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Exclusive: EU considers proposals to exclude Chinese firms from 5G…

BRUSSELS/WARSAW ( ) – The European Union is considering proposals that would effectively amount to a de-facto ban on Huawei Technologies Co. equipment for next-generation mobile networks, four senior EU officials said, adding to mounting international pressure on the world’s largest maker of telecom gear.

While efforts by the EU’s executive are still at the very early stages, and could prove complicated to implement, the move marks a shift in the EU’s stance amid growing security concerns in the West about China.

A move to exclude Chinese firms such as Huawei would likely be welcomed by the United States, which has been trying to prevent American companies from buying Huawei infrastructure equipment and has been pressing allies to do the same. U.S. security experts are concerned the gear could be used by China’s government for espionage – a concern Huawei calls unfounded.

According to the four senior EU officials, one option under consideration by the European Commission is to amend a 2016 cybersecurity law, which requires businesses involved in critical infrastructure to take appropriate security measures.

By amending the definition of critical infrastructure to also include so-called fifth generation mobile networks, the law would effectively prevent EU businesses from using such equipment provided by any country or company suspected of using its equipment for spying or sabotage, the officials said.

Other changes could also be required or made, such as changes to procurement rules, the officials added.

The officials stressed that any changes weren’t about one company only and were prompted by broader national security concerns regarding China.

A Huawei spokeswoman said that “Huawei is open and committed to work with European institutions to develop a cyber security standard for Europe,” and added that the company’s opening of a new cybersecurity center in Brussels in March underlines its commitment to Europe.

“Huawei has a clean track record on cyber security,” the spokesw,上海夜生活群Rachel,oman said. Huawei has denied accusations of spying and sabotage.

The Chinese government denies any intention to spy on the West and has decried a ban on Chinese 5G suppliers in the United States and Australia as unfounded.

China’s Ambassador to the EU, Zhang Ming, took a similar message to a private meeting at the Commission with EU tech commissioner Andrus Ansip on Jan. 29, arguing that Huawei should not be blocked from 5G auctions in Europe, one of the four officials said.

China’s mission to the EU could not be immediately reached for comment.

POTENTIAL SETBACK

The tougher stance reflects growing security concerns in the West about Huawei. Some Western countries, including the US and Australia, have restricted Huawei from accessing next-generation mobile networks and Germany is considering whether to do so.

European telecoms companies are preparing for the 5G technology that promises to link up everything from vehicles to factories at far greater speeds. If such measures were introduced by the EU, it could prove a setback for European efforts to stay competitive in 5G because it would likely lead to delays and extra costs in building out networks.

Deutsche Telekom, Europe’s largest telecoms operator, on Wednesday proposed a series of steps to ensure that Chinese vendors could take part in building Germany’s 5G mobile networks without jeopardizing national security.

According to an internal Commission document reviewed by , the EU s上海夜网hift has been prompted by changes to Chinese intelligence an,上海夜生活论坛Lake,d security laws in recent years. In one example cited in the Commission document, China’s National Intelligence Law states that Chinese “organizations and citizens shall, in accordance with the law, support, cooperate with, and collaborate in national intelligence work.”

That has sparked fears that Chinese companies like Huawei could be asked by the Chinese government to incorporate “backdoors” into their equipment that would allow Beijing access, for spying or sabotage purposes, the EU officials said.

The Commission concluded that there didn’t need to be evidence that China was actually spying before a change in policy was made, according to the document.

Changing EU law isn’t straightforward and such an amendment would need to win approval from EU capita,上海夜玩网论坛Lance,ls. Even with that approval, it could be a year or more before a change to the law was made.

It might also involve the U.S.-led NATO military alliance through coordination with the EU on protecting 5G networks, although discussions are at a very tentative stage, the EU officials and two NATO diplomats said.

Still, the Commission hopes that the process of changing the law would have a chilling effect on business conducted by European countries with Chinese telecom equipment makers, according to one of the EU officials.

WAKE-UP CALL

The four EU officials say a wake-up call was Poland’s arrest of a Chinese employee of Huawei and a former Polish security official on spying allegations earlier this month, which Huawei denies. Warsaw is in close contact with the Commission in Brussels and is pushing the EU to use legislation to exclude companies such as Huawei, according to a senior Polish government source.

China’s Premier Li Keqiang is also expected to raise objections to any EU ban on Chinese equipment with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk at an annual summit in Brussels, which has been brought forward to April 9 at Beijing’s request, the officials said. EU-China summits usually take place in July.

But the EU has also insisted that Li meet Juncker and Tusk in Brussels before he meets central and eastern European leaders in a separate summit later in April. That format of 16 EU and non-EU states is unpopular in Brussels, which sees it as an attempt to divide the European Union.

U.S. wants Western tech to be used instead of Huawei kit

BRUSSELS/PRAGUE ( ) – The United States wants to steer people away from Huawei towards Western products because of its concerns over the security of the Chinese company’s technology, the U.S. envoy to the European Union said on Thursday.

Huawei faces international scrutiny over ,上海夜生活桑拿会所Paisley,its ties with the Chinese government and allegations that Beijing could use Huawei’s technology for spying, which the company denies

However, Gordon Sondland said that there was classified evidence on security breaches by the Chinese firm, saying he had raised the U.S. concerns with EU officials.

“The U.S. is very supportive of the discouraging the purchase of any Chinese digital products that involve potential national security implications and steering people away from Huawei into Western products is our desired outcome,” Sondland told before an event in Brussels.

Huawei is the world’s largest supplier of telecommunications network equipment and second-biggest maker of smartphones. It derives nearly,上海夜网邀请码Tamara, half of its total revenue outside China and its global reach has come under attack from the United States, which is trying to prevent U.S. companies from buying Huawei equipment and is pressing allies to do the same.

U.S. security experts are worried the gear could be used by China for espionage, a concern Huawei says is unfounded

Asked about security issues with Huawei’s products, Sondland said: “There is a lot of evidence, most of it classified.”

Responding to Sondland’s comments, a spokesman for Huawei said it had a proven reputation on cyber security and does not buy all of its materials from China.

“Only one third of materials used to make Huawei products are sourced in China,” the spokesman said in an email.

“The rest are from other parts of the world. In today’s globalised world, all major ICT companies have global supply chains. Huawei has a clean track record on cyber security.”  

DE-FACTO EU BAN?

The EU is considering proposals that would amount to a de-facto ban on Huawei kit for next-gener,上海足浴夜网联系方式Quaid,ation mobile networks, reported on Wednesday.

The United States and Australia are among Western nations that have already restricted Huawei from the 5G mobile networks.

As Huawei comes under increasing pressure in Europe, Czech President Milos Zeman met representatives of the company to discuss cybersecurity and other topics, his spokesman said.

Huawei has been excluded from a Czech tender to build a tax portal after the country’s cyber watchdog warned of possible security threats, documents showed on Wednesday.

“Huawei representatives informed the President about the current state of investment activities and plans for the future. The debate also touched upon cybersecurity. Huawei representatives declared that they complied with rele上海夜网vant standards,” spokesman Jiri Ovcacek said on Twitter.

Zeman, who has long promoted close cooperation with Beijing and has publicly backed Huawei, also plans to meet its chief executive when he visits China in April, Ovcacek said.

Explainer: What are India’s new foreign direct investment rules for…

MUMBAI ( ) – India late last year modified foreign direct investment (FDI) rules for its burgeoning e-commerce sector that has attracted Walmart Inc and Amazon.com Inc, creating new hurdles for both global retail giants.

As a result, both Walmart-owned Flipkart and Amazon are scrambling to reconfigure ownership structures and re-jig some key vendor relationships and agreements before the rules come into effect on Friday.

What is the issue?

At the heart of the problem is India’s view on the two e-commerce models that exist today: marketplace and inventory.

* India allows 100 percent foreign direct investment (FDI) in the marketplace model of e-commerce, which it defines as a tech platform that connects buyers and sellers.

* New Delhi has not allowed FDI in inventory-driven models of e-commerce. The inventory model, which Walmart and Amazon use in the United States, is where the goods and services are owned by an e-commerce firm that sells directly to retail customers.

* The restriction is aimed largely at protecting India’s vast unorganized retail sector that does not have the clout to purchase at scale and offer big discounts.

* It means that Amazon and Flipkart can only operate the marketplace model in India. Both companies have wholesale units that bulk purchase goods and sell them to vendors listed on their platform. These vendors in turn sell to retail customers.

What are the restrictions on controlling inventory?

* Existing regulations state that e-commerce firms cannot exercise ownership over the goods sold on their online marketplace.

* Both Amazon and Flipkart developed complicated seller structures that helped them comply with the inventory control rule while exercising some level of control over inventory.

* Traders and small online sellers have accused Amazon and Flipkart of violating the spirit of the law and of using the structures to offer deep discounts, accusations they deny.

* The new rules state that the inventory of a seller or vendor will be seen as being controlled by a marketplace if the vendor purchases more than 25 percent of its inventory from the marketplace, or any of its group firms.

* The rule would not allow sellers on Flipkart and Amazon to make bulk purchases from the wholesale units of the companies.

* The new regulation replaces a rule that said an e-commerce firm could not permit one vendor’s retail sales to overshoot 25 percent of the overall sales of the marketplace by value in a fiscal year.

What are the equity interest restrictions?

* The rules now bar any entity in which an e-commerce firm or its group companies have a stake from selling on their online platform.

* Thi,上海021夜网Kai,s is a problem for Amazon, which had been picking up stakes in offline Indian retailers to boost its market share.

* The U.S. company’s investment arm owns a 5 percent stake in India,上海夜生活论坛Lake,n department store chain Shopper’s Stop. Through an investment vehicle it also picked up a stake in the More retail chain. Amazon also owns a minority stake in the parent companies of Cloudtail and Appario, even though it does not have a direct stake on either of the two sellers.

What are the other rules?

* The government has also prohibited e-commerce firms from pushing merchants to sell any product exclusively on its platform. The sellers can, however, choose to have a preferred on上海夜生活网line partner.

* Amazon and Flipkart launch products such as smartphones exclusively on their online portals and app,上海新夜网龙凤Caitlin,s. While such arrangements may continue, e-commerce firms are unlikely to use the word “exclusive” anymore and will likely re-negotiate contracts to give brands more freedom to sell elsewhere.

* The new rules also stipulate that an e-commerce marketplace, as well as any companies the marketplace has equity stakes in, should provide services such as fulfillment, logistics and payments to all sellers on the platform in a fair manner.

* Providing such services to one seller and not to others in similar circumstances would be deemed as unfair and discriminatory, according to the rules.

U.S., China take the lead in race for artificial intelligence: U.N.

GENEVA ( ) – China and the United States are ahead of the global competition to dominate artificial intelligence (AI), according to a study by the U.N. World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) published on Thursday.

The stud,上海夜生活桑拿会所Octavia,y found U.S. tech giant IBM had by far the biggest AI patent portfolio, with 8,920 patents, ahead of Microsoft with 5,930 and a group of mainly Japanese tech conglomerates.

China accounted for 17 of the top 20 academic institutions involved in patenting AI and was particularly strong in the fast growing area of “deep learning” – a machine-learning technique that includes speech recognition systems.

“The U.S. and China obviously have stolen a lead. They’re out in front in this area, in terms of numbers of applications, and in scientific publications,” WIPO Director-General Francis Gurry told a news conference.

U.S. President Donald Trump has accused China of,上海夜生活男人好去处Barney, stealing American innovations and technology and has slapped trade tariffs on $234 billion of Chinese goods to punish Beijing.

China said in December it resolutely opposed “slanderous” accusations from the United States and other allies criticizing China for economic espionage and stealing intellectual property and company secrets.

Gurry acknowledged there were accusations about China’s behavior but there was no doubt it had embraced the global intellectual property system, with the world’s largest patent office and the largest number of domestic patent applications.

“They are serious players in the field of intellectual property,” he said.

The WIPO study analyzed international patent filings, scientific publications, litigation filings and acquisition activity, and found there had been as many patent applications for AI since 2013 as in the half century since the term was coined in the 1950s.

Patent applications in machine learning, which includes techniques used by ride-sharing services to minimize detours, averaged annual growth of 28 percent between 2013 and 2016, the last year for which data is available, because of an 18-month period befo,上海会所夜网Kaiden,re confidential applications are publicly disclosed.

Much of that growth came from deep learning, which overtook robotics as it ballooned from 118 patent applications in 2013 to 2,399 in 2016.

The single most popular AI application was computer vision, used in self-driving cars, and mentioned in 49 percent of all AI-related patents.

The study showed how technolo上海夜生活论坛gy had followed science, Gurry said, with the 2013 boom in technological applications coming 10 years after a similar surge in scientific publications.

However, the world did not have any reliable way of measuring the quality of patent applications.

“If you did, you wouldn’t need a venture capital industry,” he said.

Take Five: Time for a break? World markets themes for the week ahead

LONDON ( ) – Following are five big themes likely to dominate thinking of investors and traders in the coming week and the stories related to them.

AND SO BEGINS THE PAUSE

The U.S. Federal Reserve convenes its first monetary policy meeting of 2019 after hiking rates for a fifth time in as many quarters in December. But while it has forecast two more hikes for 2019, the darkening global economic outlook, convulsing stock markets and a record-long government shutdown are clouding the policy picture.

Now, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is preaching “patience” with regard to future rate increases, and he’s been joined by two other governors and all 12 Fed regional bank presidents.

But what happens after such a pause? Interest rate futures markets currently assign a roughly 20 percent probability for a move above the current 2.25-2.50 percent range for the fed funds target rate at any 2019 meeting. A year from now, a rate cut is almost as probable as a rate hike.

Most previous Fed pauses are associated with the end of a cycle and followed by a change in policy direction. Yet the current tightening cycle and previous two easing phases have featured mid-cycle pauses.

So how rare would a rate hike resumption be after this newest holding period? In both the 2000-2003 and 2007-2009 cutting cycles, the Fed took at least one hiatus of six months or longer and resumed cuts later. In the present one, they’ve managed extended pauses twice since this cycle’s first December 2015 hike. A full year lapsed between the first and second hike; six months between hikes four and five.

OH CHINA, WHERE ART THOU?

Alarm bells from the International Monetary Fun,上海新夜网龙凤Paisley,d (IMF) are still ringing in investors’ ears, after the Fund cut global growth forecasts, warning in particular that failure to resolve trade tensions could further destabilise the world economy. So markets will focus on Chinese manufacturing data due on Thursday and Friday to glean how the world’s number two economy is faring.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will also head to the United States on Wednesday and Thursday – with a 30-member delegation – for the next round of trade negotiations. There are reasons to be hopeful of some kind of agreement even if U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the two sides were “miles and miles” from resolving their trade issues. He did after all admit there was a fair chance of a deal, eventually.

So far there is little clarity on how bad it could get, for China’s and for the world economy and how much stimulus Beijing may be happy to provide this time round. China’s obsession with market stability and the quality of credit growth adds to that challenge.

PLAN B FOR BREXIT

Another week, another vote. On Jan 29, Britain’s parliament will debate Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposed next Brexit steps as well as alternative plans put forward by lawmakers, including some that seek to delay Britain’s March 29 exit from the EU.

Parliament won’t be asked to vote to approve a revised Brexit deal and given the crushing margin by which May’s ‘plan A’ was defeated just a week ago, that’s just as well. Greater focus though is on averting a No-deal Brexit – a scenario in which the UK crashes out of the EU with no trade agreement. That looks achievable. The opposition and many ruling party members will likely back an amendment providing for a nine-month extension to Brexit should a deal not be agreed by Feb. 26.

Meanwhile warnings against no-deal Brexit are coming in thick and fast from finance,夜上海论坛Gabriel, minister Philip Hammond as well as companies such as Ford, Jaguar-Land Rover, Goldman Sachs and Airbus. Markets are trading accordingly – sterling has just has enjoyed its best week since Sept 2017 against the dollar. Analysts reckon if May’s deal or the amendment delaying Brexit pass, sterling could rally another 5-10 percent.

That may sound overly optimistic, given the challenges the UK economy will still face. Risks are finely balanced though: Remember, investors have taken off some option hedges they had put on to guard against sterling downside. If the possibility of no-deal raises its 上海夜网head again, they may have to scurry back to safety.

TORRID TECH TIMES?

Results from Apple (AAPL.O) on Tuesday and Microsoft (MSFT.O) on Wednesday will be high on the agenda as global tech struggles to recover from a tumultuous end of 2018 that saw tumbling shares and sharp downgrades to earnings expectations.

The updates from the two U.S. giants follows a string of dour numbers from chipmakers across the globe, signaling more gloom in coming months for the once-high-flying sector.

A slowdown in China is one of the top risks with firms ranging from South Korea’s SK Hynix (000660.KS) to Texas Instruments (TXN.O) flagging weakness in the world’s second largest economy as a bitter trade war with Washington rages on.

In the past two years, earnings growth exceeded 15 percent. Now expectations for 2019 growth in global tech have plunged to less than 2 percent from more than 10 percent seen a few months ago, illustrating the woes facing the industry.

But there’s also a glimmer of hope. An upbeat forecast from chipmaker STMicro (STM.MI) for the second half gave a boost to a sector where a lot of negativity has already been priced in and less demanding valuations provide a cushion to selling pressure.

WINDS OF CHANGE

Venezuela is likely to stay in the headlines, given opposition leader Juan Guaido has declared himself interim head o,上海夜生活群Daisy,f state in the Latin American country and received swift backing from many of his compatriots, the United States, Canada and several Latin American governments, including Brazil and Colombia.

Many in Venezuela, ruled by President Nicolas Maduro since 2013, will be hoping a power handover of some kind may lift the country out of its worst ever economic crisis. Despite the world’s largest crude reserves, its population is suffering from food and medicine shortages; hyperinflation could reach 10 million percent this year.

The events have also lifted prices in defaulted debt issued by the government and state oil company PDVSA, with many bondholders hoping they will see payday sooner than they had expected. Oil prices too inched higher on signs U.S. sanctions against Maduro may further cut Venezuelan crude output

But if Washington and the West are backing Guaido, Maduro too has his supporters, Russia in particular. It has offered to mediate between him and Guaido and slammed what it called U.S. efforts to effect regime change in Venezuela.

Halliburton shares fall as North America lags

( ) – Shares of oilfield firm Halliburton Co (HAL.N) fell sharply on Tuesday after the company forecast lower revenues in key business areas in the first quarter, overshadowing a quarterly profit beat and a pledge to reduce 2019 spending.

Clients in North America, Halliburton’s biggest market by revenue, began pulling back on some drilling services last year amid transportation bottlenecks in the largest U.S. production region and after oil prices slid sharply in the fourth quarter.

An oil glut and concerns about a global economic slowdown have pushed U.S. crude futures CLc1 down about 30 percent since October to around $53 a barrel.

The company anticipates mid- to high-single-digit revenue declines in its Completion and Production and its Drilling and Evaluation divisions next quarter.

Halliburton said it will reduce its 2019 capital spending budget by nearly 20 percent to $1.6 billion. Further reductions could be made if market conditions erode, executives said on the company’s fourth quarter earnings call.

Last week, rival Schlumberger (SLB.N) also said it would spend less in 2019, a move that helped bump its shares more than 6 percent.

Shares of Halliburton were down 6.4 percent at $30.15 on Tuesday.

Investors were surprised by the extent to which the North American market was continuing to face down,上海夜玩网论坛Rae,ward pressure in the first quarter, Edward Muztafago, director of equity research for Societe Generale, said of the share decline.

Although Halliburton beat profit expectations, Wall Street analysts questioned Chief Executive Officer Jeff Miller during the call on the lack of investor returns from the oilfield service sector, which has struggled t,上海夜生活网交流Qirin,o recover from the 2014 downturn in oil prices. Halliburton’s share price in December fell to its lowest level since 2010.

Houston-based Halliburton said revenue from North America fell about 2 percent to $3.3 billion from a year earlier and dropped 11 percent from the third quarter.

International r上海夜生活evenue rose to $2.6 billion from $2.5 billion a year earlier. It rose 7 percent from the third quarter.

“In North America, the demand for completions services decreased during the fourth quarter, leading to lower pricing for hydraulic fracturing services,” Miller said in a statement.

The number of active hydraulic fracturing fleets in the Permian basin fell to 140 in January, versus 192 in June of 2018, a 27 percent decline, according to data from consultancy Primary Vision. ,上海高端夜生活在那里Tallulah,

Halliburton’s international business “continues to show signs of a steady recovery,” Miller added. The company saw an increase in demand for services in Argentina, which help offset some lower activity in North America.

Halliburton said net income attributable to the company was $664 million, or 76 cents per share, for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with a loss of $824 million or 94 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned 41 cents per share, beating analysts’ estimates of 37 cents per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Fourth-quarter revenue was largely flat at $5.94 billion.

Mercedes-Benz to ramp up business with China auto suppliers

STUTTGART ( ) – Daimler AG will deepen partnerships with Chinese auto suppliers since they often lead United States and European rivals in key technologies for electric cars and connected vehicles, Mercedes-Benz executive Wilko Stark said on Thursday.

Stark, who is currently head of Procurement and Supplier Quality at Mercedes-Benz said the shift toward electric and connected cars has made it more dependent on battery cell chemistry and connected vehicles expertise from outsi,上海夜生活网419Ebba,de the company.

“We will think about partnerships in some areas. The role of partnerships as a whole will gain in importance,” Stark said during a news conference in Stuttgart to discuss the German carmaker’s procurement strategy.

Mercedes-Benz will rely more on its suppliers to take a leading role in the area of research and development as well as to identify cost-cutting potential through process optimization, Stark said.

“We will intensify scouting of Chinese suppliers. China is more advanced than the United States in many areas of digital innovation,” Stark said on Thursday.

“China will dramatically increase in importance,” Stark said referring to the raft of suppliers that Mercedes-Benz does business with.

China, a market where the luxury passenger car brand sold 674,125 cars last year, is setting the pace in terms of rolling ,上海夜生活去哪玩Naia,out electric mobility and digital services like mobile phone-based payment systems, giving local suppliers an edge over European and United States competitors, Stark said.

“In the area of connectivity services, the Chinese are ahead,上海夜生活论坛Jace, of the Americans; we have no choice but to deepen our relationship with these suppliers,” he said, naming China’s Alibaba and Tencent as leading players.

Daimler is also thinking about a broader alliance on batteries in view of the challenge of trying to police potential ethical or human rights violations in mining of rare earth minerals – such as cobalt, which is often found in conflict zones, but is needed for electric car batteries.

“But there are no formal decisions in this area,” Stark added.

Mercedes is also scouting suppliers for innovations to see whether the German carmaker could make use of a more compact, lighter electric vehicle battery.

Stark noted that denser, cheaper batteries with shorter recharging times could also allow Mercedes to bring down the cost of electric cars closer to their equivalent combustion-engined variants.

“Overall volume and weight are as important as energy density,” Stark said, referring to battery cells.

By bundling orders for components for conventional and electric vehicles with the same supplier, Mercedes-Benz hopes to help its supplier base manage the transition between electric and non-electric cars.

Separately, Stark said the replacement of Carlos G上海夜网hosn as Renault chairman will have no impact on an alliance between Renault and Mercedes.

“We have a relatively stable cooperation and supply agreement with Renault-Nissan. This supply relationship is stable and will remain unchanged,” Stark said.

Renault on Thursday appointed Michelin boss Jean-Dominique Senard as its new chairman after Carlos Ghosn was forced to resign in the wake of a financial scandal that has rocked the French carmaker and its partner Nissan.

Disappointing factory activity threatens global growth

LONDON/HONG KONG ( ) – Factory activity was at its weakest in years across much of the world during January, adding to worries trade tariffs, political uncertainty and cooling demand poses an increasing threat to global growth.

Weak Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) readings reinforce expectations central banks will put any further interest rate hikes on hold this year and fuel expectations a global economic slowdown is underway, as highlighted in a poll last month.

Trade-focused Asia appears to be suffering the most visible loss of momentum so far, with activity shrinking in China, although European economies are stuck in low ge,上海高端夜生活在那里Gabi,ar and many emerging markets are sputtering.

The euro zone has been rocked by protests in France, an auto sector struggling to regain momentum, political strife and rising trade protectionism.

Manufacturing growth in the bloc was minimal last month, at a four-year low, and forward looking indicators suggest there will be no turnaround soon. [EUR/PMIM]

Germany’s manufacturing sector contracted for the first time in more than four years as Europe’s powerhouse was hit by trade tensions although activity in France rebounded, helped by jobs growth.

British factories are scrambling to stockpile goods at the fastest rate since records began in the early 1990s as they brace for a potentially chaotic Brexit in less than two months’ time. Yet growth was weaker than expected and optimism waned. [GB/PMIM]

Last week, the International Monetary Fund cut its world growth forecasts for this year and next and said failure to resolve protectionism could further destabilize the slowing global economy.

“Unfortunately, the situation still looks set to get worse first. We have to brace ourselves for an ongoing string of weak economic data driven by, but not confined to, much weaker global trade,” said Holger Schmieding, chief economist at Berenberg.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Federal Reserve signaled its three-year-drive to tighten monetary policy may be at an end amid a suddenly cloudy outlook for the U.S. economy.

In some countries there is even chatter about potential rate cuts.

Beijing is under pressure to come up with more stimulus measures and find common ground with the United States to prevent their trade war from escalating.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping soon to try and seal a comprehensive trade deal as Trump and his top trade negotiator both cited substantial progress in two days of high-level talks.,上海夜生活去哪玩Dakota,

Trump, speaking at the White House during a meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, said he was optimistic the world’s two largest economies could reach “the biggest deal ever made.”

“A lot depends on whether the U.S. and China come to a reasonable deal. Then we can actually avert this potential trade recession, but at the moment it’s all tentative,” said Irene Cheung, Asia strategist at ANZ.

Global shares crept lower from their highest levels in two ,上海夜生活乌托邦Babette,months on Friday after the weak data threw a wet blanket on a rally that took them to their best January on record.

TAKE A BREAK

China’s factory activity shrank the most in almost three years in January as new orders slumped further and output fell, the private Caixin/Markit PMI survey showed. The numbers were weaker than Thursday’s official PMI survey, but both suggested the economy is continuing to slow.

However, veteran China watchers typically advise taking its data early in the year with a pinch of salt, suspecting the trends may be distorted by the timing of the Lunar New Year holidays.

Many firms scale back operations or close for long periods around the holidays, which begin on Feb. 4 this year. Still, workers, business owners and labor activists have told companies are shutting earlier than usual as the trade war bites, with some likely to close for good.

Spreading beyond manufacturing, the global impact of China’s slowdown means cost-conscious Chinese tourists will chose destinations closer to home for the week off, rather than more expensive trips further afield.

“The global outlook is a bit more at risk from China today tha上海夜生活论坛n it was, say, two or three years ago,” said Sonal Desai, chief investment officer at Franklin Templeton Fixed Income.

Japan’s factory activity was the slowest in 29 months, with weakening exports and output suggesting it could soon fall into contraction. Manufacturers in the world’s No.3 economy are facing both falling exports and a likely slump in domestic demand when the country’s sales tax is hiked in October.

Freight rates for dry-bulk and container ships, carriers of most of the world’s raw materials and finished goods, have plunged over the last six months.

But not all PMI surveys were gloomy. In India, which relies more on domestic demand, factory activity accelerated. And it was still in moderate expansion territory in Vietnam, Philippines and Thailand.

(Asia policy rates: tmsnrt.rs/1U5hc2W_

(Graphic: China’s economic trends – tmsnrt.rs/2iO9Q6a)

(Graphic: Major items among $200 bln of Chinese goods hit by U.S. tariffs (announced Sept) – tmsnrt.rs/2HGBgfj)

(Graphic: Major items among $16 bln of Chinese goods hit by U.S. tariffs (Aug)- tmsnrt.rs/2HFiipx

(Graphic: Major items among $34 bln of Chinese goods hit by U.S. tariffs (July) – tmsnrt.rs/2HG2Rxj)

Democrats flex muscles as Congress confronts a government shutdown

WASHINGTON ( ) – Democrats have a rare chance to win major concessions in a U.S. Congress they do not control by taking advantage of a battle within the Republican Party over keeping the government open.

With a Friday deadline looming when most funding for federal agencies runs out, Democrats finally have some clout. But their power is strongest while the Republicans in Congress remain fractured and fighting.

The showdown with Republicans could come to a head on Thursday when Democrats are expected to press their demands to President Donald Trump at a White House meeting.

For Trump, the complex, and very public, battle over the shutdown will also be a demonstration of his ability to deliver on a central 2016 campaign promise of adding billions of dollars to the U.S. military budget. That issue is at the core of Republicans’ behind-the-scenes negotiations with Democrats.

Most Republicans want a defense buildup. But many also want to limit government spending. While many Democrats also support bolstering defense, they insist on raising spending on non-defense programs too.

Democrats’ top two demands include passage of legislation that has eluded them for 16 years: protecting from deportation nearly 700,000 young people known as “Dreamers,” whose parents brought them illegally to the United States as children.

The Democrats also want to shore up Obamacare by reversing Trump’s decision to stop monthly subsidy payments to insurance companies offering healthcare policies to lower-income people.

Democrats will enter the White House meeting knowing their support is crucial to Senate Republicans passing any spending bills. Republicans control the chamber by 52-48, but need 60 vote for passage of most spending measures.

While a partial government shutdown would keep emergency services and the military mainly operating, thousands of operations would be suspended, such as the operation of national parks.

Republicans have clear control of the House of Representatives. But a core of conservative Republicans who consistently vote against funding bills in their drive for smaller government could balk. Democrats have a history of strongly supporting stopgap funding bills, providing the cushion for victory in the Republican House.

Conservative Republicans said on Tuesday they would try to pass temporary spending bills without House Democrats’ support. If so, it is unclear whether such a bill could clear the Senate, where Democratic votes are necessary to pass most bills.

WHICH TRUMP?

There is another wild card for both parties in Thursday’s meeting: Trump. Democrats will test the unpredictable president to see whether he is willing to go the bipartisan route in order to keep federal agencies running smoothly or whether he will be in a confrontational mood.

In May, angry he did not win money to build his promised wall along the border with Mexico, Trump said the United States needed a “good shutdown” to force his agenda on Congress. Just last week, he wrote on Twitter about the spending bills: “I don’t see a deal.”

Democrats are counting on the bipartisan Trump showing up, betting that he and fellow Republicans in Congress do not want to leave the immigration legislation, popularly known as the Dreamers Act, to fester until a March deadline, so close to the 2018 congressional election season.

Chuck Schumer, Senate minority leader, and Nancy Pelosi, House minority leader, are calculating that voters’ wrath would rain down on Republicans if the government lights go out.

Republi上海夜生活论坛cans would blame Democrats. At a news conference last Thursday, House Speaker Paul Ryan said that if Democrats vote against the temporary spending bill because they have not won their demands, “then they will have chosen to shut the government down.”

Republicans already are trying to exploit possible differences among Democrats over whether to link support for the stopgap spending bill to the immigration measure.

Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein said she expected Democrats to vote for the government funding bill this week, telling in an interview th,上海新夜网龙凤Idaleen,at while it “is important to all of us” to take care of the Dreamer,上海夜生活网419Sabina,s, “I don’t think we should shut the government down.”

Senator Dick Durbin, the chamber’s No. 2 Democrat, told the Washington Post last week he would oppose any spending bill if Congress had not first taken care of the Dreamers.

On Tuesday, Schumer noted there were “good negotiations” under way on the immigration measure.

This week’s vote to keep the government operating on temporary funding is likely to be the first of a three-step process that cou,上海夜网Ebba,ld stretch to Jan. 31.

A second step would be another short-term funding bill, followed by one to fund the government through the fiscal year ending Sept. 30.

Toyota Motor aims to boost sales in China by 8 percent this year

BEIJING ( ) – Toyota Motor Corp aims to raise vehicle sales in China by 8 percent to 1.6 million this year, the Japanese automaker said on ,上海夜生活怎么玩Nadine,Friday.

Toyota sold 1.47 million vehicles in China last year, up 14.3 percent from 2017.

Toyota’s forecast comes at a time when automa,上海夜生活网419Octavien,kers in China in general are bracing for a tough year after weakness in sales emerged last year.

China’s Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) this month said it expects sales to show no growth, forecasting flat sales of 28.1 million vehicles for 2019. Other government and industry bodies see a 0-2 percent growth in overall demand.

China’s automotive market last year contracted fo上海夜网r the first time since the 1990s.

Despite the slowdown in the overall market, sales by Japanese companies especially Toyota remain strong.

Last year China and Japan pledged to forge closer ties during a three-day visit in October to Beijing by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, signing a broad range of agreements including a $30 billion currency s,上海夜生活桑拿会所Idaia,wap pact, amid rising trade tensions with Washington.

During Abe’s visit Chinese President Xi Jinping said bilateral ties had returned to the right track and China would ensure that the positive momentum continues, state media reported.

Airbus threatens to shift work if Britain leaves EU with no deal

PARIS ( ) – Airbus warned on Thursday it could shift future wing-building out of Britain in the absence of a smooth exit from the European Union, predicting “potentially very harmful decisions” for its British operations in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.

In a direct appeal to Britain’s divided parliament to avoid a disorderly divorce, Chief Executive Tom Enders issued his sharpest warning yet that future jobs are at risk and branded the lack of clarity for businesses as a “disgrace”.

“The UK’s aerospace sector now stands at the precipice,” Enders said in a video released on Airbus’ website. bit.ly/2Hs0D4g

“If there is a no-deal Brexit, we at Airbus will have to make potentially very harmful decisions for,上海夜哪里艳遇Falkner, the UK.”

The world’s second-largest aerospace group em上海夜网ploys 14,000 people in Britain, including 6,000 at its main wings factory at Broughton, Wales, and 3,000 in Filton, western England, where wings are des,上海夜生活怎么玩Babette,igned and supported.

Some eurosceptic UK lawmakers have accused Airbus and others of scare-mongering and cast doubt on whether the planemaker would move efficient operations out of Britain.

German-born Enders insisted Airbus was not bluffing.

Related CoverageMay is working to secure a Brexit deal – spokesmanBarclay says takes Airbus ‘no deal’ warning seriously

“Please don’t listen to the Brexiteers’ madness which asserts that, because we have huge plants here, we will not move and we will always be here. They are wrong,” he said.

“Of course, it is not possible to pick up and move our large UK factories to other parts of the world immediately. However, aerospace is a long-term business and we could be forced to re-direct future investments in the event of a no-deal Brexit. And make no mistake there are plenty of countries out there who would love to build the wings for Airbus aircraft.”

Asked about the Airbus warning, British Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman said she was working to secure a deal to ensure a smooth departure from the EU.

COMPETITION FOR WING MANUFACTURING

Industry experts say Airbus has no all-new civil airplane projects on the drawing board, but has begun working on basic wing technology for a successor to its best-selling A320 narrow-body series, expected to enter service from about 2030.

That means any decision to shift wing production for new projects would have to be taken next decade. Other Airbus host states like Germany are vying for investment but executives say Japan, China or South Korea, or the United States where the group has a growing industrial footprint, could also be considered.

Enders’ comments come on the heels of plans by two firms, Dyson and Sony, to relocate global or regional headquarters out of the UK.,上海凤楼夜网Tamara, Other business groups have also voiced concern over the government’s refusal to rule out a ‘no-deal’ Brexit if it cannot win parliamentary support for its preferred withdrawal plan.

However, the chief executive of another major aerospace company, France’s Thales, which is one of Britain’s top defence suppliers, told that Brexit should be “manageable”.

Speaking during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, British finance minister Philip Hammond told business leaders that staying in the EU would betray the result of a 2016 referendum but that no deal would hit prosperity and risk fuelling populism.

Senate’s Trump-Russia probe not close to ending: top Democrat

WASHINGTON ( ) – The Senate Intelligence Committee probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 election is nowhere near over, as lawmakers probe issues including a June 2016 meeting between top aides to then-Republican candidate Donald Trump and a Russian lawyer, the panel’s top Democrat indicated on Friday.

Senator Mark Warner said committee staff have interviewed everyone at the meeting, where President Trump’s son Donald Jr. expected to be given derogatory information about Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, with the exception of “one or two individuals who are Russian.”

“But I feel very strongly that you can’t, you could never conclude without the senators themselves being able to talk to the principals involved,” Warner said. “We have not gotten there yet.”

Warner, in an interview with , said the Senate investigation has made progress on several fronts.

It has, he said, “re-validated” a Jan. 6, 2017, U.S. intelligence assessment that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign aimed at the 2016 presidential election, with the goal of undermining Americans’ trust in their institutions and denigrating Clinton.

In an effort that has been “frustratingly slow,” Warner said, the investigation also prompted the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to warn 21 U.S. states whose election systems were the subject of tampering attempts by Moscow.

“DHS has upped its game. The state election officials上海夜生活网 have upped their game. And I think we are – not as fast as I’d like – but I think electoral systems are going to be on better guard” for congressional elections in November this year, Warner said.

Warner and fellow Democrats have worked c,上海夜生活网419Barney,losely with the Senate panel’s Republican chairman, Senator Richard Burr. The bipartisanship contrasts with a parallel investigation by the House Intelligence Committee, where inter-party feuds have imperiled the effort, and may lead committee Republicans and Democrats to issue competing reports.

In the interview, Warner repeated a warning that he made in a Dec. 20 Senate floor speech that any move by Trump aimed at firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller would provoke a “constitutional crisis.”

Mueller is conducting a criminal probe of whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, something the White House denies. Two Trump campaign associates, former national security adviser Michael Flynn and aide George Papadopoulos, have pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in Mueller’s probe.

Warner said his concern that Trump might take a step to dismiss Mueller was confirmed by news reports on Thursday detailing steps the president reportedly took to blunt the Russia investigation.

Trump, the reports said, ordered White House counsel Donald McGahn to convince Attorney General Jeff Sessions not to re,上海夜生活桑拿会所Dallas,cuse himself from the Justice Department’s Russia probe, so Sessions could remain in charge of it. Sessions recused himself anyway.

“If true, it’s one more example of this president’s unusual be,上海新夜网龙凤Gabi,havior,” the senator said.

“And it’s one of the reasons why I don’t take as absolute the White House’s assurances, ‘oh no, we have no plans’” to fire Mueller. “Because clearly this is based upon the president’s actions on a variety of topics – things can change on a dime.”

Tesco cost cuts put 9,000 UK jobs at risk

LONDON ( ) – Tesco, Britain’s biggest retailer, could ax 9,000 jobs in its UK stores and head offic上海夜生活网e with its latest move to simplify operations and achieve targeted cost savings.

It estimated that half of that number of workers could be found alternative roles across the business, limiting the impact on staff.

Tesco, Britain’s biggest private sector employer with a staff of over 300,000, said the main change in its stores would be to its fresh meat, fish and delicatessen counters. It expects to close counters in about 90 stores, with the remaining 700 trading with either what it called “a full or flexible counter.”

Tesco’s move shows its operation diverging from rivals such as No. 4 player Morrisons, which emphasizes its army of trained butchers, fishmongers and other specialists who prepare food in-store.

Tesco said that contrary to media reports it did not plan to make any changes to its in-store bakeries this year.

But it said it did require fewer staff for stock control, merchandising and at its head office.

Those employed by third party caterers serving hot food in Tesco staff rooms would also lose their jobs as the retailer cuts that se,上海夜生活论坛Daisy,rvice.

All of Britain’s big four food retailers – including No. 2 Sainsbury’s and No. 3 Asda who want to combine – are chasing efficiency savings to fund price cuts so they can better compete with discounters Aldi and Lidl, who are still winning market share.

Tesco set out a plan in October 2016 to reduce operating costs by 1.5 billion pounds ($2 billion) over three years through efficiencies in its di,上海新夜网龙凤Larissa,stribution network and stores and from procurement savings.

It needs the cost savings to help achieve its target of a group operating margin of 3.5 percent to 4.0 percent by the 2019-20 financial year, up from 2.9 percent in 2017-18.

Bernstein analyst Bruno Monteyne estimated the cost savings of Tesco’s latest program to be 150 million to 170 million pounds a year, with a 50 million pounds restructuring charge taken in the 2018-19 accounts.

He reckons 70 percent of the benefits will be felt in 2019-20, leaving further margin upside for 2020-21.

“Anybody doubting the Tesco ,上海足浴夜网联系方式Kaiden,margin recovery should think again,” he said.

Shares in Tesco, up 5 percent over the last year, were down 1.5 percent at 1535 GMT.

($1 = 0.7601 pounds)