Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook expressed support for globalisation and said China should continue to open its economy to foreign firms, while speaking at a forum in Beijing on Saturday.
“I think it’s important that China continues to open itself and widens the door if you will,” said Cook, speaking at the government-sponsored China Development Forum.
Cook’s comments come amid rising tensions between the U.S. and China, with protectionist rhetoric from U.S. President Donald Trump sparking concern of increased trade friction between the two countries.
“The reality is countries that are closed, that isolate themselves, it’s not good for their people,” said Cook, in a rare public speech.
Apple said on Friday it will set up two new research and development centres in Shanghai and Suzhou in China.
It has pledged to invest more than 3.5 billion yuan ($508 million) in research and development in China.
Apple has been singled out in Chinese media as a potential target for retaliation in the event of a trade war.
The Global Times warned last November if Trump triggered a trade war with China, Beijing would then target firms from Boeing to Apple in a “tit-for-tat” approach.
Update: echoing comments made by Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the top House Democrat said that the Trump budget proposal is “dead on arrival.“
Today at 7am, Trump released his “skinny budget”, his administration’s first federal budget blueprint revealing the President’s plan to dramatically reduce the size of the government. As previewed last night, the document calls for deep cuts at departments and agencies that would eliminate entire programs and slash the size of the federal workforce. It also proposes a $54 billion increase in defense spending, which the White House says will be offset by the other cuts.
“This is the ‘America First’ budget,” said White House budget director Mick Mulvaney, a former South Carolina congressman who made a name for himself as a spending hawk before Trump plucked him for his Cabinet, adding that “if he said it in the campaign, it’s in the budget.”
In a proposal with many losers, the Environmental Protection Agency and State Department stand out as targets for the biggest spending reductions. Funding would disappear altogether for 19 independent bodies that count on federal money for public broadcasting, the arts and regional issues from Alaska to Appalachia. Trump’s budget outline is a bare-bones plan covering just “discretionary” spending for the 2018 fiscal year starting on Oct. 1. It is the first volley in what is expected to be an intense battle over spending in coming months in Congress, which holds the federal purse strings and seldom approves presidents’ budget plans.
Trump wants to spend $54 billion more on defense, put a down payment on his border wall, and breathe life into a few other campaign promises. His initial budget outline does not incorporate his promise to pour $1 trillion into roads, bridges, airports and other infrastructure projects. The budget directs several agencies to shift resources toward fighting terrorism and cybercrime, enforcing sanctions, cracking down on illegal immigration and preventing government waste.
The White House has said the infrastructure plan is still to come.
Polls missed the last two nationalist tremors; they may miss a third
Think of François Fillon as a more polished and experienced Ted Cruz. He might have been president of France until everything came crashing down.
Fillon is a former French prime minister and admirer of Margaret Thatcher whose libertarian-influenced agenda includes a pledge to ax half a million civil service jobs. He was initially dismissed as an also-ran in the center-right Les Républicains presidential primary, up against the seasoned Nicolas Sarkozy and the moderate Alain Juppé. Instead, Fillon thrashed them both, and polls showed him an early favorite for the French presidency, backed by energized conservatives and the Catholic Right. Eschewing first-past-the-post, France holds a runoff election between its top two finishing presidential candidates if neither secures a majority, and forecasts last year showed the finalists would be Fillon and the National Front’s Marine Le Pen. It was to be a rumble on the right, and Fillon was predicted to win in a rout as French leftists and centrists clothespinned their noses and voted to block the radioactive Le Pen.
Article 50 is coming. How to trade GBP when the headlines hit
Article 50 has hung like a anvil around the neck of the pound over the past eight months. The looming exit from the EU was an uncertainty and potential headline shock that stunted bounces in cable.
But as dismal as the bounces have been, there have been a series of higher lows since October. That’s often the sign that something is trying to carve out a bottom.
On top of that, UK data has been much better than economists assumed they would be after the vote.
It’s like the election of Donald Trump. It all has the feeling of something ominous but once it happens, the market can start to look ahead and see things a bit more constructively.
Two things make me believe that a short squeeze could be coming. One is the weekly CFTC positioning data. Obviously, it’s not a definitive picture of market positioning but it’s a good snapshot and shows a crowded short trade.
Second is the bump today. There’s no great reason for it. Scotland is making more waves about another referendum. I think it’s some of those shorts worried about a reversal after Article 50.
According to the International Monetary Fund, global debt has grown to a staggering grand total of 152 trillion dollars. Other estimates put that figure closer to 200 trillion dollars, but for the purposes of this article let’s use the more conservative number. If you take 152 trillion dollars and divide it by the seven billion people living on the planet, you get $21,714, which would be the share of that debt for every man, woman and child in the world if it was divided up equally.
So if you have a family of four, your family’s share of the global debt load would be $86,856.
Jeffrey Gundlach, chief executive officer at DoubleLine Capital, said on Tuesday he expects the Federal Reserve to begin a campaign this month of “old school” sequential interest rate hikes until “something breaks,” such as a U.S. recession.
Gundlach, who oversees more than $101 billion at Los Angeles-based DoubleLine, said U.S. economic data support a rate increase as soon as the next Fed policy meeting on March 14-15, and further rises this year, after a series of false starts in 2015 and 2016.
“Confidence in the Fed has really changed a lot,” Gundlach said on an investor webcast. “The Fed has gotten a lot of respect with the bond market listening to the Fed” now that economic data support the tough rhetoric from Fed officials.
New York Fed President William Dudley, whose branch of the U.S. central bank serves as its eyes and ears on Wall Street and who generally spends a couple of hours a week planning policy with Fed Chair Janet Yellen, played a key role in orchestrating the messaging of a March rate hike.
China’s defence spending will exceed Rmb1tn ($145bn) for the first time this year, according to new figures from the annual budget released by the country’s finance ministry. The Ministry of Finance on Monday announced that the annual budget for military defence in 2017 would come to Rmb1.044tn, reflecting a 7 per cent rise from the previous year. That growth rate – announced at the weekend, but without the landmark renminbi figure – nonetheless represents a slowdown from 2015′s rise of 8 per cent. Both the quickest rise and largest absolute increase in China’s military spending plans came in 2014 when spending grew 12 per cent year on year, a rise of Rmb88bn. China’s defence budget has grown at a double-digit rate for the last 25 years, and the country now ranks second only to the US in terms of global military spending. That remains a distant second, however, US President Donald Trump has asked for a 10 per cent increase in US defence spending this year, potentially adding another $54bn to a military spending budget that exceeded $600bn in 2016.
China’s top economic official trimmed its growth target and warned Sunday of dangers from global pressure for trade controls, as Beijing tries to build a consumer-driven economy and reduce reliance on exports and investment.
In a speech to the national legislature, Premier Li Keqiang Li promised more steps to cut surplus steel production that is straining trade relations with Washington and Europe. He pledged equal treatment for foreign companies, apparently responding to complaints Beijing is trying to squeeze them out of technology and other promising markets.
Li’s report set the growth target for the world’s second-largest economy at “around 6.5 percent or higher, if possible.” That’s down from 6.7 percent expansion last year but, if achieved, would be among the strongest globally, reflecting confidence that efforts to create new industries are gaining traction.
Li called for attention to the risks of China’s surging debt levels, which economists see as a rising threat to growth. He announced no major initiatives, but that was widely expected as the ruling Communist Party tries to avoid shocks ahead of a congress late this year at which President Xi Jinping is due to be given a second five-year term as leader. Analysts expect Chinese leaders to use the legislative meeting to emphasize reducing financial risks and keeping growth stable.
At a time of demands in the United States and Europe for trade controls, Li warned China faces “more complicated and graver situations” at home and abroad.
The world’s largest pension fund delivered a return of 7.98 per cent in the final quarter of 2016 as the Trump rally sent global asset prices soaring in yen terms.
Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund, which manages public pension money for millions of workers, returned ¥10.5tn ($91.9bn) during the quarter. Its value rose to ¥144.8tn ($1,268.5bn).
The surge in value helps to validate Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe’s 2014 decision to shift the GPIF into risky assets, including foreign equities, and gives him another reason to thank new US president Donald Trump.
Increasing risk in the GPIF portfolio is meant to help Japan meet the huge pension bills from its aging population. But there is intense political sensitivity about any losses, even due to quarterly market volatility, because of the impression of speculating with public money.
The GPIF made 15.2 per cent in the quarter on its holdings of domestic equities, slightly ahead of a 15 per cent rise in the Topix index, and 16.5 per cent on its portfolio of foreign stocks. Foreign bond holdings returned 8.8 per cent, reflecting the yen’s fall, while domestic bonds lost 1.1 per cent.
After three quarters of its fiscal year, which runs to the end of March, the GPIF was up 5.7 per cent. That follows a 3.9 per cent fall the previous year.
Despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s bluster on “historic tax reform” and $1 trillion in infrastructure investment, his visions still remain short on specifics, while the Congress appears headed to an epic clash over a contentious corporate tax plan.
American stocks surged in euphoria after Trump said Feb. 9 that he would announce something “over the next two or three weeks that will be phenomenal in terms of tax.” Yet his address to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night, his first, contained nothing but generalities — a far cry from the promised “phenomenal” plan.
During the campaign, Trump called for cutting the federal corporate tax rate from 35% to 15%. Republican lawmakers in the House of Representatives have drawn up a proposal of their own that would introduce a 20% border adjustment tax to fund a corporate tax rate cut to 20%. This plan would impose no taxes on exports but would bar companies from deducting import-related costs from taxable income.
Trump has not taken a clear stand on the border adjustment tax, and Tuesday’s address only alluded to the issue. “When we ship products out of America, many other countries make us pay very high tariffs and taxes,” he said. “But when foreign companies ship their products into America, we charge them nothing, or almost nothing.” Read More