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FCA-Renault deal hopes aid European shares

( ) – Strong Chinese export data and the U.S.-Mexico deal to avoid new import tariffs bolstered the mood on European stock markets on Monday, while car company shares also got a lift from signs of moves to revive Fiat-Chrysler and Renault’s merger.

The pan-regional STOXX 600 index rose 0.4% by 0805 GMT, with trading volumes thinned out by the Whit Monday holiday in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and most Nordic countries.

The auto sector gained 0.5% on signs that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and Renault SA were looking for ways to resuscitate their collapsed merger plan and secure the approval of Nissan Motor Co.

Fiat Chrysler and Renault’s shares were both up about 2% after sources close to the companies told they were back in discussions on ways to revive the deal.

“We believe it is too early to talk about negotiations being re-opened,” Equita analyst Emanuele Gallazzi wrote in a note.

“Today’s news together with the hypotheses discussed in various press sources relating to alternative scenarios for FCA, including GM, Hyundai and Geely, keep high the speculative appeal of the stock.”

President Donald Trump on Friday retreated on last month’s shock threat of a 5% import tariff on all Mexican goods in exchange for moves on immigration, providing relief to investors worried that a second major U.S. trade dispute would drive the globa上海夜生活网l economy into recession.

“Markets are blowing small celebratory bubbles this morning,” Deutsche Bank analysts said in a note.

Trade tensions between the U.S. and China still lingered, with Group of 20 finance leaders saying that trade and geopolitical tensions have raised risks to improving global growth while stopping short of calling for a resolution of the conflict.

Adding to gains was some residual buying after weak U.S. nonfarm payrolls data on Friday that spurred hopes of the Federal Reserve cutting interest rates.

Concerns over the pace of growth in the world’s major economies drove a nearly 6% fall in European stock markets in May, their worst month in more than two years, but have been countered since by hopes of new stimulus from central banks to head off the threat.

Among other stocks, BAE Systems gained 1% on hopes of further deal making in the aerospace and defense space after United Technologies Corp agreed on Sunday to combine its aerospace business with U.S. contractor Raytheon Co, in what would be the sector’s biggest ever merger.

Thomas Cook’s shares jumped 15% after a report that Hong Kong’s Fosun Tourism was in talks to buy its tour operating business as the British group faces breakup after issuing three profit warnings in the past year.

Ferguson Plc fell 4% after the British plumbing products distributor’s third quarter revenue missed analysts’ estimates.

RPT-Fear and fervour propel Shanghai’s tech board amid trade, Huawei tensions

(Repeats with no change to text)

* Huawei ban, trade war fuel patriotic support for the new board

* 120 firms seeking to list, aiming to raise total of $16 bln

* About 100 tech-focused funds awaiting regulatory approval

* Venture capitalists scrambling to grab share of pre-IPO funding

By Samuel Shen and Josh Horwitz

SHANGHAI, June 11 ( ) – Chinese companies and investors are lining up in spades to take part in Shanghai’s new Nasdaq-style tech board, with a groundswell of patriotic support surging further after the U.S. blacklisting of telecom firm Huawei inflamed tr上海夜生活ade tensions.

In the two months since the application period began, 120 firms – many in industries such as semiconductors, artificial intelligence and biotech – have sought permission to list, aiming to raise a combined $16 billion.

By comparison, IPOs on Shanghai’s main bourse last year raised $11.7 billion while those on the Shenzhen exchange raised $8 billion, according to Refinitiv data.

On the investment side, there’s been a rush to launch tech-focused mutual funds, with about 100 currently seeking approval, data from the China Securities Regulatory Commission shows. Since late May, 12 such funds targeting the new board, each with a fundraising cap of 1 billion yuan ($145 million), have been launched.

The first mainland China exchange-run board to not make profitability a listing requirement, Shanghai’s Sci-tech Innovation Board was announced suddenly by President Xi Jinping in November and is widely seen as Beijing’s latest move to become self-sufficient in core technologies such as chips.

Those ambitions, highlighted by the government’s “Made in China 2025” campaign launched four years ago, have now taken on added urgency as the trade war with Washington and anxiety about its impact escalate.

“The trade war is no longer simply about China importing more soybeans, or reducing trade deficits,” Shi Donghui, director of the Shanghai Stock Exchange’s Capital Market Institute told a financial forum last month after U.S-China trade talks collapsed.

“It’s essentially a tug of war around industry supply chains and core technologies,” he said, adding that as the two economic powers vie for tech supremacy, exchange staff were working day and night seven days a week to make the new board a success.

PATRIOTIC ENTHUSIASM

Washington’s ban in May on U.S. firms doing business with Huawei without government approval highlighted gaps in China’s tech prowess and has fuelled patriotic enthusiasm for the board.

If the new board can foster internationally competitive technologies, “Trump will no longer be able to choke us,” said Zhou Xiangyong, general manager of Guotai Asset Management, a Shanghai-based mutual fund house.

“China must turn external pressure into internal drive,” said Pan Jiang, CEO at private fund manager Shanghai V-Invest Co, which recently launched eight funds targeting the new board.

China Galaxy Securities estimates domestic mutual fund houses alone could pump more than $40 billion into the board, with about a third of that coming from new funds launching over the next six months.

In addition to allowing loss-making firms to list, the new board is doing away with paternalistic guidance from regulators on IPO pricing and timing – developments that have some bankers and investors calling it China’s boldest market reform yet.

A formal launch date has not been announced but investment bankers have said they expect it to start operating either late this month or in early July.

For Yuan Guowei, founder and CEO of big data startup Shanghai HyperS Data Technology Inc, being able to list while still loss-making is an opportunity not to be missed.

“We see U.S. companies which keep expanding aggressively despite losses. We couldn’t do that in the past, as we want to go public and struggled to balance expansion and making a profit,” he said.

Compared to the United States, stock market investment in China’s tech sector has been low, in part due to stricter listing requirements around profitability.

Tech companies account for roughly 11% of total market value in China’s stock markets, which are heavily weighted toward the financial sector, according to China Securities Index Co. In contrast, IT firms account for nearly 30% of the S&P 500’s market capitalisation, Refinitiv data shows.

Channeling investor money into homegrown technologies via the tech board could also help defuse U.S. criticism over the opaque shareholding structure of some Chinese firms and massive state subsidies for the tech sector, analysts said.

Foreign investors, however, are not expected to have much initial involvement in the new board. There are as yet no plans for it to be part of the cross-border Connect scheme, while overseas investors participating in the QFII investment scheme for mainland stocks tend to buy blue-chip shares due to their limited research capabilities in China.

VENTURE CAPITAL SCRAMBLE

The big unknown, however, is just how successful the new board will be in the long term.

China’s other startup boards have mostly languished despite a wellspring of excitement in their early days. Often speculation sent prices soaring, but those prices later collapsed spectacularly, souring investor sentiment to a point from which it never recovered.

The new tech board “is being propelled directly by China’s top decision-makers, so it has to succeed. It cannot afford to fail,” said Fu Ziheng, economist at China Fortune Securities.

“But there’s a lot of uncertainty ahead….and technology innovation does not happen overnight.”

High-profile companies planning to list on the new board include Beijing Kingsoft Office Software Inc, China’s biggest provider of officer software controlled by Xiaomi Corp founder Lei Jun, as well as chip sector firm Advanced Micro-Fabrication Equipment Inc.

For a factbox on some of the companies planning to list please click.

Excitement surrounding prospective candidates is so high that venture capitalists interested in pre-IPO financing say they need to move quickly on due diligence or lose out to the competition, particularly in strategic industries such as chips.

“When companies conduct pre-IPO financing, you may have to make decisions in 1-2 weeks, which is very demanding for the investment team. Previously, such decisions were made over 1-2 months,” said Feng Sicheng, an investment manager at private equity firm GP Capital who specialises in the chip sector. ($1 = 6.9082 Chinese yuan)

Trump presidency to create high anxiety among Asian allies

TOKYO/SEOUL ( ) – Republican Donald Trump’s victory in the U.S. presidential election will deepen Asian allies’ anxiety about Washington’s commitment to post-war security arrangements in the face of a rising China and volatile North Korea, and could bolster calls from conservatives in Tokyo for a more robust defense policy.

Trump’s “America First” rhetoric and calls for allies to pay more of the cost for U.S. troops in the region or face their possible withdrawal have worried officials in some Asian capitals. So has his opposition to a 12-nation pan-Pacific trade pact that was a linchpin of Washington’s “pivot” to the region.

“We should expect dramatic changes in the security environment,” said South Korea’s ruling Saenuri Party floor leader Chung Jin-suk in parliament on Wednesday.

But he added: “In any case, there should not be any wavering in the Korea-U.S. military alliance, which has been the foundation of prosperity of this country.”

A Japanese government official, speaking before Trump clinched the election, urged the new president to send a reassuring message.

“The new president-elect should as soon as possible issue a statement reassuring the rest of the world that the strong commitment of the United States to its allies … remains strong and reliable,” said the official, who declined to be identified.

“We are certainly concerned about the comments (Trump) has made to date about the alliance and the U.S. role in the Pacific, particularly Japan,” the Japanese official said, although he added Trump’s policies might not match his rhetoric.

Trump has made several comments that disturbed Washington’s Asian allies, from insisting they must foot more of the two-way defense bill to suggesting it might be alright for Tokyo and Seoul develop nuclear arms capability.

FOOTING THE BILL

In an article criticizing U.S. President Barack Obama’s “pivot” to Asia as “talking loudly but carrying a small stick” two Trump advisors said he would beef up the U.S. Navy while asserting it was “only fair” that Seoul and Tokyo pay more for defense.

“There is no question of Trump’s commitment to America’s Asian alliances as bedrocks of stability in the region,” wrote University of California professor Peter Navarro and Alexander Gray, a former advisor to U.S. politician Randy Forbes, in the article, which appeared in the Nov. 7 edition of Foreign Policy.

The article also criticized the Obama administration for failing to halt China’s aggressive maritime activities in the East and South China Seas, where Beijing has territorial rows with several countries in the region.

Trump has called for more ships for the U.S. Navy. The “mere initiation of the Trump naval program will reassure our allies that the United States remains committed in the long term to its traditional role as guarantor of the liberal order in Asia”, the authors said.

Trump’s approach to the North Asia security alliances could spark calls in Japan for a more independent security stance, although serious talk of acquiring nuclear weapons is unlikely to emerge in the only nation to suffer atomic bombings.

“I think they will have more legitimacy,” said a Japanese diplomat, referring to those seeking a more robust security stance. “But the Japanese public is reluctant to go in that direction and we don’t have the capacity in terms of budget or (military) personnel.”

TPP NOT JUST TRADE

Asian allies who joined the 12-nation Tran-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, a linchpin of Obama’s Asia pivot, now fear the pact is dead, given Trump’s harsh opposition.

That has implications not only for trade, but security, since Washington and Tokyo had seen the TPP as way of creating a new regional rule-based architecture to counter China.

“TPP was not just a trade deal, it was the United States and Japan, together … these countries with shared values would create an advanced regional order with not just economic, but diplomatic and security implications,” said Toshihiro Nakayama, a professor at Keio University in Tokyo.

“It was a symbol of America being committed to the region.”

Singapore-based security expert Tim Huxley warned of a period of potentially destabilizing uncertainty ahead as the region waits for clearer strategic signs of precisely what a Trump presidency would mean for Asia.

“Unless Trump speaks reassuringly and soothingly about the continued U.S. presence and commitment to the region, I won’t be surprised to see long-held doubts awoken in the minds of many Asian leaders about the durability of the traditional U.S. role,” he said.

Policy-makers expect it will take considerable time for Trump to work out personnel appointments and get down to policy formation. Divisive U.S. politics could also slow things down. That could mean a worrisome vacuum, but also suggests no quick, dramatic changes are in store.

“It will take about half a year for Mr. Trump to firm up his foreign policies. He only has a transitio上海夜生活网n team of about 200 people and his first focus will be domestic policy,” said Masashi Adachi, head of the Japanese ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s foreign policy panel.

“I don’t think there will be a big change in his stance toward Japan. He has said the Japan-U.S. alliance is important. What he is talking about is details like increasing what Japan pays for U.S. troops in Japan,” Adachi added.

Libya agrees $34 billion budget for 2019 after months of disputes

TRIPOLI ( ) – Libya’s U.N.-backed administration agreed with the central bank and other players on a 2019 budget worth 46.8 billion dinars ($33.83 billion), it said on Monday after months of arguments.

The “financial arrangements”, as the budget is called officially, mark an increase from last year’s 42 billion dinars.

Libya has no proper budget as authority is divided between the U.N.-backed Tripoli government and a parallel administration allied to the internationally recognized parliament in the east, part of a conflict since the toppling of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

The central bank therefore agrees with Tripoli – with the tacit agreement of authorities in the east mediated by Western powers and international institutions — on a budget mainly covering public salaries and fuel subsidies for the whole country.

The Tripoli government and the central bank had been arguing over how to use funds raised by a 183 per cent fees slapped on hard currency transactions since autumn. 

The fees are aimed at bridging a gap between official and black market rate by moving the official rate to effectively 3.9 versus one dollar. Before it was 1.4.

The上海夜网 black market rate has fallen since then to around 4.1 from 6.

“After extensive discussion a total value of the financial arrangements (of) 46.8 billion dinars was agreed upon,” the government said in a short statement. It gave no details.

Preview: Bayern Munich – Hoffenheim

Flashscore presents the key facts before the match:

Bayern Munich will host Hoffenheim in the 20th round of the Bundesliga. The Bavarians are on top of the table with 37 points, while Hoffenheim are 8 points behind, placed ninth.

Since the appointment of Jupp-Heynckes as the manager of the club, Bayern Munich have won 33 points in 12 games, while Hoffenheim have claimed just 13 points from the same number of games.

The Bundesliga champions have won their last five games, netting 20 goals in the process. Hoffenheim have won just one,上海夜生活网 drawn two and lost two.

While Bayern Munich’s boss Jupp Heynckes is the oldest in the league – 72, Hoffenheim’s boss is the youngest one – 30.

Players to watch: Thomas Muller netted his 100th goal for the club last week. A curious fact is that the Bavarians have not lost a game in which the German has scored. 78 games – 74 wins and 4 draws. Meanwhile, Sandro Wagner can make an appearance and punish his former team-mates, having joined Bayern Munich earlier in the January transfer window from Hoffenheim.Neuer & Ter Stegen to share Germany goalkeeping duties Andrew Smyth – Joachim Low has announced that he will select both goalkeepers Manuel Neuer and Marc-Andre ter Stegen for Germany during this month’s international break.

Missing players:

Bayern Munich: Neuer M.(leg injury).

Under question:

Bayern Munich: Alcantara(thigh injury), Fruchtl(ankle injury), Hummels (groin injury).

Hoffenheim: Akpoguma (injury), Demirbay (thigh injury), Kobel G. (illness).

Gerrard’s remarkable managerial record

The Liverpool legend recently returned to the club as a coach in the youth formations and his record as a manager is more than impressive.

The Reds icon Steven Gerrard ended his career in the MLS before returning to Anfield in a different position from what most fans are used to seeing him. Steve G took on a coaching role in the youth system of the club in February 2017, trying to inspire and help youngsters develop and hopefully advance to the first team of Liverpool.

Even though Gerrard is relatively new to the profession, his record as a manager is quite impressive. After 21 games with the Under 18 formations, the Reds have topped the U18 Premier League, finished first in their U19 UEFA Youth League Group and lost just one game ever since his arrival.

Speaking to the club’s website ab上海夜生活论坛out the team he is leading, Gerrard revealed:Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers relishing Liverpool return Andrew Smyth – Brendan Rodgers is relishing Leicester City’s trip to his old club Liverpool, whom he described as a “privilege” to work for during his three-year stint.

“Credit to the lads, they have created an atmosphere and a spirit in the group where they are hard to beat, and the reaction and response to going a goal down was superb.

“They showed unbelievable character to come back, not just to equalise but to go on and win it in the way we did, the players deserve every single bit of credit.

“I thought my performance today was poor and I got certain things wrong as the game went on but the players bailed me out and I thought they were superb.”

Clattenburg talks about Premier League leave

The 42-year-old revealed what caused him to quit his job in England and go through a change of scenery.

Mark Clattenburg insists he made up his mind to give up on being a referee in England following a game between Stoke City and Manchester United. After the final whistle, the Red Devils’ boss went to the officials’ dressing room and questioned Clattenburg’s penalty decision, which got to the Englishman.

The 42-year-old referee is now working as head for refereeing at the Saudi Arabian Football Federation after a 13-year spell in England.

While on the Men in Blazers podcast, Clattenburg spoke about his decision to leave the Premier League and start over somewhere else.

“I was refereeing the game when Wayne Rooney broke Bobby Charlton’s record and Mourinho came into my dressing room and he was unhappy about a handball penalty that I didn’t give.Solskjaer “very pleased” after another failure to win George Patchias – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he was “very pleased,” even though United failed to win yet again.It is now ten games on the road since…

“I’d walked off that pitch at Stoke, which was always the coldest stadium, it was always wet and miserable, and refereeing Man United was never an easy match.

“To come off that match it felt immense that I’d actuall上海夜网y had a good performance, and for him to come into my dressing room and criticise my performance for a handball that I’d seen, that had clearly come off his chest, I knew that I was right but he’d put a seed of doubt into my mind.

“I drove home 250 miles thinking I’d made a big error, my wife knew my attitude had changed, and I thought to myself, ‘Do I really want to be a part of this anymore? Do I really want to referee?’

“And I went soul-searching, I wasn’t enjoying it as much as I used to and I had to get out.”

Lingard wants to make sure that Manchester will be red

The Manchester United youngster, Jesse Lingard, tried to boost the confidence of his side before the upcoming derby clash against Manchester City by saying that the city has to be red after that fixture.

The young winger insisted that he can’t see any reason why his Red Devils can’t beat the league leaders at home and start chasing them – the Citizens are now eight points ahead of their rivals but the title race is still far from being over. Jesse Lingard seems to be highly motivated for that clash and he wants to do his best to help his side in their effo上海夜生活rt to minimize the deficit in the Premier League table.

The Englishman spoke about the upcoming game as he said, according to Goal: “I am confident. It’s two great teams going out there and you don’t know what the game is going to be like. It might be a battle; it might not be pretty. But if we come out on top, it’s always good for the city of Manchester. We need to make sure that Manchester is red at the end of the day. Like us, they have lots of big players.”Solskjaer “very pleased” after another failure to win George Patchias – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he was “very pleased,” even though United failed to win yet again.It is now ten games on the road since…

He added that Manchester City are very strong and he pointed out two specific key players: “When [Kevin] De Bruyne’s on the ball, he’s always got that eye for a killer pass that can put a player one-on-one with the keeper, and Raheem Sterling’s been popping up with the late goals.”

In the end, Jesse Lingard claimed that he will forget his friendships with the opposition players for these 90 minutes: “You know quite a lot of them [City’s Academy players] growing up, and through the England set-up as well. I’m good friends with Raheem [Sterling] off the pitch. But when you’re on the pitch, there are no friends and we’re there to do a job and win the game.”

Preview: Inter – Atalanta

Inter are fourth in Serie A, five points behind leaders Napoli and they will be looking to close the gap today, as they host 10th-placed Atalanta.

Flashscore presents the key facts before the match:

Sunday’s late game features 2 sides with different aspirations this season. Atalanta will be looking to improve on their current 10th place standing (16pts) in their quest to qualify for Europe again, w上海夜生活论坛hile 3rd placed Inter (30 pts) are having their best season in many years and can once again dream of Scudetto glory. These sides first met in Serie A in the 1937/38 season.

Inter are unbeaten in Serie A this season and have undoubtedly benefited from a lack of European football. Inter have scored at least 1 goal in all but one of their 12 games this season, and that game was a 0-0 away to league leaders Napoli.

Mauro Icardi has been in fine form for Inter this season, racking up 11 goals (joint 2nd in Serie A), although he has failed to score in his last 2 games. He actually scored a 10-minute hattrick last season against Atalanta in a 7-1 romp.

Inter drew their last game 1-1 at home to Torino, but the last time they drew 2 consecutive home games was back in April ’15 (part of a 3-game streak) – a run of 48 games.

The team from the San Siro top the corner charts in Serie A with an average of 12.83 corners per game, which is also the second highest in Europe’s major leagues.Report: Lukaku out of Barcelona game George Patchias – Romelu Lukaku has been ruled out of Inter Milan’s game against Barcelona at the Camp Nou.Inter Milan face Barcelona tomorrow evening at the Camp…

Atalanta are playing European football for the first time in 27 years this season and currently sit top of their Europa League group. They have an important game away at Everton on Thursday and their Serie A form (no win in the last 2) has undoubtedly suffered due to their focus on Europe.

Along with Chievo, Atalanta have a symmetrical record of 4 wins, 4 draws and 4 defeats this season. They are yet to win away this season (D2 L3) and have lost on their last 3 visits to Inter.

On balance, you are more likely to see second-half goals in this game. Both teams have scored 9 goals in the first half of their Serie A matches this season. Inter have gone on to score another 14 in the second half of their games while Atalanta have managed 10.

Missing players

Inter: Z. Vanheusden (knee injury), A. Pinamonti (doubtful).

Atalanta: R. Freuler (red card), L. Spinazzola (muscle injury), J. Schmidt (doubtful).

Bellerin: Arsenal silenced doubters

Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin claims the Gunners have silenced their critics when they defeated Tottenham in the north London derby at Emirates

Thanks to the goals of Alexis Sanchez and Shkodran Mustafi, Arsenal are now within one point of their local rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League.

Not only the result, but the manner the Gunners showed in their victory is what silenced the naysayers, according to Bellerin.

“There’s always a lot of talk but I think it was one of those games where we showed what we could do. We shut some mouth as well,” Bellerin told Arsenal’s official website.

上海夜生活

“There are people who talk a lot and now, after watching that game at home, they’ll be thinking that these guys have a chance.”

Arsenal need to keep up the intensity against Burnley as they meet in next weekend’s Premier League clash.Top 5 Premier League players in September’s last weekend Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – A fresh Premier League fixture just ended, which means we can talk about the Top 5 best players of September’s last weekend.After a fresh…

“That’s what we’re trying to do. Sometimes, for different reasons, we haven’t been able to do it, but this is how we set the bar and show what potential we have,” Bellerin said.

“That’s what we’ve got to work hard to do every single week, week in, week out.”

This was the first north London derby defeat of Mauricio Pochettino’s side and it resulted in Spurs now being 11 points behind league leaders Manchester City.

“It’s a low, it’s a big hit for us,” Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen told the club’s official website.

Defender Ben Davies added: “We know we can do so much better than that. When their goal came it was a bit of a sucker-punch and to concede another before half-time was a bit sloppy and killed us. We were confident in ourselves.”

Arsenal will get a chance to take over Tottenham in the next fixture of the English top-flight, but the Gunners will need to do their best if they want to defeat Burnley, who are in great form currently.

Madrid: A change in formation

Real Madrid are trying to find a way to end their struggles, and the coachg staff are looking into a possible change in formation

The coaching team of Real Madrid are desperately searching for a solution to the current crisis at the club that includes back-to-back defeats, MARCA reports.

Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane, assisted by David Bettoni and Lluis Lopis are trying to find a medicine for Real’s sickness.

They want to get their team back on track as Los Blancos suffer from poor form besides having tactical concerns, leaving open spaces for rivals to attack.

The solution that seems the easiest maybe would be to return to a 4-3-3 formation, one that fans could see in action, until Zidane could use it, with Gareth Bale being a key player in it.

Since the Welsh winger’s constant injuries however, Madrid changed to a 4-4-2, where Isco’s excellence could be used for their advantage.

The question is whether Zidane will change tactics against Las Palmas on Sunday, or will he wait until the next international break? It’s hard to tell, as Madrid is in desperate need of a redemption, but Bale is expected to return after the break, which could force the French manager to change his tactics once again.Wijnaldum looking to repeat Champions League success Nedim Maric – Liverpool are the reigning winners of the Champions League. However, this isn’t stopping them for aiming to get the glory once again.After a perfect…

It’s also possible that Zidane will look to revive the width of the side which has disappeared since Isco pla上海夜网ying centrally behind Ronaldo as a traditional centre forward in the middle, without drifting to the left.

This would allow Cristiano Ronaldo to find more space out wide just like he did most of his career, and hopefully rediscover his form.

Los Blancos have quite a few options to switch to a 4-3-3 even without Bale. Besides Ronaldo playing on the left wing and Benzema being the centre-forward, the right side could be occupied by Lucas Vasquez or Marcos Asensio, giving Madrid the width it requires.

It’s interesting to see that throughout the season, Los Blancos have always switched formations during the game. In fact, they often changed to a completely different one than what they have started with.

In their last two defeats, against Girona and Tottenham for example, the defense has ended the game with three actual defenders, and their full-backs played more like wing-backs.

Whatever the coaching team decides, they better get Los Blancos back to winning ways, as they are already behind Barcelona by 8 points.

Emre Can to leave Liverpool

According to Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool should accept the fact that Emre Can might leave the Reds next summer

According to GOAL, the Germany international’s contract expires at the end of the season and there is interest from Juventus and Bayern Munich.

Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp says losing a player due to a pre-contract agreement with another team is a “part of football”. The Reds are yet to agree on a contract extension with the midfielder, if they want to.

Even though Can’s contract expires in June 2018, the 23-year-old can start negotiations with other clubs in January, six months prior to his possible departure from Anfield.

Juventus have shown interest in the central-midfielder earlier, and the Turin side have been tipped now, with speculations saying Can may join the Italian side.

Furthermore, Bayern Munich head coach Jupp Heynckes praised the qualities of the youngster during a press conference 上海夜网on Friday, which again led to speculations about Can’s possible transfer move to Germany.Ronaldo opens up about retirement plans Nedim Maric – Cristiano Ronaldo is still playing at a top-level even at 34 years of age.Juventus is looking to end the 23-year-old drought of not winning…

“Emre Can is a good boy, he has developed very well, is dynamic and powerful,” Heynckes said.

Jurgen Klopp said everything is okay, and the midfielder doesn’t show signs about being bothered by his possible transfer.

“As long as Emre doesn’t give me one sign that his mind is somewhere else then I don’t have to talk about this. Everything is okay from my side, but nothing new.”

“It’s part of football. If it happens, we can’t change it,” the coach said about the possibility of Can leaving.

Klopp concluded the topic by saying Liverpool have to accept it if Can leaves, since it is a normal situation in football.

“We have to accept even an ending contract. There are two sides who could have done different. One is the club, the other is the player. It is a normal situation.”

Abidal hopeful that Mbapp\u00e9 will win the Ballon d’Or

The former Catalan has backed up the youngster, insisting he has the potential to win the award in the future.

Former Barcelona full-b上海夜生活网ack Eric Abidal is hoping that Kylian Mbappé will become the best footballer in the world. The 18-year-old has established himself as one of the most promising footballers of our generation, scoring 26 goals during a remarkable campaign with AS Monaco last season. He has also reached the final 30 nominees for the Ballon d’Or award this year, but will likely not win the competition with Ronaldo and Messi being the favourites as usual.

However, Abidal has recognized the enormous talent of Mbappé and says he will be rooting for this fellow countryman to win the most prestigious individual award one day.

“Yes he can,” said Abidal when asked whether Mbappé could become one of football’s greatest players, according to Goal.Neymar keeps winning matches for Paris Saint-Germain Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – Another solitary goal from Neymar gave Paris Saint-Germain the victory at Bordeaux on Saturday. Mbappe played football again.With this latest goal against Bordeaux, that…

“But I can say also he has to, because he has a lot of talent.

“He is only 18-years-old. PSG have hired one of the best players of his age so he deserves a good career. But he has to work. Talent is not enough, you have to work every day.

“And with Neymar and other good players around him he has to learn from them.

“I’m French and he’s French too so I hope in a few years he wins some titles with his club and maybe in a personal capacity too, like a Ballon d’Or.”

China’s economy worsens in July, industrial growth at 17-year low as trade war escalates

BEIJING ( ) – China’s economy stumbled more sharply than expected in July, with industrial output growth cooling to a more than 17-year low, as the intensifying U.S. trade war took a heavier toll on businesses and consumers.

Activity in China has continued to cool despite a flurry of growth steps over the past year, raising questions over whether more rapid and forceful stimulus may be needed, even if it risks racking up more debt.

After a flicker of improvement in June, analysts said the latest data was evidence that demand faltered across the board last month, from industrial output and investment to retail sales.

That followed weaker-than-expected bank lending and gloomy factory surveys in recent days, along with the return of producer price deflation, reinforcing expectations more policy support is needed soon.

“China’s economy needs more stimulus because the headwinds are pretty strong and today’s data is much weaker than consensus,” said Larry Hu, head of Greater China economics at Macquarie Group in Hong Kong.

“The economy is going to continue to slow down. At a certain point, policymakers will have to step up stimulus to support infrastructure and property. I think it could happen by the end of this year.”

Industrial output growth slowed markedly to 4.8% in July from a year earlier, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed, lower than the most bearish forecast in a poll and the weakest pace since February 2002.

Analysts had forecast it would slow to 5.8%, from June’s 6.3%. Washington had sharply raised some tariffs in May.

Infrastructure investment, which Beijing has been counting on to stabilize the economy, also dropped back, as did property investment, which has been a rare bright spot despite worries of potential housing bubbles.

Crude steel output fell for a second straight month, while production of motor vehicles continued to fall by double digits. Hi-tech manufacturing output rose by a slower 6.6%, and the country’s power output edged up just 0.6%.

The industry ministry said last month that China would need “arduous efforts” to achieve its 2019 industrial growth target of 5.5% to 6.0%.

INVESTMENT, RETAIL SALES GROWTH COOLS

China’s economic growth cooled to a near 30-year low of 6.2% in the second quarter, and business confidence has remained shaky, weighing on investment.

While officials have cautioned it would take time for higher infrastructure spending to kick in, construction growth has been more subdued than expected.

Fixed-asset investment rose 5.7% in January-July from the same period last year, lagging expectations of a 5.8% gain and dipping from the previous reading.

But readings by sector showed a more marked loss of momentum in critical areas at the start of the third quarter.

Infrastructure investment rose 3.8% in the first seven months from a year earlier, slowing from 4.1% in the first half despite massive local government bond issuance, mainly to fund road and rail projects and other civic works.

Data from Japanese construction equipment maker Komatsu Ltd. (6301.T) showed activity remained weak, with operating hours for its machines in China falling for a fourth straight month.

In a sign the housing market’s resilience may be waning as Beijing cracks down on speculation, property investment slowed to its weakest this year. It rose 8.5% in July on-year, from June’s 10.1%. Though home sales inched back to growth, new construction starts cooled.

Retail sales are also pointing to growing consumer caution, most evident in slumping auto sales but also in property-related spending on items such as home appliances and furniture.

Retail sales rose 7.6% in July, well off consensus of 8.6% and weaker than the most pessimistic forecast. Sales had jumped 9.8% in June, which many analysts had predicted would be temporary.

Job security worries may also be a factor. Nationwide survey-based unemployment edged up to 5.3% from 5.1% in June, though market watchers believe it could be much higher.

“We maintain our view that (economic) growth has yet to bottom out and expect Beijing to maintain its easing policy stance,” economists at Nomura said.

Nomura expects growth will slow to 6.0% in the third and fourth quarters, the bottom end of the government’s target range.

Authorities have already announced hundreds of billions of dollars in infrastructure spending and corporate tax cuts over the last year, and repeatedly cut bank’s reserve requirements (RRR) to free up more funds for lending and reduce borrowing costs.

But credit demand has been tepid, with companies in no mood to borrow or invest given the uncertain business outlook 上海夜生活网and banks wary of rising bad loans.

Sources told recently that more aggressive action such as interest rate cuts are a last resort, as it could fuel a rapid build-up in debt and financial risks.

Highlighting those concerns, the Politburo, a top decision-making body of the Communist Party, took the unusual step last month of announcing it would not use the property market as a form of short-term stimulus.

ESCALATING TRADE WAR

Recent months have been marked by a sudden escalation in the year-long U.S.-China trade war that has raised risks for both economies and sparked fears of a global recession.

A brief ceasefire was shattered earlier this month after U.S President Donald Trump vowed to impose a 10% tariff on more Chinese goods from Sept. 1.

China let its yuan currency slide to an 11-year low days later, prompting the U.S. Treasury Department to label Beijing a currency manipulator.

Some relief came on Tuesday, however, after Trump said he would delay duties on some Chinese imports including cellphones and other consumer goods, in an apparent effort to blunt tariffs’ impact on U.S. holiday sales.

Still, new tariffs will go into effect next month on about half of Washington’s $300 billion target list of Chinese goods, and analysts say the chance of any durable trade deal after the recent escalations has sharply receded.

Chevron profit surges 26% on higher output, termination fee

HOUSTON ( ) – Chevron Corp reported a 26.3% jump in quarterly profit on Friday, as higher oil and gas production and a one-time breakup fee from its failed bid for a rival more than offset lower energy prices and a rise in expenses.

Results benefited from a $1 billion fee it received after Occidental Petroleum wrecked its $33 billion deal to buy Anadarko Petroleum with a winning $38 billion bid. The termination fee added $720 million to the quarter’s profit, Chevron said.

Its U.S. shale production rose 21% during the quarter, but was overshadowed by sharply weaker oil and gas prices. Like many of its rivals, Chevron also reported declining profits in its refining and chemicals units.

“Upstream earnings were slightly ahead of expectations, while downstream earnings came in slightly below, leaving net income in line” with forecasts,” said RBC analyst Biraj Borkhataria.

Shares were up a fraction at $120.76 in morning trading. The stock is up about 11% year to date.

Chevron abandoned its pursuit of Anadarko in May, refusing to increase its bid, saying it would not back down from a pledge not to dilute the returns it promised investors. Occidental this week said it expects to quic上海夜生活论坛kly close the purchase after Anadarko shareholders vote on Aug. 8.

The second-largest U.S. oil and natural gas producer’s daily production of oil and gas rose 9.1% to 3.08 million barrels, a record for the company. Its production in the Permian Basin, the top U.S. shale field, rose 21.5% over a the same period a year ago.

The company said it has resumed share buybacks that were suspended during its acquisition talks with Anadarko. It expects to buy $5 billion in its own shares this quarter.

Net income attributable to the company rose to $4.31 billion, or $2.27 per share, in the second quarter, from $3.41 billion, or $1.78 per share a year earlier. [bit.ly/2LYr4A0]

Unilever second-quarter sales slip as wet weather hits Europe

( ) – Consumer goods giant Unilever Plc (ULVR.L) UNc.AS reported slightly weaker-than-expected quarterly underlying sales growth on Thursday, hit by wet weather in Europe and moderating growth in India, but kep上海夜生活网t its full-year sales target intact.

The company said it continues to expect full-year underlying sales growth to be in the lower half of its multi-year 3% to 5% target range and operating margin to reach 20% in 2020.

Unilever’s shares were down 1.1% in morning trade, compared to the broader FTSE 100 index .FTSE, which was flat.

The maker of Dove soap and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream said underlying sales rose 3.5% in the second quarter, but that missed analysts’ average forecasts for a 3.7% rise, according to a company-supplied consensus.

Wet weather in Europe dampened ice-cream sales following two straight seasons of hot summers, while growth in India slowed again as a late monsoon season and lower food inflation weakened rural demand.

“It seems a bit ironic with (Europe) being at super record temperatures right now, but in the quarter we are reporting, it was quite negative,” Unilever’s chief financial officer said on an earnings call with media.

Average rainfall across 12 European cities was three times higher in April and May than the prior year, while average hours of sunshine were down between 9% and 25% in the same two months, a Jefferies analysis showed.

Ice cream makes up 13% of Unilever’s group sales and about 20% of its European sales annually. In the second quarter that rises to 30% or about 1 billion pounds ($1.25 billion) in sales, Jefferies analyst Martin Deboo said in a pre-earnings note.

Growth mainly came from emerging markets, where the company continued to win volume share in places like Indonesia and the Philippines, even though sales in India decelerated to 7% in the second quarter from 9% in the previous three months.

Underlying sales in emerging markets rose 7.4% in the quarter, while they fell 1.6% in developed markets. Emerging markets contribute 60% to Unilever’s overall sales.

Turnover inched lower to 13.7 billion euros ($15.25 billion).

“Unilever themselves describe their markets as mixed, and most investors will look at these numbers as something of a curate’s egg,” said Steve Clayton, manager of the HL Select funds, which holds a position in Unilever.

Exclusive: U.S. clears SoftBank’s $2.25 billion investment in…

( ) – Cruise, a U.S. self-driving vehicle company majority-owned by General Motors Co, told on Friday that a U.S. national security panel approved a $2.25 billion investment in the firm by Japan’s SoftBank Corp.

SoftBank has come under increasing U.S. scrutiny over its ties to Chinese firms in the face of an escalating trade and technology war between Washington and Beijing. It is in the process of raising its second $100 billion investment vehicle, dubbed Vision Fund, after deploying its first one of equal size.

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which reviews deals for potential national security concerns, approved the investment based on fresh assurances that Cruise’s technology would be completely off limits to SoftBank, a source familiar with the matter said.

A SoftBank spokesman declined to comment. The Treasury Department, which leads CFIUS, did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

The approval unlocks a seat for SoftBank on Cruise’s board, formalizing its oversight, and cements key financing for Cruise, which has raised $7.25 billion in capital since last year, the company said.

“Today’s news is another important step toward achieving our goal to develop and deploy self-driving vehicles at massive scale,” Cruise CEO Dan Ammann said in a statement to .

However, approval for the deal did not always appear certain as CFIUS scrutinized it closely, according to two people close to the deal.

The $2.25 billion investment was unveiled by SoftBank in May 2018 amid a wave of investments by the Japanese technology and telecommunications conglomerate in artificial intelligence, data analytics, financial services and self-driving cars.

RED FLAGS

The investment raised red flags with CFIUS because SoftBank invests in numerous mobility units, some based in China, and encourages companies it invests in to share information.

CFIUS was especially concerned about SoftBank’s co-investments with Tencent Holdings Ltd, a Chinese social media and gaming giant, and its investment in China ride-hailing firm Didi, which it fears could take technology from Cruise, sources said.

The committee, emboldened by a law last year aimed at strengthening the inter-agency panel, has flexed its muscles increasingly against Chinese companies as Beijing and Washington remain locked in a heated trade and technology row.

reported that Chinese gaming company Beijing Kunlun Tech Co Ltd has been seeking to sell Grindr LLC, the popular gay dating app, after CFIUS said its ownership posed a national security risk. CFIUS halted a plan last year by Ant Financial, owned by the chairman of China’s internet conglomerate Alibaba, to acquire MoneyGram International Inc.

The Cruise deal was structured to allow $900 million of the investment to be disbursed initially, with the remainder provided once Cruise AVs are ready for commercial deployment and contingent on regulatory approval. The two tranches would combine to give SoftBank a nearly 20 percent stake in Cruise.

However, the Japanese firm separately announced a joint investment with GM, T. Rowe Price, and Honda of $1.15 billion earlier this year, further boosting its stake.

Softbank’s investment, followed by Honda’s announcement in October that it will pour $2.75 billion into Cruise, is still one of the biggest and most high-profile investments in self-driving technology to date.

Its Vision Fund, the world’s largest technology fund,上海夜网 unveiled a $1.5 billion investment in China’s top used car platform, Chehauduo Group, in February. reported in December that the same fund was hiring an investment team based in China to boost its presence in one of the world’s most vibrant tech markets.

It is not the first time SoftBank has gone through a protracted CFIUS review. It has had to accept U.S. restrictions on how it runs some of its companies, including wireless carrier Sprint Corp and investment firm Fortress Investment Group.

SoftBank lost its claim to two seats on the board of Uber Inc when the ride-hailing giant floated in the stock market in May. SoftBank never received permission for the board seats from CFIUS following an agreement in 2017 to invest $9 billion in Uber.

The autonomous vehicle industry could revolutionize transportation but faces engineering, safety and regulatory challenges, as well as skepticism among potential users.

GM Cruise and Alphabet Inc’s Waymo are often described as leading the pack of technology and auto companies competing to create self-driving cars and integrate them into ride services fleets.

LG Electronics, regulators oppose Qualcomm’s effort to put…

( ) – Smartphone maker LG Electronics Inc on Tuesday opposed Qualcomm Inc’s efforts to put a sweeping U.S. antitrust decision against the chip supplier on hold as it pursues an appeal.

The Korean company said that it is negotiating chip supply and patent license agreements with Qualcomm and could be forced into signing another unfair deal unless a federal judge’s protections remain in place.

The filing in federal court in San Jose, California, came shortly after the U.S. Federal Trade Commissi上海夜生活论坛on also opposed Qualcomm’s efforts, saying that it was in the public interest to let the antitrust ruling stand because an appeal could take years.

Both filings stem from a May 21 decision by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh that would drastically alter the business model of Qualcomm, which supplies modem chips to connect phones to mobile data networks but makes most of its profit through licensing patents.

Among other things, Koh’s decision would require Qualcomm to license its patents to rival chip makers instead of phone makers, which could potentially slice its patent royalties from several dollars per phone to pennies.

Qualcomm on May 28 asked Koh to set aside her decision while it pursues an appeal. The company said that Koh’s decision would entail “radically restructuring its business relationships” in ways that would be impossible to reverse if it wins an appeal.

It also argued that Koh’s ruling raised “serious legal questions” because, among other things, Koh blocked market evidence showing that Apple Inc dropped Qualcomm in favor of rival chip supplier Intel Corp.

In a court filing on Tuesday, JongSang Lee, LG Electronics’ general counsel, said that the phone maker relies on Qualcomm for modem chips and is in the midst of negotiating a new agreement, including over 5G chips for the newest generation of mobile networks in Korea.

Lee wrote that Qualcomm has continued to pressure LG Electronics to sign a patent license in order to keep its access to Qualcomm chips, which it relies on for its phones. LG Electronics’ agreement with Qualcomm runs out on June 30, and the phone maker may have “no option but to conclude license and chipset supply agreements once again on Qualcomm’s terms, since LGE must rely on Qualcomm’s modem chips,” Lee wrote.

Koh’s decision “prohibits Qualcomm’s long-standing ‘no license no chip’ position, which Qualcomm has continuously raised during its license negotiations with LGE,” Lee wrote. “Without this order, LGE will continue to face Qualcomm’s anticompetitive stance during currently ongoing negotiations.”

The FTC similarly argued that Koh’s ruling should stay in place while Qualcomm appeals, saying that a prompt enforcement of the Court’s order is in the public interest.

“The appellate process could easily extend through the initial rollout of 5G technology … and a stay would allow Qualcomm time to use anticompetitive practices to entrench its monopoly power in modem-chip markets during this critical period,” the FTC wrote in its filing.

The App Association, a group that represents more than 5,000 app developers and device makers and is backed by sponsor Apple, also said it planned to oppose Qualcomm’s request, saying it would hurt smaller device makers.

“Allowing Qualcomm to continue abusing its (patents) and its wireless chipset monopoly any longer will irreparably harm opportunities for small businesses in the app and internet of things marketplace and would encourage further abusive behavior in (patent) licensing widely,” said App Association President Morgan Reed.

In April, Apple signed a six-year patent license agreement with Qualcomm and a multi-year chip supply deal. As part of the deal, Apple dropped all litigation against Qualcomm, and the company did not return a comment request asking if it would also oppose Qualcomm’s efforts to pause the antitrust ruling.

Qualcomm has signaled its intention to file an appeal but has not yet filed one or fully revealed its legal arguments. Tuesday’s filing by the FTC only concerns whether the ruling’s provisions will be put on hold temporarily as any appeal plays out.

India minister says confident airline capacity problems will be solved

NEW DELHI ( ) – India’s new civil aviation minister said on Friday he is confident that airline capacity shortage problems following the grounding of Jet Airways Ltd will be solved, in the government’s first comments about the issue since it was re-elected last month.

We are “very confident we can solve that problem,” Hardeep Singh Puri said on the sidelines of a conference in New Delhi.

Massive debt and suffocating price competition forced what was once India’s biggest private-sector airline to halt operations in April at the cost of thousands of jobs, and resulting in higher airfares across the industry. It has also resulted in capacity constraints across the industry.

The airline and its lenders have been searching for new investors, while employee unions have been calling for government intervention. The government, however, has largely been quiet on the Jet issue since its elect上海夜生活论坛ion victory.

Puri has assumed office at a time of distress in areas of Indian aviation. Last year, the government unsuccessfully sought a buyer for money-losing state-owned carrier Air India Ltd.

“We have made mistakes in civil aviation in the past which we need to correct,” Puri said.

Jet’s share price was 9% lower in early afternoon trade. The stock sunk in the last two trading sessions after India’s largest stock exchange limited speculative trading in the firm.

(This story corrects headline, first and second paragraphs to reflect that minister was addressing aircraft capacity issue and not Jet Airways issue.)

Boeing deliveries hammered by 737 MAX groundings

( ) – Boeing Co handed over 24 percent fewer jet airplanes in the first four months of 2019 compared with the same period a year earlier as the grounding of its top-selling 737 MAX aircraft halted deliveries for a second month.

As expected, the company took no new orders in April for the narrowbody jets as it continues to work on a software fix for the plane’s anti-stall system MCAS.

Deliveries of the aircraft were stopped in early March, a few days after an Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed, killing all 157 people on board, in the second fatal accident involving the 737 MAX in just five months.

Last month Boeing abandoned its 2019 financial outlook, halted share buybacks and said lowered production of the fastest-selling 737 MAX jets in the wake of the groundings had cost it at least $1 billion.

Boeing recognizes full payment for planes when they are handed over to customers, and the formal grounding of the 737 MAX in almost all global airspace has completely halted deliveries.

At the end of March, Boeing had 91 net orders, but the company’s leasing and lending services unit Boeing Capital moved four of its 737 MAX delivery slots to a lessor.

That led to the company recording 87 net orders through April across its aircraft lineup, a reduction of four on a net basis.

Boeing had also removed 206 planes from its order backlog last month due to the near-collapse of India’s Jet Airways.

As a result, its net orders for the first four months slid into negative territory, with a total of minus 119 net orders after cancell上海夜生活网ations, despite a slew of new wide-body sales.

The adjustment has pushed the world’s largest planemaker behind European rival Airbus SE in the race for business this year as both companies grapple with cancellations that outweigh new orders.

Airbus last week said it had won 67 gross orders through April this year, but 125 cancellations left it with a negative net order of 58 aircraft.

Airbus delivered 232 aircraft in the first four months of 2019, up from 172 planes a year earlier.

Boeing’s total deliveries fell to 172 planes in the same period, compared with 228 jets in 2018.

Investors and analysts closely watch the number of planes Boeing turns over to airlines and leasing firms for cues on the company’s cashflow and revenues.

Boeing shares were up 2 percent – in line with the broader market, a day after fears of renewed trade tensions between the United States and China led to a drastic selloff.