Saturday, July 28th, 2018


Germany says US-Europe trade tensions ease, questions remain on soy

BUENOS AIRES, July 28 — The trade relationship between the United States and Europe is improving, German Agriculture Minister Julia Kloeckner said today, but there is no guarantee the bloc will buy the quantity of soybeans that Washington expects….

CIMB’s loan growth to remain the same this year

KUALA LUMPUR, July 28 — CIMB Group Holdings Bhd has forecast its loan growth to remain at between six and seven per cent this year, in line with the industry’s growth projection. Group Chief Executive Officer Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Aziz said…

Stocks tumble after strong Q2 US growth data, Nasdaq -1.5%

NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks finished decisively lower on Friday after a blowout second-quarter US growth report on worries the economy has peaked.

The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index suffered the most of the major indices, shedding 1.5 percent to close the week at 7,737.42.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.3% to end at 25,451.06, while the broad-based S&P 500 dropped 0.7% to 2,818.82.

Friday's losses also were prompted by a largely disappointing round of earnings, with Exxon Mobil, Intel and Twitter all falling significantly.

US growth expanded by an annual rate of 4.1%, matching analyst expectations, due in part to strong consumer spending, according to Commerce Department data.

The growth rate was the strongest it has been since the third quarter of 2014.

Stocks opened in a muted fashion following the report but began veering into negative territory soon thereafter.

“There's a general sense that maybe we're hitting peak growth,” said Jack Ablin of Cresset Wealth Advisors.

Ablin said the tech sector was vulnerable because it is tied more closely to growth than some sectors and because of worries that rising political and social scrutiny of Facebook and others that could crimp growth.

Beyond that, technology has been a leader in the overall bull market over the last few years and weakness in that segment are likely seen as a harbinger of broader problems.

One day after Facebook dived on a weak outlook, fellow social media company Twitter plummeted 20.5% as it reported a lower number of active users and warned of additional declines amid a purge of fake accounts.

Intel was another big loser among tech companies, shedding 8.6% on worries over flattening profit margins and a slower-than-expected timeframe to launch new chip technology.

Others to fall included Microsoft, down 1.8% and Google parent Alphabet, which shed 2.4%.

But Amazon climbed 0.5% on surging profits and Expedia jumped 9.5% after results.

In non-earnings news, CBS dropped 6.1% as the company announced it would investigate allegations of misconduct, reportedly to be published by The New Yorker magazine, against chairman and chief executive Leslie Moonves. — AFP

Fox and Disney shareholders approve deal for entertainment assets

NEW YORK: Twenty-First Century Fox Inc and Walt Disney Co said on Friday their shareholders voted to approve Disney's US$71 billion (RM288 billion) purchase of Fox's film and television assets.

Results were announced at both companies' special shareholders' meetings, held in New York.

Shares of Fox were down slightly, by 0.3% to US$45.25 (RM184) in afternoon trading, while Disney shares were down 0.7% to US$112.70 (RM456).

Disney was forced to sweeten its offer last month after Comcast Corp, the largest US cable company, made a US$66 billion (RM268 billion) bid for Fox's well-known TV shows and movie franchises, including the X-Men and The Simpsons.

The bidding between Comcast and Disney was part of a bigger battle in the entertainment industry as media companies spend tens of billions of dollars on deals to compete with Netflix Inc and Inc.

Last week, Comcast dropped its pursuit of Fox's film and television studios, cable networks and international TV businesses.

Disney's cash and the stock offer has already received approval from US regulators. In an agreement with the US Department of Justice, Disney, which owns sports network ESPN, said it would divest 22 of Fox's regional sports networks.

Disney still needs deal approval from more than a dozen countries, including China, Russia and regulators from the European Union.

Rupert Murdoch, who owns 17% of Fox's voting shares along with his family, could have faced a large capital gains tax bill under Comcast's all-cash offer.

Fox will separate the Fox Broadcasting network and stations, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network and its sports channels FS1, FS2, and the Big Ten Network into a newly listed company that it will spin off to its shareholders. — Reuters

Ringgit likely to trade flat against greenback next week

KUALA LUMPUR, July 28 — The ringgit is likely to trade in flat mode against the US dollar next week in range-bound trading amid the stronger US economic growth and expectations of gradual interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. An analyst told…

Wall Street week ahead: Economy, dollar, trade key to US stocks’ global edge

NEW YORK, July 28 — The ability of the US stock market to keep an edge this year over equities elsewhere in the world hinges on the United States maintaining its economic and earnings growth advantage, the strength of the dollar and how global…

IBM wins US$83m from Groupon in e-commerce patent fight

NEW YORK, July 28 — A US jury awarded International Business Machines Corp US$82.5 million (RM335 million) after finding that Groupon Inc infringed four of its e-commerce patents. Yesterday’s verdict is a boon to IBM’s intellectual-property…

Facebook sued after stock plunge ‘shocked’ market

NEW YORK, July 28 — Facebook Inc and its chief executive Mark Zuckerberg were sued yesterday in what could be the first of many lawsuits over a disappointing earnings announcement by the social media company that wiped out about US$120 billion…

Markets underwhelmed by US growth surge

NEW YORK, July 28 — Wall Street stocks yesterday finished the week on a downbeat note, with the tech-rich Nasdaq sinking 1.5 per cent on worries that US economic growth has peaked. The US economy expanded at an annual rate of 4.1 per cent in the…

Trump hails US economic growth spurt, promises more ahead

WASHINGTON, July 28 — President Donald Trump yesterday hailed roaring US economic growth as a “miracle,” and said the quickest expansion in almost four years was a vindication of his economic agenda. With the size of the American economy now…