Saturday, April 13, 2024

AP morning business news brief – Aug. 4, 2023

by BIZ Magazine

Apple’s earnings top analysts’ forecasts, but year-over-year sales drop for third straight quarter

Apple eked out slightly higher profit even though sales dipped during its latest quarter. The period included the iPhone maker becoming the first publicly held U.S. company to be valued at $3 trillion. Results released Thursday cover April through June and mark the third consecutive quarter that Apple has posted a year-over-year decline in revenue. That’s the company’s longest stretch of falling sales in nearly seven years. Apple indicated revenue is likely to fall again in the current July-to-September quarter, contributing to 2% decline the company’s shares in extended trading. If the stock behaves similarly in Friday’s regular trading session, Apple’s market value will fall below $3 trillion.

Amazon reports better-than-expected revenue and profits for 2Q, sending its stock higher

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon on Thursday posted better-than-expected revenue and profits for the second quarter, sending its stock higher in after-hours trading. The e-commerce giant earned $6.7 billion, or 65 cents per share, for the three-month period ended June 30. Its revenue came out to $134.4 billion, up 11% from the same period last year. Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said in a statement that it was a “strong quarter of progress” for the company. The Seattle-based company’s profitable cloud unit AWS’s growth continued to slow. Executives have blamed companies cutting back on costs for the slowdown.

Global food prices rise after Russia ends grain deal and India restricts rice exports

LONDON (AP) — Global prices for food commodities like rice and vegetable oil have risen for the first time in months after Russia ended a deal allowing Ukraine ship grain and India restricted some rice exports. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization said Friday that its index of food prices increased 1.3% in July over June. The increase was driven by higher costs for rice and vegetable oil. It was the first uptick since April when higher sugar prices bumped up the reading slightly for the first time in a year. Commodity prices have been falling but the trade restrictions and grain deal’s demise threaten to increase food insecurity and the prices people pay to eat in developing nations.

Ruble hits lowest value against USD since early in Ukraine war

The ruble has dropped against the U.S. dollar in trading in Moscow to it lowest level since the first month of the war in Ukraine. The decline Friday to 95 rubles against the dollar continued the Russian currency’s consistent fall since the beginning of the year, when it traded at around 65. That’s a drop of about 30%. Friday’s value was its lowest since March 28, 2022, state news agency Tass reported. After Russia sent troops into Ukraine in late February 2022, the ruble plunged to as low as about 120 against the dollar, but recovered quickly as the Russian Central Bank undertook support measures.

Egypt raises interest rates as it battles spiraling inflation and households struggle to keep up

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt’s Central Bank announced a new hike in interest rates as the cash-strapped North African country battles surging inflation and a depreciating currency. The bank said Thursday that its monetary policy committee agreed to increase its most basic lending rate from 18.25% to 19.75%. Egyptian, particularly working class households, are struggling to keep up with rising prices, which have soared since Russia invaded Ukraine last year. The annual inflation rate reached 36.8% in June. Over the past year, Egypt’s central bank has sought to offset rising inflation by hiking its main interest rates.

Panama Canal foresees its income falling after shipping limited due to a drought

The managers of the Panama Canal say they expect income from the waterway to drop, after authorities were forced to limit the number of ships passing through each to 32 due to a lack of rainfall. The canal’s administrator said Thursday income in 2024 could drop by as much as $200 million because of the drought. The canal implemented a measure Sunday capping the number of ships passing through its locks daily to a maximum of 32, compared to 36 to 38 under normal operation. Rain is needed to feed the watershed system of rivers and brooks that fill lakes, whose waters in turn fill the locks.

Japan’s Kishida hopes to further strengthen strategic cooperation with US and South Korea at summit

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida says he has high hopes to discuss further strengthening of three-way strategic cooperation with the United States and South Korea at a summit hosted by President Joe Biden at Camp David later this month. The Aug. 18 summit with Biden and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol is the first stand-alone summit among leaders of the three countries not in connection with international meetings. The summit is also the latest sign of warming ties between Tokyo and Seoul because of their shared concern over increasingly assertive China and other regional threats. Kishida made the remarks on Friday.

Deadly flooding in China worsens as rescues and evacuations intensify

BEIJING (AP) — Heavy rain and high water levels of China’s northeastern rivers are threatening cities downstream, prompting the evacuation of thousands. Hebei province, which surrounds the capital Beijing on three sides, issued alerts for several of its cities. The province of Heilongjiang to the north was evacuating entire villages in anticipation of life-threatening deluges. Rescue work remains underway Friday. At least 20 people were killed in Beijing’s outer suburbs and another 27 were missing following the storms that quickly overwhelmed infrastructure not built to handle such deluges. Beijing usually has dry summers, but had a stretch of record-breaking heat this year that broke over the weekend with days of constant rain.

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