Inflation outlook a risk: Central bankers
TOKYO • Italian and Japanese central bankers yesterday warned of the damage that weak inflation expectations could inflict on their economies, as the euro zone and Japan suffer from anaemic prices despite years of aggressive monetary easing.
AXA to stop investing in tobacco sector
PARIS • French insurer AXA plans to stop investing in the tobacco industry, citing the impact of smoking on public health, and said it plans to sell its €1.8 billion ($2.8 billion) of assets in the sector.
AXA said it would divest its €200 million of equity holdings in tobacco companies immediately.
It plans to stop all new investments in tobacco industry corporate bonds and to run off its existing holdings worth about €1.6 billion.
China ships in record volumes of nickel
HONG KONG • China is shipping in record volumes of nickel as demand for the metal used in stainless steel surges amid tight domestic supplies.
Imports of refined nickel jumped 167 per cent from a year earlier to an all-time high of 48,592 tonnes. Purchases of the lower-grade ferronickel expanded 43 per cent to 107,161 tonnes, also a record. China bought more as the country's stainless steel sector joined a wider resurgence in demand on signs that Asia's biggest economy was stabilising.
Oil discoveries sink to lowest since 1952
LONDON • Oil discoveries last year fell to their lowest since 1952 as energy firms slashed exploration budgets in the wake of the oil price fall, creating a gap for meeting future demand, analysts at Morgan Stanley said yesterday. The oil and gas industry discovered 2.8 billion barrels of oil outside the United States last year, the equivalent of one month of global consumption, the US bank said, quoting data from consultancy Rystad Energy.
Including the US, where the rapid expansion of the onshore shale industry has unlocked major resources over the past decade, global discoveries rose to 12.1 billion - still the lowest since 1952, when the oil industry was one-seventh of its current size.