Current Affairs – 23 July 2020 - Doo Prime News
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Current Affairs – 23 July 2020

WORLDWIDE : HEADLINES

China’s ICBC cuts average loan rate to 4.31% to support economy

BEIJING – Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the country’s largest bank by assets, slashed its average interest rate by 45 basis points to 4.31% in the first half of 2020, bank president Gu Shu said on Thursday.

The lower loan rate comes as Beijing encourages lenders to buffer the real economy from the impact from the COVID-19 epidemic.

The bank’s outstanding loans to the manufacturing sector totaled 1.85 trillion yuan ($264.54 billion) as of the end of June, up 14% from the beginning of the year, Gu told reporters at a briefing.

Its new loans to small and micro-sized enterprises totaled 168.4 billion yuan in the first half, up 35.7% from a year earlier, Gu said.

Full coverage : REUTERS

Mercedes-Benz says it will focus on high-end cars to hike profits

FRANKFURT – Daimler (DAIGn.DE) Chief Executive Ola Kaellenius on Thursday said the company’s Mercedes-Benz luxury brand will seek to develop its high-end luxury vehicle segment as a way to hike profits.

“I see the strongest growth in the upper end of the segments where we are active,” Kaellenius told journalists in a call to discuss the company’s quarterly results.

Full coverage : REUTERS

WORLDWIDE : FINANCE / ECONOMY / STOCK MARKET

Slew of upbeat earnings lift European stocks

European shares climbed on Thursday, as investors brushed off simmering U.S.-China tensions and focused on better-than-expected earnings reports from companies such as Unilever, Daimler and Publicis.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.7%, with automakers .SXAP surging 3.4% after Germany’s Daimler AG (DAIGn.DE) forecast a rise in operating profit at its Mercedes-Benz cars and vans division in 2020 as sales rebound.

Unilever (ULVR.L) was the biggest boost to the STOXX 600 with a 7.8% jump as its second-quarter sales fell far less than feared. Shares in Nestle SA (NESN.S) and Danone SA (DANO.PA) rose nearly 2% each.

“It is a welcome relief that things are less bad than feared as pricing is positive and volumes are not a disaster,” Mark Taylor, a sales trader at Mirabaud Securities wrote about Unilever’s report.

Full coverage : REUTERS

Oil rises on weaker dollar, high U.S. stocks weigh

LONDON – Oil prices rose on Thursday on the back of a weaker dollar, but gains were capped by concerns about rising U.S. oil inventories and a persistent surge in new coronavirus cases.

Brent crude LCOc1 rose 35 cents, or 0.8%, to $44.64 a barrel by 0837 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 gained 32 cents, or 0.8%, to $42.22 a barrel.

The U.S. dollar index against a basket of currencies .DXY was trading on Thursday near its lowest since early March. A weaker dollar usually spurs buying of dollar-priced commodities as they become cheaper for holders of other currencies.

Full coverage : REUTERS

Dollar hits four-month lows as Sino-U.S. tensions loom

LONDON – The U.S. dollar hit four-month lows against a basket of peer currencies on Thursday, resuming its slide as investors took a wait and see approach to tensions between the United States and China.

The United States gave China until Friday to close its consulate in Houston following allegations of spying.

China has vowed to respond, and the escalating tension between the world’s two largest economies sent the yuan CNH= on its sharpest slide in nearly two months on Wednesday.

That slide reversed on Thursday, with the offshore yuan bouncing back to the weaker side of the 7 per dollar mark. CNH=

Full coverage : REUTERS

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