By Lisa Twaronite TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian shares edged higher on Monday, with investors wary of a deepening crisis in Ukraine and a downbeat China manufacturing survey, while the euro touched a fresh one-year low ahead of this week's European Central Bank meeting. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko warned a "full-scale war" was imminent if Russian troops continued to advance in support of pro-Moscow rebels, while U.S.
A Chinese anti-trust regulator said on Monday it has given Microsoft Corp 20 days to reply to queries on the compatability of its Windows operating system and Office software suite amid a probe into the world's largest software company. The State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) questioned Microsoft Vice President David Chen and gave the company a deadline to make an explanation, the agency said in a short statement on its website. SAIC also repeated that it suspected the company has not fully disclosed issues relating to the compatability of the software and the operating system. "[A] special investigation team conducted an anti-monopoly investigation inquiry with Microsoft Vice President Chen Shi (David Chen), and required that Microsoft make a written explanation within 20 days," the SAIC said in a statement on its website.
By Koh Gui Qing BEIJING (Reuters) - Growth in China's vast factory sector cooled in August as foreign and domestic demand slowed, two surveys showed on Monday, spurring new calls for more policy easing to prevent the economy from stumbling once more. A purchasing managers' index (PMI) published by the National Bureau of Statistics fell from a 27-month high to 51.1 in August, slightly less than forecast as factories shed jobs for at least the 24th consecutive month. The declines in both PMIs prompted some analysts to re-state their support for more policy action to lift the fading growth momentum in the world's second-biggest economy. He said the central bank could cut interest rates or reduce the amount of reserves that banks must hold as deposits to re-stoke the economy.
Barclays is selling its Spanish retail and corporate banking operations to Caixabank, the two companies said on Sunday, as the British bank starts shrinking its struggling European divisions as part of a major overhaul. Caixabank, Spain's third-biggest lender and one of the most acquisitive banks during the recent financial crisis, said it would pay 800 million euros ($1.05 billion) for the Barclays businesses. The sale marks one of the first big steps in Barclays' bid to exit most of its European retail banking businesses, after Chief Executive Antony Jenkins embarked on a turnaround plan earlier this year to try and lift profitability. Barclays will make thousands of job cuts in the next three years as part of the restructuring and has said it wants to refocus on its British and African businesses, credit cards and investment banking in Britain and the United States.
Similarly, buy cover against your bride becoming pregnant before the honeymoon, your team being knocked out of the soccer World Cup, burning your tongue eating hotpot or if smog ruins your holiday. Quirky, maybe, but China's insurers are turning to ever more creative ways to drum up business in a market where growth has stalled and penetration rates of around 3 percent, half the global average, are little changed from a decade ago. Premiums in China are less than $278 billion a year, way below the $1.3 trillion paid in the United States and below even the UK's $330 billion, according to Munich Re and Swiss Re data. "It's consumer acquisition, a way to engage new customers," said Joseph Ngai, who heads the Greater China financial institutions practice at McKinsey in Hong Kong.
Joan Rivers' loved ones said Sunday that they remain hopeful about her recovery three days after she went into cardiac arrest at a doctor's office. "We are keeping our fingers crossed," her daughter, Melissa Rivers, said in a statement, thanking people who have expressed support for the 81-year-old comedian. Joan Rivers was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital on Thursday, a day after she spoke at an employee event at Time Inc. in New York. Two of her "Fashion Police" co-stars tweeted their well-wishes to Joan Rivers and her family Saturday.
Education Minister Peter Fassbender said parents who start registering at the government's website (http://bcparentinfo.ca/) can expect to receive $40 a day as early as late September or early October, although the website says the payments will come after the strike is over. Both sides have said they are willing to bargain throughout the long weekend in hopes of striking a deal, but Iker and Peter Cameron, the government's negotiator, have said school will likely not start on time.
An Islamist-allied militia group in control of Libya's capital now guards the U.S. Embassy and its residential compound, a commander said Sunday, as onlookers toured the abandoned homes of diplomats who fled the country more than a month ago. An Associated Press journalist saw holes left by small-arms and rocket fire dotting the residential compound, reminders of weeks of violence between rival militias over control of Tripoli that sparked the evacuation. A commander for the Dawn of Libya group, Moussa Abu-Zaqia, told the AP that his forces had been guarding the residential compound since last week, a day after it seized control of the capital and its international airport after weeks of fighting with a rival militia.
On Monday, 26,000 people earning minimum wage in Alberta will start seeing a slight boost in their paycheques. The province is raising the general minimum wage on Sept. 1 from $9.95 to $10.20 an hour,Â while theÂ liquorÂ server wageÂ willÂ increase from $9.05 to $9.20 an hour. Alberta is the last province to hit the $10 general minimum wage barrier.
(Reuters) - Citigroup Inc has told senior staff in Europe that they would receive fixed monthly pay in addition to their salaries in an attempt to compensate for rules that limit bonuses to up to twice the level of base salaries, the Financial Times reported, citing several people. More than 600 of Citigroup bankers in Europe were affected by the bonus cap and will therefore be paid such allowances, several people told the newspaper. The FT said about half of the bankers had received similar allowances in the past after Citi introduced them a few years ago to mitigate the impact of regulatory demands for higher bonus deferrals for key staff. One senior Citi banker told the FT the allowances had been structured so that the bank's European staff would still receive the same amount of overall pay and a similar mixture of cash and shares as their U.S.
Britain's main manufacturing trade association trimmed its growth forecast for 2014 on Monday after its members reported the first fall in export orders since early 2013. The EEF association said its quarterly survey of members showed slowing growth in output and new business over the last three months, and cut its forecast for factory output growth in 2014 to 3.3 percent from 3.5 percent. The EEF said that with the euro zone economy stagnating, sterling strong and political risks on the rise, the picture for demand was now more uncertain than for some time, though the overall picture remained positive. "We're seeing manufacturers continue to recruit for skilled jobs and increase their plans to invest in the coming year - exactly what the UK economy still needs for balanced growth," said Lee Hopley, the EEF's chief economist.