Global News August 01, 2018

  1. BBC
  2. Global News August 01, 2018

“China Slams U.S. ‘Blackmailing’ as Trump Weighs Higher Tariffs.”

China warned the U.S. against «blackmailing and pressuring» it over trade as the Trump administration mulls trying to force officials back to the negotiating table through threats of even higher tariffs.
President Donald Trump’s officials are considering more than doubling planned tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports, people familiar with the deliberations said. The U.S. had threatened an additional $200 billion with levies of 10 percent, a level the administration may raise to 25 percent in a Federal Register notice in coming days, one of the people said.
At the same time, representatives of U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He are having private conversations as they look for ways to reengage in negotiations, according to people who spoke about the deliberations on condition of anonymity.
Holding an open door to talks while threatening worse consequences represents yet another increase in tension in the months-long standoff between the world’s two largest economies over commerce. While the conflict nominally centers around the U.S.’s $375 billion annual goods trade deficit with China, it has morphed into a chapter in the nations’ broader strategic rivalry.
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it will fight back should the U.S. further increase tariffs. “If the U.S. takes measures to further escalate the situation, we will surely take countermeasures to uphold our legitimate rights and interests,» spokesman Geng Shuang said at a regular press conference on Wednesday.


“Auto suppliers retool to chase electric vehicle bonanza.”

In what seems to be a magic trick, Dele Fayemi runs a batch of batteries in a beaker of boiling water – a physical impossibility that should cause a short circuit.
But instead of a highly-dangerous combination of water and electricity, the 3M Co (MMM.N) engineer is testing the batteries in Novec, a non-flammable, non-conductive liquid the conglomerate has sold to cool supercomputers, and which it now aims to sell to automakers to cool batteries. Maintaining a constant, low temperature helps electric vehicles (EVs) drive longer distances, so keeping batteries cool could help solve a key problem for automakers: a lack of range has been a major obstacle to the mass adoption of electric cars.
“As you can see, the temperature remains constant,” at 32 Celsius (90 Fahrenheit), Fayemi said, the boiling point of this particular batch of Novec, which 3M also wants to sell to data centers to keep servers cool.
Major automakers plan to roll out hundreds of new electric vehicle models over the next several years, fueled by investments that consultancy AlixPartners has estimated at up to $255 billion through 2023. To put that in context, in 2017 all the world’s automakers and suppliers combined invested $115 billion in research and development, and had capital expenditures of $234 billion.
Much of that investment will flow to suppliers, but only if they can offer ways to cut electric vehicle manufacturing costs, which are still higher than for internal combustion cars. 3M and other automotive technology companies are looking for ways to adapt to electric vehicles existing products that enjoy economies of scale from other markets.


BBC News
“Apple boosted by selling more expensive iPhones.”

Apple sold fewer iPhones than expected in its most recent quarter but higher selling prices meant the tech giant still beat Wall Street forecasts. The firm said it sold 41.3 million iPhones in the three months to the end of June, up just 1% from last year.
But the average iPhone price hit $724 (£552), well above the expected $694. The firm said its $999 iPhone X – launched last year – remained its most popular iPhone model in the quarter and had driven the higher sales price.
Strong revenue growth of 31% from Apple’s services business, which includes the App store, Apple Music and Apple Pay, also boosted its performance. The services business is on track for more than $14bn in revenue in 2020, chief executive Tim Cook said. «We couldn’t be happier with how things are going,» he said. Overall the tech giant’s revenue jumped 17% year-on-year to a quarterly record of $53.3bn (£40.6bn), with every region except Japan reporting double digit growth.
Profits rose to $11.5bn, up 32% compared to the same period in 2017.Shares in the Californian tech giant jumped more than 3% in after hours trading in New York. The gains brought Apple, already the world’s most valuable company, one step closer to a market value of $1 trillion.
The strong demand for the firm’s most expensive phones marked a contrast with the world’s largest smartphone seller Samsung, which disappointed investors by warning of lower than expected sales of its high-end Galaxy S9. But Apple faces increasing competition in the global smart phone market, which saw growth slip 0.3% last year, according to research firm International Data Corp.
Chinese tech company Huawei, which reported 15% revenue growth in the first half of this year, overtook Apple to become the world’s second-biggest smartphone seller in the quarter, according to market research firms Canalys and IDC. That left Apple in third place after Samsung and Huawei.


“India’s Central Bank Raises Rates as It Flags Currency War Risks.”

India’s central bank raised interest rates to the highest in two years to tackle inflation pressures in the world’s fastest-growing major economy and to shore up the rupee if a global currency war breaks out.
After delivering the first back-to-back rate increase since the monetary policy committee came into being in September 2016, Reserve Bank of India Governor Urjit Patel hinted at possibly more tightening to maintain economic stability amid growing risks from global trade and currency tensions.
The RBI’s rate move follows emerging-market counterparts in Indonesia, the Philippines and elsewhere who are trying to counter currency routs and inflation risks triggered by a strong dollar and higher U.S. rates, even as the Federal Reserve is expected to take a break from hiking when its meets Wednesday.
The rupee is Asia’s worst performing major currency this year, down almost 7 percent against the dollar this year, and is vulnerable to a slump in the yuan amid China’s ongoing trade tensions with the U.S. The rupee gained 0.2 percent to 68.4312 against the dollar on Wednesday after five of the six members of the rate-setting panel voted to raise the repurchase rate by 25 basis points to 6.5 percent.
Currency and inflation woes aside, the economy is growing faster than any other major nation, strengthening Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s position as he prepares for elections next year. But risks to the outlook are formidable: as the world’s fastest-growing oil consumer, higher crude prices will push up the current-account deficit, while global trade tensions threaten exports and investment. Inflation has been running well above the central bank’s medium-term target of 4 percent, with the outlook set to worsen because of oil prices and currency weakness.