News Archive


Oil jumps 8 percent, biggest three-day surge since 1990


NEW YORK Oil futures soared on Monday for a third consecutive day, rising more than 8 percent, as a downward revision of U.S. crude production data and OPEC’s readiness to talk with other producers helped extend the biggest three-day price surge in 25 years.

U.S. crude oil prices have skyrocketed more than $10 a barrel in three days, erasing the month’s declines as a series of relatively small-scale supply disruptions and output risks prompted bearish traders to take profits on short positions, which had been near a record a week ago.

On Monday, prices fell initially but reversed course mid-morning. The three-day gains were more than the 20 percent mark that often signals a bull market. Even so, few were prepared to call a definitive end to the slump.

“Sharp gains over the past three trading sessions were driven by a combination of short covering and chart-readers again looking to call a bottom falsely,” Citi said in a report, saying that prices may yet test new lows before year’s end.

Brent LCOc1 October futures rose $4.10, or 8.2 percent, to settle at $54.15 a barrel, with volumes relatively muted by a British public holiday.

U.S. crude CLc1 gained $3.98, or 8.8 percent, to settle at $49.20 a barrel, taking three-day gains to 27.5 percent, the most over three days since August 1990. In dollar terms, it is the biggest three-day gain since February 2011.

While some analysts have been expecting prices to rebound after a one-third slump since late June, most have been shocked by the whiplash of the past few days, and wondered whether it was an overreaction to headlines.

On Monday, some cited a commentary in the latest OPEC Bulletin publication suggesting the group may be increasingly willing to talk to other producers about curbing output, even though it was broadly in line with previous comments. There has been no indication this summer that core Gulf OPEC members are pushing for more talks.

“As the organization has stressed on numerous occasions, it stands ready to talk to all other producers. But this has to be on a level playing field. OPEC will protect its own interests,” according to the report.

The rally was also fueled by revised U.S. government figures showing that domestic production in the first half of the year was lower than initially reported.

The Energy Information Administration said its new survey-based data showed the United States pumped just below 9.3 million barrels per day (bpd) in June, down by 100,000 bpd from a revised May figure. The June data was also nearly 250,000 bpd below what the EIA had estimated a few weeks ago.

Additionally, the largest synthetic crude oil producer in Canada halted output after a fire, lifting Canadian light crude prices and further supporting futures.

“There’s extreme volatility, with London out and the market is rallying on the OPEC headline,” said Scott Shelton, commodities specialist at ICAP in Durham, North Carolina, referring to a bank holiday in Britain.

(Additional reporting by Alex Lawler in London and Keith Wallis; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and David Gregorio)

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/5R7r865m0EY/story01.htm

Chipotle sued over GMO-free menu claims


Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc’s new GMO-free menu claims have lured diners and boosted the burrito chain’s stock price, but it has some consumers crying foul.

A California woman has accused the popular chain in a lawsuit of false advertising after it trumpeted on April 27 that it was the first national restaurant company to use only ingredients that are free of controversial genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

In her lawsuit filed Friday in federal court in San Francisco, the plaintiff Colleen Gallagher also alleged that Chipotle violated the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act because its food labeling is false and misleading, and deceived diners into paying more for their food.

“As Chipotle told consumers it was ‘G-M-Over it,’ the opposite was true,” the Piedmont, California resident said. “In fact, Chipotle’s menu as never been at any time free of GMOs.”

Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold declined to discuss the allegations, but said “we do plan to contest this.”

Many U.S. diners have in surveys expressed a willingness to pay a premium price for food they perceive to be less processed and more natural or organic, and retail data back that up.

Chipotle’s website carries disclaimers about the GMO content in its food.

Those disclaimers say that “most animal feed in the U.S. is genetically modified, which means that the meat and dairy served at Chipotle are likely to come from animals given at least some GMO feed.” They add that “many of the beverages sold in our restaurants contain genetically modified ingredients.”

Gallagher contended that most Chipotle diners are unlikely to see these disclaimers, and will rely instead on the company’s advertising.

Her lawsuit seeks class action status and unspecified damages.

A woman named Colleen Gallagher, represented by the same law firm, is also a plaintiff in a 2014 lawsuit in the same court alleging that Bayer AG’s claims about the health benefits of its One A Day multivitamins misled consumers.  On Aug. 18, U.S. District Judge William Orrick denied Bayer’s motion to dismiss that lawsuit.

Lawyers for Gallagher did not immediately respond on Monday to calls and emails seeking comment.

The case is Gallagher v Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 15-03952.

(Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles and Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by David Gregorio)

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/1mnDD2cNtwA/story01.htm

Apple partners with Cisco to boost enterprise business


Apple Inc on Monday teamed up with network gear maker Cisco Systems Inc to improve the performance of its iPad and iPhone devices on Cisco’s corporate network.

Cisco will provide services specially optimized for iOS devices across mobile, cloud, and on premises-based collaboration tools such as Cisco Spark, Cisco Telepresence and Cisco WebEx, the companies said in a statement.

Apple is expanding its foothold in the enterprise arena at a time when iPad sales are shrinking. Cisco, on the other hand, has been investing in products and services such as data analytics software, security and cloud-management tools.

Last year, Apple partnered with International Business Machines Corp to sell iPhones and iPads loaded with applications geared at enterprise clients.

Apple’s shares were marginally down at $112.84 in late-afternoon trading, while Cisco was down about 1 percent at $25.75.

(Reporting By Lehar Maan in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/6U5awQ322_8/story01.htm

Fiat Chrysler offers $100 debit cards to owners of recalled U.S. vehicles


DETROIT Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is offering $100 prepaid debit cards to owners of recalled vehicles to help ensure cars and trucks with potential safety defects get repaired, the company said on Monday.

The U.S. arm of the automaker is also offering $1,000 in special discounts or incentives to the owners of recalled vehicles, if they choose to trade them in and buy a new car or truck.

FCA has had difficulty convincing some owners of its older-model recalled vehicles to bring them in for repairs, including Jeep Grand Cherokee sport utility vehicles from model years 1993 to 1998 and Jeep Liberty SUVs from model years 2002 to 2007.

Information on a vehicle’s eligibility for the enticements can be found through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website www.safercar.gov or the company website www.recalls.mopar.com.

Recalled vehicles involved in the program, identified through their unique Vehicle Identification Numbers, include Dodge Ram pickup trucks from the 2008 to 2012 model years.

Incentives on the purchase of a new Ram pickup are $2,000 when a recalled vehicle is traded in, the company said, and $1,000 for a Jeep, Chrysler, Fiat or other Dodge model.

(Reporting by Bernie Woodall; Editing by Tom Brown)

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/JiHN7bla28U/story01.htm

Nerves on edge as Chinese authorities probe market mayhem


BEIJING/LONDON The head of hedge fund manager Man Group Plc’s (EMG.L) China business has been taken into custody to help authorities in a probe into recent market volatility, Bloomberg reported on Monday, while separately a local financial reporter confessed on national TV to having spread false information that caused “panic and disorder”.

Both are likely to jangle nerves in the financial industry as regulators try to find out who they think was behind China’s wild stock market rollercoaster ride in the past three months.

Authorities have been investigating possible market manipulation following wild swings in the stock markets, .CSI300 .SSEC which have plunged around 40 percent since mid-June on concerns of a slowing economy and a surprise devaluation of the yuan currency CNY=CFXS earlier this month.

Officials are probing the financial industry amid allegations of malicious short-selling and other strategies seen as weakening confidence in the market.

Bloomberg, citing a person familiar with the matter, said Li Yifei, Man Group’s China chairwoman, was assisting with police inquiries, noting this doesn’t mean she faces charges or has done anything wrong. Reuters could not independently confirm the report.

Man Group spokeswoman Rosanna Konarzewski declined to comment on the matter, and China’s Ministry of Public Security could not immediately be reached for comment outside regular working hours.

Li’s husband, Wang Chaoyong, told Reuters he had spoken to his wife on Sunday and Monday, and she had told him she was in “highly confidential” meetings. “She said she was in meetings and it’s inconvenient for me to contact her,” he said by phone, adding he did not know where the meetings were taking place.

Separately, Chinese police are looking into the spreading of rumors about the stock market, as well as other issues such as the fatal explosions at a chemical storage facility in Tianjin.

On Monday, Wang Xiaolu, a reporter for the Caijing business magazine, read a confession on national state television, saying he spread false information in his reporting of the stock market that had caused “panic and disorder”.

“I shouldn’t have sought to make a big splash just for the sake of sensationalism,” he said.

It was not possible to verify whether Wang made his confession freely or under any coercion.

State news agency Xinhua said earlier that 197 people in total have been punished in the rumor campaign.

The investigations are likely to unsettle China’s investment community, and the report of Li’s involvement could leave foreign investors particularly on edge.

“Short run, any sane foreign businessman would have pause about doing business in China, given the environment,” said Bob Eisenbeis, vice chairman and chief monetary economist at Cumberland Advisors. “Long run, people will not overlook the size of the market and what that offers.”

Li, a former MTV Networks executive, was appointed Country Chair, China in 2011, according to a page on Man Group’s website archived by Google on Aug. 6. The page is not currently accessible.

Man Group says on its website it has $78.8 billion of assets under management.

(Reporting by Paul Carsten and Nishant Kumar, with additional reporting by Michelle Price, Shu Zhang, Richard Leong and Chris Kaufman; Writing by Rachel Armstrong; Editing by Mark Bendeich and Ian Geoghegan)

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/6UamFEQYd9U/story01.htm

Oil surges on lower U.S. output, OPEC talk; biggest bounce since 1990


NEW YORK Oil soared on Monday for a third consecutive day, with Brent crude rising more than 8 percent, as a downward revision of U.S. output data and OPEC’s readiness to talk with other producers helped extend the biggest price surge in 25 years.

U.S. oil prices have skyrocketed more than $10 a barrel in three days, erasing the month’s declines as a series of relatively small-scale supply disruptions and output risks prompted bearish traders to take profits on short positions, which had been at near record highs a week ago.

On Monday, prices fell initially but reversed course mid-morning to accelerate into the close. They were aided by a commentary in the latest OPEC Bulletin publication suggesting the group may be increasingly willing to talk to other producers about curbing output.

“As the organization has stressed on numerous occasions, it stands ready to talk to all other producers. But this has to be on a level playing field. OPEC will protect its own interests,” according to the report.

Brent LCOc1 October futures rose $4.10, or 8.2 percent, to settle at $54.15 a barrel, with volumes relatively muted by a UK public holiday.

U.S. crude CLc1 gained $3.98, or 8.8 percent, to settle at $49.20 a barrel, taking three-day gains to 27.5 percent, the most over three days since August 1990. In dollar terms, it is the biggest three-day gain since February 2011.

“With the worst of the bad news priced in following last weeks capitulation trade, a very shorted oil market has traders running for cover,” said Chris Jarvis, analyst at Caprock Risk Management in Frederick, Maryland.

The rally was also fueled by revised U.S. government figures showing that domestic production in the first half of the year was lower than initially reported.

U.S. crude oil production peaked at just above 9.6 million barrels per day (bpd) in April before falling by more than 300,000 bpd during the following two months, Energy Information Administration data released on Monday showed.

(Additional reporting by Alex Lawler in London and Keith Wallis; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Steve Orlofsky)

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/5R7r865m0EY/story01.htm

Internet entrepreneurs back Chinese Tesla rival NextEV


FRANKFURT/DETROIT A group of deep-pocketed China-based internet entrepreneurs and financial investors, including Tencent (0700.HK) and Hillhouse Capital, is backing an effort to create NextEV, a new rival to U.S. electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA.O).

Hillhouse is also an investor in Uber, the U.S. ride sharing service.The backers have hired ex-Ford Motor Co (F.N) executive Martin Leach to build a global automaker, a NextEV spokeswoman said on Monday. The backers have also recruited experts with previous experience at Tesla, BMW AG (BMWG.DE), Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) and other major car companies.

The NextEV investors are among several Chinese technology entrepreneurs with little or no automotive background who are hoping to create new electric car companies. The effort is supported by the Chinese government, which recently changed rules to encourage investment by non-automotive companies.

Among the Chinese tech companies that have announced or are considering investments in electric car ventures are Alibaba (BABA.N), Xiaomi Technology [XTC.UL] and Leshi (300104.SZ).

Tesla spokesman Ricardo Reyes said on Monday: “We’re happy to see other people use the Model S sedan and our business model as benchmarks, whether they are large companies or well-funded startups.”

The creation of Shanghai-based NextEV, which has established offices in Europe and the United States, is a sign that a gradual shift toward electric vehicles, which are simpler to design than conventional cars, has lowered the barriers to entry into the auto industry. The Chinese government has also provided generous incentives to encourage production and sale of EVs.

“The first model launched by NextEV will be an electric supercar,” NextEV spokeswoman Jili Liu told Reuters. “This EV supercar is expected to outperform all combustion (engine) supercars in the world.”

The sportscar is expected to debut in 2016. It will be designed to produce more than 1,000 horsepower and accelerate from 0 to 100 kilometers an hour (62 miles per hour) within 3 seconds, Liu said. A range of high-performance family cars will follow.

NextEV Co is being backed by Chinese internet company Tencent; William Li, the founder of internet content provider Bitauto.com; Xiang Li, the founder of automotive website autohome.com.cn, and Richard Liu, the founder of e-commerce site JD.com. Hillhouse Capital, which was started with seed money from Yale University, is also a backer, NextEV said.

Leach, the former chief operating officer at Ford of Europe, is currently spearheading efforts to recruit hundreds of staff to work in San Jose, California, Shanghai, Munich, Beijing, Hong Kong and London, Liu said.

Leach’s role is co-president, Liu said, declining to elaborate further on the leadership structure of the new car maker.

Among NextEV’s hires are Danilo Teobaldi, the former chief of vehicle concepts at Italdesign Giugiaro; Juho Suh, a former senior designer at BMW, and John Thomas, a former senior program director at Tesla, according to their Linkedin profiles.

Thomas, who also worked as an engineer at Ford and General Motors Co (GM.N), helped lead the development in 2006-2008 of the Tesla Model S.

NextEV did not want to disclose the extent of its financial backing, saying it preferred to keep such details confidential. The company will initially target China as a market and move beyond that at a later stage, Liu said.

(Reporting by Edward Taylor in Frankfurt and Paul Lienert in Detroit; Editing by Andrew Hay)

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/Ny3P1uyfxjw/story01.htm

Wall Street falls as investors fret about rate-hike timing


Wall Street was lower on Monday afternoon as investors worried that the Federal Reserve may start raising interest rates in September, although a rally in oil boosted energy stocks.

The market was poised for its worst monthly drop over three years after being pummeled in the past two weeks due to worries about the health of China’s economy and the timing of the first U.S. rate hike in almost a decade.

Comments on Saturday by Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer added to fears that the central bank may raise rates when it meets next month.

Fischer said U.S. inflation would likely rebound as pressure from the dollar fades, allowing the Fed to raise interest rates gradually.

“What you see in the market today is caused by Fischer’s comments over the weekend. If they move in September, it’s going to cast a lot of doubt about where they will stop,” said Stephen Massocca, chief investment officer at Wedbush Equity Management LLC in San Francisco.

The SP energy index .SPNY rose 0.8 percent and was on track for its best four-day gain in seven years, boosted by ConocoPhillips (COP.N) and Phillips 66 (PSX.N).

Crude prices jumped after data indicated surprise cuts to U.S. oil production and as OPEC said it was ready to talk to other producers about the recent drop in prices.

Fischer’s remarks at the global central banking conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming suggested the Fed could look beyond recent stock market turmoil brought on by fears that China’s economy is faltering.

“We can still expect to see some significant drops in the market until we get some direction from the Fed regarding a rate increase,” said John DeClue, chief investment officer of U.S. Bank Wealth Management.

At 2:19 pm, the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was down 0.76 percent at 16,516.17 and the SP 500 .SPX was 0.85 percent lower at 1,971.91.

The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 0.97 percent to 4,781.67.

Nine of the 10 major SP sectors were lower with the utilities index’s .SPLRCU 1.8 percent fall leading the decliners.

Twitter (TWTR.N) gained 3.69 percent after SunTrust Robinson raised its rating to “buy” from “neutral”.

Phillips 66 (PSX.N) was up 2.6 percent after Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRKa.N) (BRKb.N) disclosed a $4.48 billion stake in the oil refiner.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,793 to 1,229. On the Nasdaq, 1,511 issues fell and 1,229 advanced.

The SP 500 index showed one new 52-week high and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 23 new highs and 16 new lows.

(Additional reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/tWr3cLoU5zU/story01.htm

China state media announce confessions in stock market investigations


SHANGHAI Chinese state media announced a slew of confessions on Monday following investigations into dramatic stock market fluctuations, including from a reporter who said he had spread false information that had caused “panic and disorder”.

An official from China’s securities regulator, and four senior executives from China’s largest brokerage, CITIC Securities (600030.SS) (6030.HK), confessed to insider dealing, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

China is trying to restore value to its stock markets, where shares have lost around 40 percent since mid-June on concerns over the slowing economy and a devaluation of the yuan in mid-August.

Authorities have announced crackdowns on fabricated trading information, alleged malicious short selling and other strategies seen as weakening confidence in the stock market.

Wang Xiaolu, a reporter at the respected Caijing business magazine, read a confession about his reporting on the stock market on a national state television broadcast on Monday.

“I shouldn’t have sought to make a big splash just for the sake of sensationalism,” he said on China Central Television, adding that his actions had “brought great harm upon the country and investors”.

It was not possible to verify whether Wang was forced to make the confession or did so of his own free will.

Chinese state media often publish confessions of those detained in high-profile cases before they are tried in court, a practice that rule of law advocates say violates the rights of the accused to due process.

Xinhua said Wang had confessed to writing about the Chinese stock market “based on hearsay and his own subjective guesses”.

Caijing could not be reached for comment. In a statement last Wednesday, a day after Xinhua said Wang was being held, Caijing said it had not been given a reason for his detention, adding it would support his actions within the normal course of reporting. It was unclear if Wang had a lawyer.

Xinhua also said Liu Shufan, an official with the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), had confessed to insider trading, forging official seals and using his position to boost a company’s share price in return for several million yuan of bribes. It was unclear if Liu had been detained or had a lawyer.

The CSRC could not be reached for comment.

Xinhua added that Xu Gang, Liu Wei, Fang Qingli and Chen Rongjie, whom it described as senior executives at CITIC Securities, had confessed to insider trading, although it gave few details.

A CITIC Securities spokesman declined to comment. On Sunday, the brokerage said several senior managers had been asked to assist with a public security investigation and that the company was actively cooperating with the request.

It was unclear if the four were being detained or had legal representation.

Eight CITIC employees were being investigated for suspected illegal securities trading, Xinhua has previously said.

It has not said if that investigation is linked to the one involving the CSRC official.

(Reporting by Engen Tham; Additional reporting by Paul Carsten; Editing by Dean Yates and Robin Pomeroy)

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/NtZYobqOWpQ/story01.htm