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Profit for online retailer ASOS falls 68% on costs

China's central bank extends medium-term loans but keeps rates unchanged

  • China's central bank extended loans through its medium-term lending facility (MLF) on Wednesday while keeping the lending rate unchanged.
  • Some analysts believe that keeping the borrowing costs on medium-term loans unchanged reflects policymakers' inclination to avoid loosening monetary policy too much lest it stokes a credit binge.

China's central bank extended loans through its medium-term lending facility (MLF) on Wednesday while keeping the lending rate unchanged.

The People's Bank of China (PBOC) said on its website the interest rate on one-year MLF loans remained at 3.3%, the same as the previous operations.

The PBOC also said it has injected 200 billion yuan ($28 billion) into financial institutions via the liquidity tool.

The central bank usually conducts MLF operations when there is a maturity coming due, but there are no loans maturing on Wednesday.

Some analysts believe that keeping the borrowing costs on medium-term loans unchanged reflects policymakers' inclination to avoid loosening monetary policy too much lest it stokes a credit binge.

Pence heading to Mideast as Turkey attacks Kurds

Mnuchin: Situation with Turkey ‘complicated’

Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin discusses the sanctions on Turkey.

Vice President Mike Pence is being sent to the Middle East by President Donald Trump as U.S. troops pull out of northeast Syria and Turkish forces invade.

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Pence says Trump spoke with Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier Monday and called for an immediate end to Turkey's moves against the Kurds in Syria.

Pence will reportedly meet with Erdogan on Thursday in Ankara.

Pence says the president is "very concerned about instability in the region" and is denying that Trump gave Turkey the green light to launch the invasion when he announced a troop pullout.

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Pence says the U.S. is "simply not going to tolerate Turkey's invasion of Syria any longer."

Trump has slapped new sanctions on Turkey to pressure the country to halt an invasion that has opened the door to a resurgence of the Islamic State group.

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Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the sanctions will hurt an already weak Turkish economy. Pence said the U.S. will continue to ramp up the sanctions "unless Turkey is willing to embrace a cease-fire, come to the negotiating table and end the violence."

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

Chipmaker ASML posts profit fall, introduces interim dividend

ASML Holding NV said Wednesday that net profit fell 7.9% in the third quarter, as net sales and gross margin were in line with guidance, and declared an interim dividend as part of a new capital-return policy.

The Dutch maker of semiconductor equipment ASML, -0.23% said net profit for the three months to Sept. 30 was 626.8 million euros ($691.0 million) compared with EUR680.4 million in the year-earlier period.

Total net sales grew to EUR2.99 billion from EUR2.78 billion a year earlier, with a margin of 43.7%, ASML said.

This was in line with the company’s guidance of net sales of around EUR3.0 billion and a gross margin of between 43% and 44%.

For the fourth quarter, the company said it expects net sales to be around EUR3.9 billion with a gross margin of about 48% and 49%.

“For the remainder of the year, we expect logic to continue to be strong, driven by the leading-edge nodes supporting end-market technology and applications such as 5G and artificial intelligence. The timing of memory recovery remains uncertain,” ASML President and Chief Executive Peter Wennink said.

ASML said it is revising its capital return policy to introduce dividend payments on a semi-annual basis and declared an interim dividend for 2019 of EUR1.05 a share.

The company said it has repurchased shares worth EUR1.4 billion to date under an existing share buyback program, but that it doesn’t anticipate to buy back the full EUR2.5 billion of shares within the 2018-19 timeframe.

Buffett's Berkshire asks Fed to be allowed to buy more Bank of America shares

Warren Buffett: Trump’s tariffs affect us in various ways

Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett talks to FOX Business’ Liz Claman about the importance of free trade and President Trump’s tariffs.

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway wants to add to its Bank of America holdings.

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The problem is the 10 percent threshold.

Berkshire filed an application with the Fed this month, first reported by Bloomberg.

Berkshire already has a 9.96 percent stake and assured the regulator that it will passively invest in the bank and will not try to force a change in strategy or corporate structure, according to Reuters.

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The Federal Reserve only allows investors to take double-digit stakes as long as the buyer won't try to force a controlling influence.

Berkshire has large positions in financial services, including American Express, Wells Fargo and  JPMorgan Chase & Co.

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Berkshire wanted to do the same thing with share of Wells Fargo in 2007, but withdrew after the bank was beset by a scandal.

Profit for online retailer ASOS falls 68% on costs

SOS PLC said Wednesday that pretax profit fell 68% in fiscal 2019 after investing in building a larger scale in both the EU and U.S., but said it has started the new fiscal year well.

The U.K. online retailer ASC, +16.21% mainly attributed its more “disruptive than expected” performance to warehouse transitions in the U.S. and Europe, which resulted in costs of 45 million pounds ($57.1 million), but said its sales grew in all of its markets.

The London-listed company made a pretax profit of GBP33.1 million pounds ($42 million) for the year ended Aug. 31 compared with GBP102.0 million for fiscal 2018.

Revenue rose to GBP2.73 billion in fiscal 2019 from GBP2.42 billion a year earlier, the company said. Gross margin fell to 48.8% from 51.2% in fiscal 2018, ASOS said.

“Whilst there remains lots of work to be done to get the business back on track, we are now in a more positive position to start the new financial year,” Chief Executive Officer Nick Beighton said.