Thu, Sep 19, 2019 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take



August exports fell 8.2%

Exports dropped the most since January, as China’s slowdown, the trade conflict between Washington and Beijing, and softness in the global tech sector continued to weigh on overseas demand. The value of shipments abroad fell 8.2 percent last month from a year earlier, the Ministry of Finance said. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had estimated a 10 percent drop. Shipments to China suffered the second-largest decline in the past three years, with sharp falls in chipmaking equipment continuing. The trade balance showed a deficit of ¥136.3 billion (US$1.26 billion). Imports fell 12 percent last month, versus economists’ median estimate of a 10.7 percent drop.


Oil prices stabilize

Oil prices stabilized on signs Saudi Arabia is quickly restoring production following a debilitating drone attack on Saturday last week. Saudi Arabian Oil Co (Aramco) said it had revived 41 percent of capacity at its Abqaiq facility. Abqaiq is now processing about 2 million barrels a day and should return to pre-attack levels of about 4.9 million barrels by the end of this month, chief executive officer Amin Nasser said on Tuesday. Two-thirds of production have been restored and the kingdom expects a full recovery in 10 days, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said. Brent futures, the global crude benchmark, were back to about US$64 a barrel in early London trading yesterday after jumping to near US$72 in reaction to the disruptions.


European sales dip 8.4%

European vehicle registrations fell sharply last month, deepening the woes of an industry battling sluggish demand in key markets and the challenge of rolling out electric vehicles. Sales dropped 8.4 percent, the steepest decline this year, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association said. The fall was partly due to exceptionally high growth in Augut last year, as manufacturers rushed out models ahead of tough new emissions-testing rules. The continent’s five biggest markets all contracted last month, with Spain and France posting the biggest declines.


FedEx cuts profit forecast

FedEx Corp cut its fiscal 2020 profit forecast, citing worsening trade tensions and a weaker global economy. Adjusted earnings this year would be US$11 to US$13 a share in the fiscal year ending in May next year, FedEx said in a statement on Tuesday. That implied at least a 16 percent drop from the previous year. FedEx in June predicted a “mid-single-digit percentage point” drop from last year’s level of US$15.52 a share. “Our performance continues to be negatively impacted by a weakening global macro environment driven by increasing trade tensions and policy uncertainty,” chief executive officer Fred Smith said in the statement.


GDP to rise 1.5% next year

The economy is set to grow by 1.5 percent next year, Minister of Finance Wopke Hoekstra said on Tuesday, as officials warned of a slowdown due to Brexit and the ongoing US-China trade dispute. Hoekstra added that the government was loosening its purse strings to spend more on stimulating the economy, including the sluggish housing market, childcare and defense. For the fifth year in a row a budget surplus was expected, with revenue totaling 305.5 billion euros (US$337 billion) as opposed to 302 billion euros in spending, official documents said.

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