News Oil 

U.S. oil settles higher, carves out nearly 3 1/2-month peak as China tariff talks progress

“On Friday, for example, Baker Hughes BHGE, +0.00% weekly rig-count data showed the rigs drilling for oil edged back by four to 853” writes Mark Decambre for marketwatch.com. China is a big importer of oil and its tiff on tariffs with Washington has been a drag on the commodity until recent signs of progress on talks emerged.News reports said President Donald Trump would meet with China’s top trade negotiator, Vice Premier Liu He, which has underscored optimism that a deal between China and the U.S. will strike a trade deal…

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News 

Apple Launches Promo in China Offering Interest-Free Financing When Purchasing New iPhone

“Apple is teaming up with Chinese payments company Ant Financial Services Group, along with several local banks, to offer local customers interest-free financing on iPhones in China (via Reuters )” writes Day Ago On for macrumors.com. In emails sent to customers and on its website, Apple encourages shoppers to upgrade to an iPhone XR from $449 or iPhone XS from $699, with the trade in of an iPhone 7 Plus or iPhone 8. Apple is continuously looking to boost smartphone sales in China, and this appears to be the latest…

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Markets News 

Singapore bank expects China slowdown to hit growth in loans

“OCBC, the second-largest Singaporean bank by assets, reported a 9 percent increase in customer loans in 2018” writes Yen Nee Lee for cnbc.com. The Greater China region was the second-largest profit contributor for OCBC in 2018, after its home market Singapore.That growth rate is expected to moderate this year amid greater uncertainties in China and globally, said its CEO Samuel Tsien.The economic slowdown in China will affect Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp’s ability to grow its loans business this year, the lender’s chief executive said on Friday.Last year’s loan growth was 9…

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News 

China wants its rural villages to go cashless by 2020

“While scan-to-pay is already a norm in bigger cities, digital payments still have considerable room to grow in rural towns” reports techcrunch.com. All told, 76.9 percent of China’s adults used digital payments in 2017.Following the digital payments pledge was the release of the annual Number One Document (in Chinese) that outlines China’s national priorities for the year. Source: techcrunch.com

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News Stocks 

25 million tonnes of US soybeans will go unsold this year as a direct consequence of the trade war with China

“Robert Johansson, the chief economist of the USDA said on Thursday that close to 25 million tonnes of US soybeans will go unsold in 2019, as a direct consequence of the trade war” writes Callum Burroughs for businessinsider.com. US soybean stocks have increased dramatically in the past two years as the trade war takes its toll.Johansson forecast that unsold soybean stocks will more than double to 24.8 million tonnes in 2019.The company saw a $125 million loss related to a decline in Brazilian soybean prices in the fourth quarter of…

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News 

Apple teams with Ant Financial, banks for interest-free iPhone financing in China

“SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Apple Inc has teamed up with Chinese payments giant Ant Financial Services Group and several local banks to offer interest-free financing, its first such move in the country as it looks to boost waning smartphone sales” writes Min Read for reuters.com. On its China website, Apple is promoting the new scheme, under which customers can pay 271 yuan ($40.31) each month to purchase an iPhone XR, and 362 yuan each month for an iPhone XS. Customers trading in old models can get cheaper installments. Source: reuters.com

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News 

Tell the IMF, China, and Saudi Arabia to suspend financial aid to Pakistan

“Why are international donors giving Pakistan financial aid to boost its economy, but then allowing Pakistan to spend that money supporting terrorists and military profligacy?” reports washingtonexaminer.com. That takes me back to the financial aid question.Islamabad is notoriously unreliable in spending financial aid on that which it has pledged to spend it — namely, on economic investment and structural reform, and in areas such as education and health services. Source: washingtonexaminer.com

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