Global News August 17, 2018

  1. BBC
  2. Global News August 17, 2018

“Weak Tech Sends Stocks Down in Roller Coaster Week: Markets Wrap.”

U.S. equities were down slightly Friday, continuing their daily up-and-down pattern this week, as disappointing results from U.S. chipmakers Nvidia Corp. and Applied Materials Inc. after the market closed on Thursday weighed on technology shares. Oil surged past $66 a barrel, the dollar fell and Treasuries gained.
The S&P 500 Index bounced between small gains and losses and the Nasdaq 100 Index sank as semiconductor stocks plunged more than 2 percent. In Europe, weakness in banks and technology shares weighed down the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.
Most Asian markets advanced, but Chinese equities slid as U.S. President Donald Trump prodded Beijing to offer more at the bargaining table in the trade negotiations planned for later this month. Canada’s dollar jumped after inflation in July blew past estimates. And emerging-markets stocks ticked higher but remained within decimal points of the technical definition of a bear market.
Turkey’s lira retreated after gaining more than 15 percent in three days following a Turkish appeals court’s refusal to release American pastor Andrew Brunson, who the Trump administration says is being held illegally. The U.S. has threatened further sanctions in retaliation. With a holiday closing Turkey’s stock markets for most of next week, traders took a cautious tone.
Elsewhere, oil climbed ahead of the Baker Hughes oil rig count due at 1 p.m. Most commodities rose, but zinc headed for its worst weekly performance since 2011.


“Trump asks SEC to mull half-year corporate filings vs. quarterly.”

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday he had asked the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to study the impact of allowing companies to file reports with the financial regulator every six months instead of every quarter.
Publicly traded companies in the United States currently file their earnings reports every three months, or four times a year. The potential shift would allow them to reduce these filings to two a year.
Trump’s tweet marked the first time he has personally weighed in on the issue, and will likely boost hopes of business and exchange lobbyists that more can be done to loosen filing rules.

Still, as an independent commission-led agency, the SEC cannot be forced by the president to implement any rule changes. Such changes would have to be voted on by the regulator’s sitting commissioners who are political appointees.
Any move to scrap quarterly filings would likely come up against fierce opposition from the agency’s two Democratic-leaning commissioners, Robert Jackson and Kara Stein, long-time champions of strong corporate governance.
With the tweet, Trump entered a long-running debate on corporate disclosure. Company executives have argued that quarterly reporting leads to an unhealthy focus on short-term profits, while investors typically favor more disclosure.
Trump said he urged the SEC to consider the change after talking with various business leaders. He said one executive suggested the change as a way to boost business, although he did not name the individual or the company.


BBC News
“India monsoon floods ‘kill more than 300’ in Kerala.”

At least 324 people have been killed in flooding in the southern Indian state of Kerala, the regional chief minister says. Rescuers are battling torrential rains to save residents, with more than 200,000 people left homeless in camps.
The state government said many of those who died were crushed under debris caused by landslides.
With more rains predicted and a red alert in place, the main airport has reportedly been shut until 26 August. Hundreds of troops have been deployed to rescue those caught up in the flooding, alongside helicopters and lifeboats to rescue those marooned.
The government has urged people not to ignore evacuation orders. It is distributing food to tens of thousands who have fled to higher ground.
«We’re witnessing something that has never happened before in the history of Kerala,» Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told reporters. «Almost all dams are now opened. Most of our water treatment plants are submerged. Motors are damaged.»
He added that the failure of the state government of neighbouring Tamil Nadu to release water from a dam had made the situation worse. He later tweeted that 80 dams had opened, and described the floods as the worst in 100 years. Kerala has 41 rivers flowing into the Arabian Sea.


“Consumer Sentiment in U.S. Declines to Lowest in Almost a Year.”

U.S. consumer sentiment unexpectedly fell to the lowest level in almost a year amid less favorable views on purchasing big-ticket items and persistent concerns about trade tensions, a University of Michigan report showed Friday.
Consumers showed a broad drop in confidence about major purchases, a possible caution signal for spending following strong gains in the second quarter. Buying conditions for large household durable goods slipped to the lowest level in almost four years, vehicle-buying views were the least favorable since 2013, and home-buying conditions were seen less favorably than any time in about a decade.
Respondents also continued to express concern about how trade tensions may affect the economy. Negative references to levies remained widespread, with 32 percent citing unfavorable references to the trade policy in early August, according to the report, following 35 percent in July.
“Consumers voiced the least favorable views on pricing for household durables in nearly ten years,” Richard Curtin, director of the University of Michigan consumer survey, said in a statement. “The recent favorable GDP report had only a small positive impact on growth prospects for the economy and on unemployment expectations.”