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WTO warns protectionism threatens strong trade growth forecast

The World Trade Organization said Thursday that it expects strong trade growth through this year and next but warned progress would be ‘undermined’ if governments implement threatened protectionist measures. The WTO forecast 4.4 percent growth in trade volume this year and a more moderate four percent expansion in 2019.But the body’s director-general Roberto Azevedo cautioned that…

US, China talking on trade frictions, says OECD boss

The United States and China are negotiating behind the scenes to ease trade tensions, the head of the OECD said Friday, stressing that ‘nobody wins’ in a high-level trade war.Angel Gurria said Chinese officials had told him this week that they were talking to their US counterparts, despite official denials.‘Everybody is very alarmed by these…

RBA confirms resilient financial system

Reserve Bank confirms resilient financial systemFinancial Stability ReviewReserve Bank Financial Stability Review: The Reserve Bank has handed down the latest review of the financial system. “The Australian financial system remains resilient and its ability to withstand adverse shocks continues to be strengthened.”Household borrowing risks ease: “Concerns about riskier types of new housing borrowing have eased……

Puma lifts 2018 targets but warns of trade war headwinds

German sporting goods maker Puma on Thursday slightly upped its forecasts for 2018 on the back of strong first-quarter sales, but warned that the US-China trade row could cloud the rosy outlook.Revenues at the Bavaria-based group hit 1.13 billion euros ($1.40 billion) between January and March, up 12 percent year-on-year, boosted by tie-ins with celebrities…

Chinese firms holding off on US investment in Trump era

Some Chinese companies are holding off on US investment plans while they see how the trade dispute with President Donald Trump plays out, executives said Thursday.China Construction America acknowledged pausing some new US investment amid trade war fears. But that uncertainty could mean more deals for some companies already in the US as competitors stay away,…

Stocks rise as Trump appears to cushion Syria threat

Global stock markets rose Thursday after US President Donald Trump appeared to take some of the sting out of threats to hit Syria with missiles.While the situation on Syria remained fluid – with the US president expected to confer with Britain and France later Thursday on possible retaliation – investors welcomed a statement on Twitter…

Trump considers re-joining Pacific trade pact he once spurned

President Donald Trump has directed senior aides to explore re-joining the 11-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership if a ‘better deal’ can be reached, the White House said Thursday.The decision, which was welcomed by lawmakers from agricultural states, could mark an abrupt about-face for a president who had campaigned against the deal and swiftly withdrew from it after…

EU urges Facebook to ‘cooperate fully’ in data scandal

The European Commission on Thursday called on Facebook to ‘cooperate fully’ with investigators into the scandal over the harvesting of personal data of millions of users which were then shared with the British political consultancy, Cambridge Analytica.Facebook has admitted up to 2.7 million people in the EU may have been caught in the scandal.And last…

Cricket Australia secures $918 million for broadcast rights

Pay-TV company Foxtel and the free-to-air Seven Network on Friday won a bidding war for television and digital cricket rights in Australia, signing a deal worth almost Aus$1.2 billion (US$918 million).The bumper contract over six years, worth more than forecast, came despite a recent ball-tampering scandal that saw top drawcards Steve Smith and David Warner…

The end of the cycle is in sight

On the back of the worst March quarter since 2008, indicators show the end of the current cycle is in sight. Trump’s jostle with China is more of a concern than his ‘war of Tweets’ with North Korea, and coupled with the inability of investors to rely on central bank intervention, investors must tread carefully.The…