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European shares rise, aided by defensives amid gloomy trade outlook

( ) – European shares rose on Friday, with surging shares of Thyssenkrupp and robust defensive stocks helping equities on the continent avert the losses seen among their U.S. peers, which slid on persisting worries about U.S.-China trade.

U.S. President Donald Trump said he was in no hurry to sign a trade deal with China as a new set of U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods kicked in, dashing hopes the world’s top two economies would salvage a last-minute trade deal.

European investors shuffled their equity holdings as they braced for more volatility on the second day of U.S.-China trade talks, with defensive stocks gaining popularity over the course of the上海夜生活论坛 session.

The STOXX 600 index gained 0.3%, lifting off an about one and a half month closing low clocked on Thursday. The pan-European index still recorded its biggest weekly decline this year, down 3.4%, bruised by trade worries.

“If things do escalate then this will have an impact of around 0.5 percentage points of global GDP and that would not be inconsiderable,” said Julian Mayo, chief investment strategist at investment management firm Fiera Capital.

Germany’s DAX rose 0.7%, with Thyssenkrupp – also the STOXX 600’s top gainer – lifted 28.2% by short-covering on news it will list its successful elevators business and embark on a fresh restructuring.

The level of short interest on Thursday was 38.3 million shares, the largest amount in more than four years, according to data from FIS Astec Analytics. Around 6.1% of Thyssenkrupp’s outstanding shares were out on loan.

Thyssenkrupp shares’ barnstorming performance on the day helped trim the degree to which they have underperformed industrial goods and services stocks in the year to date.

French and Italian stocks each tacked on 0.3%, while their London-traded peers eased marginally.

Defensive stocks such as those in the real estate and utilities sectors rose 0.3% and 1.1%, respectively.

With yields on German bonds maturing up to 10 years from now in negative territory, according to data on Refinitiv Eikon, European investors also favor defensive stocks for their dividend yields, relatively secure in a “lower-for-longer” position held by the European Central Bank.

Chemicals stocks gained 1.3%, with Linde leading the sector index with a 4.1% rise. The firm’s chief financial officer said it would hit the upper end of its 2019 earnings per share guidance, if the current business environment holds up.

Stocks of auto-makers and their suppliers slid 1% to their lowest closing level in more than a month, with Daimler falling 3.2%. The sector is relatively exposed to global trade ructions.

“A trade deal getting less likely in Q2 after Trump’s moves today…hopefully we can get a short break from Trump’s tweets and enjoy spring time instead,” Allan von Mehren, chief analyst and China economist at Danske Bank, wrote in a note.

LafargeHolcim gained 2.8% as the world’s top cement maker agreed to sell its Philippines operations. Credit Suisse also raised its price target on the stock.

PRECIOUS-Palladium soars to record, gold moves back up above $1,300/oz

(Updates prices)

* Palladium hits record high of $1,567.50/oz

* Gold eyes second straight weekly gain

* GRAPHIC-2019 commodities returns: tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl

By Arijit Bose and Karthika Suresh Namboothiri

March 15 ( ) – Palladium set a fresh record high on Friday amid expectations that China’s economic stimulus would drive demand for the autocatalyst metal, while news that Russia may ban exports of precious metal scraps compounded worries of a supply deficit.

Gold also rebounded, moving back above $1,300 an ounce, as the dollar dipped on weak U.S. economic data.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said Beijing was open to additional monetary policy measures to support economic growth this year.

Spot palladium surged to a record $1,567.5 an ounce earlier in the session. As of 1:42 p.m. EDT (1742 GMT), the precious metal was trading 0.3 percent higher at $1,562.上海夜生活39 per ounce.

“The announcement of specific stimulus measures helped sentiment in China, which arguably is the global marginal consumer in automobiles, helping palladium climb quietly to new highs,” said Tai Wong, head of base and precious metals derivatives trading at BMO.

“There is (also) some concern that talk of possible scrap metal export ban in Russia could impact already extremely stretched palladium supplies,” Wong added.

With the intention of promoting domestic refining of materials, Russia’s trade and industry ministry is considering banning exports of precious metals scrap and tailings from the country, the world’s largest producer of palladium, local newspaper Kommersant reported.

The price of the metal, used mainly in emissions-reducing catalysts for vehicles, has risen almost 90 percent from a trough in mid-August last year and is up about 24 percent so far in 2019.

“Palladium is starting to reach lofty levels off of which it could correct a bit in the short term,” said David Meger, director of metals trading at High Ridge Futures.

Meanwhile, gold rebounded following the previous session’s decline, gaining 0.5 percent to $1,302.62 an ounce en route to its second straight weekly rise.

U.S. gold futures settled 0.6 percent higher at $1,302.90 an ounce.

Fueling gold’s advance, the dollar fell against its rivals, weighed down by weak manufacturing and factory output data, ahead of a Federal Reserve meeting next week expected to shed more light on the outlook for U.S. interest rates.

“For gold, whether it closes above or below $1,300 will help determine sentiment early next week before focus moves to the new Fed dot plot,” said BMO’s Wong.

Lower interest rates reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion and weigh on the dollar. In other precious metals, silver gained nearly 1 percent to $15.31 per ounce, and platinum jumped 1 percent to $826.40.

In a potentially bearish development for the dollar, China’s official news agency Xinhua reported representatives from Beijing and Washington had made some progress on trade in a call held on Thursday.

The dollar has been preferred by investors as a safe haven amid deteriorating trade relations between the two countries.

GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares steady ahead of Fed meeting; May’s Brexit deal in chaos

* Asian stock markets : tmsnrt.rs/2zpUAr4

* Wall St advance, dollar flat as traders brace for a dovish Fed

* Pound choppy as UK parliament bans vote on same Brexit deal

By Tomo Uetake

March 19 – Asian shares treaded water on Tuesday ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting, hovering near six-month highs, while sterling was choppy as the speaker of Britain’s parliament banned another vote on same Brexit deal.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was virtually flat, just a hair away from the highest level since Sept. 21.

Japan’s Nikkei average dropped 0.5 percent, while Australian stocks eased 0.1 percent.

All three major U.S. indexes rose overnight, lifted by banks and tech names, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq Composite adding between 0.3 and 0.4 percent each.

“Speculators appear to be betting on rise in stock prices on the back of a dovish Fed. The Fed is unlikely to kill such hopes. Yet there is a risk the Fed could tone down its dovishness,” said Masanari Takada, cross-asset strategist at Nomura Securities.

With signs of global economic growth slowing, traders were focused on the Federal Reserve, which is kicking 上海夜网off its two-day policy meeting on later in the day, for clues about the likely path of U.S. borrowing costs.

In particular, investors will be focusing on whether policymakers have sufficiently lowered their interest rate forecasts to more closely align their “dot plot”, a diagram showing individual policymakers’ rate views for the next three years.

Also expected is more detail on a plan to stop cutting the Fed’s holdings of nearly $3.8 trillion in bonds.

“A key focus is when the Fed will omit the word ‘patient’ from its statement, as that would be a pre-requisite for a rate hike,” said Toru Yamamoto, chief fixed income strategist at Daiwa Securities.

In the currency market, the pound found firmer footing on Tuesday after slipping to as low as $1.3183 overnight as lawmakers cast doubt on Prime Minister Theresa May’s third attempt to get parliament to back her Brexit deal.

May’s Brexit plans were thrown into further turmoil on Monday when the speaker of parliament ruled that she could not put her divorce deal to a new vote unless it was re-submitted in fundamentally different form.

May has only two days to win approval for her deal to leave the European Union if she wants to go to a summit with the bloc’s leaders on Thursday with something to offer them in return for more time.

Meanwhile, senior diplomats said the European Union leaders could hold off making any final decision on any Brexit delay when they meet in Brussels later this week, depending on what exactly May asks them for.

The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies barely moved and was at 96.498.

The Japanese yen edged up 0.1 percent to 111.27 yen to the dollar, while the euro was almost flat at $1.1334.

Oil prices rose to near four-month highs on Monday, supported by the prospect of extended OPEC-led oil supply curbs and signs of inventory declines in U.S. crude stockpiles.

Early on Tuesday, U.S. crude futures slipped 0.2 percent to $58.99 a barrel.

Conte: “You need experience to be a manager”

Antonio Conte, the Chelsea manager, admitted that his job is quite often very difficult as he has to make tough decisions after his players make a mistake and he also claimed that he is glad that he started with this job in lower divisions.

The Italian insisted that it’s very important to gain experiences as a player to use it further on as a manager – and he has experienced quite a few difficult situations at his club as his position remains unclear and his relationship with David Luiz is more than questionable. He managed to win the title in his first season but now, the title race is over for his side and he has to deal with this situation somehow.

The former Juventus coach spoke about his experiences as he said, according to ESPN: “As a player, I was very lucky to have so many good managers in my career. I remember the first two at Lecce: Eugenio Fascetti and Carlo Mazzone. They were very important for me and my growth. They used the carrot and the stick with me. I brought this type of management with me to use with my players. Sometimes you must use the stick, and sometimes you must use the carrot.”Opinion: Martin Odegaard is perfect for the Premier League Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – Given how much he’s been rejected by Real Madrid, we are convinced that Martin Odegaard is perfect for the Premier League.Martin Odegaard is finally…

He added that he prefers to be nice but sometimes, he has to punish the player: “I prefer to use the carrots! But sometimes it’s a necessity to be strong. When someone makes a mistake, it’s right to underline this type of situation, and find the best solution to avoid the same mistake in the future.”

In the end, Antonio Conte insisted that he is glad that he started in lower divisions: “Often a player who had a great career thinks they can become a manager quickly. But it is one thing to play, and one thing to be a coach. They’re totally different. You must try to have上海夜生活网 the right experience before you can reach a fantastic target.”

Preview: Real Madrid – Dortmund

Real Madrid host Borussia Dortmund having already qualified for the Champions League (CL) knockout stages as runners-up in Group H.

Flashscore presents the key facts before the match:

For the first time since the 2011-12 season, Dortmund have failed to reach the CL last 16.They are now sitting third, level on just two points (D2, L3, GD-5) with bottom-placed APOEL (D2, L3上海夜生活网, GD-12), who make the trip to Tottenham. A win for Tottenham in that game will almost certainly mean Dortmund qualify for the Europa League.

Dortmund are currently on a seven-game winless streak (D3, L4) in all competitions and have never won at fortress Bernabeu (D2, L4), where Madrid are still unbeaten in the CL under Zinedine Zidane (W9, D2, GF 29, GA 8).

Zidane’s side will look to get a morale-boosting win ahead of Saturday’s La Liga (LL) clash with Sevilla. The Madrid boss finds himself under increased pressure as they remain eight points adrift of league leaders Barca after 14 games.

Ahead of the game, Zidane reaffirmed his confidence and belief that there are much brighter times ahead for his team: “We definitely need to score more goals, but I’m not worried. I have no doubt things will change for the better,” he said in the pre-match press conference.Opinion: Martin Odegaard is perfect for the Premier League Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – Given how much he’s been rejected by Real Madrid, we are convinced that Martin Odegaard is perfect for the Premier League.Martin Odegaard is finally…

With a brace against APOEL, Cristiano Ronaldo took this goal tally for Madrid in European competitions to 100 goals (98 CL goals + two UEFA Super Cup goals). The top scorer in European Cup/CL history (113 overall) has a staggering 18 CL goals to his name in 2017 (12 games), whereas he has scored just 17 LL goals (28 games).

Madrid have failed to score more than three goals in a home game since a 4-1 win over Sevilla in May this year.

Dortmund and former Madrid player Nuri Sahin said of his team’s chances against the defending champions: “We have played at the Bernabeu quite a few times, and that may work in our favour.”

Missing players

Real Madrid: D. Carvajal (suspension), M. Asensio (doubtful), G. Bale (doubtful), L. Zidane (doubtful)

Dortmund: G. Castro (face injury), E. Durm (hip injury), M. Gotze (ankle injury), M. Philipp (knee injury), L. Piszczek (muscle injury), M. Reus (knee injury), S. Rode (thigh injury), J. Toljan (suspension), A. Isak (doubtful), J-B. Larsen (doubtful).

Preview: Leicester – Manchester City

Premier League leaders Manchester City will be looking to consolidate their position today as they travel to face 12th-placed Leicester.

Flashscore presents the key facts before the match: 

A revived Leicester face the runaway league leaders from Manchester in this game. The home side have found their stride and are unbeaten in their last 5 Premier League (PL) games, after suffering 4 defeats in their first 6 matches.

Manchester City are breaking records left, right and centre at the moment. Since the 5th of April, the Citizens have played 27 games, winning 20 and drawing 7! Virtually unstoppable so far in the PL, they have won 10 of 11 so far, scoring a staggering 38 goals (3.45 goals per match on average).

Although City are superior in the scored goals department, the teams share a penchant for goals in their matches – only 2 of 22 matches involving these teams have ended with under 1.5 goals.

Sergio Aguero, who recently became Manchester City’s all time top scorer, continued his fine form with another goal against Arsenal before the international break… where he scored goal no. 35 for Argentina, putting him above Diego Maradona in the national scoring charts! Naturally, he is the PL top scorer at the moment, with 8 goals.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 playe上海夜生活网rs of September’s last weekend.After a fresh…

Just a word of warning! Aguero was hospitalised after a half-time incident during Tuesday night’s friendly with Nigeria. He has undergone medical tests and has been cleared for this game. “Sergio never lost consciousness, and was taken to hospital for precautionary medical checks,” according to a club spokesperson.

Despite all the plaudits coming their way, City have one of the worst disciplinary records in the league so far, accruing 2 red and 20 yellow cards, a contrast to the squeaky clean Foxes, who’ve only seen 12 yellow cards all season.

Missing players

Leicester: R. Huth (ankle injury), M. James (Achilles tendon injury), Ad. Silva (unregistered)

Manchester City: B. Mendy (knee injury), N. Otamendi (suspension), V. Kompany (doubtful).

Christensen on Chelsea’s loan system

Andreas Christensen says he likes Chelsea’s loan system, as it contributes to the development of young talents

The Denmark international believes it is crucial that youngsters find the “perfect environment” to improve their skills and become the best version of themselves.

Andreas Christensen has talked up the pathways into Chelsea’s first team via their stockpiled youth ranks as domestic-based Blues fans look for Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Tammy Abraham to make the grade at Stamford Bridge, GOAL reports.

Both Abraham and Loftus-Cheek made their debuts for England in the international break, as they have impressed Gareth Southgate with their performan上海夜生活网ces on loan at Crystal Palace and Swansea City.

Many feared that Loftus-Cheek couldn’t develop himself at a speed he should have, as the 21-year-old midfielder didn’t really have a breakthrough performance for Chelsea.

However, a stunning international bow against Brazil has raised hopes of his ability to cut it at the highest level, GOAL continues.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…

The Denmark international has spent two years on loan at Borussia Monchengladbach before he returned to London, where he is now a regular first-team player under Antonio Conte this season.

Christensen sees no reason why other talented young lads can’t walk the same path as he did.

“It’s different for every player,” the Danish told Sky Sports. “I was in the right place at the right time, everything just clicked, and it was perfect for me.”

“That’s the most important thing for the players that go out on loan. They have to find what’s working for them and the perfect environment for them to develop,” he added.

“When I was on loan I took the opportunity to come back to London sometimes to watch the games and go into the dressing room after so everyone knew what was happening with my career which was a good feeling,” Christensen concluded.

Pogba believes in Manchester United

Manchester United superstar Paul Pogba claims he would stop playing if he thought his side were unable to win the Premier League title this year

Despite their 8-point deficit to local rivals Manchester City, United still have a shot at the league title, claims Pogba.

The French midfielder returned to Old Trafford after being out for two months due to an injury he picked up against Basel in September.

Jose Mourinho’s men were not playing to the best of their knowledge without Pogba, but now that he returned, the Red Devils have defeated Newcastle United in a 4-1 game.

Despite Guardiola’s men looking unstoppable sometimes, Pogba has refused to write off his club’s chances.

“The season is very long, of course. If I don’t believe that, I’d stop playing,” Pogba told BBC Sport, when asked whether he believes in United’s chances.

“If I don’t believe we can still win the league, I better stop. I’ll leave my boots and stop playing football cause I’m a believer we keep figh上海夜网ting,” he added. 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…

Pogba’s successful return wasn’t the only good news for the Red Devils in the victory as Romelu Lukaku found the back of the net for the first time in the Premier League since a win over Crystal Palace on September 30, GOAL reports.

Pogba was happy to serve his team-mate with an assist once again and went on to praise Lukaku’s abilities.

“I come back and Romelu scores again? I like that,” the Frenchman added.

“We’ve got a lot of good players, a lot of talented players. We have to trust each other.”

The midfielder said the Belgian striker is the best in England, and United had never doubted that.

“Romelu is the best striker in the Premier League. We know his quality. We know everything. We don’t worry about him.”

“And at the end, we see the result,” Pogba concluded.

Conte: City a big problem

Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte says stopping Manchester City will be difficult this year

Last year, Chelsea destroyed anyone standing in their way, which resulted in the Blues winning their second title in three seasons. However, this year they face an incredibly strong opponent in Pep Guardiola’s men.

Manchester City are unbeaten so far this season, after 10 Premier League games already in the books. Their closest competitors are l上海夜网ocal rivals, Manchester United. Mourinho’s side are 5 points behind City, while Chelsea are 9 points away from the league leaders.

In Chelsea’s pre-game conference ahead of their clash against Manchester United, Antonio Conte emphasized the problem Manchester City poses to them, being so dominant this year.

“But I think that, now, there is a big problem for all the teams that want to fight for the title, and this big problem is Manchester City.”

“Because, if Manchester City continue in this way, I think this is the big problem for all the teams who are thinking about fighting for the title,” he continued.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…

Conte was asked whether City can maintain their form and the coach replied: “I don’t know. Honestly, I don’t know.”

“Until now, though, they are having a fantastic path. A fantastic path. If they continue in this way, it will be very difficult for all the teams to try and fight for the title until the end,” he added.

As GOAL reports, Chelsea were beaten 1-0 by City at Stamford Bridge in September to crank up the pressure against United, but Conte says his players must embrace the challenge of facing the league’s elite.

“I think when you play against Manchester United, City, Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham… I think it’s always a big game,” the coach said.

He believes playing in an atmosphere like that must be exciting, and players know everyone’s eyes are on them in such a big game.

“I think this type of game must excite the players, to play in a fantastic atmosphere, to play and to know that a lot of people will watch the game in the whole world. Yes. I think it’s a really big game.”

City to move decisively for Sanchez

Manchester City are preparing the final assault for the transfer of Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal.

According to The Telegraph, the Citizens want to take advantage of the Chilean’s contractual situation and make a reduced bid, counting on Arsenal’s desire to cash in on the player. Aft上海夜生活er having made a bid of €70m in the summer, which was rejected by the Gunners, Manchester City will now offer only €23m for Sanchez, considering that his contract expires next summer and he can negotiate with any team in January.

Manchester City would prefer to pay a transfer fee that would satisfy Arsenal, in order to avoid entering a wages war with PSG, who are looking to sign the player for free and have prepared him a massive sign-on bonus.Neville: Pep Guardiola knows Man City aren’t good enough Andrew Smyth – Gary Neville has quashed Pep Guardiola’s claims that Manchester City won’t buy in January as they can’t challenge for trophies without defensive cover.

Pep Guardiola is keen to be reunited with his former player, which he brought to Barcelona in 2011, from Udinese. For this, Manchester City are ready to offer the Chilean more than €300k/week. The best paid player in City’s squad at the moment is Sergio Aguero, who i earning €250k/week. The Argentinian signed his current deal in 2014 and it will expire in 2019.

On Thursday, Arsenal’s manager, Arsene Wenger admitted that Sanchez could leave in January. Asked about the possibility to cash in on players like Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, whose contract are expiring next summer, Wenger said: “It’s possible. When you are in such a situation, you have to think of all the possibilities.”

Former Chelsea youngster justifies his departure

Nathan Ake believes playing football is the most important thing for someone his age.

The Netherlands international left Chelsea and signed for Bournemouth in a club-record deal of £20 million and he is not the only youngster to leave the Blues this summer. Dominic Solanke joined Liverpool, Berttrand Traoré signed for Lyon and Nathaniel Chalobah moved to Watford.

Antonio Conte feels young players are way too impatient in their search for first-team football and believes their representatives are not being smart.

However, Nathan Ake believes he took the right deci上海夜生活sion by leaving Stamford Bridge.Chelsea need owner Abramovich back at the Bridge George Patchias – Chelsea football club apparently is missing their owner Roman Abramovich, and his return is key to the team’s success.That the theory from former Chelsea…

“It is a short career, but I’m 22 now and I feel like I have had a good experience playing games and you just want to continue doing that,” Ake told reporters, according to Goal.

“I understand what he said but I think we also know that Chelsea is a big club and for myself it was going to be difficult to come in and play straight away.

The decision to come here was to be able to play more games which is important for me and that is why I came here.

There are no guarantees that I will play coming here but if I train hard and play well then I will have a chance. Hopefully, I can be in the team from the start of the season”

Mexico meet New Zealand in their second group-stage game of the Confederations Cup

Both sides will be seeking their first win at the tournamentWritten by – Nikolay Nikolov, June 19, 2017.

On Wednesday, Mexico will face New Zealand in Sochi’s Fisht Stadium and both teams will be under pressure. Juan Carlos Osorio’s team need a win to keep their hope of reaching the semi-finals alive, whereas All Whites know that another defeat will most certainly send them back home.

Mexico started the tournament with a good performance leading to a 2-2 draw against Portugal. On the other hand, New Zealand was dominated throughout their game against Russia and eventually lost 2-0, going ten games without a win at the Confederations Cup.

Having remained on the bench at the game with Portugal, Mexico’s captain Rafa Marquez is likely to start against New Zealand. If that happens, he will become the second-oldest player in the history of the Confederations Cup standing at 38 years and four months. He is the only player at the whole tournament with experience of winning it and has already stated that he plans on playing on for the national team until next year’s World Cup.Kane: Spurs out of excuses after shock Carabao Cup exit Andrew Smyth – Harry Kane concedes that Tottenham only have themselves to blame following a shock Carabao Cup exit at the hands of Colchester United.

Here are the possible lineups for the two teams:

Mexico: Alfredo Talavera; Diego Reyes, Nestor Araujo, Oswaldo Alanis, Luis上海夜网 Reyes; Marco Fabian, Rafael Marquez, Gio Dos Santos; Javier Aquino, Javier Hernandez, Hirving Lozano

New Zealand: Stefan Marinovic; Tom Doyle, Tommy Smith, Andrew Durante, Themi Tzimopoulos, Michael Boxall; Ryan Thomas, Bill Tuiloma, Michael McGlinchey; Chris Wood, Marco Rojas

PSG plan world record bid for Gareth Bale

The Parisian club is going through changes after a failed season, and their new sports director is chasing ambitious targets.Written by Cosmin Mihalescu. June 14, 2017.

According to the Spanish press, Real Madrid have received a huge offer for Gareth Bale. If the bid will be accepted by Florentino Perez, Pogba’s transfer fee record would then be broken.

It is rumoured that PSG are ready to pay up to €190m for the services of the Welshman. It’s the same amount that the French club had ready for the transfer of Neymar. But the chances of a transfer of the Brazilian are very small, so the Parisians are now targeting Bale.Kane: Spurs out of excuses after shock Carabao Cup e上海夜生活网xit Andrew Smyth – Harry Kane concedes that Tottenham only have themselves to blame following a shock Carabao Cup exit at the hands of Colchester United.

If Perez will allow Gareth Bale to leave, this would probably ensure him the funds and the need to push for the transfer of Kylian Mbappe, who Real Madrid have long been targeting.

But PSG are not the only club interested in the services of Gareth Bale. Manchester United are also monitoring the Welshman’s situation and Jose Mourinho is a keen admirer of the ex-Spurs player, for whom Real paid €100m in 2013.

Gareth Bale has scored seven goals this La Liga season, being out with injury for a long period. He has also scored twice in Champions League. His current contract with Real Madrid runs until 2022.

Dani Alves – the assist master

The Brazilian left-back is the defender with the most assists recorded in the last ten years of Champions League. He also creates the most scoring opportunities.Written by Cosmin Mihalescu. May 4, 2017.

Although Wednesday night was Higuain’s night in the first leg of the Champi上海夜网ons League semi-finals between Monaco and Juventus, the Argentinian striker has a lot to be grateful for to his Brazilian teammate.

Both of the Juventus’ goals started from Dani Alves, who provided two assists and reached an amazing number for a defender: 25 assists in Champions League. For the past ten years, only Cristiano Ronaldo (29) surpasses the Brazilian right-back. Messi is just behind him with 23.

Celebrating his 34th birthday in two days, Alves was magnificent at Stade Louis II. He provided two assists to Higuain. The first one was an amazing back heel pass after a 50 metres run and the other one was a pinpoint cross. Never in his career has Alves managed two assists in one Champions League game, prior to last night’s match.Inter Milan V Lazio: Players to Watch Taimoor Khan – Inter Milan are set to host Lazio at the San Siro on Thursday and the game is definitely going to be an exciting affair…

But Alves’ records do not stop here. In the ten seasons he has appeared in the Champions League, he is the defender or midfielder that had the most influence on his teams’ attacking actions. The Brazilian right-back has managed 25 assists for his colleagues, more than any other defender or midfielder in the last ten years.

In the current Champions League season, Alves has created 27 goal scoring opportunities – he is the first one in the top of most goal scoring chances created.

Dani Alves has won 28 European trophies in his career: 23 with Barcelona and 5 with Sevilla. He is on track to winning his first three trophies with Juventus: Serie A title, Italian Cup and Champions League.

Besides his amazing assists record, Alves has also scored nine goals in his ten years of Champions League football.

Yaya Toure to take massive pay cut if he wants to continue at City

The Ivorian was looking set to leave Manchester City this summer, but new developments have surfaced in his situation at Etihad.Written by Cosmin Mihalescu. May 8, 2017.

After having played an important role in Manchester City’s second part of the season, Guardiola is looking into the possibility of keeping Yaya Toure for another season.

The Ivorian’s contract is set to上海夜生活网 expire in the summer and he would now have to accept a pay cut of more than 50% if he wants to continue with the Citizens.Inter Milan V Lazio: Players to Watch Taimoor Khan – Inter Milan are set to host Lazio at the San Siro on Thursday and the game is definitely going to be an exciting affair…

Although he has been linked with moves to China lately, where he could definitely earn as much as his current £230,000 a week, Toure wants to stay in England, as he feels he can still contribute in top football.

But in order to do so, he would need to accept a huge wage cut. At least if he wants to continue with Manchester City. The club are preparing to offer him a new deal, with a weekly wage of around £100,000.

Although Toure had a rough start of the season, due to frictions between his agent and Pep Guardiola, Yaya has since then apologized and played an important role in City’s campaign. And while Guardiola is looking to add several players to his squad, he is willing to consider keeping the 33-year-old as well, due to his experience and popularity in the team.

Bayern Munich chase Premier League duo

The FA Cup Semi-finals proved to be a very good opportunity for the German giants to scout potential additions for the upcoming season.Written by Cosmin Mihalescu. April 24, 2017.

Michael Reschke, Bayern Munich’s technical director has attended both FA Cup Semi-finals over the weekend and he seemed impressed with two players in particular. Reschke thinks that Alexis Sanchez and Kyle Walker could really improve the current Bayern Munich squad and has added both players to the priority list for the summer transfer period.Inter Milan V Lazio: Players to Watch Taimoor Khan – Inter Milan are set to host Lazio at the San Siro on Thursday and the game is definitely going to be an exciting affair…

Sanchez, whose contract with Arsenal is set to expire in the summer of 2018, has scored the Gunner’s winning goal in their Semi-final against Manchester City on Sunday. The 28-year-old Chilean is seen as the perfect solution to add to Bayern’s attacking options and complement Robert Lewandowski, as Thomas Muller seems to be struggling under Carlo Ancelotti.

Another area that needs improvement at Bayern Munich is the right-back role and Reschke thinks he has also found a solution for this 上海夜网problem. The German technical director was impressed with Kyle Walker, whom he sees as the perfect replacement for Philipp Lahm, who is set to retire at the end of the season.

AMS sparks bidding war for Osram, shines spotlight on auto business

VIENNA ( ) – Osram (OSRn.DE) said on Monday it would consider a takeover by Austrian sensor maker AMS (AMS.S) that trumps a competing bid by Bain and Carlyle (CG.O) with a cash offer valuing the German lighting group at 4.3 billion euros ($4.8 billion).

AMS said it could create a global heavyweight in sensors and photonics with the acquisition of Osram, a leader in automotive lighting technology whose share price has been depressed by profit warnings, doubts over its strategy and a weak car market.

Osram called AMS’s financing plan “binding and viable”. It added that a stable environment for its high-tech transformation was important, as well as the protection of company employees.

The offer would beat Bain Capital and Carlyle’s 4 billion-euro bid that had been recommended by Osram’s boards but slammed as too low by its biggest shareholder Allianz Global Investors.

AMS is keen to diversify into sensors for self-driving cars as it works to reduce its dependence on Apple (AAPL.O), which analysts estimate accounts for around 40% of revenue.

“The transaction is strategically compelling as it creates the global leader in sensor solutions and photonics for consumer as well as automotive, industrial and medical applications,” said AMS Chief Executive Alexander Everke.

“Together we will command the broadest portfolio of optical sensing and photonics in the industry,” he said on a conference call on Monday.

Osram’s shares jumped by as much as 12% earlier in the day, briefly surpassing Bain and Carlyle’s offer of 35 euros a share but remaining below AMS’s offer of 38.50 euros. They closed up 10.4% at 34.95 euros.

Shares in Swiss-listed AMS fell 11.8%, with Vontobel analysts saying the transaction would raise AMS’s risk profile and value creation would be highly dependent on synergies, which AMS expects to exceed 300 million euros a year.

AMS’s planned bid is backed by a 4.2 billion-euro bridge loan facility underwritten by UBS (UBSG.S) and HSBC (HSBA.L), which AMS plans to refinance by issuing debt and equity, including raising 1.5 billion euros of new equity.

A spokesman for Bain and Carlyle declined to comment.

INVESTOR UNEASE

AMS previously showed interest in Osram in June, signing a confidentiality agreement in order to gain access for due diligence. That included a clause under which AMS would not make another takeover attempt on Osram within 12 months. Back then, AMS did not make an offer, backpedaling within days as it did not have sufficient financing.

With financing now in place, AMS has given Osram until Aug. 15 to waive the standstill agreement and said it would then make a formal bid. Osram said that it would waive the agreement if negotiations were successful.

Analysts have previously questioned the logic of AMS’s interest in Osram, saying it would have to carve out or sell Osram’s non-semiconductor operations for a deal to make sense.

They also have voiced concern about the Austrian group’s debt and the difficulty of diversifying from Apple amid fierce competition, global trade tensions and rapid technological developments.

Investors’ unease is reflected in AMS’ share price, which is 30% lower than a year ago.

The influential IG Metall union, which had welcomed the Bain and Carlyle offer, crit上海夜网icized AMS for its on-and-off approach, saying it hurt the sensor maker’s credibility.

SENSORS FOR CARS

AMS aims to overcome those concerns by beefing up its auto business. It already develops sensors that can help map roads and control gear shifters and chassis in autonomous vehicles. It said a year ago it was engaging with “a global pioneer in autonomous driving platforms”, and has repeatedly stressed that interest from the sector was rising.

Osram applies LEDs and laser chips to lock and unlock cars. It took a stake in Recogni, a Silicon Valley start-up that specializes in artificial intelligence for driverless cars earlier this month.

AMS aims to increase the automotive business’s revenue share to 35-40% if the total from 10% currently if it acquires Osram.

To streamline production and avoid overcapacity, the Austrian group plans to shift Osram’s LED production from Asia to Germany’s Regensburg. That does not necessarily imply that Osram’s billion-dollar factory in Malaysia’s Kulim will be shut down, an AMS spokeswoman said. AMS would rather see whether it can use the facility for other products.

The Austrian company said it would gradually phase out the consumer general lighting LED business, which the Kulim factory was built to service.

AMS said it sees Osram’s digital division – part of Osram’s attempt to become a high-tech group – as non-core, adding that it would seek “the best owner” for the division.

Mexico’s dependence on U.S. demand spells trouble for weak economy

MEXICO CITY ( ) – Under the threat of U.S. trade tariffs, Mexico’s president has pledged to make his country less reliant on U.S. demand. But exports to its northern neighbor have been one of the few things driving Latin America’s second-largest economy this year.

Mexican gross domestic product increased 0.1% in the April-June period from the prior quarter, narrowly averting a recession that would have dealt a major blow to President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s pledge to rev up the $1.2 trillion economy.

Mexico still sends 80% of its exports to the United States and U.S. demand for its goods has been one of the few recent bright spots on its cloudy economic horizon.

Domestic demand has been modest, and gross fixed investment and foreign direct investment have fallen, the most recent data shows.

Mexico’s main stock index has dropped more than 17% this year, though the peso currency has been stable, bolstered by high interest rates,

Meanwhile, U.S. manufacturing activity slowed to a near three-year low in July while hiring at factories shifted into lower gear, suggesting a further loss of momentum in economic growth early in the third quarter.

That 上海夜网all spells trouble for a country essentially joined at the hip with the United States, and analysts say Mexico’s reliance on U.S. demand could aggravate the risk of a full-blown recession in the coming months.

“Export growth has been the most dynamic component of GDP in 2019 without question,” said Luis de la Calle, a former Mexican trade official. Without U.S. buyers, Mexico’s economy would be facing tougher times than it is already, he said.

Dragged down by mining, construction and energy production, Mexico’s industrial output fell 1.6% in the first five months of 2019, versus a year earlier. The only industrial sector bucking the trend was export-oriented manufacturing, which advanced 1.0%.

In dollar terms, exports climbed 4.2% during the first half of 2019 compared with last year, led by robust demand for goods from the automotive and electronic sectors. But the economy as a whole expanded only 0.3% during the first six months of the year.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s multibillion-dollar trade war with China has helped propel Mexico to the top of the list of leading U.S. trading partners this year.

The jump came despite threats by Trump to slap tariffs on all Mexican exports if Mexico did not contain increasing illegal immigration to the United States from Central America.

Since then, Lopez Obrador has repeatedly stressed the importance of making Mexico more self-sufficient economically so it cannot be held hostage to threats from abroad.

The left-wing populist, who has only held office since December, surely knows the road to greater self-sufficiency is long and bristling with obstacles, however. And Mexico is still highly vulnerable to the so-called Colossus of the North, as the United States is known by some of its southern neighbors.

“If the slowdown already visible in some U.S. industrial sectors linked to Mexico persists, we’ll be seeing adverse effects in the second half of the year,” said Jose Luis de la Cruz, chief economist at the IDIC think tank.

FLAGGING DEMAND

Should demand for manufactured goods wane, Mexico will be increasingly dependent on consumer spending, which makes up about two-thirds of the economy, to underpin growth.

Big ticket purchases have been tepid, though, with car sales falling 6.4% in the first six months of the year.

Mexico’s Nemak (NEMAKA.MX), an auto parts maker that supplies U.S. companies such as Ford Motor Co (F.N) and General Motors Co (GM.N), generated 56% of its revenues in North America last year. It is now projecting an 8% drop in sales volume by the end of 2019.

A Nemak spokesman said the company’s 2019 revenue forecast was based on the likelihood U.S. sales of light vehicles and their production in North America would fall. Shares in the company have declined more than 44% in the past year.

Automotive goods make up nearly 36% of Mexican manufacturing exports by value, according to the car industry. U.S. consumers absorb three-quarters of Mexican exports of light vehicles, the biggest component of the sector’s output.

The probability of a U.S. recession in the next 12 months reached 32.9% in July, up from 12.5% a year earlier, a monthly report by the Federal Reserve of New York showed.

That is the highest level registered since 2007, when the global financial crisis began to take hold. During the ensuing recession, the U.S. economy contracted 2.5% in 2009, but the Mexican economy shrank 5.3%.

Whatever happens in the United States, Lopez Obrador’s failure to persuade investors about his own economic vision has been holding back investment at home, said Jorge Sanchez, an economist at Mexico’s FUNDEF think tank.

Investor confidence in Mexico has been shaken by some of the decisions made by Lopez Obrador, including pulling the plug on a partly built, $13 billion airport for Mexico City and his retreat from the prior government’s opening of the oil and gas industry to private capital.

“Mexico’s problem is more of an internal matter than about the United States,” Sanchez said.

The government this week signaled it wanted to lift the sluggish economy by unveiling a $25 billion stimulus package.

Proud of its hard-won record of macroeconomic stability, it remains adamant that better times are coming. Finance Minister Arturo Herrera said on Wednesday that, far from slowing, the economy would pick up speed in the second half of the year.

Exxon Mobil profit sinks on weakness in chemicals, refining

HOUSTON ( ) – Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) on Friday reported a 21% drop in quarterly profit, its third period in a row of weaker year-over-year results, as sharply higher oil production was offset by weaker refining and chemicals business.

Shares slipped 1.6 percent to $71.34 in early trading even though its 73 cents a share profit topped analysts’ recently-lowered estimates. Analysts had reduced estimates to 66 cents per share after Exxon last month guided to lower year-over-year profit. Exxon’s weaker earnings mirrored those at rivals Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L), Equinor (EQNR.OL) and Total SA (TOTF.PA). Shell posted its smallest profit in 30 months on weaker margins in chemicals, a loss in refining and tumbling natural gas prices. Total also cited weaker natural gas and refining operations for earnings that fell 19% from a year ago, while Equinor’s profit fell 27% on weaker oil and gas prices.

A bright spot for Exxon was oil and gas production rising 7% to 3.9 million barrels per day. Output in the top U.S. shale field, the Permian Basin, rose to 274,000 barrels of oil and gas per day, up 90% from a year ago.

“Three of our businesses were at lows in their cycles,” said Neil Chapman, an Exxon senior vice president, adding the company historically invests during downturns for long-term returns.

The largest U.S. oil producer’s net income fell to $3.13 billion, or 73 cents per share, in the second quarter, from $3.95 billion, or 92 cents per share, last year.

“Pretty weak quarter from them once again,” said Jennifer Rowland, analyst with Edward Jones. After capital spending and dividends, Exxon had a free cash flow shortfall of $2.7 billion, similar to last quarter, Rowland added.

Exxon has made “limited progress on asset sales,” though, analysts at Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co said in a note to clients.

Exxon’s Chapman said the company remains committed to selling $15 billion worth of assets through 2021.

The sales are needed to finance shareholder returns and major projects, but Exxon reported just $33 million in asset sales for the period, the lowest in at least 12 quarters. That follows proceeds from sales of $107 million in the first quarter.

Exxon’s chemicals business fell to a loss in the United States for the first time in at least three years.

Lower margins and downtime drove refining profits down 88 percent over last year.

Related CoverageExxon’s U.S. refineries suffer greater outages in second quarter over year ago, data shows

Exxon had been investing in major projects to boost production at a time when investors have been pressing oil companies to cut back on spending and increase returns to shareholders. The c上海夜生活网ompany said it has its best portfolio since the merger of Exxon and Mobil and does not “have to do anything” in terms of adding assets, Chapman said.

But in the Permian Basin, where the company holds 1.6 million acres and plans to use its size and scale as a competitive advantage, Chapman said it remains, “eyes wide open” about mergers and acquisitions.

Exxon boosted its estimated recoverable reserves in its offshore Guyana project to more than 6 billion barrels of oil equivalent, from 5.5 billion barrels.

China’s credit push to small firms falters in factory heartland

( ) – China’s campaign to boost loans to small firms was supposed to support the economy during its biggest slowdown in decades, but banks’ reluctance to lend has left exporters and manufacturers in its southern industrial belt struggling to pay the bills.

Despite prodding from Beijing, several bankers have told they have little appetite to lend to smaller companies due to the uncertain economic outlook, the U.S.-China trade war and a years-long drive to purge risks from the financial system.

That has chilled credit flows to private sector firms, undermining stimulus measures that were designed to cushion the impact of slowing demand.

In the southern city of Dongguan in Guangdong province, one of the country’s major manufacturing hubs, some small firms are moving production overseas in the face of operational and financing challenges.

“These days the most discussed topic – something that we always talk about in meetings – is whether we should move to Vietnam. Many of my clients have moved there,” Li Jiajun, the chief financial officer at Guangdong LiShun Yuan Intelligent Automation Co., told .

LiShun, which makes paper box packaging machinery, lost financing from two of its four banks in the second quarter, halving its total credit line to 10 million yuan ($1.5 million).

One of those two banks – both are mid-sized – blamed its tighter lending policy on the first half’s economic climate, while the other said its local branch was banned from approving new loans due to a spike in bad debts, he said.

As a result, the company, which expects to generate 250 million yuan in revenue this year, is delaying orders worth nearly 20 million yuan following the cut and taking “defensive measures” – slashing its payroll by 40% and selling equity to raise funds.

“Government policy and implementation on the ground are still somehow disconnected. It’s not so easy – at least, I haven’t enjoyed much benefits so far,” Li said of China’s efforts to boost lending.

TIGHTENED RISK CONTROL

In China, the state sector has long absorbed the lion’s share of corporate lending from an industry dominated by government-controlled banks, forcing smaller borrowers across the country to rely on non-bank “shadow” lenders, which have been squeezed in the crackdown on financial risk.

“We are better than we used to be, but far from serving so many small companies in need,” Bao Jiehan, vice president of the Dongguan branch of China Construction Bank (601939.SS)(0939.HK), the country’s second-largest lender, told .

Only 26% of China’s tax-paying businesses have bank loans, leaving “plenty of room” for banks to lend, a banking regulatory official said.

Financing is especially tough for exporters who have been squeezed by the trade war, as banks tighten scrutiny and impose stricter risk controls, bankers and companies said.

Chen Xiuxia, chairwoman of Guangzhou-based Choice International, said lenders have gradually halved its credit line to 30 million yuan since President Xi Jinping’s 2017 call for banks to curb financial risks.

Her efforts to secure more lending have not succeeded so far, with banks demanding heavy collateral and many non-bank lenders shut down.

“De-leveraging is aimed at the financial system but businesses like us are hit as a knock-on effect,” said Chen, whose company exports goods like air conditioners and cars to Africa and expects to generate $100 million in revenue this year.

Luo Zhiquan, chairman of Dongguan Gowin Import & Export, is trying to obtain a 5 million yuan loan using an office building as collateral to add to his 10 million yuan credit line. His bank will only lend 50% of the property’s value.

That was due to strict bank risk control over wobbling exporters amid the U.S.-China trade war. Gowin, which trades for 200 local manufacturers, saw its annual order value drop by 10 percent this year due to a 50 percent plunge in exports by his clients to U.S. buyers.

“Some banks just do not want to do business with trading companies anymore,” said Luo, recalling what a Dongguan-based rural commercial bank told him when stopping his credit line.

FLOCK OF GEESE

Chinese policymakers are calling on the Big Five state banks to be “lead geese in the flock” in the push to boost lending.

Outstanding bank loans issued to small firms rose 21% on-year to 10.3 trillion yuan at end-May, driven mostly by the Big Five, which have extended more credit at cheaper rates.

In April, China’s State Council set a target requiring the Big Five to increase such loans by 30% this year and cut their rates by 1 percentage point.

In Guangdong, CCB said it has hiked small business lending by 45% to 97.1 billion yuan in the first half of 2019.

Its main strategy is to increase the numbers of borrowers while reducing the average loan per company to rein in risk, bankers said. The average amount is 630,000 yuan for the bank’s 140,000 small business loan borrowers in Guangdong, said Liu Lele, vice head of small business lending at CCB Guangdong.

In the past, most small business loans averaged 10-20 million yuan per borrower, said Bao of CCB Dongguan.

Small business loans are priced at 5.3% on average, from 6% last year, said Liu, following the government’s April mandate requiring the Big Five to cut small firms’ financing costs.

Overall the Big Five’s lending to small business rose 23.7% in the first five months, while their average interest rate decreased by 0.65 percentage point to 4.79%.

“We are trying to break even. Profit is very thin, definitely less than 1%,” said Liu, who hopes to adopt a more market-oriented approach to pricing loans in the future.

Although analysts see risks to banks’ profitability and asset quality from t上海夜生活论坛he government’s lending drive, state bankers say this is not an immediate concern for big banks and regulators who have set a higher tolerance for small firms’ bad loans.

Some smaller-sized banks, however, are more conservative in their lending.

“We are still going through de-leveraging and structural changes of the economy,” said a senior executive at a lender based in northern China that is active in Dongguan.

“In an economic downturn, banks’ risk appetite is low.”

WEAKENING DEMAND

At the same time, some small companies’ appetite to borrow has diminished as economic prospects dim.

Guangdong Songqing Intelligent Technology Co, an industrial robotics maker, has cut this year’s sales target as clients delay purchase orders in a wait-and-see approach, chairman Xiao Yongxiang told . Last year, the company closed its low-end mechanical arm business as demand shrank.

Xiao said he wants to raise 20 million yuan by selling equity to pay back half of his bank loans and ease the pressure from 120,000 yuan in monthly interest repayments.

Several bankers across China told that loan demand from qualified borrowers has weakened this year.

“Clients tell me labour costs and rent are high, trade frictions are hurting exports, their profits are getting thinner and thinner, and it’s just getting harder and harder to do business,” said Sun Shanming, vice general manager of the small business lending department of CCB’s Guangzhou branch.