Thu, Sep 05, 2019 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

HONG KONG

PMI falls on dispute, protests

Sentiment among the territory’s manufacturers last month worsened again as the US-China trade spat rumbled on and the economy buckled under the brunt of anti-government protests. The latest reading for the Markit Hong Kong purchasing managers’ index (PMI) slid to 40.8 from 43.8 in July, a second straight monthly drop, according to data released by IHS Markit. It is a fresh low for the indicator of manufacturing intentions in data going back to at least September 2016. Figures below 50 indicate contraction.

AUTOMAKERS

Japanese brands hurt by row

Japanese automakers posted sharper sales falls in South Korea last month, industry data showed yesterday, hit by a consumer boycott of Japanese vehicles amid a worsening diplomatic row between the countries. Toyota Motor Corp and other Japanese automakers saw South Korean sales tumble 57 percent to 1,398 vehicles from a year earlier, steeper than the 17 percent fall in July. Toyota’s South Korean sales fell 59 percent to 542 from a year earlier, while Honda Motor’s sales tumbled 81 percent to 138.

GERMANY

Chemicals output down

A weakening manufacturing sector in the country and around the world weighed heavily on its chemicals output in the second quarter of this year, the VCI industry federation said yesterday. Production was down 8.8 percent annually in the April-to-June period, it said, making for revenues 4.3 percent lower at 48 billion euros (US$53 billion). Looking ahead to the full year, the VCI predicted a fall of 6 percent in chemicals production, significantly worse than its first-quarter forecast of a 3.5 percent decline, while revenues would slump 5 percent to 193 billion euros.

UNITED STATES

Factory output declines

A trade dispute with China and slower global growth are weighing on the economy, reducing factory output last month for the first time in three years. A survey by the Institute for Supply Management, an association of purchasing managers, on Tuesday showed that factory production and new orders fell sharply last month and are shrinking. The institute’s manufacturing index slid to 49.1 last month from 51.2 in July. That is the lowest reading issued since January 2016. Any reading below 50 signals a contraction in the sector. Manufacturers also cut jobs, the survey found.

INTERNET

Facebook to hide ‘like’ count

Facebook Inc on Tuesday confirmed that it is dabbling with no longer making a public display of how many “likes” are racked up by posts. Such a change could ease pressure to win approval with images, videos or comments and, instead, get people to simply focus on what is in posts. “We are considering hiding like counts from Facebook,” a spokesman said on Tuesday.

RUSSIA

Moscow might open Arctic

Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment Dmitry Kobylkin yesterday said he supports allowing private oil and gas companies to work on the Arctic shelf. Speaking to reporters at an economic forum in the eastern city of Vladivostok, Kobylkin said he supported “any decision linked to an increase in investment in projects related to hydrocarbons.” Only state-controlled Gazprom PJSC and Rosneft PJSC are authorized to operate on the country’s Arctic shelf.

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