Japanese and US negotiators have not managed to reach a basic agreement on a free trade pact that might have served as a centrepiece for President Barack Obama’s visit to Tokyo this week. Japan’s economy minister Akira Amari told reporters on Tuesday that the two sides remained “at a considerable distance” over trade in farm products and vehicles, a day before Obama arrives. A Japan-US agreement is seen as crucial for progress on a wider deal for the 12 nations involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
CNOOC posts 15.5% rise in Q1 output on Nexen buy
China’s top offshore oil and gas producer CNOOC on Tuesday posted a 15.5% increase in its first quarter production, thanks largely to its $15.1-billion acquisition of Canadian energy firm Nexen in February last year. Revenue rose 6.9% year-on-year to 59.15 billion yuan ($9.50 billion) in the first quarter as realised oil prices dipped 5.1% to $104.63 per barrel, CNOOC said. The company does not report quarterly profit figures. CNOOC last month posted an 11.4% slide in its 2013 net profit, lagging analysts’ forecasts, as it struggled to deliver production growth and control costs amid weakening crude prices.
Will cut reserve requirement ratio for rural banks: China
China’s central bank will cut the reserve requirement ratio for rural banks at the county level by between 0.5 and 2 percentage points, it announced on Tuesday. The People’s Bank of China will cut the RRR, or amount of deposits banks must hold as reserves, by 2 percentage points for rural commercial banks and by 0.5 percentage point for rural credit cooperatives. The cut is effective from Friday, the central bank said in a statement on its website.
McD’s profit trails estimates as sales in US slump
McDonald’s, the world’s largest restaurant chain, posted first-quarter profit that trailed analysts’ estimates as increased competition ate into sales in the US. Net income fell 5.1% to $1.2 billion, or $1.21 a share, from $1.27 billion, or $1.26, a year earlier, the Oak Brook, Illinois-based chain said on Tuesday. Analysts estimated $1.24 a share, the average of 24 projections compiled by Bloomberg. Sales at US locations open at least 13 months slid 1.7%, compared with a 1.4% decline estimated by analysts surveyed by Consensus Metrix..
Philips’ first quarter sales, earnings see decline
Royal Philips on Tuesday said its first-quarter profits declined as growth slowed in several divisions and consumers spent less on light bulbs. The world’s largest lighting