Source Match Industrial News
By Marc Jones LONDON (Reuters) - European shares edged down on Wednesday after three days of gains as data showing China's economy was still stuttering offset some broadly reassuring European purchasing manager index (PMI) numbers. Data compiler Markit's monthly PMI figures, seen as good indicators of future growth, showed that while France's economy was still a drag, Germany was continuing to power the euro zone's recovery. AUSSIE SLIDES In Asia, China's stock markets had fallen again and the yuan tumbled to 16-month low after a survey showed manufacturing activity in the world's second-biggest economy was still slowing in April.
Germany's private sector expanded faster in April, recovering from a slight slowdown in growth in March, as both manufacturing and services industry activity rose more than expected, surveys showed on Wednesday. Markit's preliminary composite Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), which tracks activity in the manufacturing and services sectors and covers more than two-thirds of the euro zone's largest economy, rose to 56.3 in April from March's final 54.3. "This is a nice bounce back with good broadbased growth in the services and manufacturing sector... It is looking like it will be a good year for Germany," Markit economist Chris Williamson said. Germany's economy expanded just 0.4 percent in 2013, but growth is seen picking up this year, driven by domestic demand.
We are looking at 0.5 percent quarter-on-quarter GDP growth if we continue to see this level," said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit. Inflation fell to just 0.5 percent in March, its sixth straight month in what European Central Bank President Mario Draghi has called a "danger zone" below 1 percent and keeping pressure on the ECB to intervene. However, Markit's flash Composite Purchasing Managers' Index, which is widely regarded as a good gauge of growth, suggested the economic support, at least, may not be necessary.
HONG KONG (Reuters) - China Resources (Holdings) Co Ltd has appointed a new chairman with immediate effect, replacing Song Lin who is being investigated by Chinese authorities, the firm said in a statement on Wednesday. Fu Yuning, a former executive chairman of China Merchants Group, would take over from Song, China Resources said in a statement on its website. China Merchants Group is the parent of Chinese ports operator China Merchants Holdings International Co Ltd . ...
By Kevin Yao BEIJING (Reuters) - China's factory activity shrank for the fourth straight month in April, signaling economic weakness into the second quarter, a preliminary survey showed on Wednesday, although the pace of decline eased helped by policy steps to arrest the slowdown. "It's generally in line (with expectations), reflecting that growth momentum is stabilizing," said Zhou Hao, China economist at ANZ in Shanghai. Hao expected economic growth to pick up slightly to 7.5 percent in the second quarter. MODEST STIMULUS MEASURES China's central bank will cut the amount of deposits rural banks must hold as reserves by between 0.5 and 2 percentage points, it said on Tuesday, the latest in a series of measures to help combat the slowing economy.
By Jennifer Chaussee BERKELEY, California (Reuters) - California Republican gubernatorial hopeful Neel Kashkari called for free college tuition for students pursuing math and science degrees, part of an education reform plan released Tuesday that would also model public schools after charter schools. Kashkari's proposal would waive tuition for students pursuing a four-year degree in any science, technology, electronics, or math subject in exchange for a percentage of their future earnings after graduation. It came as Kashkari, trailing a distant third in recent polls behind incumbent Jerry Brown and Republican Tea Party favorite Tim Donnelly, is struggling to add momentum to his campaign before the June primary.
Canada's Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc said on Tuesday it and activist investor Bill Ackman made an unsolicited $47 billion bid to buy Botox maker Allergan Inc as it seeks to become one of the world's five biggest drug companies. The offer, if successful, would bring together two mid-sized pharmaceutical companies with expertise in skin care and eye care products, and is highly unusual as activist investors typically buy stakes and then agitate for strategic change. Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management, Allergan's largest shareholder with a 9.7 percent stake, disclosed in a filing on Monday it is supporting the bid. Allergan said in a statement that it has received the offer, and will carefully consider the proposal and "pursue the course of action that it believes is in the best interests of the company's stockholders." Late on Tuesday, Allergan said it adopted a shareholder rights plan effective April 22 that will trigger if a person or group acquires 10 percent or more of its shares.
Plaintiffs suing the company also filed a proposed class action lawsuit in Manhattan bankruptcy court on Monday, seeking an order declaring that GM cannot use the bankruptcy protection to absolve itself from liabilities. The faulty ignition switch has been linked to at least 13 deaths and the recall of 2.6 million GM vehicles. GM emerged from bankruptcy protection in 2009 as a different legal entity from the so-called old GM. Under those terms, the "new GM" shed liability for incidents predating its exit from bankruptcy, and any lawsuit involving pre-bankruptcy issues must be brought against what remains of old GM.
(Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc is set to report as soon as Wednesday on how its executives performed on their goals to overhaul compliance operations and how that affected their pay, the Wall Street Journal reported. The company's board will issue a securities filing in the coming days that will detail how well executives performed on its compliance goals, such as enhancing its global anti-corruption program, the report cited the retailer's chief compliance officer, Jay Jorgensen, as saying. A representative for Wal-Mart could not be immediately reached for comment outside of regular U.S. business hours. An assessment of compliance objectives will now be part of the company's regular corporate governance, the Journal quoted Jorgensen as saying at the Dow Jones Global Compliance Symposium in Washington on Tuesday.
Shaun Lovejoy is a professor of physics at McGill University and president of the Nonlinear Processes Division of the European Geosciences Union. Last year, the Quebec Skeptics Society threw down the gauntlet: "If anthropogenic global warming is as strong as scientists claim, then why do they need supercomputers to demonstrate it?" My immediate response was, "They don't." Indeed, in 1896 — before the warming was perceptible — the Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius, toiling for a year, predicted that doubling carbon dioxide (CO2) levels would increase global temperatures by 5 to 6 degrees Celsius, which turns out to be close to modern estimates. Yet the skeptics' question resonated: Global Circulation Models (GCM's) dominate climate research to such an extent that (even scientists!) can be forgiven for thinking these computer-driven models are essential. So I took up the challenge, and my answer appears in the research described in a paper recently published in the journal Climate Dynamics.
(Reuters) - Comcast may divest about 4 million subscribers after its merger with Time Warner Cable and is working to reach an accord to sell a portion of those customers to Charter Communications, a source familiar with the matter said Tuesday. Comcast is studying what could be a two-phase process, where Charter would first acquire up to 1.5 million subscribers directly from Comcast, the source said on condition of anonymity because discussions were continuing and a final agreement had not been struck. Comcast would then spin off the rest of the 2.5 million subscribers into a separate, publicly traded company, which Charter would take a minority stake in, the source added.
By Marina Lopes NEW YORK (Reuters) - AT&T Inc on Tuesday raised its forecast for full-year revenue growth to reflect its acquisition of LEAP wireless in March and the popularity of a new handset pricing model that charges customers for devices separately from their wireless plans. Like other carriers, AT&T is seeking growth in a nearly saturated environment, making strategies such as alternate pricing plans more crucial to attract customers. The company raised its forecast for full-year revenue growth to at least 4 percent from 3 percent. A higher-than-expected 35 percent of wireless customers transferred to NEXT, its new pricing plan, boosting quarterly revenue 3.6 percent from the year-earlier quarter.
Long before the first Instagram was sent from space, the first ever check-in from orbit, or even the first astronaut's tweet, John Glenn sent an email. By 1998, during the original Mercury astronaut's celebrated space shuttle flight, email was fairly common. Glenn sent the message to then-President Bill Clinton and the reply that it prompted was the very first email transmitted by a sitting U.S. president — it just so happened to be to outer space. But the computer that President Clinton used to send and receive the emails was saved by its owner and on April 16 sold at auction for $60,667.
By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - The chance of a city-killing asteroid striking Earth is higher than scientists previously believed, a non-profit group building an asteroid-hunting telescope said on Tuesday. A global network that listens for nuclear weapons detonations detected 26 asteroids that exploded in Earth's atmosphere from 2000 to 2013, data collected by the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization shows. "There is a popular misconception that asteroid impacts are extraordinarily rare ... that's incorrect," said former astronaut Ed Lu, who now heads the California-based B612 Foundation. The foundation on Tuesday released a video visualization of the asteroid strikes in an attempt to raise public awareness of the threat.
David Novak, the CEO of YUM! Brands, which owns Taco Bell and KFC, took home more than $22 million last year after exercising stock options, according to proxy statements. The average full-time fast-food worker, by comparison, would have made about $19,000 on the year. Novak, in other words, raked in more than 1,000 times what a typical lower-rung worker would have over the same period. ...