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The Week in Numbers: US Imposes Trade Restrictions on Huawei

The US government placed Huawei and its affiliates on a trade blacklist that restricted the Shenzhen-based company from buying services and parts from US companies without approval.

Chip makers, Intel, Qualcomm, Xilinx, and Broadcom have told their employees that they will not supply Huawei until further notice. Google also suspended access to some services for new Huawei Android devices.

Huawei took over Apple for the first time as the second-largest smartphone vendor in 2017. In the first quarter of 2019, total phones shipped increased by 50.3% to 59.1 million, according to the International Data Corporation. In comparison, Apple’s iPhone shipments shrunk from 52.2 million in the first quarter of 2018 to between 36 million and 43 million in the most recent quarter end.

Despite the ban, Huawei founder remains upbeat, saying that the company was “ready” for the restrictions.

Asian shares sank to a four-month low on Thursday amid worries about the ongoing US-China trade conflict. Shanghai blue chips lost 1.5%, while Japan’s Nikkei and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng sunk 1% and 1.4% respectively.

Ford plans to cut 7,000 jobs, equivalent to 10% of its global salaried workforce as part of a reorganisation. The initiative will lead to 800 layoffs in North America, including about 500 this week. The job cuts are expected to save about US$600 million a year and come as Ford ramps up investments in electric cars and autonomous driving technology.

Singapore’s core inflation eased in April. A fall in the cost of electricity and gas, and lower food inflation, more than offset the higher services inflation. Core inflation was 1.3% year on year, slightly lower than the 1.4% recorded in March.

Overall inflation stood at 0.8% in April, from 0.6% in March and 0.5% in February.

The Taiwan currency is the worst in Asia following the trade war, which could impact the island’s strong tech sector. The Taiwan dollar has tumbled 1.4% in the past five days, with foreign funds selling more than US$2 billion of local equities this month.

According to the Federal Reserve minutes from their April 30 policy meeting, the Fed is in no rush to change US interest rates. Inflation eased to 1.6% annually in March, below the Fed’s goal for 2%. The central bank lifted rates nine times between the end of 2015 and the end of last year.

Lastly, Temasek Holdings-linked private equity vehicle Astrea V is expected to issue a new bond with public offer tranche expected to be larger than the S$121 million from Astrea IV last year. Astrea V issue plans to raise a total of US$600 million via three tranches. The least risky tranche is the Class A offering amounting to S$315 million and scheduled to be redeemed at the end of five years. A portion of the bonds will be offered to retail investors at a minimum investment of S$2,000.

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore contributor Jeremy Chia does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool Singapore has a recommendation on Apple Inc.