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Five Things to Know in World Business Today


March 19, 2018, by Cecile Gutscher

(Bloomberg) 

China elevates deputy as new central bank chief, Putin wins another landslide, and Apple swipes at Samsung with secret screen-making plans. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.

Old hand

China named Yi Gang to run its central bank, promoting a long-serving deputy governor with deep international links to the forefront of efforts to clean up the nation’s financial sector and modernize monetary policy. The No. 2 at the People’s Bank of China told reporters his priorities will include “opening up” the financial sector while maintaining its stability. U.S. Treasury undersecretary for international affairs David Malpass said the U.S. looks forward to a “strong dialogue.’’  Souring the mood somewhat, Malpass said he misspoke hours after claiming the U.S. was pulling out of decade-old formal economic talks with Beijing.

Putin entrenched

Vladimir Putin won a landslide victory in a tightly controlled election, claiming a new six-year mandate that suggests the country’s confrontation with the West is set to continue. The Kremlin’s longest-serving leader since Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, captured a record 77 percent of the vote, with almost all ballots counted in a vote marred by opposition allegations of fraud.

Swipe east

Apple Inc. is developing its own displays to replace Samsung screens on iPhones using a secret manufacturing facility near its California headquarters. The technology giant is said to be making a significant investment in the next-generation MicroLED screens that promise to make future gadgets slimmer, brighter and less power-hungry. The move reverberated across Asia, with Japan Display dropping as much as 4.4 percent while Sharp tumbled as much as 3.3 percent and Samsung slid 1.4 percent.

Markets down

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.6 percent as of 5:52 a.m. Eastern Time while Japan’s Topic index closed almost 1 percent lower. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index dropped 0.6 percent with almost every industry in the red. S&P 500 futures pointed to a down day. Even bonds didn’t escape, with the 10-year Treasury yield rising two basis points to 2.861 percent. Gold and oil also retreated.

Wiggle room

Brexit Secretary David Davis meets chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier in Brussels, with a news conference penciled in to follow. With Davis avoiding appearances alongside his EU counterpart so far this year, it could be a sign the two sides are on track to reach an agreement on a transition phase that will keep all the rules the same until the end of 2020. Business leaders wanting to know the details shouldn’t exhale yet; any agreement reached at the summit this week will be a political commitment — not legally binding until the final withdrawal agreement is signed early next year.



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