Financial News from Reuters

  • Nikkei edges up as investors buy on the dips; Panasonic soars on investment plan Reuters - 47 minutes ago

    * Nikkei has been flat this week * Panasonic soars to the highest since Nov 2008 * Toshiba tumbles after SanDisk cut outlook By Ayai Tomisawa TOKYO, March 27 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average edged up on Friday morning in choppy trade as investors bought stocks on the dips after the previous day's falls, while Panasonic Corp attracted buying after it announced an acquisition plan. The Nikkei benchmark rose 0.4 percent to 19,548.48 in mid-morning trade, after diving 1.4 percent on Thursday, the biggest daily drop in 10 weeks. "When the benchmark falls 300-400 points from its peak, the market is comfortable with buying back," said Hikaru Sato, a senior technical analyst at Daiwa Securities. Panasonic jumped 5.7 percent to 1,614 yen, the highest since November 2008 after it said it was ready to spend 1 trillion yen ($8.4 billion) on acquisitions over the next four years.

  • The $50 device that symbolizes a shift in North Korea Reuters - 1 hour 0 minutes ago
    The $50 device that symbolizes a shift in North Korea

    A $50 portable media player is providing many North Koreans a window to the outside world despite the government's efforts to keep its people isolated - a symbol of change in one of the world's most repressed societies. By some estimates, up to half of all urban North Korean households have an easily concealed "notel", a small portable media player used to watch DVDs or content stored on USB sticks that can be easily smuggled into the country and passed hand to hand. People are exchanging South Korean soaps, pop music, Hollywood films and news programs, all of which are expressly prohibited by the Pyongyang regime, according to North Korean defectors, activists and recent visitors to the isolated country. "The North Korean government takes their national ideology extremely seriously, so the spread of all this media that competes with their propaganda is a big and growing problem for them," said Sokeel Park of Liberty in North Korea (LiNK), an organization that works with defectors.

  • Oil prices ease as market downplays supply threat from Yemen Reuters - 1 hour 7 minutes ago
    Oil prices ease as market downplays supply threat from Yemen

    Oil prices fell over a percentage point on Friday as traders estimated that the threat of a disruption to world crude supplies from Saudi Arabia-led air strikes in Yemen was low. Goldman Sachs said in an overnight note that the strikes in Yemen would have little effect on oil supplies as the country was only a small crude exporter and tankers could avoid passing its waters to reach their ports of destination. Internationally traded Brent crude futures (LCOc1) were trading at $58.44 a barrel at 0211 GMT, down 75 cents from their last settlement. Prices soared as much as 6 percent the previous day after a Saudi-led coalition of Arab nations began strikes on Shi'ite Houthis and allied army units who have taken over much of Yemen and seek to oust President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

  • Japan PM Abe to address joint session of U.S. Congress Reuters - 1 hour 16 minutes ago

    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will address a joint meeting of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on April 29, becoming the first Japanese leader to do so. Abe will spend eight days on a state visit expected to focus on joint responses to growing Chinese assertiveness in Asia, including his moves to loosen the constraints of Japan's pacifist, postwar constitution on the military. In announcing the invitation to the Japanese leader, U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner said Abe's speech would be an opportunity for Americans to hear from a close ally about ways to expand cooperation on economic and security priorities.

  • CORRECTED (OFFICIAL)-UPDATE 2-IMF rolls back remarks on Russian holdings of Ukraine debt Reuters - 1 hour 17 minutes ago

    The International Monetary Fund has not decided whether Russia's $3 billion holding of Ukrainian debt should be classified as "official" debt, an IMF spokesman said on Thursday, taking back an earlier statement. Ukraine, which recently received a $17.5 billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund, must come up with at least $15.3 billion from sovereign debt restructuring under the conditions of the program.

  • Airlines introduce two-person cockpit rule after Alps crash Reuters - 1 hour 20 minutes ago

    BERLIN/PARIS, March 26 (Reuters) - Airlines rushed on Thursday to change their rules so as to require a second crew member in the cockpit at all times, hours after French prosecutors suggested a co-pilot who barricaded himself alone at the controls of a jetliner had crashed it on purpose. The United States already requires two crew members to be in the cabin at all times, but many other countries do not, allowing pilots to leave the flight deck, for example to use the toilet, as long as one pilot is at the controls. Airlines including Norwegian Air Shuttle, Britain's easyJet, Air Canada, Air New Zealand and Air Berlin all said within hours that they had introduced a requirement that two crew members be in the cockpit at all times.

  • Japan core consumer inflation grinds to halt, keeps BOJ pressured Reuters - 1 hour 47 minutes ago

    Japan's annual core consumer inflation ground to a halt in February, the first time it has stopped rising in nearly two years, keeping the central bank under pressure to expand monetary stimulus later this year. Other data published on Friday didn't offer much solace with household spending slumping even as job markets improved, underscoring the challenges premier Shinzo Abe faces in steering the economy toward a solid recovery. While the Bank of Japan has stressed it will look through the effect of slumping oil prices, the soft data will keep it under pressure to expand stimulus to jump-start inflation toward its 2 percent target. Stripping out the effect of last year's sales tax hike, the core consumer price index was flat from a year ago, moving further away from the BOJ's price goal.

  • PRESS DIGEST - Hong Kong - March 27 Reuters - 1 hour 48 minutes ago

    These are some of the leading stories in Hong Kong newspapers on Friday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy. SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST -- Last-ditch negotiations ...

  • PRESS DIGEST- China - March 27 Reuters - 1 hour 58 minutes ago

    Chinese newspapers available in Beijing and Shanghai carried the following stories on Friday. Reuters has not checked the stories and does not vouch for their accuracy. CHINA SECURITIES JOURNAL - Wan Feng, ...

  • Fed market gurus prep rate hike amid last-minute anxieties Reuters - 1 hour 59 minutes ago

    The New York Federal Reserve officials tasked with prying interest rates off the floor have been meeting with bankers and traders to plot how best to do it, amid deep uncertainty over how much control they will really have over short-term lending markets. With the U.S. central bank expected to raise rates later this year, Simon Potter and his team of market technicians have the tricky job of implementing higher rates using some new and lightly tested tools as well as some that may not work as well as in the past. The trouble is that the federal funds market, the intra-bank trading pool traditionally used by the Fed to meet its policy goals, has shrunk to about a quarter of its pre-crisis size after more than six years of unprecedented monetary stimulus. The Fed wants to avoid a scenario in which yields don't rise enough after it lifts the fed funds rate because banks, flush with $2.5 trillion of reserves parked at the central bank, don't need short-term funding.

  • PRESS DIGEST- Financial Times - March 27 Reuters - 2 hours 9 minutes ago

    Swiss-based Edmond de Rothschild Group will issue a cease and desist order to the French financial adviser Rothschild and Cie for unfairly using its family name. The Swiss company said that Paris Orleans SA, the parent of Rothschild and Cie, has unfairly referred to itself as the "parent of the Rothschild Group". Chancellor George Osborne rejected advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office while deciding to join China's Asia Infrastructure Bank. Officials in China and the UK had warned Osborne that his decision would alienate allies from Japan and the US.

  • Amid trial, Kleiner Perkins recruits next generation of partners Reuters - 2 hours 18 minutes ago
    Amid trial, Kleiner Perkins recruits next generation of partners

    For the past month, the name most associated with venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is former partner Ellen Pao, who took the firm to trial for gender discrimination and retaliation. Now the company is searching for new names, at a more intense level than is typical in venture capital, leaders who will take over the firm in coming years as current partners retire. “You can imagine that over the next 18-24 months we’ll be adding people to the firm,” said Mike Abbott, 42, one of the newest Kleiner partners, and himself a contender to one day take over the mantle of the firm from its current de facto leader, 63-year-old John Doerr.

  • Shoppers' personal info not part of RadioShack sale: ombudsman Reuters - 2 hours 20 minutes ago

    Her letter came as Oregon and Pennsylvania on Wednesday joined Texas and Tennessee in objecting to RadioShack selling names, email addresses and other personal information gathered from shoppers. Personally identifiable information of 117 million consumers could be made available in RadioShack's proposed sale, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said in a filing that urged stripping out information such as telephone numbers and mailing addresses from assets. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton last week objected to the sale of personally identifiable information and requested RadioShack's buyer be required to set a separate price for it. Paxton said RadioShack's privacy policy for shoppers included an "unequivocal" provision the information would not be sold.

  • RadioShack rescue deal dogged by fights, demands for new auction Reuters - 2 hours 20 minutes ago
    RadioShack rescue deal dogged by fights, demands for new auction

    RadioShack Corp's rescue deal to keep 1,740 stores open was attacked on Thursday by the bankrupt retailer's top creditor, a failed bidder who called the auction a sham and sought a new sale. RadioShack, which filed for bankruptcy last month, told a U.S. Bankruptcy judge it had selected the Standard General hedge fund as the winning bidder in the private four-day auction, which ended just before Thursday's hearing. While RadioShack's attorney told the court the deal saved 7,500 jobs and was $23 million more than a bid by liquidators, the deal provided little cash. An attorney for Salus Capital Partners, which is owed $150 million and is RadioShack's largest creditor, blasted the auction process and called for the auction to be reopened.

  • Asia crawls higher after upbeat U.S. data, dollar stands tall Reuters - 2 hours 37 minutes ago
    Asia crawls higher after upbeat U.S. data, dollar stands tall

    Asian stocks crawled higher on Friday as upbeat U.S. economic data helped revive some risk appetite lost following air strikes on Houthi militants in Yemen, while the dollar rebounded. Crude oil prices were slightly lower on the dollar's bounce after surging overnight on the escalating conflict in Yemen.

  • Japan still cautious on AIIB, to keep in contact with U.S. Reuters - 2 hours 41 minutes ago

    Japan remains cautious about joining the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Finance Minister Taro Aso said on Friday, as a March 31 deadline draws near for becoming a founding member. Japan is in close contact with key ally the United States about the Beijing-based institute, and has yet to receive any response from China over concerns it has expressed about the AIIB, Aso told reporters after a cabinet meeting. "What is important is not the date but whether we can see what we have been asking (China) guaranteed," Aso said.

  • GLOBAL MARKETS-Asia crawls higher after upbeat U.S. data, dollar stands tall Reuters - 2 hours 41 minutes ago

    Asian stocks crawled higher on Friday as upbeat U.S. economic data helped revive some risk appetite lost following air strikes on Houthi militants in Yemen, while the dollar rebounded. Crude oil prices were slightly lower on the dollar's bounce after surging overnight on the escalating conflict in Yemen.

  • Venezuela again seeks to recuse arbitrators in Conoco dispute Reuters - 2 hours 48 minutes ago

    Venezuela is seeking to recuse two arbitrators on a World Bank tribunal hearing in a dispute with U.S. oil firm ConocoPhillips, less than a year after the tribunal rejected a similar request regarding the same arbitrators. The Oil Ministry said on Thursday it asked the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) to remove arbitrators Kenneth Keith and Yves Fortier from the three-person panel.

  • PRESS DIGEST- British Business - March 27 Reuters - 2 hours 56 minutes ago

    AA Plc intends to raise almost 1 billion pounds ($1.49 billion) from share and loan sales as it moves to tackle its debt and resume dividend payments. BT Group Plc has marked its return to the consumer mobile market with a price war after launching a 4G package for 5 pounds a month. David Cameron has admitted defeat after the government lost a 10-year battle with the Guardian to keep secret a "particularly frank" cache of lobbying letters written by Prince Charles.

  • American Apparel ex-CEO Charney seeks $40 million damages: Bloomberg Reuters - 3 hours ago
    American Apparel ex-CEO Charney seeks $40 million damages: Bloomberg

    Charney's claims include about $6 million in severance, $1.3 million in vacation-time pay, about $10 million for emotional distress and 13 million shares of the company, Bloomberg reported, citing a letter provided by Charney's lawyer, Keith Fink. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has ordered an investigation into matters arising from the review by the board committee of American Apparel that formalized Charney's firing in December 2014, the fashion retailer said in a filing on Wednesday. American Apparel learned of the formal order of investigation on Feb. 5, but it was not immediately clear whether the probe related to Charney's conduct or to the board's review of him, according to the filing. Charney, 45, started American Apparel's predecessor companies in 1989 and had been at the helm since 2007, when the company went public.

  • American Apparel ex-CEO Charney seeks $40 mln damages -Bloomberg Reuters - 3 hours ago

    American Apparel Inc's founder and former Chief Executive Officer Dov Charney is seeking $40 million in damages after he was fired from the post, Bloomberg reported on Thursday. Charney's claims include about $6 million in severance, $1.3 million in vacation-time pay, about $10 million for emotional distress and 13 million shares of the company, Bloomberg reported, citing a letter provided by Charney's lawyer, Keith Fink. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has ordered an investigation into matters arising from the review by the board committee of American Apparel that formalized Charney's firing in December 2014, the fashion retailer said in a filing on Wednesday. American Apparel learned of the formal order of investigation on Feb. 5, but it was not immediately clear whether the probe related to Charney's conduct or to the board's review of him, according to the filing.

  • Kinross settles shareholder lawsuit tied to Mauritania debacle Reuters - 3 hours ago

    TORONTO/NEW YORK, March 26 (Reuters) - Kinross Gold Corp has agreed pay $33 million to settle a shareholder lawsuit that had accused the Canadian gold miner of defrauding investors through an ill-advised mine acquisition in Mauritania that has resulted in over $6 billion in writedowns. According to documents filed with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York late on Thursday, Kinross said it settled the matter to eliminate the burden and expense of continued litigation but denied any wrongdoing. The Toronto-based miner and the lead plaintiff, the City of Austin Police Retirement System, have asked the court to approve the preliminary settlement.

  • GameStop profit forecast falls short on weak demand for consoles Reuters - 3 hours ago
    GameStop profit forecast falls short on weak demand for consoles

    Shares of the world's largest retailer of video game products, which also reported a quarterly profit that missed estimates, fell 6 percent in after-market trading on Thursday. Demand for Microsoft Corp's Xbox One and Sony Corp's PlayStation 4 consoles have also cooled off since the holiday shopping season. The eighth-generation video game consoles followed PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. GameStop, which reported a 30.2 percent drop in new video game hardware sales in the fourth quarter ended Jan. 31, expects older hardware sales to fall more than 50 percent in 2015.

  • Japan still cautious on AIIB, to keep in close contact with U.S. Reuters - 3 hours ago

    Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said on Friday that the country remains cautious about joining the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank as its governance structure is unclear. Japan is in ...

  • Watchdog bars ex-LPL broker who tapped client funds for Hawaii retreat Reuters - 3 hours ago

    A former LPL Financial LLC broker who borrowed nearly $2.3 million from clients to build a vacation rental property in Hawaii has been permanently barred from the securities industry in a settlement reached with Wall Street's watchdog. Raymond Daniel Schmidt, who was affiliated with the unit of LPL Financial Holdings Inc in Oceanside, California, borrowed the money from seven clients between 2009 and 2012, a violation of industry rules, according to a settlement with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) on Wednesday. Schmidt neither admitted nor denied FINRA's findings, according to the settlement. In a 2013 public regulatory filing, Schmidt disclosed his involvement in the "Pakalana Sanctuary" in Waimea, also known as Kamuela, on Hawaii's Big Island.

  • Japan Feb core CPI flat yr/yr excluding tax hike effect Reuters - 3 hours ago

    Japan's core consumer price index was flat in February compared with a year earlier when excluding the effect of last April's sales tax hike, government data showed on Friday, the first time since May ...

  • Apple's Tim Cook will give away all his money: Fortune Reuters - 4 hours ago
    Apple's Tim Cook will give away all his money: Fortune

    Fortune magazine cited the head of the world's largest technology corporation as saying he planned to donate his estimated $785 million fortune to charity - after paying for his 10-year-old nephew's college education. "You want to be the pebble in the pond that creates the ripples for change," Cook told the magazine. Fortune estimated Cook's net worth, based on his holdings of Apple stock, at about $120 million. The 54-year-old CEO's revelation in Fortune's lengthy profile of him is an example of the increasingly public philanthropy of the world's richest people.

  • MOVES-BofA's John Addis leaves amid job cuts - Bloomberg Reuters - 4 hours ago

    Bank of America Corp's John Addis, a senior Merrill Lynch executive in the firm's equities division, left the company as jobs were cut, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter. ...

  • Oscars producers out after three years and a TV ratings drop Reuters - 4 hours ago

    Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, the producers behind the last three Academy Awards telecasts, will not be returning for next year's Oscars, the ceremony organizers said on Thursday. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which hosts Hollywood's biggest night each year, declined to say why Zadan and Meron were not invited back. Their departure comes after the television audience for the 2015 show dropped 16 percent from the previous year and first-time host Neil Patrick Harris received lukewarm reviews. For their first year, they invited "Family Guy" creator and comedian Seth MacFarlane to host and came under heavy fire for his provocative humor.

  • Exclusive: Headhunter contacts Morgan Stanley's Fleming about CEO job at BNY Mellon Reuters - 4 hours ago

    NEW YORK/BOSTON (Reuters) - At the prompting of at least one director of Bank of New York Mellon Corp, an executive recruiting firm has come up with a list of potential candidates to replace embattled CEO Gerald Hassell, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters.     At least one of the candidates, Gregory Fleming, who runs wealth and investment management at Morgan Stanley, has been contacted by the recruiting firm Spencer Stuart to gauge his interest in the job at the world's largest custody bank, according to the two individuals and two additional sources. The overture to Fleming does not appear to represent an official search effort by BNY Mellon's full 15-member board, which has so far supported Hassell despite rising pressure from activist investors concerned by his performance. In a statement that it attributed to its board of directors, BNY Mellon said: "The Board is not conducting a search and fully supports our CEO. Any suggestion to the contrary is completely false." A spokesman for BNY Mellon said that Hassell was not available to comment.

  • U.S. court halts Labor Department rule on same-sex couples Reuters - 4 hours ago

    A U.S. court in Texas on Thursday issued a stay to halt the U.S. Labor Department from implementing a rule that would expand medical leave protections for same-sex couples. The state of Texas last week sued the Labor Department over a rule that would grant family medical leave protections to all married same-sex couples, saying it violates the rights of states that do not recognize gay marriage.

  • Vice expands HBO deal and ventures into daily newscast Reuters - 4 hours ago

    Vice Media, known for its coverage of current affairs for the Millennial generation, will expand its partnership with Time Warner Inc's premium cable network HBO to include daily newscasts and more weekly series and specials, the network said on Thursday. Vice's half-hour show on weekdays will present news reports from journalists in bureaus around the world, the first time HBO has offered a daily newscast. The weekly Vice series, currently seen on Fridays, will expand from 14 to 35 shows a year, exploring current issues and unrest around the world.

  • Boehner, Pelosi show gridlock is not U.S. Congress's only option Reuters - 4 hours ago

    Maybe it was the kiss that John Boehner planted on Nancy Pelosi's cheek that early January day in front of the entire House of Representatives that should have provided a clue. Not long afterward, Boehner, the Republican Speaker of the House, dispatched a top healthcare adviser to a secret meeting with his counterpart working for Pelosi, the Democratic leader. The Boehner aide's mission, according to a source who asked not to be identified, was to determine whether Pelosi might be willing to collaborate on major legislation. Two months later, after scores of private conversations and hard bargaining, the work by America's political odd couple bore fruit with a 392-37 House vote to overhaul the Medicare program that delivers healthcare for the elderly and disabled, including fixing for good its troubled formula for paying physicians.

  • FOREX-Dollar gains as upbeat data sparks turnaround; Yellen in focus Reuters - 4 hours ago

    A sudden turnaround in the dollar's fortunes overnight saw the currency trading broadly higher early in Asia on Friday, but still on track to end softer for a second straight week. Since the U.S. Federal Reserve's dovish steer last week, dollar bulls have been much more cautious.

  • Head of U.S. Chemical Safety Board resigns -White House official Reuters - 4 hours ago

    The head of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board has resigned weeks after lawmakers with oversight of his agency accused him of hostility toward his staff, a White House official said on Thursday. Rafael Moure-Eraso stepped down from his role as chairman of the CSB, an independent federal agency responsible for investigating industrial and chemical accidents. "The White House asked for and received Dr. Rafael Moure-Eraso's resignation," the official said. His term was up in June and earlier this month Obama nominated Vanessa Sutherland, a lawyer at the pipeline safety office, for the position.