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U.S. sanctions on Venezuela would reroute crude, leave refiners short

( ) – Potential U.S. sanctions on Venezuela’s crude oil exports would cut off the nation from Gulf Coast refiners that are among its biggest customers, likely forcing it to send more crude to China, India or other Asian countries, traders said on Wednesday.

U.S. refineries that depend on Venezuela’s heavy crude would have even more trouble securing supplies as Canadian and Mexican crudes are often not as discounted and are limited in availability.

The United States is considering moves to cripple Venezuela’s oil shipments, which account for nearly all of the country’s exports, in response to the reelection of President Nicolas Maduro that was widely viewed as a sham.

Washington has recogni,上海夜网官方网站Ebba,zed opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s president as protests against Maduro erupted across the country. It is also considering sanctio,夜上海419龙凤论坛Kaiden,ns on oil deliveries, a move it has until now resisted, energy company source上海夜网s told on Wednesday.

Venezuela, on average, exported about 500,000 barrels of crude a day to the United States in 2018, according to U.S. Energy Department data. Those shipments fell in November to an estimated 358,000 barrels per day, however, according to a report by Caracas-based consultancy Gas Energy Latin America seen by .

The U.S. share of its exports has declined in recent years with more shipments going to Russia and China. [GRAPHIC: Venezuelan crude exports to the United States: tmsnrt.rs/2S4YIXB]

Those deliveries are being made largely through oil-for-debt repayment structures as output from state-run oil company Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., known as PDVSA, has slumped to near 70-year lows in a nationwide economic crisis. Venezuela’s output has been cut in half since 2016 to less than 1.2 million bpd, according to figures from OPEC secondary sources.

Shipments to the United States account for about 75 percent of the cash Venezuela gets for crude shipments, according to a Barclays research note published last week.

In the wake of sanctions, the country could seek additional deals with Turkey, India or other Asian nations, one trader of Venezuelan crude said. Gas Energy’s report said India was the second-largest importer of Venezuelan crude in November.

“It will be costly for Venezuela but eventually they’ll be able to sell that oil to Asia at a discount. There will be a period in the middle in which they have difficulty selling those barrels,” said Francisco Monaldi, fellow in Latin American Energy Policy at the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University in Houston.

[GRAPHIC: Top U.S. importers of Venezuelan crude: tmsnrt.rs/2RYGk2E]

Though the United States produces nearly 12 million barrels of oil a day, complex Gulf Coast refineries need heavier crude grades to produce diesel and other high-margin products, and cannot simply sub in light crude.

Prices of heavier U.S. grades like Mars Sour, an offshore medium U.S. crude, and Heavy Louisiana Sweet crude have risen as buyers scramble for supply. Mars traded at a $6.90 premium to ,上海会所夜网Mabel,U.S. crude on Wednesday, a five-year high, according to Refinitiv Eikon data, as bidders came into the market to secure supplies through the second quarter, traders said.

“It would make a tight market even tighter. If it happens, it would be an unambiguous headwind for refiners already struggling to find supplies,” said Bob McNally, president of Rapidan Energy Group, an energy consultancy in Bethesda, Maryland.

[GRAPHIC: Venezuelan crude exports to U.S. refiners: tmsnrt.rs/2S42EI5.]

Traders said the United States may need to sell oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve to cover supply shortfalls as additional shipments are secured via Canada or Mexico.

Sanctions could also include U.S. exports of petroleum products to Venezuela, used for blending with Venezuelan heavy crude.

Stocks surge on Fed pledge to pause, dollar slips

NEW YORK ( ) – The dollar slid and equities surged on Wednesday, fueled by Boeing and Apple’s results and extended after the Federal Reserve pledged to be patient with future interest rate hikes, a change in tone that stock investors interpreted as a buy signal.

The Fed, in its policy statement at the end of a two-day meeting, struck the language from its December policy statement that ind,上海夜生活服务Hadley,icated further rate hikes would be appropriate in 2019. That language had roiled markets amid signs of slower global growth.

U.S. stocks extended gains and bond yields fell as markets got what they were hoping for, said Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic adviser at Allianz in Newport Beach, California. “This marks a full 180 from what the Fed was signaling just a few months ago,” he said.

Scott Minerd, global chief investment officer at Guggenheim Partners in Santa Monica, California, said the Fed’s pause will further extend the economic expansion, allowing excesses to continue to build and increasing risks of financial instability.

“The Fed refilled the punch bowl and the party goes on. Buy risk assets,” Minerd said.

The Fed’s policy statement indicates the U.S. central bank will remain on a dovish path, which is very supportive for risk assets, at least on the short term, said Putri Pascualy, managing director for PAAMCO in Irvine, California.

“The back-drop of slowing economic growth on a global basis is the 800 trillion gorilla in the room,” Pascualy said.

The MSCI world equity index, which tracks share performance in 47 countries, rose 1.2 percent following gains in Asia overnight. The FTSEurofirst 300 index of leading shares in Europe closed up 0.41 percent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Ave上海夜生活rage rose 434.9 points, or 1.77 percent, to 25,014.86. The S&P 500 gained 41.05 points, or 1.55 percent, to 2,681.05, and the Nasdaq Composite added 154.79 points, or 2.2 percent, to 7,183.08.

Upbeat results from Boeing and Apple late on Tuesday provided investors early relief.

Boeing shares rose 6.25 percent after the world’s largest planemaker raised its profit and cash flow expectations for 2019 amid a boom in air tr,上海夜生活男人好去处Dalton,avel. Boeing also indicated it had overcome supplier delays that snarled 737 production last year.

Apple results provided some reassurance as the iPhone maker reported sharp growth in its services business. Its shares gained 6.83 percent

Oil prices rose, paring gains of more than 1 percent, as the potential for supply disruptions following U.S. sanctions on Venezuela’,上海夜网推油Idaline,s oil industry lifted prices.

Stocks listed in London jumped more than 1 percent after British lawmakers late on Tuesday rejected a proposal in Parliament that aimed to prevent a potentially chaotic “no-deal” Brexit, a vote that initially pushed sterling sharply lower.

The exporter-heavy FTSE 100 in London rose 1.45 percent as its components often are boosted by a weaker pound because its multinational companies earn a large portion of their revenue abroad in foreign currency.

Sterling rose 0.04 percent to $1.3071 after sliding about 0.7 percent against the dollar and the euro following parliamentary votes on Brexit.

“The vote is not fundamentally changing the way the market’s talking about Brexit,” said Hetal Mehta, Legal & General Investment Management senior European economist.

Payrolls processor ADP reported that the U.S. private sector added 213,000 jobs in January, which beat forecasts for gains of 178,000. But the monthly total was lower than the 271,000 jobs added in December.

The dollar index fell 0.39 percent to 95.447. Against the yen, the dollar fell 0.33 percent to 109.02.

The euro gained 0.39 percent to $1.1475.

Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury notes rose 6/32 in price to push yields down to 2.6900 percent.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures gained 92 cents to settle at $54.23, while international Brent crude futures rose 33 cents to settle at $61.65 per barrel.

Trump’s profanity delights supporters, horrifies etiquette experts

(Note language throughout that may offend some readers)

By Scott Malone

BOSTON ( ) – From Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon through Barack Obama, Americans have gotten used to the idea of their presidents using profanity, but Donald Trump’s use of the word “shithole” to describe Haiti and Africa this week sparked a storm of protest.

The countries offended condemned the outburst and human rights groups labeled the comment racist, given that Trump described people from largely white,上海夜哪里艳遇Falkner, Norway as more desirable immigrants.

But supporters of the former businessman and reality TV star erupted in applause.

“Finally a president that says what we all think! You go @POTUS! #ShitholeCountries #shithole #America1st,” tweeted Marco Gutierrez, a Trump supporter and Congressional candidate from California.

Conservative blogger Stacy Rush dismissed criticism of Trump’s language as pitiful and a distraction from the bigger picture: “It is pathetic our country and particularly the MSM (mainstream media) is wasting time on the word #shithole when we have real issues that need to be addressed.”

But many from the worlds of diplomacy, academia and even etiquette experts cringed.

“The reality is that when you have to resort to it, it does send a message of insecurity,” said Diane Gottsman, author of Modern Etiquette for a Better Life, who advises against using profanity in either professional or social settings.

Trump’s remarks during a meeting on immigration policy that was held at the White House on Thursday were reported by a U.S. senator at the gathering, who said on Friday that the president had used “vile, vulgar” language, including repeatedly saying “shithole.”

Trump denied on Friday that he had used such derogatory language. But h,上海夜生活乌托邦Kaia,e was condemned nonetheless in many African nations, as well as in Haiti and El Salvador, and by international human rights organizations.

During the 1960s Lyndon Johnson raised eyebrows by saying that, ,上海夜生活男人好去处Eden,in politics, “chicken shit can turn to chicken salad.” Experts said the public were shocked by the profanity-laced Nixon tapes from the Ov上海夜生活al office in the 1970s Watergate political crisis, and that people are less sensitive now.

“People have become accustomed to the idea that presidents swear,” said Julian Zelizer, a Princeton University history professor who studies the presidency. “But even with that, I think people still expect a certain amount of formality in public.”

Some academic research suggests there could be benefits to swearing in some contexts, from dulling pain to suggesting trust in social situations.

Benjamin Bergin, a cognitive science professor at the University of California San Diego who wrote a book on why people swear called “What the F,” said his research has shown profane speech can be perceived as more honest.

If swearing kept Trump from storming out of the negotiations, that could be positive, said Timothy Jay, emeritus professor of psychology at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, and author of five books on profanity.

That was not enough to sway Gottsman, who advises people on business etiquette.

“My advice would be don’t do it,” she said. “When we are in a position of power, people look up to us.”

Three years later, India’s bankruptcy reform languishes in courts

MUMBAI ( ) – When India introduced new bankruptcy resolution rules in 2016, government officials and investors said they expected debt-burdened state-owned banks to clear up some of their bad loans and create a dynamic market in restructured debt.

Ultimately, they said, they hoped the reform would remove an impediment to higher economic growth.

Almost three years later, those hopes have been badly dented. Litigation has tied down some big restructuring deals and bankers are starting to sell bad debts at fire sale prices rather than wait for the system to work better.

That is bad news for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is keen to get banks lending more to stimulate the economy and create more jobs ahead of an election due by May this year.

“The delay (in resolution) definitely affects the diligence and planning effort of financial ,上海夜生活网419Idaleen,investors,” said Vijay Padmanabhan, director of KKR & Co. Inc., one of world’s biggest private equity firms which has said it is keen on investing in India’s distressed assets.

Although Padmanabhan said the current bankruptcy process was faster than before, he cautioned that “litigations have to be contained and timelines have to be maintained to generate serious interest amongst financial investors.”

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, introduced in May 2016, allows even small creditors to file insolvency petitions against a company that had defaulted on debt. Once the petition is accepted by a court, a resolution plan has to be decided within 270 days, failing which the company will be liquidated.

The idea was the law would provide an incentive to owners to negotiate over distressed debt, rather than face an accelerated bankruptcy process over which they would have very little control.

It would also pull in foreign investors seeking distressed investments and potentially high returns, said Siby Antony, chairman of distressed assets resolution business at Edelweiss, which specializes in turning around debt-ridden companies.

Then, the owners of one of India’s biggest defaulters – Essar Steel, which owes 508 billion rupees ($7.11 billion) mostly to state banks – challenged the bankruptcy court’s decision to sell the steel producer to Arcelor Mittal, taking it away from its previous owners, the brothers Shashi and Ravi Ruia.

The nine months set for the process has上海夜生活论坛 now stretched to more than one and a half years, leaving creditors still not knowing how much of their money will be returned.

RESTRICTIONS ON LITIGATION

The debt of Bhushan Power and Steel Ltd, Jyoti Structures (JYTS.NS) and scores of other companies are also stuck in similar litigation.

While the bankruptcy code was a step forward, it would have been more effective if it had included restrictions on the scope for litigation, bankers and investors said.

India has 14.5 trillion rupees ($204.16 billion) of distressed assets, of which only around 730 billion rupees ($10.26 billion), or about 5 percent, have been resolved. However, only about half of this sum has so far been recouped by the banks due to legal challenges that have stalled payments.

“It would have been helpful if,上海夜哪里艳遇Talon, all the nuances of the law and possible outcomes were thought through,” said Alok Verma, executive director at Kotak Investment Banking, part of the Kotak Mahindra Group which works with clients looking at distressed assets in India.

So far out of 1,198 cases admitted under insolvency process, only 52 have seen approval of resolution plans, and even among those, repayments are still to be made to lenders.

“Most foreign investors are sitting on the fence waiting for the resolution process to stabilize,” said Antony of Edelweiss.

But Anthony does hold some hope that the system will speed up once the Essar Steel issue is resolved as that would set a precedent. “Once the big accounts are cleared the pipeline will move fast,” he predicted.

In the meantime, bankers are now looking to sell some of their bad assets at a steep discount to free up capital.

India’s largest lender State Bank of India is looking to put its 150.4 billion rupees ($2.1 billion) exposure to Essar Steel on the block at 62 cents to the dollar. Other lenders to the company are weighing similar options as prolonged litigation might cost them more in terms of provisions for losses and loss in interest income than any final recovery they might make, one banker to Essar said.

For capital-sta,夜上海419龙凤论坛Jace,rved Indian banks, taking such haircuts is costly. But for the economy, it is an even greater cost given banks fund more than 60 percent of India’s credit requirements.

“State-owned banks’ core capital ratios are already very weak and that is the main factor constraining their capacity to lend,” said Saswata Guha, director and head of financial institutions at Fitch Ratings. “It eventually poses a risk to economic growth.”

(GRAPHIC: India’s stressed debt interactive – tmsnrt.rs/1Sf4ij7)

Nissan plans to file for damages against Ghosn: source

TOKYO ( ) – Nissan Motor Co Ltd plans to file a civil suit against ousted chairman Carlos Ghosn to claim damages resulting from the alleged m上海夜网isuse of company funds, a person with knowledge of the issue said, adding to the high-profile executive’s legal headaches.

Ghosn, who remains chairman and chief executive of Nissan’s French partner Renault SA, has already been charged with three counts of financial misconduct and has been held at a detention centre in Tokyo for nearly two months.

On Tuesday, a Tokyo court denied his request for release on bail, raising the possibility that he may remain in custody for months before his trial begins.

Ghosn denies the charges against him, which include understating his salary for a total of ,上海夜生活桑拿会所Cadence,eight years and temporarily transferring personal financial losses to Nissan’s books.

“The broader investigation (into Ghosn’s alleged financial misconduct) continues to expand, so we will file a suit after that issue has been sorted out,” said the person familiar with the issue, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.

A civil suit could seek losses related to the alleged use of company funds to pay for the executive’s residences, donations to universities, and payments to a Saudi businessman who sources previously said helped Ghosn out of financial difficulties.

Nissan declined to comment on the issue.

Ghosn regularly spent more than 100 days a year flying between Nissan’s headquarters in Yokohama and cities including Paris, and had residences in Tokyo, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Amsterdam and Beirut.

Nissan had been providing those residences to the executive, at a cost of tens of millions of dollars, but people inside the company with knowledge of the issue said the company was only aware that it had been paying rent for Ghosn’s apartment in Tokyo.

last month reported that payments for some of Ghosn’s resi,上海新夜网龙凤Barrett,dences were portioned out and processed through a Nissan unit in the Netherlands called Zi-A Capi,夜上海419龙凤论坛Sabia,tal BV and its subsidiaries, which initially had been set up to invest in technology start-ups.

Nissan has confirmed that payments related to residences and other expenses such as a yacht club membership and donations to universities in Lebanon, Ghosn’s ancestral homeland, had violated company procedures and its code of conduct, according to another person with knowledge of the issue.

It is also considering filing for damages related to 7 million euros ($7.98 million) in compensation paid last year to Ghosn from a Dutch unit set up by Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors Corp, that person said condition of anonymity, adding that Nissan’s internal investigation has confirmed that those payments were made without the knowledge of the unit’s board.

Ghosn’s arrest sent shockwaves through the auto industry and rocked Nissan’s alliance with Mitsubishi and Renault.

Having been credited for masterminding Nissan’s financial turnaround two decades ago, the executive has since been removed from chairmanship positions at both Nissan and Mitsubishi.

Top U.S. diplomat for refugees to leave post

WASHINGTON ( ) – The U.S. diplomat in charge of refugee issues plans to leave his post within days, becoming the third senior U.S. official to depart,上海夜网Sabina, or be re-assigned from refugee work in recent weeks.

Simon Henshaw, the acting assistant secretary of the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, told colleagues in the refugee sector in an e-mail seen by that he will be leaving the bureau at the end of next week.

In an interview on Saturday evening, Henshaw told he was leaving his position in a routine professional move unrelated to the Trump administration’s policies, which have c,上海夜生活怎么玩Gabriel,urtailed refugee admissions. A State Department spokeswoman also said Henshaw’s move was routine.

Henshaw said his post at the Population, Refugees and Migration bureau had been his longest assignment in his 33-year tenure as a career foreign service officer.

“It very honestly had to do with the fact that I’d felt I’d spent enough time,” Henshaw told . “I’m used to moving on every two or three years.”

Prior to being named acting assistant secretary at the start of the Trump administration, he served as the principal deputy assistant secretary since July 2013.

The bureau will be run from Jan. 22 onward by Carol O’Connell, the deputy assistant secretary of state for African affairs, according to her State Department biograph上海夜生活网y.

“In a world where the number of refugees and displaced persons continues to rise, I think we should all be proud (of) the good that we have done and the help that we have provided to so many,” Henshaw wrote in the Saturday e-mail.

Henshaw is the latest senior U.S. official working on refugee issues to leave a job or be sidelined as the Trump administration reshapes U.S. refugee admissions.

Since taking office last year, President Donald Trump has slashed the number of refuge,上海仙霞路夜生活Fabian,es allowed into the country, paused the refugee program entirely for four months, instituted stricter vetting requirements and quit negotiations on a voluntary pact to deal with global migration.

On Tuesday, reported that Lawrence Bartlett, previously the head of the refugee admissions office at the State Department, had been given a temporary re-assignment in the State Department office handling Freedom of Information Act requests.

Earlier this month, Barbara Strack, chief of the Refugee Affairs Division at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, under the Department of Homeland Security, said she would retire in January.

Cuts to homeowner tax breaks could cost Republicans in 2018 races

SACRAMENTO, Calif. ( ) – Laura Russo is just the kind of voter the Republicans need, but the party’s proposed tax overhaul, which includes limits on the deductions for mortgage interest, state taxes and property taxes, is pushing her away.

“I would be dramatically affected,” she said. An airline pilot and single mother of two, she says that like many in her affluent Loudoun County, Virginia, neighborhood she stretched to buy her home. She fears it will become harder to sell that house or pay her other tax bills if President Donald Trump signs the plan into law.

Russo, 52, said she had voted for the Republican in every presidential race since 1992 until last year when she picked Hillary Clinton. She still voted for Barbara Comstock, the Republican who represents her district in Congress.

“I will not do that again,” she said. “The tax bill is the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

Russo is one of thousands of homeowners in Republican-leaning areas who could be hit by the elimination or reduction of tax breaks for homeowners, a analysis of federal mortgage and tax data shows, potentially opening those districts to a Democratic challenge in the November 2018 mid-term elections.

The plans are expected to affect mainly the Democratic-leaning “blue states” such as California, New Jersey and New York where homes are expensive, mortgages are huge and state and local taxes tend to be high.

But while these blue states will be hardest hit, county level data also shows there is a significant number of Republican enclaves in districts expected to be hotly contested in next year’s polls that will feel the pain. Republican leaning pockets in blue or swing states, such as Orange County, California, or Loudoun County, Virginia, tend to have high property values – and thus the higher mortgages. Many of these areas also tend to have higher state and local income taxes.

Infographic ID: ‘2BOjUWI’ SWING DISTRICTS

Larry Sabato, director of the non-partisan Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, estimates that there are 16 counties where 2018 races will be toss-ups between Republican incumbents and Democratic challengers.

data shows that almost half of those counties have an above-average share of new mortgages worth more than $500,000, which is a proposed cap for tax deductions. The results are similar for districts selected as 50-50 ones by The Cook Political Report, a non-partisan newsletter that analyzes U.S. elections.

Among those on Cook’s list is a district in Harris County in the deep-red state of Texas. Even though the state has no income tax, thousands of residents of the district, which includes Houston, deduct taxes owed in other states because of work or business done there, and property taxes – the nation’s sixth-highest.

Democrats need 24 more seats to win lower house majority from the Republicans, who now control the White House and both houses of Congress. Nancy Pelosi, the House Minority Leader, said in a fundraising note Democrats were rushing out “rapid-response ads” targeting swing voters to capitalize o,上海凤楼夜网Larissa,n the concerns, while Kevin Brady, Republican chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said on CNBC on Tuesday his party’s leadership was working on ways to mollify R,夜上海419龙凤论坛Eason,epublicans in blue states.

That concern is felt on the ground too. Will Estrada, chairman of the Republican party in Loudoun County, said he firmly believed the tax plan would deliver savings to m上海夜生活ost people. But he said that if Democrats ar,上海夜生活网交流Jack,e right and many middle class voters face higher bills, “the GOP is going to be toast in 2018.”

The bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Nov. 16 let homeowners who take out new mortgages deduct only the interest paid on the first $500,000 of a mortgage. It also ends deductions for state and local income taxes, and caps deductions for property taxes at $10,000.

The Senate’s plan, passed on Saturday, would keep the mortgage interest deduction as is, on any mortgage up to $1 million, but agrees with the House on state, local and property taxes. The two houses of Congress are now reconciling the two versions.

The data analysis shows that 37 percent of the total mortgages issued in Orange County in 2016 were above $500,000 and 26 percent in Loudon County. Both include districts represented by Republicans and have some of the highest rates of expensive mortgages in the country.

Comstock, who retained her Virginia seat by 3 percentage points, voted for the House bill, but later asked for changes on deductions, saying through a spokesman that she sought “the best possible tax package for all of her constituents.” In Orange County, Republican Representative Darrel Issa voted against the House version, in part, because of how it will affect homeowners. Neither California Republican Dana Rohrabacher, who also voted against the bill, nor Issa would comment on a possible backlash from voters.

BROAD IMPACT

Home buyers in expensive areas count on the mortgage interest deduction to make their payments manageable, said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, which opposes any changes to the deductions.

Yun says his analysis suggests curbing the mortgage interest deduction would lead to as much as an 8 percent drop in housing values nationwide, and cutting property tax deductions could lead to a further drop of up to 3 percent because it would make buying and selling homes more costly.

“Not just in high cost states like Illinois and California, but relatively speaking in places like Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, which were critical in swaying the presidential election,” he said.

Other economists think the impact may be smaller. As refinancing of mortgages becomes less popular and consumers begin paying debt down faster, the market would rebalance, said Richard Green, director of the Lusk Center for Real Estate at the University of Southern California, who forecasts a 5 percent decline in home values.

California’s Placer County northeast of Sacramento, where the median home sells for more than $440,000, remains a Republican enclave. But local Republicans have noticed that each year fewer residents vote Republican and their web page bears the slogan, “Keep Placer Red.”

To do that, the party will have to keep the loyalty of Republicans like Rudy Coscia, a 36-year-old plastic surgeon who just took out a $900,000 mortgage to buy a four-bedroom house in Granite Bay for $1.1 million.

Coscia is counting on mortgage interest and property tax deductions as he is also making payments on $200,000 worth of medical school loans and $400,000 he borrowed to get his practice started.

“They’re hurting their base,” he said. “You’d think they’d be trying not to hurt the people who voted for them.”

As government shutdown drags on, shares of subprime lenders rally

( ) – Payday lenders’ stocks have emerged as big winners during the record-long U.S. government shutdown, though the updraft could prove short-lived.

Shares of pawn brokers, payday lenders and other subprime consumer finance com,上海夜网官方网站Octavien,panies have rallied and outperformed the broader market since Dec 22, when 800,000 federal workers were furloughed or left working without pay.

Pawn broker chains EZCorp and FirstCash have jumped over 18 percent since that date, with no resolution in sight over congressional Democrats refusal to approve Republican President Donald Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion in partial funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Companies that provide payday loans and other kinds of subprime consumer credit have also rallied. Enova International, Curo Group Holding and OneMain Holdings have each surged 23 percent.

Citigroup and other banks have helped with mortgage payments, overdraft fees and credit card costs to 上海夜生活网government workers, including employees from the Coast Guard, Transport Security Agency and other government workers struggling to make ends meet.

But with federal workers on Friday missing their second consecutive paychecks, some are likely turning to subprime consumer lenders. Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring this week warned people to be wary of the risks associated with high-interest payday and online loans.

On Thursday, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Thursday urged furloughed federal workers facing a second missed paycheck to seek loans to pay their bills.

Investors should be also be careful, warned Piper Jaffray analyst Kevin Barker, who said any potential increase in business for payday lenders and credit card companies is likely to disappear when the shutdown en,上海夜生活去哪玩Octavia,ds.

“These people are going to get their paychecks eventually. The market is not going to look at this as a long-term, sustainable uplift,” said Barker, who has an “overweight” rating on OneMain Holdings.

The shutdown has created uncertainty about consumer confidence, retail spending and the economy at large. Restaurants and other businesses in Washingt,上海仙霞路夜生活Mace,on that cater to federal employees have already taken a hit. But Wall Street has mostly shrugged off the shutdown, at least so far, even as it extends its lead as the longest in history.

Dollar Tree and Dollar General Corp, go-to retail stocks for investors expecting economic downturns and weak consumer spending, have both gained about 13 percent since the shutdown began, better than the gain of more than 9 percent in the S&P 500, but in line with other U.S. retailers.

“I don’t think the market has priced in that this government shutdown is going to last much longer to where it is really going to impact GDP,” said Eric Marshall, a portfolio manager at Hodges Capital Management in Dallas. “Because it has never happened this long, nobody knows exactly how to discount it.”

Meta Financial Group is set to report quarterly results on Monday. EzCorp is expected on Tuesday, according to Refinitiv, followed by FirstCash on Wednesday and World Acceptance on Thursday.

Factbox: Women who have accused Trump of inappropriate conduct

( ) – Three of the women who have accused U.S. President Donald Trump of sexual misconduct called on Monday for a congressional probe of his behavior amid similar accusations against powerful men in Hollywood, the media and politics.

Over the past two years, more than a dozen women have accused Trump of making unwanted sexual advances against them long before he entered politics. Trump has denied the accusations, and the White House has accused the women of lying.

Among his accusers are a Miss Utah beauty pageant winner, a businesswoman, a reporter and a receptionist.

The following are the three women who on Monday renewed their call for action:

** Jessica Leeds recounted in a video interview posted on The New York Times website in October 2016 that Trump grabbed her breasts and tried to put his hand up her skirt on a flight on which she was traveling to New York in or around 1980 when she was a 38-year-old businesswoman.

** Rachel Crooks, formerly a receptionist at a real estate firm in Trump Tower, told The New York Times in a report published in October 2016 that Trump “kissed me directly on the mouth” in 2005 at Trump Tower in Manhattan when she was 22.

** Samantha Holvey, the 2006 Miss North Carolina and a former contestant in the Miss USA pageant, told NBC’s “Today” program on Monday that Trump walked into the pageant dressing room in 2006 while contestants were naked and in bathrobes. She told CNN in an October 2016 report that Trump personally inspected each woman prior to the contest, “eyeing us from head to toe like we were meat, we were sexual objects.”

Here are other women who have made accusations against Trump:

** Summer Zervos, a contestant on Trump’s reality show “The Apprentice” in 2006, told an October 2016 news conference that Trump tried to get her to lie down on a bed with him when she met him in 2007 to discuss a possible job. Zervos said she complied with a request to sit next to Trump and, “He then grabbed my shoulder and began kissing me very aggressively and placed his hand on my breast.” Trump has denied the allegation.

Zervos sued Trump in January, contending that his denials of her accusations amounted to false and defamatory statements and that being “branded a liar” by Trump has harmed her and her business.

** In a video posted on The Washington Post website in October 2016, Kristin Anderson accused Trump of putting his hand up her skirt in a crowded New ,上海夜哪里艳遇Oakley,York nightclub in the early 1990s in an unwanted advance. “He did touched my vagina through my underwear, absolutely,” Anderson said in the video interview.

** Lisa Boyne said in a short film titled “16 Women and Donald Trump” that she met Trump in the early 1990s at a dinner party he hosted in New York. Boyne said that Trump picked up her and another person in his limousine, and he made inappropriate remarks about famous actresses. “He asked us to rate them from 1 to 10,” Boyne said.

Boyne said that at the party, Trump “used his table as a ‘casting couch,’ instructing women who attended to model above the table. He then looked under the dresses of each women and made comments of what he saw.”

** Jessica Drake, an adult film actress, told a news conference in Los Angeles in October 2016 that Trump pressured her to have sex with him 11 years ago when they met at a golf tournament. Trump’s campaign said the accusations were false.

** Jill Harth, a former Trump beauty pageant business associate, filed a $125 mil,上海021夜网Qirin,lion lawsuit in 1997 against Trump alleging that on Jan. 24, 1993, at Trump’s Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago, Trump “forcibly removed plaintiff to a bedroom, whereupon defendant subjected plaintiff to defendant’s unwanted sexual advances.” A Trump spokesperson was quoted by The New York Times in October 2016 as saying, “Mr. Trump denies each and every statement made by Ms. Harth.” The lawsuit was dropped in May 1997.

** Cathy Heller said that in 1997 Trump tried to kiss her during a Mother’s Day brunch at Mar-a-Lago. Heller, her husband, her three children and her in-laws attended the event. When she was introduced to Trump, “He took my hand, and grabbed me, and went for the lips,” she told The Guardian newspaper in October 2016. She said she turned he,上海夜生活服务Jacob,r head and Trump kissed her on the side of the mouth.

** Ninni Laaksonen, a former Miss Finland, accused Trump of groping her in 2006 when she was representing her country in the Miss Universe beauty contest. Laaksonen told the Ilta-Sanomat newspaper in October 2016 that he had grabbed her behind before she appeared on a television show in New York with other contestants. “He r上海夜生活论坛eally grabbed my butt. I don’t think anybody saw it but I flinched and thought: ‘What is happening?’,” she was quoted as saying in the newspaper.

** In October 2016 Mindy McGillivray told the Palm Beach Post that she was a 23-year-old photographer’s assistant at a Jan. 24, 2003, event at Mar-a-Lago when Trump grabbed her buttocks.

** Natasha Stoynoff, a reporter, wrote a first-person account that described Trump kissing her without her consent in December 2005 at Mar-a-Lago while she was working on an article about him and his third wife, Melania, for People magazine. In the account published by People in October 2016, Stoynoff said “he was pushing me against the wall and forcing his tongue down my throat.”

** Temple Taggart, a former Miss Utah, said Trump twice kissed her on the lips while she was a contestant for the Miss USA pageant in 1997 when she was 21 years old. “What he did made me feel so uncomfortable that I ended up cutting my trip short, bought my own plane ticket, flew home and never spoke to him again,” Taggart said at an October 2016 press conference with her attorney, Gloria Allred.

** At an October 2016 news conference, yoga instructor Karena Virginia said Trump approached her outside the U.S. Open tennis tournament in 1998 when she was 27 years old. She alleged that Trump commented on her legs and then touched her breast before she was able to get into a car and be driven away.

Audemars Piguet and Swiss watch rivals hasten shift to in-house sales

GENEVA ( ) – Swiss watchmakers Audemars Piguet and Richard Mille are snapping up stakes in their franchised shops, seeking to tighten their grip on the sales network as a growing number of top brands ditch wholesalers.

Changes to distribution for luxury watches have lagged sectors such as groceries or fashion, with eye-watering price tags seen as a barrier to buying online and favoring a more traditional sales approach.

But trouble clearing excess inventory at multi-brand watch retailers, and the lure of better margins, is persuading some labels to cut their reliance on the third-party resellers that still account for around 75 percent of industry sales, according to analysts.

Family-owned Audemars Piguet, which has said it aimed to have only monobrand stores in three to five years’ time, is also investing in some of the around 30 franchises that already carry its name.

Out of a total 200 points of sale, it has 60 monobrand outlets but only 25 are fully-owned for now. The company is taking a majority stake in a Los Angeles franchise in an example of efforts to better control its image, Chief Executive Francois-Henry Bennahmias told .

“Between our stores in Rome and New York City a client could hear slightly different narratives, and we can’t afford that,” Bennahmias said at the SIHH trade fair in Geneva this week.

KNOWING THE CUSTOMER

The shift in-house is not universal, with giants like privately-owned Rolex and Patek Philippe staying the course with multi-brands.

For their part, some smaller independent brands simply cannot afford the higher fixed cost and ensuing risk attached to monobrand stores.

But Richemont (CFR.S), owner of the Cartier and IWC brands, is among those moving more stores in-house at some of its labels. Sixty-three percent of its revenue comes from its own shops, up from 42 percent a decade ago.

Audemars said its strategy was boosting sales. These grew 10 percent last year to 1.1 billion Swiss francs ($1.11 billion) – with half coming now from monobrand stores.

“It’s huge. It’s the point of no return,” Bennahmias said.

Ultra high-end Richard Mille, with average prices of around 180,000 euros ($205,236), already derives 75 percent of sales from its 40 monobrand boutiques, many of which are franchises it has invested in, marketing director Tim Malachard said.

Launched in 2001, the label aimed to eventually phase multi-brand retailers out – it sells via 44 now – and reach 50 to 55 single-brand stores, he added.

“It allows us to get to know our clients. And there is no discounting,” Malachard said.

SURVIVORS

The industry is still reeling from a downturn, after a crackdown on luxury gift giving in China and the collapse of Hong Kong’s market that has taken time to recover.

That pushed brands like Cartier into buying back stocks languishing at distributors in recent years, to stop them being dumped at discounted prices on the so-called “gray,上海夜网官方网站Hadley,” market.

While momentum has recovered – in spite of renewed concerns about a Chinese slowdown – firms are also tussling over how to attract younger consumers who grew up using smartphones rather than watches.

“Clients want to buy watches but they also want an experience,” said Ricardo Guadalupe, CEO of LVMH’s (LVMH.PA) Hublot. It is cutting back on wholesalers too, though it expects them to still make up half of sales in the long term.

“The multi-brand retailers that used to stock 50 labels are disappearing little by little, only the big players will be left,” Guadalupe said.

For some small watchmakers, however, solo stores are an unaffordable gambit.

“Smaller independent brands cannot do without wholesale distributors,” said Marco Tedeschi, CEO of Switzerland’s RJ, which plans to produce 1,200 pieces this year, including some themed around Batman villains.

RJ is however switching to distributors stocking fewer brands, which might do more to help promote its watches, Tedeschi added.

MB&F, which makes 250 of its futuristic timepieces a year, now reaps up to a quarter of sales through a handful of art gallery joint ventures, from Geneva to Dubai – providing it with,上海晚上耍女人的地方Jack, another way o,上海夜生活网交流Eden,f reaching customers, said communications head Charris Yadigaroglou.

“Not all of the re上海夜生活tailers will survive,” he added.

Global stock markets falter after China data confirms economic…

LONDON ( ) – European shares fell on Monday from six-week highs as a slowdown in China’s economy stalled a global equity rally, but sterling rallied to the day’s highs after Prime Minister Theresa May promised to be more “flexible” with lawmakers over Brexit.

Trade in general was subdued with U.S. markets closed for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day but equity prices were hit after data showed the Chinese economy, the world’s second biggest, grew 6.4 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, matching levels last seen in early 2009 during the global financial crisis.

The number was in line with forecasts, while factory output picked up stronger-than-expected in December and stronger services sector were some bright spots. That, along with expectations of more stimulus ,夜上海论坛Fabian,from Beijing, pushed Asian markets to the highest since early-December .MIAPJ0000PUS .CSI300.

But the rally in world shares appeared to end there.

A pan-European equity index fell 1.3 percent, below six-week highs hit on Friday while Germany shares .GDAXI, heavily exposed to exports to China, was 0.6 percent lower on the day.

U.S. stock market futures, which offer an indication of how Wall Street shares will next open, were down roughly half a percent. ESc1 1YMc1 NQc1

“It seems that the optimism we saw in Asia did not extend into Europe,” said Brittany Baumann, macro strategist at TD Securities in London.

“And the start of this week is a reflection of t上海夜生活he downside risk that still exist – Brexit and China/U.S. trade developments.”

China’s economy faces deep and complicated changes, President Xi Jinping said on Monday.

Growing signs of weakness in China — which has generated nearly a third of global growth in recent years — has fueled anxiety about risks to the world economy in recent weeks and are weighing on profits for firms such as Apple. (AAPL.O)

“On balance, the (China) data is relatively positive and does not point to a hard landing,” said Timothy Graf, head of macro strategy at State Street Global Advisors in London.

“The consumption data being better than expected is the positive takeaway in that China is trying to engineer a move towards a consumer-led economy.”

But in other signs of caution, the Australian dollar AUD=D, often used a liquid proxy for China investments, nudged down to $0.7156.

Oil prices also fell on further evidence that economic growth in China, the world’s second largest crude consumer, was easing. Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 fell 0.2 percent to $62.57 a barrel. [O/R]

BREXIT “PLAN B”

In currency markets, sterling firmed after Prime Minister Theresa May indicated she would be more “flexible” with lawmakers, even though she refused to rule out a no-deal Brexit. There are few signs she can break a deadlock with parliament after her Brexit deal was rejected last week.

May offered to tweak her defeated deal by seeking further concessions from the European Union on a backup plan to avoid a hard border in Ireland.

Sterling fell initially as she spoke, then climbed to session highs, rising above $1.29 GBP=D3. Against the euro it touched a high of 88.07 pence, up 0.2 percent on the day, reversing earlier losses.

“Her fail,上海夜生活网419Talon,ure to detail Plan B could be the catalyst to the parliament to taking control of the process,” John Marley, a senior currency consultant at FX risk management specialist, SmartCurrencyBusiness, said.

“Ultimately that makes an extension, a deal or even a second referendum more likely.”

Britain’s FTSE index .FTSE traded around flat while British government bond yields slipped 3 basis points to 1.32 percent GB10YT=RR.

For Live Markets blog on European and UK stock markets, please click on: [,上海夜网邀请码Macey,LIVE/]

Graphic: World FX rates in 2019 – tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh

U.S. appeals court rejects challenge to Trump voter fraud panel

( ) – A U.S. appeals court in Washington on Tuesday upheld a lower court’s decision to allow President Donald Trump’s commission investigating voter fraud to request data on voter rolls from U.S. states.

The U.S. Court of App,上海夜哪里艳遇Idris,eals for the District of Columbia Circuit said the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) watchdog group, which filed the lawsuit, did not have legal standing to seek to ,上海足浴夜网联系方式Idaleen,force the presidential commission to review privacy concerns before collecting individuals’ voter data.

EPIC had argued that under federal law, the commission was required to conduct a privacy-impact assessment before gathering personal data. But the three-judge appeals court panel ruled unanimously that the privacy law at issue was intended to protect indivi上海夜网duals, not groups like EPIC.

“EPIC is not a voter,” Judge Karen Henderson wrote in the ruling.

Washington-based U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly first denied EPIC’s injunction request in July, in part because the collection of data by the commission was not technically an action by a government agency so was not bound by laws that govern what such entities can do.

Kollar-Kotelly noted that the commission, headed by Vice President Mike Pence, was an advisory body that lacks legal authority to compel states to hand over the data.

Most state officials who oversee elections and election law experts say that voter fraud is rare in the United States.

Trump, a Republican, set up the commission in May after charging, without evidence, that millions of people voted unlawfully in the 2016 presidential election in which he defeated Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton despite losing the popular vote.

The commission’s vice chair, Kris Kobach, the Republican secretary of state for Kansas and an advocate of tougher laws on immigration and voter identification, asked states in June to turn over voter information.

The data requested by Kobach included names, the last four digits of Social Security numbers, addresses, birth dates, political affiliation, felony convictions and voting histories.

More than 20 states refused outright and othe,上海夜生活男人好去处Babette,rs said they needed to study whether they could provide the data.

Civil rights groups and Democratic lawmakers have said the commission’s eventual findings could lead to new ID requirements and other measures making it harder for groups that tend to favor Democratic candidates to cast ballots.

EPIC executive director Marc Rotenberg could not immediately be reached for comment.

Zuckerberg to integrate WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger:…

( ) – Facebook Inc Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg is planning to unify the underlying messaging infrastructure of the WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger services and incorporate end-to-end encryption into these apps, the New York Times reported on Friday.

The three services will, however, continue as stand-alone apps, the report said, citing four people involved in the effort.

Facebook said it is working on adding end-to-end encryption, which protects messages from being viewed by anyone except the participants in a conversation, to more of its messaging products, and considering ways to make it easier for users to connect across networks.

“There is a lot of discussion and debate as we begin the long process of figuring out all the details of how this will work,” a spokesperson said.

After the changes, a Facebook user, for instance, will be able send an encrypted message to someone who has only a WhatsApp account, according to the New York Times report,上海新夜网龙凤Barrett,.

Integrating the messaging services could ,上海夜生活乌托邦Nadine,make it harder for antitrust regulators to break up Facebook by undoing its acquisitions of WhatsApp and Instagram, said Sam Weinstein, a professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

“If Facebook is worried about that then one way it can defend itself is to integrate those services,” Weinstein said.

But Weinst,上海夜网邀请码Paige,ein said break上海夜生活网ing up Facebook is viewed as an “extreme remedy” by regulators, particularly in the United States, so concerns over antitrust scrutiny may not have been a factor behind the integration.

MAJOR TRADEOFFS

Some former Facebook security engineers and an outside encryption expert said the plan could be good news for user privacy, in particular by extending end-to-end encryption.

“I’m cautiously optimistic it’s a good thing,” said former Facebook Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos, who now teaches at Stanford University. “My fear was that they were going to drop end-to-end encryption.”

However, the technology does not always conceal metadata – information about who is talking to whom – sparking concern among some researchers that the data might be shared.

Any metadata integration likely will let Facebook learn more about users, linking identifiers such as phone numbers and email addresses for those using the services independently of each other.

Facebook could use that data to charge more for advertising and targeted services, although it also would have to forgo ads based on message content in Messenger and Instagram.

Other major tradeoffs will have to be made too, Stamos and others said.

Messenger allows strangers to contact people without knowing their phone numbers, for example, increasing the risk of stalking and approaches to children.

Systems based on phone numbers have additional privacy concerns, because governments and other entities can easily extract location information from them.

Stamos said he hoped Facebook would get public input from terrorism experts, child safety officers, privacy advocates and others and be transparent in its reasoning when it makes decisions on the details.

“It should be an open process, because you can’t have it all,” Stamos said.

Britain’s RBS seeks investor backing for share buyback plan

LONDON ( ) – Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L) will consult with shareholders on plans to buyback shares owned by the British government using excess capital to accelerate a return to private ownership.

The lender told investors it would hold a general meeting on Feb. 6 to vote on the plan.

RBS is 62.3 percent owned by British taxpayers, after a 45 billion pound ($58 billion) bailout during the financial crisis.

Chief Executive Ross McEwan has made returning the lender to private hands a top priority during his tenure at the bank.

But the process has been slow due to turbulent markets and criticism from opposition politicians at losses incurred.

The last two sales of state-owned stock crystallized combined losses of more than 3 billion pounds.

Further losses are all but inevitable. Although RBS stock closed 1 percent higher on Thursday at 237 pence after the buyback plan announcement, it is sti,上海夜生活群Rachel,ll far below the 502 pence level it was trading at when it was bailed out in 2008.

RBS said a share buyback would help accelerate the process.

“This resolution would provide ,上海晚上耍女人的地方Idaia,the bank with the flexibility to use some of its excess capital to buy back government shares at a time and price agreed with HM Treasury,” Cha上海夜生活论坛irman Howard Davies said.

He said the board believed it was in the best interests of the bank and shareholders to facilitate a return to private ownership.

“The government should not be in the business of owning banks, which is why we’re committed to returning RBS back to private ownership. But we will only sell RBS shares when it represents value for money to do so,” a Treasury spokesman said.

The share buyback will be one of the first big tests of the bank’s new chief financial officer, Katie Murray, who started the role in January.

RBS was left with 4 billion pounds of excess capital after it resolved a l,上海夜网千花Kai,ong-standing legal dispute with U.S. regulators last year over past mis-selling of toxic mortgage-backed securities in the run up to the financial crisis.

Analysts have said a state sale of RBS stock is unlikely until there is clarity about Britain’s departure from the European Union, which they say is needed to calm markets.

RBS will announce full-year results for 2018 on Feb. 15.

Exclusive: Venezuela’s PDVSA orders prepayment for U.S.-bound oil…

( ) – Venezuela’s state-run company oil company, PDVSA, hit by U.S. sanctions on Monday, ordered customers with tankers waiting to load Venezuelan crude bound for the United States to pay for the cargoes before they depart, three sources with knowledge of the decision told .

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration, in a move aimed at limiting embattled President Nicolas Maduro’s access to oil revenues, stopped PDVSA from collecting the proceeds of oil exported to U.S. customers, while freezing assets of PDVSA’s units, including U.S. refining arm Citgo Petroleum Corp.

Maduro, whose authority is being challenged by the self-proclaimed president and head of the congress, Juan Guaido, said earlier his government would start legal action to protect Citgo. He did n上海夜生活ot mention if PDVSA planned changes to its exports.

“They are not allowing tankers bound for Valero, Citgo and Chevron to leave Venezuelan ports if not prepaid,” a PDVSA source said, referring to a decision by the company’s trade and supply division.

Venezuela exports about 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude to the United States. Citgo, Valero Energy Corp and Chevron Corp are the three largest buyers of Venezuelan crude in the United States.

Valero said it,上海夜生活Quaid, planned to “comply with the sanctions” and diversify oil purchases to reduce the impact on its business.

“Valero will continue to support the Administration and will provide officials with relevant information that will help the U.S. refining system to function efficiently,” it said in a statement.

Refining firm Phillips 66, another buyer of Venezuelan oil until last year, said it expected to be able to obtain alternative crude grades and “mitigate any disruption in crude supply for our operations.”

Traders and shippers with tankers anchored around Venezuelan ports said they saw no clear way for U.S. customers to pay for Venezuelan crude after sanctions, even if payments are intended to be made before loading.

According to the new sanctions, any proceeds from Venezuelan crude exported to U.S. companies will stay in special bank accounts in the United States.

The trading sources said they feared the European Union may follow with similar measures freezing PDVSA’s accounts in Europe.

Several years ago, PDVSA moved its bank accounts that receive money from oil exports mainly to China. It also has accounts in Europe. But U.S. firms willing to transfer money to those foreign accounts still need to find correspondent banks ,夜上海论坛Naia,in the United States willing to,上海夜网后花园Dalton, authorize the transactions, which is difficult because of sanctions.

Written by shyw on August 24, 2018 Categories: vanyoxfh Tags: , , ,

China December daily crude steel output at lowest since March

BEIJING ( ) – China’s average daily steel output in December hit its lowest level since March, according to calculations based on official data, as producers cut output amid shrinking profit-margins.

Total output fell to 76.12 million tonnes last month from 77.62 million tonnes in November, but was up 8.2 percent from December 2017, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Monday.

That means average daily steel output dipped 5 percent from the month before to 2.46 million tonnes, the lowest level since the 2.39 million tonnes recorded in March, according to calculations.

The world’s biggest steel maker churned out a record 928.26 million tonnes of crude steel in 2018, the data showed, up 6.6 percent from 2017, buoyed by firm demand in the first three quarter,上海夜哪里艳遇Hadrian,s of the year.

However, profits at steel mills have plunged nearly 60 percent since November on stronger-than-expected supply after Beijing ditched blanket measures to cut industrial production over the winter.

The environment ministry has vowed to adopt more efficient and targeted measures to fight pollution in 2019.

An executive at China’s Iron and Steel Association said last week that the country’s s,上海仙霞路夜生活Octavia,teel industry would shift its focus to optimizing capacity structure in 2019 from reducing overall capacity.

China currently has around 980 million tonnes of steelmaking capacity.

A government consultancy predic,上海夜生活网交流Lake,ted last month that steel output would slip back to 900 million tonn上海夜生活论坛es in 2019, curbed by cooling demand in major downstream sectors such as property, automobiles and energy.

Facebook likely to face two more state probes on privacy issues:…

( ) – Facebook Inc could be subjected to at least two more state probes in the United States on the alleged mishandling of user data, Bloomberg reported on Thursday.

The report, which cited people familiar with the matter, said Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro and his Illinois counterpart Kwame Raoul have joined forces with Connecticut to focus on investigating existing allegations.

The state probes are coalescing into two main groups, the report said. The states of New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts are also probing the social media giant and are seeking to uncover any potential unknown vi,上海夜生活去哪玩Idaleen,olations.

The Illinois attorney general’s office declined to comment on Bloomberg’s report when contacted by , while the office of the attorney gener,上海凤楼夜网Kailani,al of Pennsylvania did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Facebook told in an emailed statement it was having “productive conversations” with attorneys general from a number of states.

“Many officials have approached us in a constructive manner, focused on solutions that ensure all companies are protectin,上海夜生活男人好去处Earl,g people’s information, and we look forward to continuing to work with them,” Facebook’s vice president of state and local public policy, Will Castleberry, said.

Facebook and other tech giants have been under pressure for over a year after it was revealed that British consultancy Cambridge Analytical acquired data on millions of U.S. users to target election advertising. That led to heads of several te上海夜生活ch companies testifying before Congress last year.

Boeing-Lockheed’s Vulcan rocket design ‘nearly fully mature’

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. ( ) – A joint venture between Boeing Co (BA.N) and Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) will conduct the final design rev,上海夜生活男人好去处Babette,iew for its new flagship Vulcan rocket within months, it said on Wednesday, as the aerospace com,夜上海419龙凤论坛Jackson,pany heads for a showdown with Elon Musk’s SpaceX and others in the launch services market.

The final design review is a crucial milestone as the company, United Launch Alliance (ULA), tries to move into full production ahead of a first flight in spring 2021 after slipping from its initial 2019 timetable.

“The design is nearly fully mature,” ULA systems test engineer Dane Drefke told during a tour of Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The companies are vying to develop rockets to carry satellites into orbit in what the Satellite Industry Association lobby group estimates is a roughly $5.5 billion satellite launch services market.

ULA has started cutting and building hardware and has begun structural and pressure testing at its Decatur, Alabama factory. Engineers were also modifying the Florida launch pad and tower to accommodate Vulcan.

ULA’s legacy Atlas and Delta rockets have been synonymous with America’s space missions for decades. But the Colorado-based company has waged a cost-cutting campaign in recent years that included job cuts and trying new production methods as it faces mounting competition from Spa,上海夜网千花Babette,ceX.

Musk has upended the industry with reusable rocket technology that has slashed the cost of space transportation.

And Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) founder Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin said last week it will fly its still-in-development New Glenn rocket in 2021 – the same year as Vulcan.

While ULA’s rockets burn up during each voyage, making for reliable but costlier missions, the company is charting a strategy of returning the first-stage engine to Earth under a parachute and plucking it out of mid-air with a helicopter.

ULA does not envision more job cuts and has been adding engineers in Florida and elsewhere, it said on Wednesday.

“We are now optimal-sized,” Drefke said, adding that ULA will be hiring more engineers as it moves into production.

The Vulcan, which will be powered partly by Blue Origin’s U.S.-built BE-4 engine, is central to ending U.S. reliance on Russia’s RD-180 engine for national security missions.

ULA confirmed new purchases of at le上海夜生活网ast five more RD-180s in recent months for non-military missions, like commercial satellite launches.

Meanwhile, Blue Origin has hit “a few minor setbacks” during rigorous BE-4 testing but was “progressing nominally” and was expected to live up to delivery targets, Drefke said.

Blue Origin did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Deutsche Bank queried by U.S. House panels on Trump ties

FRANKFURT ( ) – Deutsche Bank AG has received an inquiry from two U.S. House of Representatives committees on the lender’s ties to President Donald Trump, it said on Thursday.

Democrats now in control of the House had been working out which House panels would take the lead in investigating Trump’s business ties to Germany’s largest lender, lawmakers and aides familiar with the plans told last week.

“The bank has received an inquiry from the House financial services and intelligence committees,” Deutsche Bank said in a statement.

The committee leaders said in a joint statement Thursday that they were in talks with the bank and expect its cooperation in its inqu,上海夜生活男人好去处Dalton,iries.

“The House Financial Services and Intelligence Committees are engaged in productive disc,上海夜哪里艳遇Lake,ussions with Deutsche Bank, and look forward to continued cooperation,” said Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and Financial Services Committee Chairman Maxine Waters.

Deutsche Bank s上海夜生活aid it is working with the two committees to “determine the best and most appropriate way of assisting them in their official oversight functions.”

The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

Since U.S. voters on Nov. 6 shifted majority control of the Ho,上海夜网邀请码Larissa,use from the Republicans to the Democrats, Democratic lawmakers have been promising to investigate the first two years of Trump’s administration and possible conflicts of interest presented by his hotel, golf course and other ventures.

A 2018 financial disclosure form showed liabilities for Trump of at least $130 million to Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas, a unit of the German bank. They are for properties including the Trump International Hotel in a former post office in Washington.

The Financial Services Committee has the broadest power to look into Trump’s relationship with Deutsche.

When the Republicans still controlled the House, Waters tried in 2017 to request documents from the bank on its dealings with Trump and his businesses, as well as information about potential Russian money laundering through the bank.

The bank told Congress that privacy laws prevented it from handing over such information without a formal subpoena and committee Republicans ignored Waters’ request. As chairwoman, Waters can now issue subpoenas herself.

Better later: FX options signal more pound strength on Brexit delay…

( ) – Hard Brexit, soft Brexit, no Brexit – or maybe just later Brexit?

Currency options markets appear to signal an increasing bias toward bets that Britain will extend its deadline to leave the European Union, a move seen as bullish for sterling over the short term at least.

Tuesday’s crushing defeat in parliament for Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit proposal leaves her with little leeway to come up with alternatives; nor is there time to call another referendum or elections before March 29, the day Britain is meant ,上海夜玩网论坛Nala,to exit the EU.

The vote outcome therefore skewed risks even more in the direction of “上海夜生活a softer, later Brexit”, Goldman Sachs analysts told clients on Wednesday, a view echoed by many other banks on Wednesday.

May has ruled out extending the Article 50 regulation governing EU members’ departure from the bloc. But markets do not seem to believe she can avoid that now.

Soft Brexit hopes have already lifted sterling well off last year’s lows and traders in currency options — investors’ favored way for many months to protect against a weakening pound — now report growing demand to flip those positions and hedge against further sterling gains over the months ahead instead.

On Wednesday, three-month implied vol — a measure of expected swings in the currency — a contract encompassing the end-March period, dropped to the lowest in more than two months to 11.5 vol — well off 2-1/2-year highs around 15 vol hit in December.

(GRAPHIC: Cable vols – tmsnrt.rs/2AN5h7q)

Some of the decline in implied volatility seen since Tuesday’s vote on 1-to-3 month horizons can probably be attributed to a growing perception that Article 50 will be extended, prompting traders to reduce exposure to broader volatility and raise the possibility of sterling breaking out of the trading ranges it has been stuck in for months.

Brexit optimism has also pushed up sterling risk reversals — a gauge of expectations for a currency’s direction measured by comparing the relative cost of options to buy and to sell the pound. The premium on calls, or options to buy on one-month contracts recently hit seven-month highs.

(GRAPHIC: GBP/USD risk reversals – tmsnrt.rs/2RP2KDu)

Options traders said demand for these call options remained robust. What is more, many of the expiry dates fall well beyond the,上海夜网后花园Talon, end-March deadline and a majority of these would profit if sterling were to trade above $1.35 – about 5 percent higher than current spot levels.

Paul O’Connor, chief investment officer at Janus Henderson, said the company’s multi-asset team was positioned for a sterling bounce, having increased currency hedging on non-sterlin,上海021夜网Ebba,g assets to 50 percent versus one-third toward the end of 2018.

“It’s more about looking to protect against sterling strength in the short term,” he said.

But could it be that investors are being complacent? The possibility of Britain crashing out of the EU without a trade deal on March 29 cannot be dismissed, a development that could easily send sterling to $1.10.

Option markets seem aware of the risks sterling still faces.

While costs to protect against sterling downside have eased off highs, they remain very high on a historical basis – six-month implied vol is currently around 11 percent, well above its long-term average below 8.