Japan`s Abe cautions against Brexit regulation cliff edge

LONDON - Japan's Shinzo Abe called on Prime Minister Theresa May to ensure a smooth transition for business as the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, to avoid a cliff edge where rules and regulations for firms change overnight.

A day after talks with May at her country residence at Chequers outside London, the leader of the world's third largest economy

Trump signs executive order to expand offshore oil drilling

US President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Friday aimed at reversing Obama-era restrictions on offshore oil and gas drilling.

"Our country is blessed with incredible natural resources, including abundant offshore oil and natural gas reserves. But the federal government has kept 94 per cent of these offshore areas closed for exploration and production," Xinhua new

Time Inc and Meredith Corp end talks over merger deal

Time Inc said it was "definitely" not up for sale on Friday, sending its shares and those of U.S. broadcasting and publishing group Meredith Corp, its most prominent suitor, sharply lower.

While Time did not say who it had been in discussions with about a potential sale, sources said the move ended two months of talks with Meredith. Their merger would have united Meredith

Wall Sreet Weekahead - Hot earnings to keep fire under growth-stock rally

NEW YORK - Don't look for the outperformance of growth stocks to fade any time soon, as long as corporate earnings continue to improve and hopes remain for stronger economic growth.

The Russell 1000 Growth index, which tracks such shares, is up 10.9 percent so far this year, outpacing the U.S. benchmark S&P 500 stock index's 6.6 percent rise and the 2.8 pe

Bombardier rejects Boeing trade claim, shares slide

MONTREAL/NEW YORK - Canada's Bombardier Inc hit back on Friday at rival U.S. planemaker Boeing Co's claim that it sold jets well below cost to win market share in the United States, the latest sign of increasing trade tensions between the two countries.

The risk of the United States imposing a tariff, which would likely depress sales of Bombardier's newest

Amazon's moves beyond retail get Wall Street thumbs up, for now

SAN FRANCISCO - Amazon.com Inc's ventures far beyond online retail, from cloud computing to movie making, are raising questions among corporate strategy experts about its focus.

The Seattle-based company wowed Wall Street again this week with a 23 percent jump in sales, pushing its shares to an all-time high. But there are concerns that if blockbuster growth stops

U.S. Congress passes short-term bill to avert government shutdown

WASHINGTON - The Republican-led Congress averted a U.S. government shutdown on Friday and gave lawmakers another week to work out federal spending through Sept. 30, with tricky issues like defence spending still unresolved.

The Senate passed a stopgap spending bill by voice vote without opposition after the House earlier approved it by a tally of 382-30. President Don

Trump aims to expand U.S. offshore drilling, despite low industry demand

WASHINGTON - U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Friday to extend offshore oil and gas drilling to areas that have been off limits, in a move to boost domestic production just as industry demand for the acreage nears the lowest in years.

The order could lead to a reversal of bans on drilling across swathes of the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic ocean

Credit Suisse bosses grilled over bonuses after 2016 losses

ZURICH - Credit Suisse's top managers and board of directors were grilled by shareholders on Friday over the Swiss bank's decision to pay out millions in bonuses despite losing 2.7 billion Swiss francs ($2.7 billion) last year.

Unrest over pay packets at Switzerland's second-biggest bank had already pressured Credit Suisse's senior management team, led

Asia weighs risk and reward in Trump 'bromance' with China's Xi

BEIJING - U.S. President Donald Trump's warm words for Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping as a "good man" will reassure Beijing that he finally understands the importance of good ties, but risks leaving America's regional allies puzzling over where they fit into the new order.

The budding relationship between the two leaders appeared highly unlikely when

Japanese PM Abe asks UK PM May for 'smooth Brexit' for business

LONDON - Japanese leader Shinzo Abe asked Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday to ensure a smooth Brexit to allow Japanese companies to continue to operate as the United Kingdom exits the European Union.

The leader of the world's third largest economy praised PM May for what he said were attempts to secure Brexit transparency and a transitional period to ease the

Exxon Mobil profit beats Street as oil prices move higher

HOUSTON - Exxon Mobil Corp, the world's largest publicly traded oil producer, posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Friday, helped by rising crude prices and cost cuts.

The results reflected the slowly improving dynamics for the company as well as the global energy industry, with oil prices up more than 50 percent since early 2016.

Still, poc

VW to spend billions through 2022 to beef up engines portfolio - CEO

BERLIN - Volkswagen said it plans to invest billions of euros through 2022 to beef up its portfolio of combustion and electric drives as it braces for a further tightening of emissions rules in key markets.

Europe's biggest carmaker last year announced a multi-billion-euro shift to embrace electric cars and new mobility services as it battles to overcome its diese

German economy booms as protectionist threat goes pop

HAMBURG, Germany - When port manager Axel Mattern looks out onto the Elbe River from his office in Hamburg's historic warehouse district, he can literally count the rising number of container ships leaving Germany's biggest harbour.

There is an export boom underway, the ships tell him. China, in particular, is "buzzing", Mattern says.

The s

U.S. truck, crossover sales spark jump in GM first-quarter profit

DETROIT - General Motors Co on Friday reported a much better-than-expected first-quarter net income driven by strong sales of its profitable large pickup trucks and crossovers in the United States, sending its shares up nearly 2 percent in premarket trading.

"We are executing our plan and it's delivering results," Chief Financial Officer Chuck Stevens to

EXCLUSIVE: Trump complains Saudis not paying fair share for U.S. defense

WASHINGTON  - President Donald Trump complained on Thursday that U.S. ally Saudi Arabia was not treating the United States fairly and Washington was losing a “tremendous amount of money” defending the kingdom.

In an interview with Reuters, Trump confirmed his administration was in talks about possible visits to Saudi Arabia and Israel in the second ha

UK economy grows by only 0.3%

The UK economy grew by just 0.3 per cent at the start of this year, the slowest growth rate since the first three months of 2016, according to official figures released on Friday.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that the slower pace in the January-March period was mainly due to the service sector, which also grew by 0.3 per cent against 0.8 per cent at the end of 2016, t

World stocks pause near record highs

LONDON  - Concern about global trade and U.S. President Donald Trump's "America First" policies kept appetite for risky assets in check on Friday, setting world stocks on the path to a sluggish end to what will still be their fifth straight month of gains.

In an interview with Reuters, Trump called the five-year-old trade pact with South Korea "

RBS posts first quarterly profit since September 2015

LONDON  - Royal Bank of Scotland swung to a far better than expected first-quarter profit of 259 million pounds ($334.24 million), sending its shares up as much as 4 percent as the lender showed signs of progress in a decade-long turnaround.

RBS's first quarterly profit since September 2015 had been expected, but the amount exceeded the 50 million pounds fore

Euro zone inflation may rise quicker than thought in 2017: ECB survey

FRANKFURT - Euro zone inflation could accelerate more quickly than earlier thought but underlying price growth, a key measure watched by policymakers, will only rise slowly, the European Central Bank's Survey of Professional Forecasters showed on Friday.

The ECB kept its abundant stimulus measures in place on Thursday, arguing that inflation excluding energy and f

Barclays first quarter profit doubles, misses bond trading boom

LONDON  - Barclays reported its first quarter profit more than doubled on Friday, but its investment bank missed out on a bond trading boom that saw earnings surge at its Wall Street rivals and its shares fell in initial trading.

Barclays said its profit before tax was 1.7 billion pounds ($2.19 billion), up from 793 million pounds a year ago and better than the 1

European shares dip after strong week as earnings take centre stage

MILAN  - European shares fell in early deals on Friday as investors took profits at the end of a strong week with earnings taking centre stage as political worries subsided, while UBS soared after a profit beat.

The STOXX 600 index was down 0.1 percent by 0719 GMT, adding to the previous session's losses, while UK's FTSE also was down 0.1 percent and Fran

Wealth management turnaround helps UBS beat profit forecasts

ZURICH  - A long-awaited turnaround in UBS's wealth management business helped Switzerland's biggest bank deliver its second-best start to a year since the financial crisis.

Rising interest rates, a booming stock market and improved investor sentiment boosted the group's U.S. business, while improving Asian markets saw clients there begin taking more

Japan's March core inflation, manufacturing miss forecasts, keep pressure on BOJ

TOKYO - Japan's core consumer prices rose at a slower than expected pace in March and household spending fell more than expected in a worrying sign for the central bank that domestic demand won't be strong enough to generate sustained inflation.

Industrial product in March also fell more that expected, but economists remain optimistic that output will quickly

Singapore March bank lending up 6.33 percent y/y to S$627.9 billion

SINGAPORE  - Singapore's total bank lending rose 6.33 percent in March from a year earlier, on the back of increased lending to general commerce and professional and private individuals, central bank data showed on Friday.

Loans and advances by domestic banking units in the city-state amounted to S$627.9 ($449.91) last month, rising from S$627.4 billion in Fe