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Syria weakens the official exchange rate by Reuters

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© Reuters. File photo: A picture of stacks of Syrian pounds inside a currency store in Azaz, Syria, on February 3, 2020. The photo was taken on February 3, 2020. (Reuters) / Khalil Ashawi

DAMASCUS (Reuters) – A statement by the Syrian Central Bank said on Monday that Syria had eased its official exchange rate to 4,522 pounds per dollar, while the black market rates used in most economic activities amounted to about 6,500 pounds.

The official price was previously set at 3015.

An economic crisis has arisen in the country due to years of conflict, Western sanctions and currency pressures due to the financial collapse in neighboring Lebanon and the government’s loss of its oil-producing lands in the country’s northeast.

The resulting collapse of the lira has pushed up commodity prices and exacerbated hardship as Syrians struggle to buy food, electricity and other essentials.

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Fuel became particularly scarce, forcing the government to further ration electricity and even close public buildings on weekdays.

The pound was trading at 47 against the dollar before protests against President Bashar al-Assad broke out in March 2011.

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Fed’s hawkish rhetoric fails to lift the dollar; Aussie jumps via Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: One hundred US dollar banknotes are seen in this illustration taken in Seoul on February 7, 2011. REUTERS/Lee Jae-won

Written by Ray Wei

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – The dollar struggled higher on Thursday even though federal policymakers reiterated their commitment last month to fighting inflation, while the dollar rebounded after China eased restrictions on Australian coal imports.

Minutes of the Fed’s December monetary policy meeting released last night showed that while officials agreed the central bank should slow the pace of aggressive rate hikes, they remained focused on curbing inflation, and were concerned about any “misperception” in financial markets. that their commitment was declining.

Minneapolis Federal Reserve Chairman Neel Kashkari also said on Wednesday that he sees the Fed’s target interest rate peaking at 5.4%, higher than current market expectations of just under 5%.

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However, that failed to give a boost to the greenback, which was down 1.4% against the Canadian dollar overnight.

The pound sterling last settled at $1.2062, after rising 0.76% against the dollar in the previous session, while the euro rose 0.19% to $1.0624, after gains of more than 0.5% overnight.

said Ray Attrell, head of foreign exchange strategy at National Australia Bank (OTC: (NAB) ).

Economic data released on Wednesday also revealed that US employment declined less-than-expected in November, although a survey from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) showed US manufacturing activity contracted again in December.

“With the payroll coming up on Friday, the message is still that the job market is still in very good shape,” Atrell said.

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Against a basket of currencies, it fell 0.14% to 104.06, after falling 0.5% on Wednesday.

The Australian dollar rose 1.7% overnight after news that China’s state plan allowed three central government-backed utilities and its largest steelmaker to resume coal imports from Australia, in the first such move since Beijing imposed an informal ban on coal trade with Canberra in 2020. .

The Australian dollar finally settled at $0.6835, while it rose 0.11% to $0.6298, after rising 0.7% in the previous session.

“The Australian dollar has clearly benefited from the coal story,” said NAB’s Atrell, adding that most other commodity currencies were supported.

The Japanese yen rose 0.5% to 131.97 per dollar on Thursday, reversing a 1.2% decline overnight, as traders bet the Bank of Japan may give up its controversial yield curve grip.

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FirstFT: China has been accused of underestimating the number of Covid deaths

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good morning. This article is an in situ version of our site FirstFT the news. Subscribe to our site AsiaAnd the Europe/Africa or The Americas A release to send straight to your inbox every weekday morning

good morning. The World Health Organization blamed China Underestimating the seriousness of the Corona virus outbreak and the true number of deaths, in the strongest rebuke yet of Beijing’s handling of the pandemic.

“We believe that the current numbers being released from China do not represent the true impact of the disease in terms of hospitalizations, in terms of ICU. [intensive care unit] Mike Ryan, head of the World Health Organization’s emergencies programme, told reporters:

Beijing’s definition of death from Covid-19, which was changed last month, was “very narrow,” Ryan said, as he called on Beijing to provide greater transparency on the extent of the increase in cases since President Xi Jinping brought an abrupt end to the system of controls. Strictly non-Covid.

Internal Chinese government estimates indicate that hundreds of millions of people may have been infected by late December. However, as of Tuesday, China officially reported only 5,258 deaths from Covid nationwide, including 25 since December 1, despite projections of up to 1 million deaths during this wave. Some areas reported no deaths despite an explosion in cases.

An increasing number of China’s celebrities have been lost to Covid-19, from academics to opera singers, whose deaths have complicated government efforts to reduce the scale of the outbreak spreading across the country. Want more about China? Explore our center in China For the latest news and analysis.

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1. The United States sends a delegation of trade and economic officials to Taiwan The Office of the United States Trade Representative announced that Terry McCarten, who is in charge of trade with China, will do so Leading an American delegation to Taiwan From January 14 to 17, as Joe Biden’s administration seeks to strengthen America’s commercial relationship with the island.

2. China and the Philippines undertake “friendly consultations” Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Philippine counterpart, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., agreed Enhancing economic relations and dealing with maritime issues In the South China Sea through consultations, as Beijing seeks to salvage a relationship undermined by their territorial dispute. Following reports that China has begun building uninhabited land features in the South China Sea, the meeting is seen as a test of whether Manila can boost relations with Beijing.

3. McCarthy loses a sixth vote for Speaker of the House despite Trump’s interference As a California congressman, Kevin McCarthy’s dreams of becoming Speaker of the House were fading fast. He lost the sixth ballot amid continuing opposition within his party. Despite former President Donald Trump intervening for 11 hours to encourage Republicans to support McCarthy, 20 Republicans voted against him on the fifth ballot.

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy puts his hand to his face as he listens in the House chamber during the second day of the House Speaker election.
Opposition Republican lawmakers denied Kevin McCarthy the simple majority needed to take the gavel of Speaker of the House © Getty Images

4. Salesforce to cut 10% of employees Co-founder and CEO Marc Benioff blamed the retrenchment for the deteriorating working conditions, but he admitted it Misreads demand strength The US software company has become the latest tech group to reverse hiring in the face of slowing demand and mounting turmoil on Wall Street.

5. Japan’s nuclear restart is in jeopardy Japan’s ambitions to restart its nuclear industry risk of relapse Because of a shortage of engineers and manufacturing capacity that had atrophied in the decade following the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Japan got about a third of its electricity from 54 nuclear reactors before the Fukushima disaster. Right now, only nine are working.

next day

economic indicators S&P PMI numbers for Australia, China, Hong Kong and Singapore will be published today. Also today, Singapore’s retail sales figures are due from the Department of Statistics.

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Funeral of former Pope Benedict the funeral The first pope in 600 years to resign from office, who died Saturday at the age of 95, is scheduled to hold his resignation at the Vatican today. Pope Francis will preside over the event.

French inflation figures While inflation is declining elsewhere in the Eurozone, figures released today in France are expected Slight increase in price growth. French inflation is expected to peak in the first quarter of 2023, according to the French central bank.

What else do we read

The prosperity of the new Gulf sovereign wealth fund From Qatar and Saudi Arabia to the United Arab Emirates, the Gulf is increasingly seen as a One of the world’s last remaining sources of abundant capital. For many of those bolting to its door, there is one thing on their mind — making deals with sovereign wealth funds — as the region enjoys its first petrodollar-fueled boom in a decade.

  • Opinion: New world energy order Is formedwrote Rana Forouhar, following President Xi Jinping’s visit to Saudi Arabia last month.

Chinese battery makers are strengthening their grip on global supplies Chinese battery manufacturers have expanded their dominance of global supplies, with the two largest producers reaching a level combined market share of 50 percent, Leaving South Korean and Japanese competitors far behind.

The Russian military is facing a backlash over the killing of conscripts The killing of dozens of Russian conscripts in a Kyiv-led missile attack on their barracks in occupied eastern Ukraine has rekindled accusations in Moscow about the conduct of the war — and raised new questions about the nature of the war. The army’s ability to learn from its mistakes.

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People lay flowers at a memorial to soldiers killed in an attack on their barracks in Donetsk Province, Ukraine
People lay flowers near the Eternal Flame Monument in Samara, Russia. © Albert Dzen/Reuters

Israel’s shift to the right raises concerns about the stability of the West Bank Israeli proposals for far-reaching changes in the administration of the occupied West Bank raised warnings even before Benjamin Netanyahu’s official return as prime minister last week. But an intervention by the Israeli army commander confirmed the extent of those fears It reached the highest echelons of the Jewish state’s army.

Active Chinese travel will restore the image of the global nation On top of the direct financial impact, the return of Chinese travelers to the world stage could have a significant impact on business and Contribute to a subtle geopolitical alert. It’s not just the purchasing power of tourism that matters — views of China will change, Leo Lewis writes.

Take a break from the news

London-based Korean-American chef, restaurateur, and author Judy Joo shares it Gastronomic guide To New York, including the Jazz Club at the new Aman Hotel and some old favourites.

Inside Tuscan Fresco Restaurant
The Tuscan Fresco by Scotto is a longtime favorite in Joo © Eric Stiffler

Thank you for reading and remembering that you can Add FirstFT to myFT. You can also choose to receive a FirstFT push notification every morning on the app. Send your recommendations and feedback to firstft@ft.com

asset Management – Discover the inside story on the movers and shakers behind a multi-billion dollar industry. Participation here

next week Start each week by reviewing what’s on the agenda. Participation here


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Samsung’s quarterly profit set to hit 6-year low as consumers slump – Reuters

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2/2

© Reuters. Samsung signs are seen in a store in Manhattan, New York, US, November 22, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

2/2

Written by Joyce Lee

SEOUL (Reuters) – Over-the-counter (OT) profit from Samsung Electronics Co. is likely to drop 58 percent to a six-year low as a global economic slowdown dampens demand for electronic devices and clouds the outlook for the memory chip industry.

Analysts said that with consumers and businesses cutting spending and investment in the face of soaring inflation and rising interest rates, smartphone makers and other customers have delayed orders for memory sticks, while smartphones have sold for less as demand slumps.

Samsung (KS:), the world’s largest maker of memory chips, smartphones and TVs, is a leader in global consumption trends. Preliminary results are expected on Friday and full results later this month.

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Operating profit for Asia’s fourth-largest listed company likely fell to 5.9 trillion won ($4.62 billion) in the October-December quarter, according to a Refinitiv SmartEstimate report from 21 analysts.

This would be Samsung’s lowest quarterly profit since the third quarter of 2016 and compares to an operating profit of 13.87 trillion won a year earlier.

“The main reason for the performance … was a sharp decline in demand. Shipments and prices for chips and smartphones are expected to fall short of previous expectations,” said Kim Rocco, an analyst at Hana Financial Investments.

Intelligent estimates are consistently weighted towards forecasts from more accurate analysts.

Operating profit of Samsung’s chip business likely fell 78% to 1.9 trillion won, according to the average of seven analyst estimates.

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Chips usually account for about half of the tech giant’s profits.

Prices of some DRAM memory chips, widely used in smartphones and computers, have fallen 40% over the year, while those of NAND flash chips used for data storage have fallen 14%, according to TrendForce data.

Memory chip competitors SK Hynix and Micron Technology (NASDAQ: ) have sharply cut investments planned for 2023 in response to the memory cycle shrinkage, which is expected to continue through at least the second half of 2023.

However, Samsung is expected to use its deep pockets during this downturn to expand its market share by largely maintaining its investment plans, analysts said, so that it can be ready to take advantage when the memory chip market eventually rebounds.

Samsung said in October that it does not expect a big change in its investment for 2023. It had about 128.82 trillion won ($100.83 billion) in cash as of the end of September.

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Samsung’s mobile business is also expected to see shrinking profits, with forecasts for a 14% drop to 2.3 trillion won for the quarter.

Its mobile phone shipments are likely to reach 63 million this quarter, including 62 million smartphones, estimates from data provider Counterpoint. Compared to 72 million phones shipped in the last quarter of 2021.

Samsung shares fell about 29% in 2022 before rebounding this week as South Korea announced planned tax breaks for semiconductor investments. That compares to a 36% decline in the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index last year.

($1 = 1,277.6400 won)

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