Posts belonging to Category Prices



Airbus backs up Bombardier in a fight against Boeing

Airbus to Buy Majority Stake in Bombardier C Series Jet Program

Airbus SE agreed to acquire a majority stake in Bombardier Inc.’s C Series jetliner program and will start assembling them in the U.S., vaulting a technologically advanced but slow-selling plane onto the front lines of the battle with Boeing Co. over global aircraft sales. Without putting up a dime at closing, Airbus will take just over half of a partnership controlling the C Series. The European planemaker’s marketing muscle boosts the viability of the all-new aircraft after more than $6 billion in development costs forced Bombardier to rely on government assistance.

The deal also thrusts Airbus into the middle of a bitter trade spat between the Canadian manufacturer and Boeing. Following a Boeing complaint that Bombardier sold 75 of its C Series jets to Delta Air Lines Inc. for “absurdly low prices,” President Donald Trump’s administration slapped the aircraft with import duties of 300 percent in recent weeks — roiling U.S. relations with Canada and the U.K., where Bombardier makes the plane’s wings.

http://www.bloomberg.com…  Tue.,  17  October 2017

Insurance and Hurricanes

Irma test Florida’s flood insurance 

Hurricane Irma could test a nascent private flood insurance market in Florida that some advocates say is a model for making U.S. flood coverage more affordable and commonplace in high-risk areas. Florida’s private flood insurance market represents a tiny sliver of all flood policies in the state, but if a hurricane does hit Florida later this week, policyholders, industry and the federal government will see how private insurance performs in one of the country’s largest flood-prone markets.

“It’s a new breed of insurance in Florida,” said Loretta Worters, a spokeswoman for the Insurance Information Institute, an industry-funded communications group. “You have these companies that have never been tested for flood. We’ll have to see how it works.” Even before Hurricane Harvey triggered massive flooding in Texas last week, U.S. lawmakers were looking at alternatives to the indebted government-backed model of flood insurance.

http://www.reuters.com…  Wed.,  06  September 2017

Bitcoin has broken $4,000

Continuing surge

The continuing surge in the price of bitcoin has seen it climb to over $4,000 for the first time since the cryptocurrency was created in January 2009. According to the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index, the average price of bitcoin across global exchanges today reached a height of $4,225 at 9:07 a.m. UTC, having opened at $3,917. At press time, the price had dropped slightly to $4,162.

The total value of all cryptocurrencies has also set yet another new all-time high, with the combined market capitalization now sitting at over $137 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. That figure is $11 billion more than the previous high noted by CoinDesk just two days ago, when all crypto assets had a value of $126 billion.

http://coindesk.com…   Mon.,  14  August 2017

Pilotless planes could save airlines billions

Pilotless planes: would anyone fly?

The aviation industry could save $35 billion a year by moving to pilotless planes, according to a new report from UBS. Just one problem: The same report warns that only 17% of travelers are willing to fly without a pilot. UBS said that the technology required to operate remote-controlled planes could appear by 2025. Further advances beyond 2030 might result in automated business jets and helicopters, and finally commercial aircraft without pilots.

“The technologies in development today will enable the aircraft to assist and back up the pilot in all the flight phases, removing the pilot from manual control and systems operations in all types of situations,” the report said. Commercial flights already land with the assistance of on-board computers, and pilots manually fly the aircraft for only a few minutes on average.

http://money.cnn.com…   Fri.,  11  August 2017

US/China trade war

Trump challenging China’s industrial policies

The top U.S. trade negotiator said late on Tuesday that President Donald Trump is determined to challenge China’s use of unfair subsidies and “non-economic” industrial policy to build up export industries that are costing American jobs.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, in a rare media interview, said that the Trump administration would work to hold China’s practices to the rules of the World Trade Organization, an organization that he has criticized for being ineffective in enforcing fair trade.

Speaking on the syndicated “Kevin McCullough Radio” conservative talk show, Lighthizer said there was “no question that China has an industrial policy that is designed to create jobs and wealth in China.”

http://www.reuters.com…   Wed.,  26  July 2017

U.S. home sales stumble

Prices hit record high

U.S. home resales fell more than expected in June as a dearth of properties amid strong demand pushed prices to a record high, keeping first-time buyers on the sidelines. The housing market has experienced an acute shortage of homes for sale for about two years. As the labor market churns out more jobs and builders struggle to secure land, building materials and skilled labor, the situation could worsen.

“The fact that demand is so high is actually a good sign of economic health,” said Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow. “But that’s probably small comfort to buyers, especially first-time buyers that are having an especially difficult time finding entry-level homes for sale.”The National Association of Realtors said on Monday existing home sales dropped 1.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.52 million units last month.

Economists had forecast sales falling 1.0 percent to a 5.58 million-unit rate. Sales were up 0.7 percent from June 2016. The shortage of properties has led to bidding wars, culminating in house price increases outpacing wage gains.

http://www.reuters.com…   Tue.,  25  July 2017

Oil price down

OPEC faces ‘mission impossible’ in sustaining oil prices

IHS Markit’s Victor Shum predicts Brent crude prices may settle around mid to high $40s per barrel as OPEC’s compliance to production cuts falls.

http://www.cnbc.com…   Mon.,  24  July 2017

US: Latest health care bill collapses

Republicans fail to overhaul the Affordable Care Act

The Republican Party’s efforts to gut former President Barack Obama’s legacy health care law came to an abrupt — if temporary — halt Monday night.
Just hours after the Senate was gaveled back into session, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was handed two more public defections on his health care bill to overhaul Obamacare. The dramatic and simultaneous announcement from Sens. Jerry Moran of Kansas and Mike Lee of Utah means McConnell officially does not have the votes to even begin debate on his legislation to overhaul the Affordable Care Act.
http://www.cnn.com…   Wed.,  19  July 2017

Netflix profits up 56%

Original content splurge pays off

A year ago Netflix added more than 130 countries to its service. On Wednesday, it announced a 56 per cent rise on profits and a global customer base of 93.8 million people. Netflix added a record 7.05 million new customers in the three months to December 31, 2016, beating its forecast of 5.2 million for the quarter. The split between international and US members is also narrowing (Netflix added 5.1 million in the quarter) bringing the total to 44.4 million – or more than 47 per cent of its total membership.

A lot of that success is down to investments in original programming. Netflix spent $5 billion (£4 billion) in 2016 on shows such as The Crown, Luke Cage and Stranger Things. It produced 600 hours of original programming in 2016, which it says will increase to 1,000 in 2017. Budgets for original shows will be increased to $6 billion to cope with the extra demand, Netflix said.Annual revenue in 2016 was $8.83 billion with a profit of $186.7 million. Quarterly profits were up 56 per cent year-on-year to $67m. The better-than-expected results sent Netflix’s share up eight per cent in after-hours trading.

http://www.wired.com…   Tue.,  18  July 2017

Sales record for Amazon

Amazon.com breaks sales record for ‘Prime Day’

 Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) said on Tuesday its Prime Day sale was on track to be the biggest shopping event in its history by sales. The world’s largest online retailer said customers ordered more than three times as many Echo-family speakers than during Prime Day 2016, which at the time broke records for Amazon devices. Third-party sellers sold over 50 percent more items on the site by noon local time (1900 GMT) than in the same timeframe last year, Amazon said in a statement.

The company has not disclosed sales figures, overall or for the Echo. Analysts estimated last year’s event brought in well over $500 million. The news underscores Amazon’s break-neck pace of growth as more shoppers order online instead of going to brick-and-mortar stores. It also highlights the winning formula of Amazon’s shopping club Prime, the cornerstone of its business. Customers had to join Amazon Prime to get discounts during the 30-hour event. U.S. members of the club pay $99 per year for benefits like two-day shipping, and they tend to buy more goods, more often from Amazon. A timer showing when the deals would expire added further shopping encouragement.

http://www.reuters.com…   Wed.,  12  July 2017