Economy slows down
The economy slowed last quarter as interest-rate cuts and government tax rebates failed to spur household spending, reinforcing expectations that the Reserve Bank of Australia will need to resume easing next year. GDP advanced 0.4 percent from the second quarter, when it rose an upwardly revised 0.6 percent, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said in Sydney yesterday. Economists forecast 0.5 percent for the three months through September. From a year earlier, GDP gained 1.7 percent, in line with estimates. The report came a day after the bank held interest rates at 0.75 percent following three cuts since June.
Business outlook worsens
Business outlook worsened further last month with the territory mired in recession amid protests and a volatile macroeconomic picture. The purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for the whole economy fell to 38.5 for the lowest reading since April 2003, down from 39.3 a month earlier, according to IHS Markit, which surveyed about 400 private-sector companies. The gauge has now been below the 50 level that divides expansion and contraction since April last year. The combined PMI readings for October and last month put the economy on track to contract more than 5 percent in the fourth quarter of this year barring a significant rebound this month, it said.
Services sector rebounds
The country’s dominant services sector rebounded last month, providing some cautious optimism that the economy might be turning the corner. The IHS Markit India Services PMI rose to a four-month high of 52.7, the first time in three months that the reading has been above 50 to mark an expansion in output. The improvement was driven by higher orders and strengthening business confidence. The index is still below its long-run average of 54.2. The rise in the services index followed data earlier this week showing manufacturing also improved last month, resulting in the composite PMI jumping from 49.6 to 52.7.
Tariffs to hurt solar sector
Tariffs imposed by US President Donald Trump would cost the US solar industry US$19 billion in investment and lead to more than 62,000 lost jobs by 2021, the Solar Energy Industries Association said in a report. It found that the tariffs prompted a handful of manufacturers to open panel factories in the US, but they drove up costs to build solar farms. Developers canceled 10.5 gigawatts of projects, enough to power 1.8 million homes. The net impact was 31 jobs lost for every new position created by the duties, the report said.
Regulator reiterates drug ban
The Drug Controller General of India regulator has asked all states to enforce a court directive prohibiting online medicine sales, a senior government official said on Tuesday, raising industry concerns that it could disrupt some online businesses. The country is yet to finalize regulations for online drug sales, or e-pharmacies, but the growth of several online sellers, such as Medlife International, Netmeds, Temasek Holdings Pte-backed PharmEasy and Sequoia Capital-backed 1mg, has threatened traditional drugstore businesses. The Delhi High Court in December last year said the government must ensure online sales are prohibited for the time being, as it heard a petition from a doctor who said unregulated online sales could lead to abuse of medicines.
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
END TO SPECULATION: The hotel’s management contract has been extended, despite reports that it wanted to end its alliance with Hyatt Hotels over a deal with Riant Capital Singapore-based Hong Leong Hotel Development Ltd (豐隆大飯店股份) yesterday said it has extended a management contract to ensure the continued presence of the Grand Hyatt brand in Taipei, ending rumors that the two sides were parting ways. “We are pleased Hyatt is able to come to terms on the extension of the management contract of Grand Hyatt Taipei,” said Kwek Leng Beng (郭令明), executive chairman of City Developments Ltd (城市發展) and Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Ltd (千禧國敦酒店). Hong Leong Hotel Development is a subsidiary of Millennium, and both fall under the Hong Leong Group (豐隆集團). The Grand Hyatt Taipei (台北君悅大飯店), owned and built by
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
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