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July 25: News views

  • July 25: News views

    July 25: News views

  • <p><b>A 5-year-old boy plays games on an iPhone in the company&#39;s flagship store in Beijing&#39;s Sanlitun Area, which is one of four official Apple stores in China</b></p><p>Apple is set to exponentially grow its China business as the country&#39;s largest and third-largest telecom operators jostle to stitch up deals to sell iPhones in the world&#39;s largest mobile phone market, home to more than 900 million subscribers.</p><p>China Unicom is the sole operator offering Apple&#39;s sleek feature-filled smartphones but it is only a matter of time before operators China Mobile and China Telecom follow suit, analysts said.</p><p>"The biggest winner will be Apple. While the operators may be forced to subsidise the iPhone to users, Apple will still get the price it wanted from all the operators no matter what," said Alex Chau, a senior research manager at research firm IDC Asia Pacific.</p><p>Apple&#39;s Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook said last week that the maker of the iPhone and iP

    A 5-year-old boy plays games on an iPhone in the company's flagship store in Beijing's Sanlitun Area, which is one of four official Apple stores in China

    Apple is set to exponentially grow its China business as the country's largest and third-largest telecom operators jostle to stitch up deals to sell iPhones in the world's largest mobile phone market, home to more than 900 million subscribers.

    China Unicom is the sole operator offering Apple's sleek feature-filled smartphones but it is only a matter of time before operators China Mobile and China Telecom follow suit, analysts said.

    "The biggest winner will be Apple. While the operators may be forced to subsidise the iPhone to users, Apple will still get the price it wanted from all the operators no matter what," said Alex Chau, a senior research manager at research firm IDC Asia Pacific.

    Apple's Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook said last week that the maker of the iPhone and iP

  • <p><b>Rescuers carry out rescue operations after two carriages from a bullet train derailed and fell off a bridge in Wenzhou, Zhejiang province</b></p><p>A deadly train crash in China over the weekend has raised concerns about the safety of the country&#39;s fast-growing rail network and threatens to undermine its plans to export high-speed train technology.</p><p>The concerns were enough to push share prices down in Chinese rail companies by as much as 16%.</p><p>China sacked three senior railway officials a day after Saturday&#39;s collision between two high-speed trains that killed at least 36 people in the country&#39;s worst rail disaster since 2008.</p><p>It has been working for years to develop a high-speed rail network to rival Japan&#39;s famed bullet trains and use the technology it has acquired or developed to sell its own trains abroad.</p>

    Rescuers carry out rescue operations after two carriages from a bullet train derailed and fell off a bridge in Wenzhou, Zhejiang province

    A deadly train crash in China over the weekend has raised concerns about the safety of the country's fast-growing rail network and threatens to undermine its plans to export high-speed train technology.

    The concerns were enough to push share prices down in Chinese rail companies by as much as 16%.

    China sacked three senior railway officials a day after Saturday's collision between two high-speed trains that killed at least 36 people in the country's worst rail disaster since 2008.

    It has been working for years to develop a high-speed rail network to rival Japan's famed bullet trains and use the technology it has acquired or developed to sell its own trains abroad.

  • <p><b>Wiener Philharmoniker gold coins are pictured at the Ginza Tanaka store in Tokyo</b></p><p>Gold hit a record high above $1,622 an ounce on Monday, while the dollar steadied and Asian stocks slipped as investors piled into bullion over fears of a possible US debt default as the debt ceiling talks in Washington stalled.</p><p>Spot gold, which has risen nearly 14% so far this year, climbed more than 1% to a record of $1,622.49 an ounce, before easing to $1,615.66 by 10:51 am. US gold also hit a record at $1,624.30. It was last quoted at $1,616.50.</p><p>Clocks are ticking towards the August 2 deadline for US debt talks, while President Barack Obama and congressional leaders struggled late on Sunday to break a partisan impasse.</p><p>"Markets are focusing on whether the negotiations will be resolved," said Natalie Robertson, a commodities analyst at ANZ. "At this time, we&#39;ll see continued volatility and increased safe-haven buying in gold."</p>

    Wiener Philharmoniker gold coins are pictured at the Ginza Tanaka store in Tokyo

    Gold hit a record high above $1,622 an ounce on Monday, while the dollar steadied and Asian stocks slipped as investors piled into bullion over fears of a possible US debt default as the debt ceiling talks in Washington stalled.

    Spot gold, which has risen nearly 14% so far this year, climbed more than 1% to a record of $1,622.49 an ounce, before easing to $1,615.66 by 10:51 am. US gold also hit a record at $1,624.30. It was last quoted at $1,616.50.

    Clocks are ticking towards the August 2 deadline for US debt talks, while President Barack Obama and congressional leaders struggled late on Sunday to break a partisan impasse.

    "Markets are focusing on whether the negotiations will be resolved," said Natalie Robertson, a commodities analyst at ANZ. "At this time, we'll see continued volatility and increased safe-haven buying in gold."

  • <p><b>An investor looks at an electronic board showing stock information at a brokerage house in Wuhan, Hubei province</b></p><p>Stocks fell while the Swiss franc rose and gold hit a record high on Monday as hopes for a political deal to avert a US default began to fade, though investors were mostly seeking to protect their portfolios with no signs of market panic.</p><p>Indeed, though the benchmark 10-year US Treasury yield rose four basis points to 3%, it was still down more than 30 basis points since the year began.</p><p>Equity markets in Asia were down between 0.8% to 2.3%, and US stock futures fell 1.1%.</p><p>Investors have been whipsawed in the past few months by hope and disappointment over policymakers&#39; ability to halt sovereign debt crises in the eurozone and the United States.</p><p>After European leaders scraped together a second bailout for Greece last week, haggling in Washington has taken centre stage after US debt talks between President Barack Obama and congressio

    An investor looks at an electronic board showing stock information at a brokerage house in Wuhan, Hubei province

    Stocks fell while the Swiss franc rose and gold hit a record high on Monday as hopes for a political deal to avert a US default began to fade, though investors were mostly seeking to protect their portfolios with no signs of market panic.

    Indeed, though the benchmark 10-year US Treasury yield rose four basis points to 3%, it was still down more than 30 basis points since the year began.

    Equity markets in Asia were down between 0.8% to 2.3%, and US stock futures fell 1.1%.

    Investors have been whipsawed in the past few months by hope and disappointment over policymakers' ability to halt sovereign debt crises in the eurozone and the United States.

    After European leaders scraped together a second bailout for Greece last week, haggling in Washington has taken centre stage after US debt talks between President Barack Obama and congressio

  • <p><b>US President Barack Obama is seen in Washington</b></p><p>The US took a step closer to losing its coveted AAA credit rating over the weekend as a political impasse in Washington reduced hopes of an agreement to meaningfully cut the nation&#39;s budget deficit.</p><p>Although analysts still expect a last-minute deal to raise the US debt ceiling and avoid a default next week, it seems unlikely that Democrats and Republicans will agree before the next election in November 2012 how to find $4 trillion through government spending cuts and revenue increases.</p><p>Prospects of a budget breakthrough faded as lawmakers missed a self-imposed deadline to produce a deal by the time Asian markets opened for the new week. They still plan to outline proposals on Monday, but both sides appear further apart than ever.</p><p>Moody&#39;s, Standard & Poor&#39;s and Fitch have said they will downgrade the US credit rating if failure to raise the nation&#39;s $14.3 trillion debt ceiling leaves the Tr

    US President Barack Obama is seen in Washington

    The US took a step closer to losing its coveted AAA credit rating over the weekend as a political impasse in Washington reduced hopes of an agreement to meaningfully cut the nation's budget deficit.

    Although analysts still expect a last-minute deal to raise the US debt ceiling and avoid a default next week, it seems unlikely that Democrats and Republicans will agree before the next election in November 2012 how to find $4 trillion through government spending cuts and revenue increases.

    Prospects of a budget breakthrough faded as lawmakers missed a self-imposed deadline to produce a deal by the time Asian markets opened for the new week. They still plan to outline proposals on Monday, but both sides appear further apart than ever.

    Moody's, Standard & Poor's and Fitch have said they will downgrade the US credit rating if failure to raise the nation's $14.3 trillion debt ceiling leaves the Tr

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