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Wednesday January 28th 2015: Latest financial news from the worldiPhone sales trample expectations as profit sets global record
Apple Inc quarterly results smashed Wall Street expectations with record sales of big-screen iPhones in the holiday shopping season and a 70 percent rise in China sales, powering the company to the largest profit in corporate history. Apple's cash pile is now $178 billion, enough to buy IBM or the equivalent to $556 for every American. Apple Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri told Reuters in an interview that the company did not sell more iPhones in China than the United States, despite some earlier predictions by research analysts. The company's success in the competitive Chinese market can be attributed to its partnership with China Mobile Ltd , the largest global mobile carrier, and the appeal of the larger screen size of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
Shares in Apple suppliers leap on record results
Shares in European companies that supply parts to Apple Inc leapt on Wednesday after the tech giant reported the largest profit in corporate history, driven by record sales of iPhones and strong demand in China. Shares in British chip designer ARM and Imagination Technologies , which supplies graphics processing to the U.S. group, rose between 3 and 4 percent at the open as investors cheered the news overnight. It not only provides Apple with chips but also Samsung, and they get all the royalties," said Beaufort Securities sales trader Basil Petrides. German chipmaker Dialog Semiconductor , which counts Apple as one of its customers, rose 1.5 percent by 0819 GMT.
Fed seen remaining patient with rate guidance amid global turmoil
The Federal Reserve is expected to signal it remains on track to begin raising interest rates later this year, as the central bank shows confidence that low inflation and rising risks from abroad have yet to derail the U.S. economic recovery. The Fed's first two-day policy meeting of the year concludes on Wednesday, and policymakers will likely restate their "patient" approach to raising rates, while also voicing faith that the economy will continue improving. Fed Chair Janet Yellen faces growing skepticism that the central bank can tighten monetary policy by mid-year, with a strengthening dollar and falling oil prices adding to worries that inflation readings remain too low for the Fed to begin hiking. "The Fed will follow through and normalize rates later this year...Our thinking is June.
Shares, dollar retreat before Fed's statement
By Marc Jones LONDON (Reuters) - Stocks and the dollar retrenched on Wednesday amid speculation the Federal Reserve will take a dovish turn in its post-meeting statement later in the day. European shares gave back early gains, after stumbling for the first time in nine sessions on Tuesday, and after record profits for Apple and a surprise rate cut in Singapore had bolstered Asian markets. The dollar was starting to slide against the euro , the yen and other currencies , anticipating a statement after the Fed's first meeting of the year ends later on Wednesday. Scepticism is growing that the Fed will raise rates by mid-year, as had been expected.
Exclusive: China plans to set 2015 growth target at 'around 7 percent' - sources
China plans to cut its growth target to around 7 percent in 2015, its lowest goal in 11 years, sources said, as policymakers try to manage slowing growth, job creation and pursuing reforms intended to make the economy more driven by market forces. The growth target, which is set to be announced by Premier Li Keqiang at the annual parliament session in March, was endorsed by top party leaders and policymakers at a closed-door Central Economic Conference in December, said a number of people with knowledge of the outcome of meeting who spoke to Reuters. The target, which is in line with market expectations, has not been previously reported. "This year's economic growth target will be around 7 percent, but the 7 percent should be the bottom line," said one of the sources, an influential economist who advises the government.
Yahoo sets Alibaba stake spinoff plan, shares jump
Yahoo Inc plans to spin off its 15 percent stake in China's Alibaba Group Holding Ltd , responding to pressure to hand over to shareholders its prized e-commerce investment valued at roughly $40 billion. Shares of Yahoo rose about 7 percent to $51.45 in after-hours trading on Tuesday, following the tax-free spinoff announcement and earnings which just beat analysts forecasts even as its revenues slightly lagged estimates. The move to spin off the Alibaba stake satisfies a persistent investor demand, but could also ratchet up pressure on Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer to make quicker progress in strengthening Yahoo's struggling media and advertising business. Shareholders feel that Yahoo and its stake in Alibaba would be worth more separately, as long as the Alibaba shares are not subject to the standard 35 percent tax rate that would be incurred from selling the shares.
China regulator blasts Alibaba for illegal business on its websites
By John Ruwitch SHANGHAI (Reuters) - A China regulator has accused Alibaba Group Holding Ltd of failing to clean up what it called illegal business deals on the e-commerce titan's platforms, in an unusually strong government criticism of one of the country's biggest private firms. The State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC), in a report published on its website on Wednesday, said many products sold on Alibaba's e-commerce websites and services infringed upon trademarks, were substandard or fake, were banned or endangered public security. The report was later removed from the main page of the SAIC website. SAIC said the report summarised a July 16, 2014, meeting between government business regulators and Alibaba, and that it had delayed releasing the report to avoid affecting the e-commerce firm's initial public offering, which took place in September.
Shell signs $11 billion deal to build petrochemicals plant in Iraq
Royal Dutch Shell has signed a deal with Iraq worth $11 billion (7 billion pounds) to build a petrochemicals plant in the southern oil hub of Basra, Industry Minister Nasser al-Esawi said on Wednesday. Esawi told a press conference in Baghdad the Nibras complex, which is expected to come on line within five to six years, would make Iraq the largest petrochemical producer in the Middle East. "The Nibras complex will be one of the largest (foreign) investments (in Iraq) and the most important in the petrochemical sector in the Middle East," Esawi said. A Shell spokesman told Reuters Iraq's cabinet had authorised the project on Jan 13.
Qatari-led group wins $4 billion battle for London's Canary Wharf
A Qatari-led consortium looked set to win its long-running battle to buy Songbird Estates on Wednesday after the owner of London's Canary Wharf business district dropped its opposition to the $4 billion offer. Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) and partner launched a 350 pence-a-share offer direct to Songbird shareholders in December, hoping to add a financial district rivaling the City of London to landmarks already in its portfolio such as the Shard skyscraper and Harrods department store. Canary Wharf's steel and glass skyscrapers, home to banks such as HSBC , Citi and JP Morgan , embody the change in London's economy in the second half of the 20th century as industry dwindled and financial services grew. The QIA already owned 29 percent of Songbird, which in turn owns 70 percent of Canary Wharf Group.
Microsoft stock punished as concerns multiply
"The results weren't that bad," said Scott Kessler, an analyst at Standard & Poor's Capital IQ. "What really struck people was that it wasn't just one thing and it wasn't just a handful of things that had obvious or easy fixes." The panoply of Microsoft's problems included an unexpectedly soggy PC market after a buying rush sparked by the end of Windows XP, an ongoing dip in companies' spending on Office software, problems in Japan and China and a strong U.S. dollar eating away at the value of its huge overseas revenues. Investors were aware of most of those issues before Monday, but the combination of concerns pushed Microsoft's stock down 9.25 percent to $42.66, its biggest one day fall since Chief Executive Satya Nadella took over last February. Until Tuesday, Nadella had enjoyed fanatical support from investors, who lapped up his plan to redesign Microsoft as a leader in cloud and mobile computing.
US stock market wavers in early trading
General strike shuts down services across Greece
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Services across Greece shut down Wednesday as unions staged a 24-hour general strike and held peaceful demonstrations to protest further austerity cuts in the cash-strapped country.
Unemployment rates fall in two-thirds of US states
Unemployment rates fell in two-thirds of U.S. states last month, evidence that modest economic growth is boosting hiring in most areas of the country.
US stocks edge higher in afternoon trading
Stocks were on track to finish higher Thursday afternoon for the second day in a row as investors drew encouragement from reports on Chinese manufacturing, U.S. home sales and some positive earnings from Best Buy, Dollar Tree and other retailers.
US stocks edge higher in midday trading
Major stock indexes shifted higher in midday trading Thursday, getting a lift from an encouraging report on Chinese manufacturing and some positive earnings from Best Buy, Dollar Tree and other retailers. The market also got a boost from data showing modest improvement in sales of previously occupied homes.
US stocks are mixed in early trading
Too many tabs open? Vivaldi could be the browser for you
Security vulnerability in Blackphone service exposed
Apple needs the iPad to be 'long arc,' enterprise driven
No fix in sight for Android Wi-Fi Direct vulnerability
Tech fever: Why haven't African investors caught the IT funding bug?
YouTube begins defaulting to HTML5 video
CSIRO to trial IBM's Identity Mixer for collaborative research
The CSIRO will begin piloting IBM's cryptographic algorithmic solution in order to facilitate the secure sharing of sensitive information between government, academic, research, and industry partners.
Australian sysadmins cop brunt of data-retention burden
Australian IT sector sees skills glut
New research by the Australian Department of Employment has shown that the domestic information technology market is a long way from experiencing a skills shortage, with an average of almost 50 applicants per advertised job in the sector.
IBM plans to broadly offer its Identity Mixer technology
Coke wants to make the Internet a happy place (good luck with that)
MYOB moves upmarket with cloud-based ERP
Brace yourself, India: Here comes another Xiaomi blockbuster, the Mi4
Twitter rides the coattails of the 'missed call', acquires India's ZipDial
Lasers have turned this metal super hydrophobic
GoDaddy's puppy-mocking Super Bowl ad in the dog house
Put meteorites on your feet and dance with the stars
Huawei shipped 138 million devices in 2014
Warnings Australian spy agency won't delete retained data
New TV tech for 2015: Improving the LCD
Alongside a host of TV announcements at CES 2015, there were multiple new (or newish) TV technologies to go with them: quantum dots, HDR, MEMS and more. All of them aim to make the dominant TV technology, LCD, look better. Here's what these terms all mean.>
Lessons learned in building a secure cloud product
Yahoo spins off Alibaba holdings as sales sputter
Tomorrow Daily 119: Robot bats, real-life ad-blocking headset, a futuristic piano and more
On today's show, we shudder at a robot bat that can easily switch between flying and moving on the ground, check out a headset that blurs out corporate logos in real life, and enjoy the beauty of a futuristic piano with over 18,000 parts.>
AT&T CEO hints at over-the-top mobile video service
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