Financial News from Reuters

  • German retail sales surge at fastest pace in 7 years Reuters - 4 minutes 56 seconds ago

    German retail sales jumped by the largest amount in seven years in January, data from the Federal Statistics Office showed on Tuesday, fuelling expectations that private consumption will propel growth in Europe's largest economy this year. "Cheap oil, healthy income gains, low interest rates and fading risks combined to make a very strong start to the year for German retailers," said Christian Schulz, senior economist at Berenberg Bank. "Private consumption looks set to be a major growth driver in 2015 and, at this rate, would put a severe upside risk to our forecast of gross domestic product (GDP) growth of merely 0.3 percent quarter-on-quarter in Q1," he added. On the year, retail sales leapt by 5.3 percent on the year in real terms, their biggest increase since June 2010, as shoppers spent more online and in shops on items such as food, books, jewellery and cosmetic products.

  • Target of nation's outrage, Ukraine central bank chief ploughs on Reuters - 7 minutes ago

    Before she was appointed to head Ukraine's central bank last June, Valeriia Gontareva was praised as one of the most successful investment bankers in the country. Tabloids published photos of her son relaxing in expensive hotels while Ukraine teeters on the brink of bankruptcy. "Sack Gontareva, the looter!" it read. Certainly, no central banker would envy her record on paper: in less than nine months since she took office, the hryvnia has fallen to around 30 to the dollar from 12.

  • FOREX-Dollar hit by Japan govt adviser's yen comment, drags index lower Reuters - 12 minutes ago

    The dollar eased from an 11-year peak against a basket of currencies on Tuesday, hit by losses against the yen after an economic adviser to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the greenback could not sustain more gains. Etsuro Honda, who some analysts described as a proponent of yen weakness, told the Wall Street Journal in an interview that dollar/yen may be at the "upper limit of comfort zone". The comments pulled the dollar off a three-week high of 120.27 yen hit earlier due to a spike in U.S. debt yields. The euro was also lower at 134 yen.

  • Saudi king keeps close hand on oil in remodelling strategic team Reuters - 18 minutes ago
    Saudi king keeps close hand on oil in remodelling strategic team

    Saudi Arabia's subtle change of energy policymaker line-up since the accession of new King Salman in late January appears to give the monarch's inner circle a firmer hand on the kingdom's oil strategy than previous rulers have enjoyed.     The most notable change was the promotion of the king's son Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, long a member of the No. 1 crude exporter's OPEC delegation, to the role of deputy oil minister from assistant oil minister, a post he had held for many years.     On the same day, King Salman formed a new body replacing the Supreme Petroleum Council and appointed another son, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to head the new Supreme Council for Economic Development.     There are no indications that those moves will lead to changes in the fundamental way the kingdom makes its oil decisions or diminish the influence of veteran oil minister Ali al-Naimi.

  • Sharp planning to tap banks for second bailout in three years Reuters - 27 minutes ago
    Sharp planning to tap banks for second bailout in three years

    Japan's loss-making Sharp Corp will seek new funds for further restructuring from its two main lenders, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said, with a debt-to-equity swap seen by bankers as the most feasible option. Fierce competition from Apple Inc, Samsung Electronics Co as well as cheaper Chinese makers has hammered Japan's once mighty consumer electronics firms.

  • Sharjah Islamic Bank to meet investors for potential dollar benchmark sukuk Reuters - 36 minutes ago

    Sharjah Islamic Bank is planning to meet fixed income investors starting Thursday ahead of a potential U.S. dollar benchmark sukuk issue, a document from lead arrangers showed. The United Arab Emirates-based ...

  • German data helps keep European shares near highs Reuters - 38 minutes ago

    European equity indexes were flat to higher at the open on Tuesday, helped by better-than-expected German retail sales data and merger speculation in the Portuguese banking sector. German retail sales rose more by 2.9 percent month on month and 5.3 percent year on year in January, more than economists had expected, helping Germany'x Dax index to rise 0.2 percent in early deals.

  • Investor survey shows 38 pct chance of euro zone break-up in 12 months Reuters - 1 hour 6 minutes ago

    Investor expectations of the euro zone breaking apart have risen to their highest level in two years, a survey showed on Tuesday, even after Greece agreed a financial lifeline with its euro zone partners. The current poll was conducted between Feb. 26-28, 2015, and surveyed 980 mainly German-based individual and institutional investors.

  • Exclusive: Obama sharply criticizes China's plans for new technology rules Reuters - 1 hour 6 minutes ago
    Exclusive: Obama sharply criticizes China's plans for new technology rules

    President Barack Obama on Monday sharply criticized China's plans for new rules on U.S. tech companies, urging Beijing to change the policy if it wants to do business with the United States and saying he had raised it with President Xi Jinping. In an interview with Reuters, Obama said he was concerned about Beijing's plans for a far-reaching counterterrorism law that would require technology firms to hand over encryption keys, the passcodes that help protect data, and install security "backdoors" in their systems to give Chinese authorities surveillance access. "This is something that I’ve raised directly with President Xi," Obama said. The Chinese government sees the rules as crucial to protect state and business secrets.

  • Barclays takes extra 750 mln stg FX provision as profits rise 12 pct Reuters - 1 hour 7 minutes ago

    Barclays has set aside an extra 750 million pounds for potential fines arising from allegations of manipulation in the foreign exchange market as the British bank's annual profits rose a higher-than-expected 12 percent thanks to a sharp cut in costs. Barclays said on Tuesday it made a 2014 adjusted pretax profit of 5.5 billion pounds, up from a restated 4.9 billion in 2013 and above the average analyst forecast of 5.3 billion pounds. Separately, Barclays set aside an extra 200 million pounds in the fourth quarter to compensate UK customers who were mis-sold insurance products. Barclays pulled out of settling allegations its traders tried to rig foreign exchange benchmarks in a deal between U.S. and UK authorities and six rival banks in November because it had not reached a deal with New York's regulator.

  • Volkswagen on track with efficiency program: CEO Reuters - 1 hour 20 minutes ago
    Volkswagen on track with efficiency program: CEO

    Volkswagen is optimistic it will reach its cost saving targets, which should help the company to narrow the profit gap with international rivals. "We are on track with our efficiency program," ...

  • TomTom expands in Latin America with Fiat, in Europe with Hyundai Reuters - 1 hour 26 minutes ago
    TomTom expands in Latin America with Fiat, in Europe with Hyundai

    TomTom, the navigation software and device maker, said on Tuesday it had extended a supply deal with Fiat Chrysler to Latin America and will begin supplying Hyundai Motor with data in Europe. The deals are the latest in a string of successes this year for TomTom, including deals with Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) to supply maps in the United States and traffic data in Europe. TomTom shares have risen 38 percent so far this year, outperforming a 14 percent rise for the benchmark Dutch midcap AMX index. The Netherlands-based company said Tuesday it would supply maps and navigation software to Fiat in Latin America, beginning with Brazil and adding other countries during 2015.

  • Asian shares lifted by Wall Street records Reuters - 1 hour 30 minutes ago
    Asian shares lifted by Wall Street records

    An index of Asian shares edged higher on Tuesday, bolstered by another record day on Wall Street, while a resurgent yen helped knock the U.S. dollar index off an 11-year high. The Australian dollar jumped after the Reserve Bank of Australia held policy steady, confounding investors who had bet it would deliver a back-to-back interest rate cut instead of holding off for a few months to gauge how the economy digested last month's cut.

  • GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares lifted by Wall Street records; RBA stands pat Reuters - 1 hour 35 minutes ago

    An index of Asian shares edged higher on Tuesday, bolstered by another record day on Wall Street, while a resurgent yen helped knock the U.S. dollar index off an 11-year high. The Australian dollar jumped after the Reserve Bank of Australia held policy steady, confounding investors who had bet it would deliver a back-to-back interest rate cut instead of holding off for a few months to gauge how the economy digested last month's cut. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added about 0.1 percent.

  • German Merck sees slight gain in 2015 core profit Reuters - 1 hour 42 minutes ago

    Germany's Merck KGaA said underlying core earnings would stagnate or grow only slightly this year as it earmarks money for the developing a new immunotherapy against cancer and amid strong competition for its multiple sclerosis drug Rebif. Rebif, Merck's best-selling pharmaceutical, saw sales slip 5 percent in the last three months of 2014, adjusted for currency swings - a smaller decline than expected. Shares in Merck were indicated down 1.1 percent ahead of the 0800 GMT Frankfurt market open. Merck's established injectable MS drug Rebif is under threat from new oral treatments against the debilitating disease, such as Novartis's Gilenya, Sanofi's Aubagio and Biogen Idec's Tecfidera.

  • Investor survey shows 38 pct expect euro zone to break up in 12 months Reuters - 1 hour 47 minutes ago

    Investor expectations of the euro zone breaking apart rose to their highest level in two years in February, a survey showed on Tuesday, even after Greece agreed a financial lifeline with its euro zone partners. The sentix Euro Break-up Index (EBI) gave its highest reading since March 2013, with 38 percent of respondents expecting the bloc to break-up in the next 12 months, up from 24.3 percent in January.

  • Costly shift to new credit cards won't fix security issues Reuters - 1 hour 54 minutes ago

    New technology about to be deployed by credit card companies will require U.S. consumers to carry a new kind of card and retailers across the nation to upgrade payment terminals. Credit card companies have set an October deadline for the switch to chip-enabled cards, which come with embedded computer chips that make them far more difficult to clone. Counterfeit cards, however, account for only about 37 percent of credit card fraud, and the new technology will be nearly as vulnerable to other kinds of hacking and cyber attacks as current swipe-card systems, security experts say. Moreover, U.S. banks and card companies will not issue personal identification numbers (PINs) with the new credit cards, an additional security measure that would render stolen or lost cards virtually useless when making in-person purchases at a retail outlet.

  • Macau Feb gaming revenue slumps record 49 pct as rich Chinese stay away Reuters - 1 hour 55 minutes ago

    Gambling revenue in Macau, the world's biggest gaming hub, plunged by a record 49 percent in February, as wealthy players shied away from China's only legal casino hub following the economic slowdown and Beijing's crackdown on conspicuous spending. Revenue fell for the ninth consecutive month to 19.5 billion patacas ($2.4 billion) in February, from 38 billion patacas a year earlier, according to data released by Macau's Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau. "We believe the biggest culprit for the weak month was the already-troubled VIP segment," said Grant Govertsen, analyst at Union Gaming Research Macau. A crackdown on corruption led by President Xi Jinping, which also targets the illicit outflow of money from China, could be blamed for the revenue decline in the southern Chinese territory of Macau, according to casino executives and analysts.

  • Brent crude up $1 to over $60.50 as global markets firm Reuters - 2 hours 7 minutes ago
    Brent crude up $1 to over $60.50 as global markets firm

    Brent crude oil prices rose more than a dollar to above $60.50 a barrel on Tuesday, tracking firmer Asian markets, but analysts warned the market remained oversupplied. Most Asian stock markets edged up on Tuesday, bolstered by a record day on Wall Street, while a resurgent yen helped knock the U.S. dollar index off an 11-year high, making commodities priced in the greenback slightly cheaper for holders of other currencies. A drop in U.S. rig counts is also boosting oil prices, analysts said. "Brent crude prices (are) attempting to rally on rapid week-on-week reduction in U.S. ... rig count," Morgan Stanley said on in a note on Tuesday.

  • MOVES-Merrill Lynch hires Lewis Steinberg from Credit Suisse - NYT Reuters - 2 hours 32 minutes ago

    Bank of America Corp's Merrill Lynch unit has hired Lewis Steinberg from Credit Suisse Group AG to serve as its in-house tax expert, the New York Times reported, citing an internal memo. Steinberg will ...

  • Nikkei falls on profit-taking; Sharp dives as it seeks aid Reuters - 2 hours 34 minutes ago

    Japan's Nikkei share average edged down in choppy trade on Tuesday as investors took profits from recent gains, while Sharp Corp tumbled on news that it is planning to seek aid from its main lenders as ...

  • Merck KGaA sees slight increase in 2015 adj core earnings Reuters - 2 hours 39 minutes ago

    Germany's Merck KGaA said underlying core earnings would stagnate or grow only slightly this year as it spends money on developing a new immunotherapy against cancer and as its injectable multiple sclerosis ...

  • Exclusive: Huawei plans big push to sell its phones, wearable devices in U.S. Reuters - 2 hours 46 minutes ago
    Exclusive: Huawei plans big push to sell its phones, wearable devices in U.S.

    SAN FRANCISCO/BEIJING (Reuters) - Two years after U.S. legislators branded it a national security threat, China's Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL] is planning a campaign to win over U.S. consumers, rolling out new mobile phones and wearable devices backed by a marketing effort. China's second-largest smartphone maker, already with more than $40 billion in annual revenue from a wide range of telecom gear and products, is preparing to introduce Americans to several of its smartphones and wearable devices this year, including its youth-oriented "Honor" phone, Huawei officials told Reuters.

  • Harvard prevention trial studies tau, Alzheimer's other protein Reuters - 2 hours 54 minutes ago

    Alzheimer's researchers at Harvard for the first time are scanning the brains of healthy patients for the presence of a hallmark protein called tau, which forms toxic tangles of nerve fibers associated with the fatal disease. The new scans are part of a large clinical trial called Anti-Amyloid Treatment in Asymptomatic Alzheimer's or A4, the first designed to identify and treat patients in the earliest stages of Alzheimer's, before memory loss begins. Patients accepted into the A4 trial already have deposits of beta amyloid, the other protein associated with Alzheimer's. The addition of the tau scan will allow scientists to get a much clearer picture of the events that lead to Alzheimer's. The disease affects 5 million Americans, and 16 million are projected to be afflicted by 2050. Dr. Reisa Sperling of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, who is leading the 1,000-patient trial, said tau is commonly found in small amounts in healthy people over age 70, but it is generally confined to an area of the brain called the medial temporal lobe.

  • PRESS DIGEST- New York Times business news - March 3 Reuters - 2 hours 55 minutes ago

    The following are the top stories on the New York Times business pages. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy. * Energy prices began falling last summer, but economists ...

  • JGBs sag on lukewarm 10-year sale, weaker Treasuries Reuters - 3 hours ago

    Japanese government bond prices sagged on Tuesday, weighed down by lukewarm demand at a 10-year debt sale and overnight retreat by U.S. Treasuries. The Bank of Japan's extensive debt purchases as part of its monetary easing drove the 10-year yield to a record low of 0.195 percent in January but has also sucked up liquidity and made the market volatile, sending the benchmark to 0.450 percent in February. The bond market has often seen bouts of volatility on auction days this year as investor demand has proved inconsistent amid wide price swings. "Since mid-February, both ends of the yield curve has drawn investor demand from life insurers in the 20-years and banks in the five-years, but such demand is yet to emerge in the 10-year zone," said Akito Fukunaga, chief rates strategist at Barclays Securities in Tokyo.

  • COLUMN-China rates going lower as tide of capital heads out: James Saft Reuters - 3 hours ago

    The tide of capital is going out in China and many boats, in Chinese ports or not, will settle lower in the water in consequence. China, somewhat unexpectedly, cut monetary policy yet again over the weekend, the third time in recent months it has moved to ease conditions. This makes reasonable sense given China's rapidly slowing growth and the concurrent movement of capital out of China. To be fair, China is far from alone in playing this game, what with the ECB embarking on quantitative easing and Japan in the midst of a currency depreciation and asset-buying plan that can only be called heroic, if not necessarily wise.

  • Macau February gambling revenue plunges by record 48.6 pct Reuters - 4 hours ago

    Gambling revenue in Macau, the world's biggest gaming hub, dropped 48.6 percent in February, the worst drop on record, as an economic slowdown and a campaign by Chinese authorities against conspicuous ...

  • FOREX-Dollar hit by Japan govt adviser's yen comment, Aussie jumps as RBA stands pat Reuters - 4 hours ago

    TOKYO/SYDNEY, March 3 (Reuters) - The dollar pulled back a little from an 11-year peak against a basket of major currencies on Tuesday, with the Australian dollar stealing the spotlight as it surged after the Reserve Bank of Australia stood pat on interest rates.

  • United Airlines sees potential fit for Boeing 777-300ER, not yet 777X Reuters - 4 hours ago
    United Airlines sees potential fit for Boeing 777-300ER, not yet 777X

    While Rainey has said the 777-300ER interests United, he noted Monday that the aircraft could be a quick fix in markets where United needs additional seats to satisfy demand so customers are not forced to book on United's competitors. United currently is considering whether to swap Boeing 787 Dreamliners it has on order for its first 777-300ER aircraft, which can fit more seats. The swap would be a victory for Boeing, which has long insisted it can sell the 100 777-300ERs it plans to produce annually before it shifts toward building the 777X, starting in 2017. Analysts have expressed concern that Boeing might have to cut prices or production as it makes this switch.

  • Target to revamp groceries to focus on younger shoppers - WSJ Reuters - 4 hours ago

    Target Corp has zeroed in on seven grocery categories, including granola, yogurt and craft beer, to attract younger shoppers, urban dwellers, and Hispanics, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The U.S. retailer is showing signs that its food direction will become less reliant on packaged and processed foods that are out of favor with many consumers, the Journal said. The changes would mean less shelf space for packaged food companies like Campbell Soup Co, General Mills Inc and Kraft Foods Group Inc. Target is also looking to hire an executive with grocery experience to head the business and Chief Executive Brian Cornell has been interviewing candidates in recent weeks, the newspaper said.

  • Aussie jumps vs dollar as RBA holds rates steady Reuters - 5 hours ago

    The Australian dollar surged against its U.S. counterpart on Tuesday after the Reserve Bank of Australia opted to leave monetary policy unchanged. The Aussie was last up 0.8 percent at $0.7824 after going ...

  • Former HP chairman admits 'mistake' in sexism trial Reuters - 5 hours ago
    Former HP chairman admits 'mistake' in sexism trial

    Onetime highflying tech executive Ray Lane testified on Monday during a sex discrimination trial involving his former employer, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, that he made a mistake in judgment involving the harassment of a female venture capitalist at the firm, and that he feared for the woman's safety. Lane, who previously served as executive chairman of Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N) and president of Oracle Corp (ORCL.N), told the court he erred in not immediately informing others that Trae Vassallo told him about unwanted advances by her colleague, Ajit Nazre, during a 2011 business trip.

  • FOREX- Dollar rides up on higher yields, Aussie wary of rate cut Reuters - 6 hours ago

    SYDNEY/TOKYO, March 3 (Reuters) - The dollar hit a fresh 11-year peak against a basket of major currencies on Tuesday, as rising Treasury yields helped it prevail over its peers. Traders said an 'on hold' decision by the RBA should spark a short-covering rally in the Aussie.

  • Mongolia ordered to pay $100 mln for expropriating uranium asset Reuters - 6 hours ago

    Mongolia has been ordered to pay about $100 million to Canada-based Khan Resources Inc as compensation for cancelling its uranium licences in a long-awaited decision from an international tribunal. Khan Resources took Mongolia to international arbitration four years ago after the government cancelled its licences over the Dornod uranium project in 2009, handing the asset to Russia's ARMZ. Khan had claimed $354 million in compensation, including interest, but the international arbitration tribunal based its calculation of $100 million, including interest and costs, on previous offers made for the Dornod asset. The ruling comes just as Mongolia's new prime minister, Chimed Saikhanbelig, has been trying to revive foreign investment after previous governments rattled investors by backtracking on mining agreements, changing investment laws and cancelling mining licenses.