1,400

Gold prices yesterday broke US$1,400 an ounce to hit a near-six-year high as the weaker US dollar, economic concerns and geopolitical tensions saw investors pile into the safe-haven commodity. Demand surged after the US Federal Reserve on Wednesday indicated that it would likely cut interest rates soon — for the first time in a decade — which sent the dollar tumbling across the board and making it cheaper to buy the metal. The announcement came as central banks around the world adopt a more dovish stance in the face of a stuttering global economy and as investors fret over the trade outlook with the US and China embroiled in a trade dispute. It also coincided with news that Iran had shot down a US “spy drone,” which it said was in its airspace, ratcheting up a standoff with Washington and fueling concerns of a conflict between the two. Gold prices have surged about 10 percent this month and an ounce cost US$1,411 in Asian trade, its highest since September 2013.

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