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Asian markets build on rally on hopes US will avoid recession

Asian markets rose again Friday as fears about a possible recession in the US economy were soothed by data showing it grew more than expected in 2022, adding to the broadly upbeat tone across trading floors this year.Investors tracked a rally on Wall Street fuelled by the figures, while they are now awaiting the release of closely watched inflation data later in the day and then the Federal Reserves latest policy decision next week.There is growing hope that the central bank will lift interest rates by just 25 basis points, having slowed its pace of increases last month following four straight bumper hikes aimed at bringing inflation down from multi-decade highs.There was also a suggestion from the Bank of Canada that it could hold fire at its next gathering, following a programme of tightening."The BoCs explicit pause signal has many thinking whether other central banks will do likewise -- note BoC was one of the first to start the initial hiking cycle," said National Australia Banks Tapas Strickland.Central banks spent last year ramping up borrowing costs to battle soaring prices and any sign of strength in the economy was taken as a bad sign that policymakers would continue to tighten policy sharply, threatening companies profits.Concern towards the end of the year focused on a possible global recession caused by the restrictive policies, with several observers warning that top economies were likely to suffer a so-called hard landing.Thursdays US growth figures showed a slowdown in 2022 from the previous year but a better-than-expected performance, which was described as a "Goldilocks scenario" -- where the figures are neither too good nor too bad.Still, Strickland warned the labour market, which has remained tight during the pandemic recovery, could be showing signs of softening.Strickland added: "Announced layoffs do suggest (initial jobless claims) should start ticking higher and continuing claims did rise more...

China's economic growth expected to accelerate to 4.8% in 2023: UN report

World output growth is projected to decelerate from an estimated 3.0 percent in 2022 to 1.9 percent in 2023, while Chinas economic growth is forecast to accelerate to 4.8 percent this year, according to a UN report launched on Wednesday.Beijing’s landmark Qianmen Street is packed with tourists on the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year, which falls on January 22 this year. (Photo: Global Times)Amid high inflation, aggressive monetary tightening and heightened uncertainties, the current global downturn has slowed the pace of economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, threatening several countries -- both developed and developing -- with the prospects of recession in 2023, the UN World Economic Situation and Prospects 2023 report said.For instance, the GDP of the US is expected to expand only 0.4 percent in 2023, after an estimated growth of 1.8 percent in 2022, the report said.Growth in China is projected to moderately improve in 2023. Thanks to the governments adjustment of its COVID policy in late 2022 and the easing of monetary and fiscal policies, Chinas economic growth is forecast to accelerate to 4.8 percent in 2023, according to the report.In addition to the UN, a number of global institutions also raised their China growth forecasts as the countrys economic activity quickly rebounded in the new year from the severe epidemic situation in the last month of 2022.According to the latest World Bank report, Chinas economy will grow by 4.3 percent in 2023, compared with 2.7 percent growth of its previous estimate for China."If the impact of widespread infections nationwide on GDP growth is limited in the first quarter, it is possible that 2023 growth could reach 6 percent," G. Bin Zhao, senior economist at PwC China, said in a note sent to the Global Times earlier."After Chinas adjustment and optimization of its epidemic prevention policy, its economic activity gradually recovered. I have full confidence in national ...

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index opens 0.21 pct higher

HONG KONG, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- Hong Kongs Hang Seng Index rose 48.14 points, or 0.21 percent, to open at 22,614.92 points on Friday.

US growth slows in 2022 as downturn fears loom

The US economy grew at a slower pace in 2022 but performed better than expected in the final months of last year, the Commerce Department said Thursday, as recession fears loomed.People shop at a local supermarket in Washington, DC, the United States, Sept. 13, 2022. (Photo: Xinhua)Economic activity has been moderating as the US central bank hiked the benchmark lending rate seven times last year, in hopes of cooling demand and reining in costs as inflation surged.The property sector has slumped, followed by declines in manufacturing and retail sales.Against this backdrop, the worlds largest economy expanded 2.1 percent for all of 2022, down from the figure in 2021, according to Commerce Department data."The increase in real GDP in 2022 primarily reflected increases in consumer spending, exports," and certain forms of investment, said the department in a statement.For the October to December period, US gross domestic product exceeded expectations to rise at an annual rate of 2.9 percent.This was slightly below the 3.2 percent jump in the third quarter last year, and marks a second straight quarter of growth after two rounds of contraction.President Joe Biden cheered the "very good news about the American economy" Thursday, highlighting better-than-anticipated fourth quarter growth and resilience in the jobs market."Were moving in the right direction. Now weve got to protect those gains... that our policies have generated," he said in a speech in Virginia.Slowing sharplyWhile the economy grew strongly in the fourth quarter, most of the advance took place early on and a repeat performance in early 2023 is unlikely, said Oren Klachkin of Oxford Economics.Household spending and business investment remained positive in the final months last year but slowed, added Rubeela Farooqi of High Frequency Economics.Inventories and net trade may have bolstered growth, but analysts caution that this cannot be relied upon in the ...

US GDP rose at annual rate of 2.9% in fourth quarter: govt

A general view shows the Manhattan skyline from the One Vanderbilt viewing deck in New York City on January 16, 2023. (Photo: AFP)US economic growth slowed to 2.1 percent in 2022, the Commerce Department said Thursday, as activity eased in the final months of the year while recession fears loom.The full-year figure "primarily reflected increases in consumer spending" and other areas like exports, the department said, and the worlds biggest economy expanded at an annual rate of 2.9 percent in the October to December period.

Uzbekistan's economy grows 5.7 pct in 2022

File photoTASHKENT, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- Uzbekistans gross domestic product (GDP) increased 5.7 percent in 2022 compared with 2021, according to the latest data released by the state committee on statistics on Thursday.According to the committee, Uzbekistans GDP reached 888.34 trillion soums (around 79 billion U.S. dollars) in 2022.During his annual address to the parliament and the nation on Dec. 20, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev said the Central Asian countrys GDP volume hit a record high in 2022.In 2018, the countrys GDP stood at 52 billion dollars, said the president.

Nasdaq celebrates Chinese New Year with in-person opening bell

Nasdaq, a major stock exchange in the world, celebrated the Chinese Lunar New Year on Wednesday morning by holding an in-person opening bell ceremony in partnership with the Chinese Consulate General in New York.Chinese Consul General in New York Huang Ping (6th R) participates in an opening bell ceremony in New York, U.S., January 25, 2023. (Photo: Xinhua)As part of a multi-year tradition, Huang Ping, the Chinese consul general in New York, rang the opening bell at the Nasdaq MarketSite in Times Square, New York, the most populous city in the United States.Meanwhile, a billboard outside the Nasdaq building played videos in celebration of the Year of the Rabbit."Today marks another example of a pledge that we have to companies around the world that list on our market. Moreover, Nasdaqs commitment to China remains very strong," said Robert H. McCooey, Jr., vice chairman of Nasdaq, at the ceremony."Were extremely proud to be the home for over 175 Chinese companies, innovative and iconic companies who embody the entrepreneurial spirit that help our two nations continue to grow," said McCooey.McCooey added that after all the difficult and tumultuous times over the past few years, 2023 is for cultivating peace and patience."China is very clear that were going to open our door and open wider to work with the international community, to realize our goal, to reach our destination and to share the fruits with everyone," said Huang at the ceremony."As we are now heading into the Year of the Rabbit," Huang said, "we should move as quickly as the rabbit and work together to implement the consensus reached by our two presidents to make this relationship more productive and more delivering to benefit our people and the people all around the world."He also announced that the Chinese Consulate General in New York became fully open starting Wednesday, and extended his welcome to overseas visitors to China.Huang said it...

Global economy projected to grow 1.9% in 2023: UN report

The United Nations headquarters in New York, the United States, September 14, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)World output growth is projected to decelerate from an estimated 3.0 percent in 2022 to 1.9 percent in 2023, marking one of the lowest growth rates in recent decades, according to a UN report launched on Wednesday.The UN World Economic Situation and Prospects 2023 report predicted global growth to moderately pick up to 2.7 percent in 2024, as some macroeconomic headwinds are expected to begin to subside next year.Amid high inflation, aggressive monetary tightening and heightened uncertainties, the current downturn has slowed the pace of economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, threatening several countries – both developed and developing – with the prospect of a recession in 2023, the report said.It said growth momentum significantly weakened in the United States, the European Union and other developed economies in 2022, adversely impacting the rest of the global economy through a number of channels.In the United States, gross domestic product (GDP) is projected to expand by only 0.4 percent in 2023 after an estimated growth of 1.8 percent in 2022, the report said.Growth in China is projected to moderately improve in 2023. With the government adjusting its COVID policy in late 2022 and easing monetary and fiscal policies, Chinas economic growth is forecast to accelerate to 4.8 percent in 2023, according to the report.It pointed out that tightening global financial conditions, coupled with a strong dollar, exacerbated fiscal and debt vulnerabilities in developing countries.Most developing countries saw a slower job recovery in 2022 and continue to face considerable employment slack, the report said.It warned that slower growth, coupled with elevated inflation and mounting debt vulnerabilities, threatens to further set back hard-won achievements in sustainable development, deepening the already negative effects of the current crises.In 2022, the number of people ...

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index closes 2.37 pct higher

HONG KONG, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- Hong Kongs stock market ended higher on Thursday with the benchmark Hang Seng Index up 2.37 percent to close at 22,566.78 points.The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index rose 2.98 percent to end at 7,706.72 points, and the Hang Seng Tech Index soared 4.26 percent to close at 4,763.6 points.

European stocks open higher

Europes stock markets climbed Thursday in opening deals after an impressive rally in Hong Kong.Londons benchmark FTSE 100 index added almost 0.3 percent to 7,764.81 points compared with the closing level on Wednesday.In the eurozone, Frankfurts DAX won 0.3 percent to 15,131.20 points and the Paris CAC 40 increased by nearly 0.7 percent to 7,089.77.Hong Kong stocks surged more than two percent to an 11-month high as traders returned from a long holiday break to extend the years rally, fuelled by hopes over Chinas reopening and easing interest rate fears.But Tokyo stocks closed lower, with investors increasingly cautious ahead of Japans results season and also eyeing key US economic data due this week.Wall Street had finished Wednesday on a soft note following uneven earnings from tech giants.

US companies in multiple industries eager to expand in China: trade group leader

WASHINGTON, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- Hundreds of U.S. companies across multiple industries are eager to expand their businesses in the Chinese market, the head of a major U.S. trade group has said.US-China Business Council (USCBC) president Craig Allen speaks during a press conference in Washington, DC, the United States, on Feb. 13, 2020. (File photo: Xinhua)"I know of hundreds of companies that very much want to expand in China," following the optimization of Chinas pandemic response measures and increased interactions between senior government officials of the two countries, Craig Allen, president of the U.S.-China Business Council, said during a recent interview with Xinhua.He added that the companies involve consumer goods, food and agriculture, energy, travel, financial services, as well as manufacturing, especially the chemical industry.Allen said those industries are overall very competent, bringing confidence to companies that, in turn, are "forcefully" expecting to gain a stronger foothold in China in the foreseeable future. "I think that many of our companies are very positive and constructive and ambitious."He expects the Chinese economy to register a higher growth rate in the first half of this year than the latter half of last year, as a result of so much domestic demand during the Spring Festival holiday season.Allen, whose organization represents over 280 U.S. companies that do business with China and is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, said he was "very grateful" that senior Chinese government officials he recently held talks with were "very receptive" to calls from the U.S. business community for addressing the challenges they face while operating in China.Noting that those conversations were "good, candid and straightforward," Allen said they showed a willingness on the Chinese side to address those challenges "in a positive and constructive way."Allen especially comm...

IBM to cut 3,900 jobs as it reorganizes business

IBM will slash some 3,900 jobs, slightly more than one percent of its workforce, related to businesses it has divested, a source close to the matter told AFP on Wednesday.File photo: XinhuaThe computing company based in New York state did not talk of job cuts in its quarterly earnings report published Wednesday, however, nor in a call with analysts to discuss the financial results.IBM said it would take a one-time $300 million charge in its first quarter this year, which the source said was related to the layoffs.This cost is "entirely related" to the spin-off of Kyndryl and the disposal of health data and analysis businesses, an IBM spokesperson told AFP."It is not an action based on 2022 performance or 2023 expectations," the spokesperson added.The more than century old technology firm reported profit of $2.9 billion in the final three months of last year, some 17 percent higher than the same period in 2021 despite revenue remaining flat at $16.7 billion."Clients in all geographies increasingly embraced our hybrid cloud and AI solutions as technology remains a differentiating force in todays business environment," IBM chief executive officer Arvind Krishna said in an earnings release.The company founded in 1911 announced late last year that it will invest $20 billion in semiconductors, quantum computing and other cutting-edge technology in New York state.Krishna unveiled the spending, which will take place over a decade, in a speech alongside US President Joe Biden in the tech giants Poughkeepsie facility.Biden hailed the pledge from the "iconic American company" as another sign that his strategy of rebuilding the US innovative edge is working.The Democratic president has made a priority of encouraging growth in high-tech manufacturing, hoping to rebuild domestic supply chains in crucial components such as microchips that for years have been left to foreign companies based as far away as Taiwan.Meanwhile, tech gian...

S. Korea's real GDP contracts 0.4 pct in Q4 on quarter

SEOUL, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- South Koreas real gross domestic product (GDP), adjusted for inflation, contracted 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2022, compared to the previous quarter, Bank of Korea data showed Thursday.Tourists visit the Gyeongbokgung Palace in snow in Seoul, South Korea, Dec. 3, 2022. (File photo: Xinhua)It marked the first fall in 10 quarters since the second quarter of 2020 when the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic roiled the Asian economy.Private consumption retreated 0.4 percent in the October-December quarter from three months earlier.Facility investment grew 2.3 percent in the fourth quarter, while export declined by 5.8 percent as fast interest rate hikes in major economies boosted worries about global economic downturn.Fiscal spending expanded 3.2 percent, and investment in the construction sector rose 0.7 percent in the cited quarter.

Hong Kong stocks reopen with a bang

Hong Kong stocks opened sharply higher Thursday morning as traders returned from an extended Lunar New Year break to play catch up with gains in the rest of Asia this week.The Hang Seng Index rose 1.55 percent, or 341.72 points, to 22,386.37.Chinese mainland markets are closed for a public holiday.

Tesla says its 4Q profit rose 59%, expects strong demand

Tesla on Wednesday posted record net income in the fourth quarter of last year, and the company predicted that additional software-related profits will keep its margins higher than any other automaker.People view a Tesla Model 3 at the Automobile exhibition area during the second China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, east China, Nov. 6, 2019. (File photo: Xinhua)The Austin, Texas, maker of electric vehicles and solar panels said it earned $3.69 billion from October through December, or an adjusted $1.19 per share. That beat estimates of $1.13 that had been reduced by analysts, according to FactSet. The company’s profit was 59% more than the same period a year ago.Revenue for the quarter was $24.32 billion, which fell short of the $24.67 billion that analysts expected.CEO Elon Musk said that despite price cuts of up to 20% on some of its vehicles announced earlier this month, demand for Tesla products is strong and sales are constrained by production.Some analysts have said the price cuts were a sign Teslas sales are softening. But so far in January, Tesla has seen the strongest orders year-to-date in its history, Musk said on a webcast with analysts.“We think demand will be good despite probably a contraction in the automotive market as a whole,” he said. “Demand far exceeds production,” Musk said, adding that Tesla is even making small price increases.Tesla said in its investor letter Wednesday that it would produce about 1.8 million vehicles this year, and Musk predicted that sales would also hit that number.Previously Tesla has said its deliveries would grow at a 50% annual rate most years. But 1.8 million would be about a 40% growth rate.Musk said it’s possible Tesla could build 2 million vehicles this year. “There would be demand for that, too,” he told analysts.On Jan. 13, the company cut prices in the U.S. and China, its two biggest markets, leading many analysts to believe that demand had fallen due to high prices and rising interest rates...

Bank of Canada hikes policy interest rate by 25 basis points

OTTAWA, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- The Bank of Canada on Wednesday increased its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 4.5 percent.Customers shop for food at a Costco store in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on Jan. 17, 2023. (Photo: Xinhua)The banks governing council expects to hold the policy rate at its current level while it assesses the impact of the cumulative interest rate increases, the central bank said in a press release.The bank conducted eight consecutive interest rate hikes since March 2022 and added 425 basis points in total to tackle inflation.Canadas inflation declined from 8.1 percent in June to 6.3 percent in December, reflecting lower gasoline prices and, more recently, moderating prices for durable goods, the bank said, adding that despite this progress, Canadians are still feeling the hardship of high inflation in their essential household expenses, with persistent price increases for food and shelter.According to the bank, short-term inflation expectations remain elevated. Year-over-year measures of core inflation are still around 5 percent, but 3-month measures of core inflation have come down, suggesting that core inflation has peaked.Inflation is projected to come down significantly this year. Lower energy prices, improvements in global supply conditions, and the effects of higher interest rates on demand are expected to bring CPI inflation down to around 3 percent in the middle of this year and back to the 2 percent target in 2024, the bank said.There is growing evidence that restrictive monetary policy is slowing activity, especially household spending. Consumption growth has moderated from the first half of 2022 and housing market activity has declined substantially. As the effects of interest rate increases continue to work through the economy, spending on consumer services and business investment are expected to slow. Meanwhile, weaker foreign demand will likely weigh on exports. This overall slowdown in activity will al...

Global economy projected to grow 1.9 pct in 2023: UN report

UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- World output growth is projected to decelerate from an estimated 3.0 percent in 2022 to 1.9 percent in 2023, marking one of the lowest growth rates in recent decades, according to a UN report launched on Wednesday.The UN World Economic Situation and Prospects 2023 report predicted global growth to moderately pick up to 2.7 percent in 2024, as some macroeconomic headwinds are expected to begin to subside next year.A staff member works at the Stergiou Family S.A. factory in Acharnes, a suburb of Athens, Greece, on Nov. 29, 2022. Facing soaring electricity and natural gas bills, Greek companies and households are turning to photovoltaics en masse to cope with the ongoing energy crisis. (Photo: Xinhua)Amid high inflation, aggressive monetary tightening and heightened uncertainties, the current downturn has slowed the pace of economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, threatening several countries -- both developed and developing -- with the prospects of recession in 2023, the report said.It said growth momentum significantly weakened in the United States, the European Union and other developed economies in 2022, adversely impacting the rest of the global economy through a number of channels.In the United States, gross domestic product (GDP) is projected to expand by only 0.4 percent in 2023 after an estimated growth of 1.8 percent in 2022, the report said.Growth in China is projected to moderately improve in 2023. With the government adjusting its COVID policy in late 2022 and easing monetary and fiscal policies, Chinas economic growth is forecast to accelerate to 4.8 percent in 2023, according to the report.It pointed out that tightening global financial conditions, coupled with a strong dollar, exacerbated fiscal and debt vulnerabilities in developing countries.Most developing countries saw a slower job recovery in 2022 and continue to face considerable employment slack, the report said.It warned that slower growth, coupled wi...

China-built West Africa's first light rail opens in Lagos, Nigeria

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor of Lagos Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Chinese ambassador to Nigeria Cui Jianchun on January 24 attended the inauguration ceremony of the first phase of the 27-kilometer-long Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) Blue Line in Nigerias southwestern state of Lagos.Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari praised the project as "historic" at a banquet held by the Lagos state government before the inauguration ceremony, noted that the rail will reduce traffic congestion and air pollution, as well as improve the lives of locals.A train of Nigerian Lagos Rail Mass Transit (Blue Line) running at the Marina Terminal during a completion ceremony in Lagos, Nigeria. December 21, 2022. /CGTNContracted by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), the LRMT Blue Line project is West Africas first electric-powered light rail and the largest infrastructure investment project in Lagos state, Nigeria. The project is also the first rail infrastructure traversing Okokomaiko, a densely populated area in the western part of Lagos, and Marina, a business district on Lagos Island. With the commercial operation, the project will greatly improve connectivity of the Nigerian economic hub and provide railway construction experience for the rest of Nigeria and other countries in West Africa. Lagos Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu delivers a speech at the inauguration ceremony of the first phase of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) Blue Line in Lagos, Nigeria, January 24, 2023. /CGTN"The new light rail would reduce travel time, improve the quality of life of citizens and make Lagos one of the most resilient megacities in Africa that would compete favorably with other cities around the world." Sanwo-Olu praised the importance of the project to Nigerian economic development. In an earlier interview, Governor Sanwo-Olu noted that Lagos accounted for 26.7 percent of Nigerias total GDP and over 50 percent of Nigerian non-oil ind...

Boeing loses $663 million in 4Q despite higher revenue

In this Jan. 25, 2020, file photo a Boeing 777X airplane takes off on its first flight with the Olympic Mountains in the background at Paine Field in Everett, Washington. (Photo: AP)Boeing said Wednesday it lost $663 million in the fourth quarter as rising production costs and supply-chain problems offset rising revenue.It was another disappointing quarter for the aerospace giant, which has yet to recover from fatal crashes involving two of its 737 Max jets and a pandemic that depressed airline demand for new planes until recently.The loss amounted to $1.06 per share. Excluding "non-core" items such as adjustments to pension costs, the loss was $1.75 per share. Revenue increased 35% from a year earlier, to $19.98 billion.Analysts were expecting the company to earn 20 cents per share on revenue of $18.75 billion, according to a FactSet survey.Boeing preferred to focus on cash flow, which rose for the quarter and the entire year — the first full year of positive cash flow since 2018.Boeing, based in Arlington, Virginia, has seen deliveries rise since regulators approved the 737 Max to fly again in late 2021 and after the company satisfied regulators that it fixed production problems on another plane, the larger 787 Dreamliner. Deliveries are an important source of company cash.Sales have also picked up as airlines grow confident that demand for air travel is recovering from the worst of the pandemic.Boeings defense and space business returned to a narrow profit in the fourth quarter after losing $2.85 billion in the previous quarter on huge charges related to several programs including finishing two new Air Force One presidential jets.

Microsoft probes outage as thousands of users report disruption

Signage outside the Microsoft campus in Mountain View, California, the U.S., July 22, 2021. (Photo: VCG)Microsoft Corp said it was investigating an issue impacting multiple services, including Teams and Outlook, with outage reports saying the platforms were down for thousands of users globally on Wednesday.Microsoft did not disclose the number of users affected by the disruption, but data from the outage tracking website Downdetector showed more than 3,900 incidents in India and over 900 in Japan. Outage reports also spiked in Australia, Britain and the United Arab Emirates.

Aussie dollar jumps, kiwi slumps after inflation data

Australian dollar banknotes and coins, September 9, 2022. /CFPThe Australian dollar jumped to a more than five-month high on Wednesday after inflation data came in hotter than expected, while the kiwi slipped after New Zealands fourth-quarter inflation rose less than what its central bank had forecast.The euro held near a nine-month peak against the dollar, as traders weighed a rosier growth outlook for the eurozone against growing signs of a looming U.S. recession.The Aussie rose 0.66 percent to $0.7092, its highest since August, after a shock surge in inflation to a 33-year high last quarter added to the case for the Reserve Bank of Australia to continue raising interest rates.Meanwhile, the kiwi slid nearly 0.6 percent to $0.6469, after New Zealands annual inflation of 7.2 percent in the fourth quarter came in below its central banks 7.5-percent forecast."The main message were taking from it is that we think weve seen the worst of inflation now, and we think inflation has peaked," said Jarrod Kerr, chief economist at Kiwibank."Were expecting the cash rate in New Zealand to peak at 5 percent, not 5.5 percent, which is what the Reserve Bank (of New Zealand) is telling us theyre going to do, and rates markets are reacting to that change in view."In other currencies, the euro steadied at $1.0888, near Mondays nine-month high of $1.0927, as a surprisingly resilient eurozone economy and hawkish rhetoric from European Central Bank (ECB) policymakers supported the single currency.Data on Tuesday showed that eurozone business activity made a surprise return to modest growth in January, indicating the downturn in the bloc may not be as deep as feared.Expectations of further rate increases from the ECB also aided sentiment. Policymakers are committed to taming inflation, but are split on the size of moves beyond Februarys likely half-a-percentage point increase.In the United States, a gloomier outlook is unfol...

China-built Lagos light rail phase-I opens to traffic in Nigeria

The LRMT Blue Line project phase-I opens to traffic in Nigerias southwestern state of Lagos, January 24, 2023. /China Media GroupNigerias southwestern state of Lagos on Tuesday witnessed official operation of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) Blue Line project phase-I as the first electric-powered light rail in West Africa and representative project under the Belt and Road Initiative.Undertaken by the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) in 2010, the first phase of the 27-kilometer-long electric-powered light rail project stretches 13 kilometers, with five stations, and is expected to carry over 250,000 passengers daily when in full operation.The LRMT Blue Line project is the first rail infrastructure traversing Okokomaiko, a densely populated area in western Lagos, the economic center of Nigeria with a population of over 20 million, and Marina, a business district on Lagos Island.Nigerian President Buhari, along with senior Nigerian and Chinese officials and representatives, attended a ceremony on Tuesday to inaugurate the official operation. Buhari tried the light rail and spoke highly of it as "safe, convenient and comfortable."The construction of the second phase of the Blue Line rail project, which stretches 14 kilometers, was launched immediately after the phase-I inauguration during the ceremony. Chinese company projectDeclaring the completion of construction on the Blue Line project at a ceremony on December 21, 2022, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos, described the moment as "historic," saying Lagos became the first sub-national government in West Africa to fund and deliver a rail system from the states balance sheet.Sanwo-Olu said the milestone was a culmination of "impactful reforms" initiated in the states transport ecosystem."Today, we are making history with the completion of the historic rail line, which is the first phase of the Blue Line," Sanwo-Olu said. &q...

China remains Germany's main supplier of rare earths

Germany's imports of rare-earth metals from China amounted to 49.3 million euros (53.7 million U.S. dollars) in the first eleven months of 2022, accounting for two-thirds of the total imports, the country's Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) said on Tuesday. For some of the rare earths, the share

China's gold production up 13.09 pct in 2022

BEIJING, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- China produced 372.048 tonnes of gold in 2022, up 43.065 tonnes, or 13.09 percent year on year, according to the data released by the China Gold Association (CGA). Gold consumption in China totaled 1,001.74 tonnes last year, down 10.63 percent from the previous year, C

China approves 109 fixed-asset investment projects in 2022

China's top economic planner said it approved a total of 109 fixed-asset investment projects in 2022.

India's private airline fined for leaving passengers behind

A GoAir plane taxis past a control tower at Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi on September 10, 2018. (Photo: AFP)NEW DELHI, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- Indias air traffic regulator on Friday imposed a monetary fine of 1 million Indian Rupees (about 12,252 U.S. dollars) on the private airline "Go First" for leaving 55 passengers behind.According to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), there were around 180 seats in the aircraft, which took off with around 125 passengers onboard, leaving behind 55 passengers who were inside a bus that was ferrying them from the airport terminal to the aircrafts ladders.The incident took place at the Bengaluru airport in the southern state of Karnataka on Jan. 9, when the Bengaluru-Delhi flight G8-116 took off leaving behind the passengers. A day later the DGCA issued a notice to the airline.The airlines regulator found the private airline, or formerly known as GoAir, guilty of not complying with the rules and regulations of air transport services.Meanwhile, the airline apologised in a statement, saying the incident was caused due to an "inadvertent oversight"."Passengers were accommodated on alternate airlines to Delhi and onward to other destinations," the statement said, and the airline also announced a free ticket for every affected passenger.

S.Korean LG Electronics logs record-high revenue in 2022

The logo of South Koreas LG Electronics is seen in front of the companys headquarters in Seoul on April 5, 2021. (Photo: AFP)SEOUL, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- South Korean tech company LG Electronics logged its record-high revenue last year due to record sales of home appliances and automotive parts, the company said Friday.Consolidated revenue grew 12.9 percent over the year to 83.47 trillion won (67.7 billion U.S. dollars) in 2022, keeping a record-breaking trend for the second consecutive year.The company said the revenue growth was driven by strong demand for premium home appliances and auto parts.Operating profit declined 12.5 percent to 3.55 trillion won (2.9 billion dollars) last year on stiffer competition leading to higher costs, but net income jumped 31.7 percent to 1.86 trillion won (1.5 billion dollars).LGs home appliance unit posted record revenue of 29.9 trillion won (24.3 billion dollars) in 2022, up 10.3 percent from the previous year. The revenue continued to expand for the seventh successive year.The units operating profit tumbled 48.9 percent to 1.13 trillion won (916.8 million dollars) on higher logistics costs and increased marketing investments.Revenue by the vehicle component business soared 29.1 percent to 8.65 trillion won (7 billion dollars), accounting for over 10 percent of the companys total revenue for the first time.The business operating profit stood at 169.6 billion won (137.6 million dollars) last year on steady improvements in the automotive industry.The TV-making division logged an operating profit of 5.4 billion won (4.4 million dollars) on revenue of 15.73 trillion won (12.8 billion dollars) in 2022.Compared to the previous year, the revenue was down 8.7 percent while the operating profit plunged 99.5 percent on lower global TV demand.The business solutions unit reported an operating profit of 25.2 billion won (20.5 million dollars) on revenue of 6.09 trillion won (4.9 billion dollars) last year.

Consumer inflation in Japan's capital hits near 42-year high

A shopper looks at products at a shop in Tokyo, Japan, January 10, 2023. (Photo: CFP)Core consumer prices in Japans capital, a leading indicator of nationwide trends, rose 4.3 percent in January from a year earlier, marking the fastest annual gain in nearly 42 years and keeping the central bank under pressure to phase out economic stimulus.The rise in the Tokyo core consumer price index (CPI), which excludes fresh food but includes fuel, marked the fastest year-on-year increase since May 1981.It followed a 3.9 percent rise in December and stayed above the central banks 2 percent target for an eighth straight month, data showed on Friday.The yen and the yield on the 10-year Japanese government bond rose after the data release, reflecting market expectations that rising inflation could prod the Bank of Japan to soon dial back stimulus."These readings point squarely at a further, large increase in inflation at the national level this month," said Darren Tay, Japan economist at Capital Economics."But we expect that to have been the peak. Government measures to lower energy bills will kick in next month and bring inflation down by about 1 percent point," he said.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index closes 0.54 pct higher

HONG KONG, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- Hong Kongs stock market ended higher on Friday with the benchmark Hang Seng Index up 0.54 percent to close at 22,688.9 points.The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index rose 0.87 percent to end at 7,773.61 points, and the Hang Seng Tech Index gained 1.04 percent to close at 4,813.23 points.

Hong Kong's financial market ready to take big leap in Year of Rabbit

Statues are seen on the square of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) in south Chinas Hong Kong, July 31, 2021. (Xinhua/Wu Xiaochu)HONG KONG, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- The Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) held on Thursday a live opening ceremony, the first time since 2020, to mark the first trading day of the Year of the Rabbit.Hong Kongs stocks and gold went up on Thursday, with the benchmark Hang Seng Index rose 341.72 points to open at 22,386.37 points, while gold fetched 18,088 Hong Kong dollars (about 2,319 U.S. dollars) a tael, up 198 Hong Kong dollars from its close last Friday.The Chinese Gold and Silver Exchange Society, Hong Kongs gold operator, also held a live opening ceremony Thursday morning.Chan Kwok-ki, Chief Secretary for Administration of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government, said at the ceremony that Hong Kongs status as an international financial center is rock solid and has a bright prospect.Paul Chan, Financial Secretary of the HKSAR government, said at the HKEXs opening ceremony that despite volatility in the global markets in the past year, Hong Kongs financial markets had shown great resilience operating in an orderly and stable manner. He believed that Hong Kongs stock market will leap onto a new level in the Year of the Rabbit.Nicolas Aguzin, Chief Executive Officer of the HKEX, said that Hong Kongs IPO market recovered in the second half of last year, and 10 new shares have been listed since the beginning of this year. There are now about 100 new shares waiting to be issued.Aguzin said that the HKEX will continue to help Chinese capital go global, bring Chinese opportunities to international investors, and find ways to enhance the attractiveness, vitality and diversity of the Hong Kong market.Hong Kongs Hang Seng Index rose 522.13 points, or 2.37 percent to close at 22,566.78 points on Thursday. (1 US dollar equals 7.83 HK dollars)

US crude oil inventories up: API

The American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday reported an increase of 3.378 million barrels of crude oil in US inventories for the week ending Friday.

Digital yuan in circulation hits 13.61 bln yuan in 2022

The amount of digital yuan in circulation reached 13.61 billion yuan (about 2.01 billion U.S. dollars) by the end of 2022, data from the country's central bank showed.

Companies rush for trips abroad before and during the Chinese Spring Festival holidays to secure deals for 2023

Chinese companies in foreign trade have ramped up efforts in making business trips under governments’ support before and during the Chinese Spring Festival holidays, as a way to meet face-to-face with their foreign clients while securing more deals for 2023.

US stocks end mixed amid earnings, economic data

NEW YORK, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- Wall Streets major averages finished mixed on Tuesday as investors parsed earnings reports and economic data.The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 104.40 points, or 0.31 percent, to 33,733.96. The S&P 500 fell 2.86 points, or 0.07 percent, to 4,016.95. The Nasdaq Composite Index decreased 30.14 points, or 0.27 percent, to 11,334.27.Six of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors ended in green, with industrials and utilities up 0.65 percent and 0.49 percent, respectively, outpacing the rest. Communication services and health care dropped 0.69 percent and 0.65 percent, respectively, leading the laggards.Shares of 3M tumbled more than 6 percent after the company reported a miss on earnings per share and issued disappointing guidance.Union Pacific shares fell 3.3 percent after the railroad companys fourth-quarter fell short of expectations.Shares of Johnson & Johnson were roughly flat after the drug company reported earnings that exceeded estimates but missed revenue forecasts.Investors also eyed data released Tuesday by S&P Global, which showed private sector contraction in the United States continued into the new year, with renewed pick up in cost pressures.The S&P Global flash U.S. manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) registered 46.8 in January, following Decembers reading of 46.2, signaling a solid decline in operating conditions at the start of 2023.The S&P Global flash U.S. services business activity index posted 46.6 in January, up from 44.7 in December. Any number above 50 suggests expansion in the sector, while a number below indicates contraction.

Microsoft reports Q2 results with revenue up 2 pct

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- Microsoft posted Tuesday its revenue of 52.7 billion U.S. dollars in the second quarter of the fiscal year 2023 ending Dec. 31, 2022, up 2 percent from the same period of the previous year, recording a far slower growth rate than the company has seen over the past several years.The logo of Microsoft is seen on the exterior of their offices in Herzliya, near Tel Aviv, Israel, Dec 27, 2022. (Photo: Agencies)The company generated quarterly net profits of 16.4 billion dollars of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and 17.4 billion dollars non-GAAP, decreasing 12 percent and 7 percent, respectively year on year. Diluted earnings per share were 2.20 dollars GAAP and 2.32 dollars non-GAAP, decreasing 11 percent and 6 percent respectively, compared to the same period a year ago.Its operating income was 20.4 billion dollars GAAP and 21.6 billion dollars non-GAAP, which decreased 8 percent and 3 percent respectively from the same period last year, Microsoft said in its financial report.The companys revenue in Productivity and Business Processes was 17.0 billion dollars, an increase of 7 percent. Its revenue in Intelligent Cloud was 21.5 billion dollars and increased 18 percent year over year.The Server products and cloud services revenue increased by 20 percent driven by Azure and other cloud services revenue growth of 31 percent. Revenue in More Personal Computing was 14.2 billion dollars and decreased by 19 percent, Microsoft said.Microsoft returned 9.7 billion dollars to shareholders in the form of share repurchases and dividends in the second quarter of the fiscal year 2023, a decrease of 11 percent compared to the second quarter of the fiscal year 2022."The next major wave of computing is being born, as the Microsoft Cloud turns the worlds most advanced AI models into a new computing platform," said Satya Nadella, chairman and chief executive officer of Microsoft."We are focused on operational excell...

China's natural gas output up 6.5% in December 2022

Technicians check gas transfer facilities in Suining, Sichuan province. (Liu Changsong/China Daily)China's natural gas output logged steady growth in December 2022, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.The country produced 20.4 billion cubic meters of natural gas in December, up 6.5 pe

Number of high-tech enterprises in Xinjiang increases 43 pct

A view of Urumqi City in northwest Chinas Xinjiang. /CFPURUMQI, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- The number of high-tech enterprises in northwest Chinas Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region increased 43.4 percent to 1,368 in 2022, local authorities said.The regional science and technology department said that the figure grew from 954 in 2021 to 1,368, a net increase of 414.Xinjiang set up a special fund to encourage the development of high-tech enterprises at the beginning of 2022, and for the first time rewarded those enterprises and their investment in development and research. To date, 243 million yuan (about 35.9 million U.S. dollars) has been awarded to such enterprises.This measure was a significant contributor to the increase in the number of local high-tech enterprises, and also drove a substantial increase in their R&D investment, the department said.

Digital euro will be free but limited in scope, ECB says

A sign in front of the European Central Bank (ECB) headquarters in Hesse, Frankfurt, Germany, October 27, 2022. /CFPThe digital version of the euro currency will be free to use and available to all but the European Central Bank does not want to keep any personal data on its users, ECB board member Fabio Panetta said on Monday.The ECB is working on a digital version of its currency and is in the process of outlining the broader design, also hoping to alleviate concerns that the digital currency could disrupt the financial system and give the central bank too much data on citizens.A digital currency is a direct claim on the central banks balance sheet, much like cash, so it is deemed safer than a deposit kept at a commercial bank."The digital euro would be a public good," Panetta told the European Parliaments Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs."It would therefore make sense for its basic services to be free of charge – for example when using the digital euro to pay another person, as is the case for cash."Banks have been concerned that a digital currency would make their own services redundant, so customers would abandon them and move their cash to central bank money given the added safety.However, Panetta said the ECB would offer no accounts to citizens and would not let people make programmed, regular payments to cover transactions like bills or rent, as it is not in the business of creating competition for commercial banks."We believe supervised intermediaries, who are in direct contact with users, are best placed to identify use cases for conditional payments and any other advanced payment services," Panetta said.If issued, the ECB could develop its own standalone app for payments or may allow commercial banks to integrate the digital euro into their own platforms.Its own app would, however, include only basic payment functionalities and ensure that it could be used anywhere in the euro area, a 20-nation currency blo...

China's postal industry registers stable growth in 2022

China's postal industry saw steady expansion in terms of both business revenue and parcels handled in 2022, data from the State Post Bureau (SPB) shows.The sector raked in over 1.35 trillion yuan (about 199.4 billion U.S. dollars) in this period, up 6.9 percent year on year, while its business volum

AIIB vows efforts to tackle global challenges, expand cooperation

The headquarters of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in Beijing. The bank has developed a portfolio of 202 projects in 33 countries with a total value of $38.8 billion in sectors such as energy, transportation, water, communications, education and public health. (Photo by Chen Xiaogen/For Ch

China's privately offered funds expand in December

BEIJING, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- The scale of Chinas privately offered funds stood at 20.03 trillion yuan (about 2.96 trillion U.S. dollars) at the end of December, according to data from an industry association.Photo taken on Sept. 9, 2020 shows the view of the skyscrapers of the Central Business District (CBD) in Beijing, capital of China. (Photo: Xinhua) The volume edged up 22.09 billion yuan, or 0.11 percent, from the previous month, according to the Asset Management Association of China (AMAC). The number of registered privately offered funds came in at 145,048.In breakdown, the size of securities, private equity, and venture investment funds were 5.56 trillion yuan, 10.94 trillion yuan, and 2.83 trillion yuan, respectively.Established in 2012, the AMAC is a self-regulatory organization that represents Chinas mutual fund industry.

Tokyo shares jump after US rallies

Tokyo stocks closed higher Tuesday as investors took heart from rallies on Wall Street and a cheaper yen.The benchmark Nikkei 225 index added 1.46 percent, or 393.15 points, to 27,299.19, while the broader Topix index ended up 1.42 percent, or 27.54 points, at 1,972.92.

Brazilian market expects 'favorable winds' from China to boost bilateral cooperation

BRASILIA, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- The Brazilian market is expecting that the further recovery of exchanges and cooperation between China and the world will add impetus to China-Brazil cooperation, local media and observers say.File photo: CFP"More favorable winds coming from China are already perceived by the Brazilian market," said Brazilian daily Estadao. "Everything shows that Chinas economic engine will regain its strength."At present, Chinas economic and social development prospects are attracting world attention as China has optimized and adjusted its COVID response policies, and the latest data for its GDP growth in 2022 is also stronger than generally expected.Chinas GDP grew 3 percent year on year to a record high of 121.0207 trillion yuan (about 17.95 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2022, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.Brazilian economist Ronnie Lins told Xinhua that China has taken active measures to minimize the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy and has recently optimized and adjusted pandemic prevention policies based on scientific information and accurate judgment."Chinas economy is expected to achieve stronger growth this year," said Xia Huasheng, a finance expert at Brazils think tank Getulio Vargas Foundation.The recent significant appreciation of the RMB against the U.S. dollar indicates that the market demand for RMB has increased and foreign companies investment in China will further pick up, Xia said.The healthy growth of Chinas economy can help hedge against the challenges facing the worlds development and boost the outlook of the global economy, he added.At the moment, Brazilian economists, mainstream media and market participants believe that Chinas economy is expected to achieve faster growth, continue to generate positive spillover effects, and add impetus to China-Brazil cooperation.Fabio Fares, macro expert at consulting organization...

China's NEV sales best in world for 8 consecutive years

China ranked first globally in terms of the sale and production of new energy vehicles (NEVs) for an eighth straight year in 2022.Workers operate at the final assembly workshop of an automobile company in the new energy vehicle town of Jinhua City, east Chinas Zhejiang Province, Dec. 17, 2021. (Photo: Xinhua)Chinas NEV sales came in at 6.89 million units in 2022, with NEV production amounting to about 7.06 million units, ranking first in the world for 8 consecutive years, data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) showed.China has one of the world’s biggest NEV sectors with its share of global sales surpassing 60 percent.The country’s NEV brands have become more competitive. In 2022, three of the world’s top ten NEV companies in sales were from China.The booming sales of NEVs came after the gradual improvement of supporting infrastructure in the country. By the end of 2022, China had built 5.21 million charging stations and 1,973 battery replacement stations.China’s NEV sector is expected to maintain sound growth momentum in production and sales in 2023, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).(Compiled by Liu Hanyi)

China's coal output increases in December 2022

BEIJING, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- Chinas raw coal output posted stable expansion in December 2022, official data showed.Photo taken on July 7, 2021 shows the scene of coal loading at Huanghua port in Cangzhou, north Chinas Hebei Province. (Photo: Xinhua)The country produced 400 million tonnes of raw coal in December, up 2.4 percent year on year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.The growth rate was 0.7 percentage points lower than that of November, the bureau said.In 2022, the raw coal output was 9 percent higher than a year earlier at 4.5 billion tonnes, said the bureau.Chinas coal imports stood at 290 million tonnes in 2022, down 9.2 percent year on year, the data revealed.

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