WHY HUAWEI ARREST CAUSED A SENSATION

The high profile arrest in Canada of Meng Wanzhou, Huawei Technologies’ chief financial officer and daughter of the founder of the Chinese telecom’s giant, rocked markets this week.

The arrest at the request of the US – reportedly for alleged violations of US sanctions against Iran – caused outrage in China, which called for her immediate release.

In much of the world, the case has focused debate on Huawei and whether its links to the Chinese government and role in potentially sensitive data and communications flows poses a security threat.

In the UK BT pulled Huawei equipment from the core of a British mobile network this week, while the US, Australia and New Zealand, whose national security services share intelligence, have banned Huawei from providing 5G equipment. The head of Britain’s MI6 said this week the UK must decide whether to follow suit.

There are no restrictions in Ireland and neither the Department of Communications nor ComReg, the regulator, would comment on whether they have concerns.

Huawei is active here. It is working with Eir on rolling out a mobile network, providing equipment designed to provide the link between phones and the so-called core network, which is being provided by Ericsson.

Siro – owned by ESB and Vodafone – also signed a deal with Huawei to work on a fibre broadband project.

Eir told the Irish Independent that the security of its network is “paramount” but it has no concerns about working with Huawei. “We would not have selected Huawei if we believed there was any risk for our customers,” a spokesman said.

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Siro declined to comment.

Meanwhile, Meng Wanzhou’s arrest has big implications, coming at a sensitive time in US-China trade talks. Huawei is one of China’s most iconic brands and the key to President Xi Jinping’s plans to dominate new technologies such as 5G networks.

“The detention of Huawei’s CFO is not an accidental incident and will cast a shadow over the trade talks, but both sides will work hard to avert that bad influence,” said Wei Jianguo, former vice minister of commerce and now a vice chairman of the China Centre for International Economic Exchanges.

“The negotiation between Chinese and US working groups is going smoothly, and actually much better than people outside expected.”

On the other hand, bureaucrats who were more involved with national security view things differently. In their eyes, Xi caved too much and ended up looking weak to the public. The Huawei arrest was just another tactic by the US to gain even more leverage, they say, and China should fight back with measures that hurt American companies.

One official mentioned being personally angry because Huawei is a point of national pride for the Chinese people, and keeping the issue separate from trade talks with the US would be difficult even if top leaders wanted to.

Chinese officials have reason to worry about a public backlash. In the 1990s, Premier Zhu Rongji was criticised by an increasingly nationalist public after returning empty handed from trade talks with the Clinton administration.

Publicly, at least, China is keeping the issues separate.

It’s unclear if China will take a more fervent stance now that Xi has arrived back in Beijing.

For several days after his meeting with Trump, the bureaucracy was stuck waiting for him to return, uncertain of what exactly was decided during his meeting with Mr Trump at the G20 in Argentina.

MARKETS BRACING FOR FURTHER VOLATILITY

Investors and currency traders are bracing for a markets showdown next week, with UK Prime Minister Theresa May on course to lose the crunch vote on her Brexit deal.
Failure to get the deal across the line will create a wave of uncertainty for world stock markets, with sterling likely to come under pressure.
Ireland’s main stock market index – the ISEQ Overall Index – rose 1pc yesterday, recouping just some of Thursday’s 3.1pc drop that wiped €2.5bn from the combined value of its constituents.
Yesterday, shares in companies including building materials giant CRH and packaging giant Smurfit Kappa rose.
The ISEQ Overall Index has slumped more than 20pc over the past year, knocking €19.2bn off the value of stocks on the Irish market.
In the past week alone, €3.4bn has been sliced from the value of stocks on the index.
Insulation maker Kingspan edged less than 1pc higher even as Opec and other partners agreed a larger than expected cut in oil production.
Crude oil prices surged as much as 5.8pc in London, raising the risk that the deal could anger US President Donald Trump, who had urged the group of producers to keep taps open and prices low.

The oil agreement also comes in a week that Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, and the daughter of its founder, was arrested in Canada and faces extradition to the United States.
That has intensified concerns of a trade war between the US and China – which had entered a détente – being reignited after the two countries had appeared on track to resolve it.
Meanwhile, some traders believe the turmoil next week following the Brexit vote could be so intense as to be instrumental to the Brexit process itself.

While market response and pressure on sterling could be more muted than that when the UK voted to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum, some banks are taking no chances.
Markets in Europe will be closed when the outcome of the UK parliament’s vote is known next Tuesday around 7pm, but currency markets operate 24 hours a day.
A failure to get the deal passed could herald more uncertainty over the Brexit process and big market swings may follow. Some commentators suggested that heavy market losses could even convince the UK’s MPs to back Ms May if she tried for a second Brexit vote.

UBER HAS CONFIDENTIALLY FILED TO GO PUBLIC

Uber has confidentially filed paperwork to hold its long-awaited IPO next year, reports the Wall Street Journal.
This comes a day after word got out that Lyft, the company’s perennial rival in car-hailing services, made its own IPO filing.
Uber was last privately valued at $76 billion, and the Journal reports that it could go public with a market cap of $120 billion.
Uber has confidentially filed an S-1 document in preparation to hold its long-awaited IPO, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.
Uber has previously been valued privately at as much as $76 billion, and its advisers reportedly say it may go public with a market cap of as much as $120 billion. According to the Journal, Uber might go public “as soon as the first quarter.” Internally, Uber is referring to the IPO planning process as “Project Liberty.”
A spokesperson for Uber declined to comment.

The report comes one day after Uber’s arch-rival, Lyft, announced that it had filed its initial paperwork to go public, and the two are now racing to be the first to float on the public markets in 2019.
The Uber IPO has been long-awaited, as investors and employees await liquidity, after the company raised $24.2 billion in debt and equity funding since its founding in 2009. Uber investors include Toyota, Softbank, Microsoft, Jeff Bezos, Jay Z, Morgan Stanley, and Axel Springer (the parent company of Business Insider), though some may have already sold their stakes through various share sales along the way.
Uber lost nearly $1 billion in the third quarter of 2018, according to its self-reported financial results, while it saw quarterly revenue of $2.95 billion. Recently, Uber has expanded into new lines of business beyond its flagship car-hailing service, including bikes and scooters, even as it invests in its Uber Eats food delivery business.
In August, Uber hired former Merrill Lynch CFO Nelson Chai as its new CFO, as it geared up to go public. The move comes as Uber attempts to move on from successive scandals throughout 2017, which culminated in the ousting of founder and CEO Travis Kalanick, who was replaced by Dara Khosrowshahi, formerly the chief executive of Expedia.
2019 is shaping up to be a blockbuster year for tech IPOs. As well as Uber and Lyft, work messaging app Slack also plans to go public next year, among others.

TSX RETREATS AFTER POSITIVE START, ENDS NOTABLY LOWER

The Canadian stock market opened on a firm note on Friday, buoyed by robust jobs data and a surge in crude oil prices, but retreated soon and stayed weak till the end amid trade related concerns and fears of global economic slowdown.

According to a report released by Statistics Canada before the opening bell, Canadian employment increased by 94,000 jobs in November, more than 8.5 times the expected increase of 11,000 jobs. The Canadian unemployment rate also dropped to 5.6%.

Energy stocks gained after crude oil prices moved higher after the OPEC and non-OPEC members agreed on a production cut of 1.2 million barrels per day. While OPEC will cut production by 800,000 barrels per day, non-OPEC members, led by Russia, will cut output by 40,000 million barrels.

Disappointing U.S. jobs data and the resultant sell-off on Wall Street, Brexit uncertainty and worries about U.S.-China trade dispute and its impact on the global economy weighed on the market.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended down 141.87 points, or 0.95%, at 14,795.13. The index scaled a high of 15,059.70 and a low of 14,763.85 intraday.

On Thursday, the index closed down by 245.64 points or 1.62%, at 14,937.00.

Information technology, industrials, financial, consumer staples and consumer discretionary shares drifted lower. Energy, healthcare stocks moved up and materials stocks turned in a mixed performance.

Among bank stocks, Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO), Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) and Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) declined by 1 to 1.3%. National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) lost 0.8% and 0.4%, respectively, while Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) edged up marginally.

Among the stocks in the Industrials Index, Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO), Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO) and Air Canada (AC.TO) declined by 3 to 4%. CAE Inc. (CAE.TO) ended more than 2% down, while Bombardier Inc. (BBD.B.TO) moved up 3.2%.

Information technology stock Shopify Inc. (SHOP.TO) declined nearly 7%. CGI Group Inc. (GIB.A.TO), BlackBerry (BB.TO), Kinaxis (KXS.TO) and Enghouse Systems (ENGH.TO) ended lower by 2 to 3.5%.

Healthcare stocks Canopy Growth (WEED.TO) and Aurora Cannabis Inc. (ACB.TO) gained 3.5% and 7.8%, respectively. Aphria Inc. (APHA.TO) ended 8.2% down.

On Wall Street, stocks ended sharply lower despite coming off the day’s lows. Dissapointing jobs data and lingering skepticism about a U.S.-China trade agreement weighed on the market.

The Labor Department said non-farm payroll employment rose by 155,000 jobs in November after surging up by a downwardly revised 237,000 jobs in October. Economists had expected employment to climb by about 200,000 jobs compared to the jump of 250,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

Meanwhile, the report said the unemployment rate in November remained unchanged for the second straight month at 3.7%, holding at its lowest level since hitting 3.5% in December of 1969.

Markets in Asia and Europe ended mostly higher on Friday.

In commodities, crude oil futures for January ended up $1.12, or 2.2%, at $52.61 a barrel, after OPEC and non-OPEC members agreed to cut production by 1.2 million barrels per day next year.

Gold futures for February ended up $9.00, or 0.7%, at $1,252.60 an ounce, the highest settlement in nearly five months.

Silver futures for March settled at $14.696 an ounce, gaining $0.187 for the session and Copper futures for March ended at $2.759 per pound, up $0.016 from previous close.

Asian Shares Rise Despite Weaker China Data

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Asian stocks rose on Wednesday as investors digested a raft of economic data, corporate earnings results and weaker-than-expected Chinese manufacturing data.

China's Shanghai Composite index rallied 1.35 percent to close at 2,602.78, a day after the country's securities regulator promised measures to improve market liquidity, encourage share buybacks and mergers and acquisitions. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index jumped 1.60 percent to 24,979.69.

Traders ignored the latest PMI numbers confirming a broad-based decline in Chinese economic activity.

China's official manufacturing PMI fell to 50.2 in October, the lowest since July 2016 and down from 50.8 in September, in a sign of further loss of momentum in the world's second-largest economy.

The services PMI dropped from 54.9 to 53.9, marking the weakest pace of expansion since August 2017.

On the heels of the disappointing data, the People's Bank of China weakened the yuan fix to the lowest in more than a decade.

Japanese shares hit a one-week high and the yen edged lower against the dollar after the Bank of Japan left interest rates steady, cut its inflation forecasts and signaled it was a long way off from exiting its massive stimulus program.

Investors shrugged off weak data showing that industrial production in the country fell 1.1 percent in September from the previous month, missing expectations for a decline of 0.3 percent.

The Nikkei average jumped 463.17 points or 2.16 percent to 21,920.46, the highest closing level since Oct. 24. The broader Topix index closed 2.15 percent higher at 1,646.12.

Chip-related stocks followed their U.S. peers higher, with Tokyo Electron rallying 3.6 percent and TDK Corp climbing 6.1 percent. Advantest shares soared 13 percent. Sony jumped 4.7 percent and Honda Motor added 6.5 percent after raising their annual profit forecasts.

Australian markets ended modestly higher, led by banks and energy companies. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index inched up 0.43 percent to 5830.30, but ended the month down over 6 percent, marking its worst monthly fall since August 2015. The broader All Ordinaries index also closed up 0.43 percent at 5,913.30.

The Australian dollar fell slightly after a government report showed the inflation rate rose 0.4 percent sequentially in the third quarter of 2018, below market expectations for a 0.5 percent gain.

ANZ rose over 1 percent after reporting a 5 percent drop in full-year cash profit, hit by remediation costs in the aftermath of the royal commission.

Commonwealth Bank advanced 1.6 percent after it agreed to sell its Colonial First State asset management business for A$4.13 billion to Japanese bank Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corp.

QBE Insurance rallied 2.4 percent after it announced a streamlining of its operations.

Oil stocks also closed broadly higher as oil prices rose for the first time in three sessions. Woodside Petroleum climbed 2.3 percent, Origin Energy added 1.7 percent and Oil Search gained 0.8 percent.

Mining heavyweights BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto ended marginally lower while gold miner Evolution lost 3 percent and Newcrest shed around 1 percent after gold prices settled at a more than one-week low overnight.

South Korea's Kospi average finished 0.74 percent higher at 2,029.69 despite weak data. The country's industrial output fell a seasonally adjusted 2.5 percent sequentially in September, Statistics Korea said.

That follows the downwardly revised 1.3 percent gain in August (originally 1.4 percent). On a yearly basis, industrial production tumbled 8.4 percent following the downwardly revised 2.5 percent increase in the previous month.

New Zealand shares rallied as dual-listed ANZ kicked off the reporting season for the big Australian banks. The benchmark S&P/NZX index jumped 103.93 points or 1.20 percent to 8,752.31.

Kathmandu Holdings led the market higher to end higher by 4.3 percent after First NZ Capital increased its stake in the outdoor retailer. Growth stocks rebounded, with A2 Milk rising 2.5 percent and Synlait Milk climbing as much as 3.8 percent.

The total number of building consents issued in New Zealand fell a seasonally adjusted 1.5 percent on month in September, Statistics New Zealand said - following a 6.8 percent rise in August and a 9.7 percent drop in July.

Overnight, U.S. stocks ended sharply higher despite a spate of mixed earnings results and economic reports. The Dow rallied 1.8 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500 gained around 1.6 percent.

German Retail Sales Rise Less Than Expected

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Germany's retail sales monthly growth in September was less than what economists expected, preliminary data from the Federal Statistical Office showed on Wednesday.

Retail sales in real terms edged up a calendar and seasonally adjusted 0.1 percent from August, when sales fell 0.3 percent, revised from 0.1 percent. Economists had forecast a 0.5 percent increase. Sales grew for the first time in three months.

On a year-on-year basis, retail sales fell 2.6 percent from a year ago, while economists were looking for a 1 percent gain. The growth in August was revised to 1.5 percent from 1.6 percent. The latest fall was the first in four months.

10 things in tech you need to know today

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This is the tech news you need to know this Wednesday.

Facebook's US users stalled — but didn't fall — in a scandal-filled Q3 and investors are breathing a sigh of relief.Facebook's Q3 revenue grew 33% year-over-year, but came in slightly below Wall Street targets.


Apple announced a brand-new MacBook Air with retina display and fingerprint sensor. Apple announced the new model on Tuesday during its event in Brooklyn, New York.
An executive with Google's parent company resigned with no severance after sexual misconduct allegations come to light. Richard DeVaul, who cofounded Alphabet's Project Loon, has left the company.


Facebook is banning far-right militia The Proud Boys after a violent attack in New York. Earlier in October, five members of the Proud Boys were arrested after a violent incident with protesters in New York City.


Apple's new iPad Pro features a new design that ditches the home button for Face ID. The new iPad Pro is also equipped with a USB-C charging port instead of Apple's traditional Lightning port, which makes it much more compatible with external accessories and hardware.


Facebook approved 100 fake ad disclosures that were allegedly 'paid for' by every United States senator. Earlier this year, Facebook started displaying the name of the politician or entity sponsoring political ads, in a move meant to increase transparency.


Uber is challenging a UK court ruling that its drivers qualify for better employment rights such as a living wage and holiday pay. The company argued that its model of relying on independent contractors is typical of the minicab industry.


Electronic Arts is getting in on the next big thing in video games with 'Project Atlas,' a cloud gaming service to take on Google and Microsoft. EA's Chief Technology Officer Ken Moss announced the new platform, Project Atlas, in a blog post on Medium.


The DOJ is accusing Chinese intelligence officers of stealing sensitive information from American aviation companies.The DOJ says over a dozen US and European aviation companies were hacked over a period of more than five years in an effort to obtain intellectual property and other confidential information.


The latest blockbuster from the game studio behind "Grand Theft Auto" is fast approaching $1 billion in sales after just three days. "Red Dead Redemption 2" grossed $725 million in its first three days.

UK Shop Prices Return To Deflation

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UK shop prices declined in October following two months of mild inflation, data from the British Retail Consortium showed.

The BRC - Nielsen shop price index decreased 0.2 percent year-on-year versus a 0.2 percent rise in September.

Non-food deflation deepened to 1.1 percent in October from 0.9 percent a month ago. At the same time, food inflation slowed to 1.3 percent from 1.9 percent in both September and August.

"The inflationary cost pressures in the supply chains are being managed by the industry which tempered the recent upward pressure of shop price inflation in October," Mike Watkins, head of retailer and business insight, Nielsen, said.

"Consumers remain uncertain about when and where to spend and with Christmas promotions now kicking in, competition for share of wallet will intensify in both food and non-food retailing," Watkins added.