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Apple Makes Plans to Move Production Out of China
  + stars: | 2022-12-03 | by ( Yang Jie | Aaron Tilley | )   time to read: 1 min
In recent weeks, Apple Inc. has accelerated plans to shift some of its production outside China, long the dominant country in the supply chain that built the world’s most valuable company, say people involved in the discussions. It is telling suppliers to plan more actively for assembling Apple products elsewhere in Asia, particularly India and Vietnam, they say, and looking to reduce dependence on Taiwanese assemblers led by Foxconn Technology Group. Turmoil at a place called iPhone City helped propel Apple’s shift. At the giant city-within-a-city in Zhengzhou, China, as many as 300,000 workers work at a factory run by Foxconn to make iPhones and other Apple products. At one point, it alone made about 85% of the Pro lineup of iPhones, according to market-research firm Counterpoint Research.
Mexico, U.S. plan pitch by early 2023 to lure firms from abroad
  + stars: | 2022-12-03 | by ( )   time to read: +1 min
[1/2] Mexico's economy Minister Raquel Buenrostro smiles during an event with business association representatives to discuss targets for "Black Friday" shopping season, in Mexico City, Mexico, October 19, 2022. REUTERS/Edgard GarridoMEXICO CITY, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Mexican Economy Minister Raquel Buenrostro and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo on Friday agreed to set out a plan by early 2023 for the relocation of companies from Asia to North America, Mexico's government said. On Thursday, Buenrostro discussed efforts to resolve a bilateral spat over Mexico's energy policies with U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai. Tai also stressed the importance of avoiding disruptions in U.S. corn exports to Mexico. Reporting by Mexico City Newsroom Editing by Dave Graham and Cynthia OstermanOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
[1/2] Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese attends the APEC Leader's Dialogue with APEC Business Advisory Council during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, Friday, Nov. 18, 2022, in Bangkok, Thailand. The group, which includes Australia's governing Labor Party and opposition Liberal-National coalition MPs, will fly to Taiwan on Sunday and is the first delegation of its type to visit there since 2019, The Australian newspaper reported on Saturday. Albanese on Saturday described the trip as a "backbench" visit to Taiwan, not a government-led one. "There remains a bipartisan position when it comes to China and when it comes to support for the status quo on Taiwan," Albanese told reporters in the town of Renmark, in South Australia state. The group will reportedly meet with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, with the visit having support from Taiwan's foreign ministry.
Unless Collective T-shirts Courtesy Unless CollectiveNo "forever materials"While companies like Adidas and Nike have pledged to use more recycled polyester this decade, Liedtke said Unless Collective doesn't use any polyester in its products. At end-of-life, a tag sewn inside each Unless Collective product gives directions on how to return it. The company's working with an industrial composter in California that can make "nutrient rich soil" out of the company's old hoodies and T-shirts. Like other plant-based apparel companies, Unless Collective has had to completely rethink its supply chain. Instead of relying on factories in Asia, Unless Collective manufactures its jackets in Portugal, T-shirts in the Carolinas in the US, and hoodies in Los Angeles.
[1/3] Police officers stand guard near the barricades during a protest rally by the supporters of the proposed Vizhinjam port project in the southern state of Kerala, India, November 30, 2022. The local fishing community, led by Catholic priests, has blocked construction of Vizhinjam port by Adani Group for almost four months, erecting a makeshift shelter at the port's entrance. The protesters say the huge project causes coastal erosion that has undermined their livelihoods, calling for a complete halt on the construction. "We want to complete the port project no matter what. "The possibilities being opened up by Vizhinjam port are unmatched by any other in India," Devarkovil said.
A top state security body meanwhile said that 200 people, including members of the security forces, had lost their lives in the unrest, a figure significantly lower than that given by the world body and rights groups. Amirali Hajizadeh, a senior Revolutionary Guards commander was quoted as saying on Monday that 300 people, including security force members, had been killed in the recent unrest. Javaid Rehman, a U.N.-appointed independent expert on Iran, said on Tuesday that more than 300 people had been killed in the protests, including more than 40 children. Rights group HRANA said that as of Friday 469 protesters had been killed, including 64 minors. "The people's protest has shown that the policies of the last 43 years have reached a dead end," he said in late November.
Each new B-21 is pegged at roughly $729.25 million, and the U.S. Air Force expects to procure at least 100 of them. Factoring in inflation, it’s half the price of the exorbitantly expensive B-2 stealth bomber it’s meant to replace. Factoring in inflation, it’s half the price of the exorbitantly expensive B-2 stealth bomber it’s meant to replace. (China’s military grasps the benefit of long-range stealth bombers in the Pacific context and is developing its own Raider-like stealth bomber intended to expand its strike range.) That isn’t to say the Raider program should be written a blank check.
WASHINGTON—Four leading Chinese solar-cell manufacturers circumvented U.S. tariffs by routing some of their operations through Southeast Asia, a Commerce Department investigation found, according to people familiar with it. The preliminary findings from the closely watched probe—expected to be unveiled Friday—are likely to accelerate importers’ race to find alternative sources either domestically or from other places abroad to meet soaring demand for solar panels.
WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERSWASHINGTON, Dec 2 (Reuters) - The United States on Friday designated China, Iran and Russia, among others, as countries of particular concern under the Religious Freedom Act over severe violations, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said. Blinken in a statement said those designated as countries of particular concern - which also include North Korea and Myanmar - engaged in or tolerated severe violations of religious freedom. The United States has expressed grave concerns about human rights in the western Chinese region of Xinjiang, which is home to 10 million Uyghurs. The other countries designated as countries of particular concern were Cuba, Eritrea, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. Religious Freedom Act of 1998 requires the president – who assigns the function to the secretary of State – to designate as countries of particular concern states that are deemed to violate religious freedom on a systematic and ongoing basis.
SummarySummary Companies G10 central banks deliver 350 bps of rate hikes last monthEmerging central banks tightened policy by 400 bpsHiking cycle coming to an end in many developing economiesLONDON, Dec 2 (Reuters) - The pace and scale of rate hikes delivered by central banks in November picked up speed again as policy makers around the globe battle decade high inflation. Central banks overseeing six of the 10 most heavily traded currencies delivered 350 basis points (bps) of rate hikes between them last month. The European Central Bank, the Bank of Canada, the Swiss National Bank and the Bank of Japan did not hold rate setting meetings in November. The latest moves have brought total rate hikes in 2022 from G10 central banks to 2,400 bps. "Central banks' determination to bring down inflation suggests that policy rates need to go higher still."
Share Share Article via Facebook Share Article via Twitter Share Article via LinkedIn Share Article via EmailInvestments are moving toward the fusion of financial and ESG metrics, Goldman Sachs saysSharmini Chetwode of Goldman Sachs discusses sustainability efforts in Asia and says investors are "really looking to credentialize what is in their portfolios."
A lawyer representing laid-off Twitter staff sent a fiery letter to Elon Musk's lawyer, Alex Spiro. Cohen tweeted that he hoped Musk would do the right thing, otherwise "it'll be fun as hell." He accused the world's richest person of "attempting to tap-dance your way out of Twitter's binding obligations to its employees." "If you don't unequivocally confirm by Wednesday, December 7 that you intend to provide our clients with the full severance Twitter promised them, we will commence an arbitration campaign on their behalf," Cohen said. Musk now stands accused by some former Twitter staff of failing to provide the severance package they were promised, as alleged in a previous lawsuit.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan (.MIAPJ0000PUS) lost 0.2% in early trade. Nonetheless, the index is set to rise 4.2% for the week, hovering around the highest level since September. "I think the rally can probably continue but in the short-term the payrolls are the one to watch closely." The Euro hit a fresh five-month high at $1.0539 while the Japanese yen also scaled a new three-month high against the U.S. dollar. The Aussie dollar dipped slightly to $0.6796, after blowing past major resistance at 68 cents in the previous session, on Fed pivot hopes and China easing its zero-COVID policy.
Looking ahead to 2023, one of the main variables will be the ceiling G7 countries and the EU agree on importing Russian oil. Some of the biggest importers of Russian oil, including China and India, are not part of the initiative. The more Russian oil that is lost to world markets, the greater the likely impact on prices. "If the price cap is around $60 per barrel, Russia will continue to export its oil comfortably." Beyond the price cap and European import ban, Russia's oil sector may also be affected by COVID-19 restrictions in China, an increasingly important buyer of its crude.
Barclays sees a challenging near-term ahead for Blackstone after the investment firm on Thursday limited withdrawals from its large retail real estate fund. The bank downgraded shares of Blackstone to equal weight from overweight and cut its price target to $90 from $98. "In November, BREIT repurchased ~$1.3B of shares, representing ~43% of of redemption requests in the month, indicating just over $3B of total redemption requests in November, nearly doubling month over month," said Budish. While offshore investors represent about 20% of the fund, they make up roughly 70% of withdrawals this year. Despite the near-term pressures on the fund, Barclays is still optimistic on the longer-term retail opportunity for alternative assets and sees Blackstone as a well-positioned beneficiary.
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Stocks were unable to continue Wednesday's rally because investors were awaiting a key jobs report coming Friday, said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda. He said investors were purposefully pulling back ahead of non-farm payroll data coming in the morning. Investors will be looking for the right, middle-ground data, said Megan Horneman, chief investing officer at Verdence Capital Advisors. With "a so-so number, I think the markets can maybe rally on that," she added. "But if you get a really weak number, it's just going to spook investors after such a strong rally we've seen in November."
European markets were poised to open lower on Friday as investors closely monitored news from China over its zero-Covid policy and looked ahead to U.S. non-farm payrolls data. Britain's FTSE 100 index, France's CAC and Germany's DAX were all forecast to open slightly lower, according to data from IG. Stocks in Japan led losses, with the Nikkei 225 last seen 1.6% lower and the Topix falling 1.6%. Stateside, S&P 500 futures were slightly lower as market participants looked ahead to the November jobs report. Economic data including the Labor Department's report on non-farm payrolls, the unemployment rate and hourly wages are due at 8:30 a.m.
The subsea cable, which the developers say will be the first to be laid on the Arctic seabed, will connect Europe and Japan via North America as part of the global internet infrastructure. An earlier plan to run the cable along the Russian Arctic coastline, in a venture with Russia's second-biggest mobile phone operator Megafon (MFON.MM), was cancelled last year. This was due to Russia's increased reluctance to authorise the cable being laid in its territorial area, Finland's Cinia, the company leading the Far North Fiber consortium, said. Far North Fiber is a joint venture between Cinia, U.S.-based Far North Digital and Japan's Arteria Networks (4423.T). Far North Fiber gave no value for the investment but a source said one pair of fibres was worth around 100 million euros, with a further 100 million in maintenance costs required throughout its 30-year lifespan.
But she warned the outlook was "exceptionally" uncertain and dominated by risks, such as the fallout from Russia's war in Ukraine, global financial tightening and a slowdown in China's growth. But we need to rebuild and preserve buffers and be prepared to fully use our policy tool-kit," she told the same forum. The fallout from China's slowdown has been particularly painful in Asia, where factory activity slumped across the region in November. At the forum, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said he did not see a significant risk of Asia facing a sudden loss of confidence or a renewed financial crisis. "ASEAN policymakers must be vigilant" to risks and offer "clear, sufficient and timely communication to avoid unintended outcomes," he said.
Morning Bid: Dollar on the jobs line
  + stars: | 2022-12-02 | by ( )   time to read: +2 min
Tracking yields lower, the dollar is heading towards the weekend down heavily on the yen for the week and eyeing smaller losses on the euro and most other currencies. The next test is Friday morning's U.S. jobs report, where a downside surprise could rip the dollar down further. Stock buying, rocketing local rates and the retreat in the dollar also seem to have finally given a bid to the Hong Kong dollar , which has bounced from the weak end to the middle of its trading band. Limits on withdrawals from a $69 billion unlisted Blackstone trust after large redemptions hint at losses and stresses in global portfolios. People familiar with the matter said most of the redemptions came from Asian investors needing the cash.
MOSCOW, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Russian Urals oil's discount to dated Brent have widened significantly, under pressure from record high freight rates for tankers carrying Russian oil and sending sellers' revenues well below an agreed EU price cap, two traders said on Friday and Reuters calculations showed. EU governments on Friday agreed to a price cap of $60 per barrel for the Russian crude. Therefore, freight cost for this voyages went up to some $20 per barrel for India and $25 per barrel for China, according to Reuters calculations. Fearing to disrupt a yet-to-be-established mechanism, many shipowners have refrained from handling Russian oil, reducing tanker availability and driving up shipping costs on key Urals export routes. Freight rates for 80,000 Aframax class tankers on routes from Black Sea's Novorossiysk to Augusta were at the highest level since March - 475 Worldscale points.
TOKYO, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Japan, Britain and Italy will announce a groundbreaking agreement as early as next week to jointly develop a new advanced jet fighter, two sources with knowledge of the plan told Reuters. The push to merge the British led Tempest jet fighter project with Japan's F-X fighter programme was first reported by Reuters in July. It will be the first time that Japan has collaborated with countries beyond the United States on a major defence equipment project. The announcement will come before Japan releases a new national security strategy and military procurement plan around mid December, the sources said. Reporting by Tim Kelly Editing by Shri NavaratnamOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
HONG KONG — Chinese authorities are moving to ease strict “zero-Covid” controls, in an apparent response to a nationwide wave of protests that have otherwise been suppressed. Police form a cordon in Beijing on Monday during a protest against China’s strict “zero-Covid” measures. Kevin Frayer / Getty ImagesChinese authorities have mostly stamped out the protests, with heavy police presence at protesters’ former gathering sites. Like other Chinese leaders, Jiang showed little tolerance for dissent, jailing activists and banning the Falun Gong religious movement. But the political environment has greatly tightened under Xi, leading some people in China to reassess Jiang’s legacy.
In recent years the global plastic trade has shrunk amid new controls by rich and developing countries alike. U.S. plastic waste exports to Asia fell to 330 million pounds in 2021, according to government data, half their 2017 level. But even these reduced volumes, environmental groups charge, can overwhelm developing countries that lack the facilities to manage them. In May, city staff asked to divert some of Palo Alto’s waste streams to facilities in Louisiana and Southern California. The second lesson, City Manager Ed Shikada said, is that Palo Alto can’t transform the global recycling system alone.
Goldman Sachs says South Korean stocks are the bank's top "rebound candidate" for 2023 due to low valuations, made cheaper by a nosediving Korean won, and as companies benefit from an expected recovery in Chinese demand. "We think (Korean stocks) sold off too much in September and August." Morgan Stanley downgraded its view on Indian exposure in October, when it upgraded its recommendation for South Korea. Like South Korea, Taiwan (.TWII) is another heavily-sold and chip-maker dominated market - though tensions with China make some investors a bit less enthusiastic. Meanwhile, Taiwan and South Korea are both geopolitical flashpoints - but analysts argue at least some of that is already in the price.
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