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US stocks close sharply lower rising risk aversion

(Photo: Xinhua)NEW YORK, Feb. 24 (Xinhua) -- US stocks plunged on Monday with all three major indexes plunging more than 3 percent amid rising risk aversion.The Dow fell 3.56 percent to 27,960.80, and the S&P 500 was down 3.35 percent to 3,225.89, while the Nasdaq was down 3.71 percent to 9,221.28.All of the 30 Dow component companies closed in red territory, with UnitedHealth Group and American Express erasing 7.84 percent and 4.97 percent, respectively, the top two laggards.Trade bellwether Boeing and Caterpillar traded 3.78 percent lower and 3.67 percent lower, respectively.Most airline stocks traded sharply lower, with American Airlines and Delta Air Lines erasing 8.52 percent and 6.29 percent, respectively.All of the primary S&P 500 sectors traded lower. Energy and technology declined 4.74 percent and 4.19 percent, respectively, leading the laggards.Anxiety over the coronavirus outbreak dented risk sentiment, according to market analysts at Wells Fargo.The Cboe Volatility Index, widely considered the best fear gauge in the stock market, jumped 47.48 percent to 25.19.

Sinophobia to dent US tourism by 10 pct in Q1

A large group of local Chinese participates in the 88th annual HollywoodChristmasParade, with two dancing golden dragons on December 1, 2020. (Photo: GT)A wave of discrimination against Chinese in the US will eventually cut 10 percent of the countrys tourism revenue in the first quarter while rocking US foundations in all possible spheres, experts said Monday.The comment came as ChinasMinistry of Cultureand Tourism issued an advisory the same day, asking Chinese tourists not to travel to the US due to US excessive epidemic control measures and its domestic security situations which results in Chinese tourists being treated unfairly.Tourism industry insiders said this is one of only a few times that Chinese authorities abruptly issued such a warning on traveling to the US in recent years, underscoring the severity of the issue.In June 2019, China also issued a similar alert over travel to the US to counter the negative consequences Chinese people are facing after the escalation of the US-initiated trade war, which spread beyond broad economic measures to target the technology, education and tourism sectors."More Chinese will avoid traveling to the US after the latest warning. So the effect of the warning on the US tourism industry will become more evident in the second quarter because it usually takes one to two months for Chinese to apply for US visas and book tours," Xu Xiaolei, marketing manager at Chinas CYTS Tours Holding Co, told the Global Times on Monday."Such an effect will still exist even after the coronavirus fades away," Xu said.Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pneumonia, bullying and assaults of Asian faces have emerged from the US to Italy, to Germany. Reuters reported on February 14 that "a flier in Los Angeles Carson area, with a fake seal of the World Health Organization, tells residents to avoid Asian-American businesses."The warning was iss...

US stocks open sharply lower amid concerns over global economic slowdown

Traders work during the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange. (File photo: AFP)NEW YORK, Feb. 24 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks opened sharply lower on Monday amid concerns over a prolonged global economic slowdown.Shortly after the opening bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average erased 972.49 points, or 3.35 percent, to 28,019.92. The S&P 500 was down 104.27 points, or 3.22 percent, to 3,233.48. The Nasdaq Composite Index shed 398.79 points, or 4.16 percent, to 9,177.80.All of the 30 Dow component companies traded in red territory, with American Express and Apple erasing 4.11 percent and 4 percent, respectively, the top two laggards.Trade bellwether Boeing and Caterpillar traded 3.1 percent lower and 3 percent lower, respectively.Most airline stocks traded sharply lower, with American Airlines and Delta Air Lines erasing 8.9 percent and 7.43 percent, respectively.All of the primary S&P 500 sectors traded lower. Energy and technology declined 4.18 percent and 3.73 percent, respectively, leading the laggards.

Latvian unemployment drops to 6.3 pct in 2019

RIGA, Feb. 24 (Xinhua) -- Latvian unemployment dropped 1.1 percentage points year on year to 6.3 percent in 2019, showed a labor force survey released on Monday by the national statistics office.File photo: CGTNThe unemployment rate for women was lower than for men, with 5.4 percent of the female population and 7.2 percent of the male population being out of work last year.Joblessness among young Latvians rose from 12.2 percent in 2018 to 12.4 percent last year. Young people, aged 15 to 24, accounted for 12.6 percent of Latvias jobless population in 2019, up 1.6 percentage points year on year.The share of long-term unemployed people who have been unable to find work for more than a year declined from 41.7 percent in 2018 to 38.2 percent of the entire jobless population in 2019.The Baltic countrys overall employment rate rose by 0.5 percentage points from a year before to 65 percent of the working-age population in 2019, statistics show.Employment grew at the fastest rate in construction, finance and insurance, public administration and defense, social insurance, agriculture, forestry and fishing.

Nigeria sees 2.27 pct GDP growth in 2019

ABUJA, Feb. 24 (Xinhua) -- Nigeria recorded a 2.27 percent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in 2019, according to data released Monday by the countrys National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).File photo: CGTNWhen compared to the 2018 growth rate of 1.91 percent, the 2019 figure represents an increase of 360 basis points, said the statistics bureau.In the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2019, the economy grew at 2.55 percent, the highest quarterly growth after the economy slipped into recession in 2016.On a year-on-year basis, the Nigerian agricultural sector saw a 2.31-percent growth in Q4 of 2019, which represents a decrease by 0.14 percentage points from the corresponding period of 2018, but an increase of 0.03 percentage points from the Q3 of 2019.The oil sector, which steadily generates revenue for the country, grew by 6.36 percent on a year-on-year basis in Q4 of 2019, with an average daily oil production of 2 million barrels per day.According to the NBS data, this sector contributed 7.32 percent to total real GDP in Q4 of 2019, up from figures recorded in the corresponding period of 2018 but down compared to the preceding quarter, where it contributed 7.06 percent and 9.77 percent respectively.Also, oil, as the mainstay of the Nigerian economy, contributed 8.78 percent to real GDP in 2019.The official data also indicated that the non-oil sector grew by 2.26 percent in real terms during the Q4 2019.The latest GDP figure had clearly surpassed the International Monetary Funds projection that Nigerias economy would grow by 2.1 percent in 2019, said Lauretta Onochie, a media aide of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari."In spite of distractions, (the economy) did better than projected," she wrote on Twitter.

Chinese shares close mixed Monday

BEIJING, Feb. 24 (Xinhua) -- Chinese stocks closed mixed on Monday, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index down 0.28 percent, at 3,031.23 points.The Shenzhen Component Index closed 1.23 percent higher at 11,772.38 points.File photo: VCGThe ChiNext Index, Chinas NASDAQ-style board of growth enterprises, gained 1.68 percent to close at 2,263.97 points Monday.The ChiNext Index, together with the Shenzhen Component Index and the Shenzhen SME (small and medium-sized enterprises) Board Index, reflects the performance of stocks listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

Chinese shares mixed at midday Monday

BEIJING, Feb. 24 (Xinhua) -- Chinas major stock indices ended higher in the morning session Monday, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index ending 0.34 percent lower at 3,029.23 points.The Shenzhen Component Index gained 0.69 percent to end at 11,710.43 points at midday.File photo: VCGThe ChiNext Index, tracking Chinas Nasdaq-style board of growth enterprises, rose 0.99 percent to 2,248.62 points in the morning session Monday.The ChiNext Index, together with the Shenzhen Component Index and the Shenzhen SME (small and medium-sized enterprises) Board Index, reflects the performance of stocks listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

Oil prices fall 2% on demand concerns as coronavirus spreads outside China

File photo: CGTNOil prices tumbled more than two percent on Monday as investors worried about a hit to demand from the coronavirus outbreak, which is spreading rapidly outside China.Brent crude fell by 1.50 U.S. dollars or 2.5 percent to 57.00 U.S. dollars a barrel by 2332 GMT. U.S. crude futures fell by 1.26 U.S. dollars or 2.3 percent to 52.12 U.S. dollars.Concerns about the coronavirus grew on Sunday after sharp rises in infections in South Korea, Italy, and Iran.South Koreas government put the country on high alert after the number of infections surged to over 600 with six deaths, while in Italy, officials said a third person infected with the flu-like virus had died, as the number of cases jumped to above 150 from just three before Friday."We should not underestimate the economic disruption as a super spreader could trigger a massive drop-in business activity around the globe of proportions the world has never dealt with before," said Stephen Innes, chief market strategist at AxiCorp. China, the worlds largest energy consumer, will adjust policy to help cushion the blow to the economy from the coronavirus outbreak that authorities are still trying to control.Meanwhile, Saudi Arabias Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman described as "nonsense" a media report that Riyadh is considering a break from the OPEC+ alliance with Russia.His comments followed a Wall Street Journal report that said Saudi Arabia was considering leaving the OPEC+ alliance as the coronavirus outbreak contributes to a drop in global oil demand.In the United States, the oil rig count, an indicator of future production, rose for a third straight week. Drillers added one oil rig last week, bringing the total count to 679, the highest since the week of December 20, energy services firm Baker Hughes Co said.

Chinese shares open lower Monday

BEIJING, Feb. 24 (Xinhua) -- Chinese stocks opened lower on Monday, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index down 0.39 percent to open at 3,027.89 points.The Shenzhen Component Index opened 0.08 percent lower at 11,620.63 points. File photo: VCGThe ChiNext Index, Chinas NASDAQ-style board of growth enterprises, was down 0.15 percent to open at 2,223.19 points Monday.The ChiNext Index, together with the Shenzhen Component Index and the Shenzhen SME (small and medium-sized enterprises) Board Index, reflects the performance of stocks listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

Some European firms consider moving production out of China: business group

Photo taken on Nov. 7, 2018 shows a BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car at the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, east China. (Photo: Xinhua)Amid the outbreak of COVID-19 in China, some European companies are facing tremendous challenges in their operations in China - ranging from difficulty in returning production to a disruption in the global supply chain that weighs on their output, a European business group told the Global Times over the weekend.Some European firms questioned certain coordination issues from different levels of Chinese local governments, which they said are "unnecessary" and repetitive, having led to a halt in the movement of goods across China while foreign companies are trying to resume operation in a safe manner."We welcome the Chinese governments [decision to] put the management of COVID-19 at the top of priorities. But the virus itself has presented significant challenges to European companies normal operations in China. Many employees have remained in their hometowns, or have not been able to return to the office," a spokesperson from the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China (EUCCC), told the Global Times.Some European companies are hit the hardest as they are suffering from plummeting commodity prices and contracted sales due to COVID-19, the spokesperson said.The far-reaching fallout of the virus is on the supply chain, which has forced many European companies to reconsider their reliance on Chinas supply chain in their long-term planning, industry insiders said.China, dubbed as the worlds factory, plays a pivotal and indispensable role in the global supply chain of almost everything from electronic products, manufacturing goods to daily necessities.In the auto industry, while auto component companies managed to get their factories running, other critical suppliers from China are lagging, which may ripple upstream producers and cause a "bottle...

Coffee stores' revenue to fall 50% in first two months amid epidemic

Staff members practice sign language in a Starbucks coffee store in Guangzhou, South of Chinas Guangdong Province, May 19, 2019. (Photo: Xinhua)Amid the coronavirus epidemic, café chains have found their business severely battered with steadily rising losses that could last for a longer period.Industry insiders said that due to the COVID-19 outbreak, major coffee brands such as Starbucks, Luckin Coffee and Costa may see their revenues fall by more than 50 percent in the Chinese mainland from January to February.Compared with other more demanding needs, the needs for coffee and milk tea products is much less than before, said Zhao Jingqiao, director of the Service Economy and Catering Industry Research Center under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences."The outbreak has definitely had a big impact on the coffee business, but the overall impact depends on the resumption of work and the control of the outbreak," he said.Zhao said that the impact will last for a much longer period. "If work resumes in March, they wont be back to normal until May or June. After all, the resumption of work in some cities would still be subject to the premise of preventing and controlling the epidemic," he said.A customer service representative of Luckin Coffee said on Sunday that many stores remain closed due to the epidemic and even though some stores remain open, the services are mostly for takeaway and the service hours are shortened. "Because coffee is not a necessity at present, the government does not support an early opening," aid the representative.In a statement that Starbucks sent to the Global Times on Sunday, they said that Starbucks stores in other parts of the country are gradually resuming operations, with the exception of stores in Hubei Province, the epicenter of the virus.In order to keep the business running smoothly, Starbucks has launched a series of protective measures including all ready-to-drink beverages that ar...

Coronavirus takes toll on China’s steel exports with orders cancelled

A worker at Tonglin Fuxin Iron and Steel Co controls a machine to hoist hot-rolled ribbed steel bars in Tonglin, East Chinas Anhui Province on Monday. (Photo: GT)Coronavirus has further cooled Chinas already chilling steel exports. Industry analysts predicted Chinas steel exports to slump by around 8 percent in the first quarter, as overseas orders are cancelled and cut-off logistics delay shipments.Luo Tiejun, deputy director of the China Iron and Steel Industry Association, said during a press conference on Saturday that because of the epidemic, Chinas steel exports will see a significant decline in the first quarter, and February will see a "relatively large" fall in exports.Wu Wenzhang, president and founder of steelhome.cn, told the Global Times on Sunday that Chinas steel exports could fall by 1.5 million tons, or 8 percent, in the first quarter, as the governments anti-coronavirus measures, including closing of ports and highways, made it hard for steel companies to ship products overseas.On the other hand, orders from overseas clients are also slashing as they express concern for the length and influence of the virus, industry insiders said."As far as we know, some overseas clients have canceled their steel-buying orders with Chinese companies because they worry about the possibility of the virus spreading through the delivery of the products," said Wang Guoqing, research director at the Beijing Lange Steel Information Research Center."Also, as the prices of Chinese steel products fall continuously amid the epidemic, clients are unsatisfied with the previously settled price," Wang told the Global Times.According to Wang, cancellation of orders is rare but the coronavirus epidemic is like a thorn that makes many overseas clients think twice before making orders.Wang Bing, a person in charge of Longze Steel Products, a steel trading company in East Chinas...

Turnover on 'new third board' exceeds 12 bln yuan

(Photo: Xinhua)Chinas National Equities Exchange and Quotations (NEEQ), also known as the "new third board," has seen a turnover of 12.4 billion yuan (about 1.8 billion US dollars) since the beginning of this year, according to the exchange.From Feb. 17 to 21, turnover on the board reached 1.6 billion yuan, up more than 10 percent from the previous week.As of Friday, a total of 8,826 companies had been listed on the NEEQ.Launched in 2013, the new third board is the third national equity trading bourse after the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. It is designed for innovative, start-up and high-growth micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises.China has outlined a series of reforms to better orient the NEEQ to the needs and features of small enterprises and support high-quality growth of the real economy.

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