• Saudi Chambers Council Chief Meets Russian Ambassador

    Riyadh, Rabi’I 25, 1437, Jan 5, 2016, SPA — President of the Council of Saudi Chambers, Dr. Abdulrahman bin Abdullah Al-Zamil met here today Russian Ambassador to the Kingdom, Oleg Ozerov.
    During the meeting, they discussed ways of enhancing economic and trade cooperation in various fields between the two friendly countries.
    On the occasion, the Russian Ambassador expressed happiness on growing trade relations between the two countries, stressing that the Russian business sector is looking forward with great interest to an effective partnership with the Saudi business sector, especially in a climate of good relations between the two countries, making it easier to form partnerships at various levels.

    –SPA
    12:52 LOCAL TIME 09:52 GMT
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  • U.S. Manufacturing Sector Shrinks for Second Month

    Washington, Rabi’I 24, 1437, Jan 4, 2016, SPA — The U.S. manufacturing sector shrank for the second consecutive month in December, as the impact of a stronger U.S. dollar hurt export profitability, an industry group reported Monday, suggesting only moderate economic growth in the fourth quarter of 2015.
    The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its index of manufacturing activity fell to 48.2 from 48.6 in November and now is at its lowest level in more than six years. A reading above 50 reflects expansion in the sector, and a reading below 50 indicates contraction.
    The ISM report also showed that factories cut jobs and new orders shrank. The employment index fell to 48.1 in December from 51.3 the previous month.
    The data suggests the difficulties facing manufacturers in 2015—slow overseas growth, a strong dollar, and low oil prices—likely will continue into 2016.
    The ISM report coincides with a survey that found that manufacturing in China contracted for a 10th consecutive month in December, the latest sign of slowing global economic growth.
    U.S. stocks plunged in early trading Monday, reflecting renewed concerns about China’s troubles and Middle East tensions.

    –SPA
    21:08 LOCAL TIME 18:08 GMT
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  • Canadian Manufacturing Activity Hits Record Low

    OTTAWA, Rabi’I 24, 1437, Jan 4, 2016, SPA — The Canadian manufacturing sector contracted for the fifth consecutive month in December, an industry index showed Monday, as activity dropped to a record low.
    The RBC Canadian Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), a measure of manufacturing business conditions, fell to a seasonally adjusted 47.5 in December from 48.6 in November, the lowest level for the survey going back to 2010.
    A reading below 50 indicates contraction in the sector. The index fell short of 50 for nine months of the year in 2015.
    The Canadian economy was in a mild recession in the first half of the year and although growth resumed in the third quarter, the final quarter of 2015 got off to a weak start.

    –SPA
    19:43 LOCAL TIME 16:43 GMT
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  • U.S. Construction Spending Falls

    Washington, Rabi’I 24, 1437, Jan 4, 2016, SPA — U.S. construction spending fell for the first time in almost a year and a half in November as a drop in nonresidential investment offset an increase in housing outlays, the government said Monday.
    The Commerce Department reported that construction spending dropped 0.4 percent, the first and biggest decline since June 2014, after a downwardly revised 0.3 percent gain in October.
    The government revised construction data from January 2005 through October 2015 due to a “processing error in the tabulation of data.” The revisions showed that construction spending was not as strong as previously reported for much of 2015.
    Construction outlays were up 10.5 percent compared with November of last year. Construction spending in November was held down by a 0.8 percent drop in nonresidential construction.
    Outlays on residential construction rose 0.2 percent.
    Private construction spending declined 0.2 percent, but spending on private residential construction rose 0.3 percent.
    Public construction outlays dropped 1.0 percent. Spending on state and local government construction projects, the largest portion of the public sector segment, slipped 0.4 percent. Federal government outlays tumbled 7.2 percent.
    –SPA
    18:43 LOCAL TIME 15:43 GMT
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  • Global stocks sink after Shanghai index dives 7 percent

    SEOUL, Rabi’I 24, 1437, January 04, 2016, SPA — Chinese stocks plunged nearly 7 percent Monday, triggering an emergency trading suspension and giving global markets an unnerving start to 2016. Weak Chinese manufacturing and Middle East tensions were catalysts for the sell-off, dpa reported.
    The Shanghai Composite Index dived 6.9 percent to 3,296.66 on the first trading day of the year. The index was at its lowest level in nearly three months.
    The official Xinhua News Agency said the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock markets halted trading for the remainder of Monday to avert steeper falls. It was the first time China used the “circuit breaker” mechanism it announced late last year.
    In early European trading, Britain’s FTSE 100 slipped 1.9 percent to 6,123.91 and Germany’s DAX tumbled 3.3 percent to 10,389.11. France’s CAC 40 slumped 2.1 percent to 4,537.70. Futures augured losses on Wall Street. Dow futures fell 1.5 percent and S&P 500 futures dropped 1.3 percent.
    Elsewhere in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 tumbled 3.1 percent to close at 18,450.98 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng retreated 2.7 percent to 21,327.12. South Korea’s Kospi closed 2.2 percent lower at 1,918.76. Stocks in Australia, and Southeast Asia were also lower.
    Benchmark U.S. crude added 14 cents to $37.19 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 36 cents to close at $37.04 per barrel on the last trading day of 2015. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 20 cents to $37.48 a barrel in London.
    In currencies, the dollar weakened to 118.98 yen from 120.26 yen. The euro rose to $1.0914 from $1.0861.
    –SPA
    13:47 LOCAL TIME 10:47 GMT
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  • Tsipras promises to meet Greece's creditor requirements in full

    Athens, Rabi’I 24, 1437, January 04, 2016, SPA — Greece will meet all of its obligations to its
    creditors in full, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras pledged in
    remarks reported by the Athens-based newspaper Realnews, but his
    government would not accept any “nonsensical demands.”

    Tsipras did not specify what those nonsensical demands might be, according to dpa.

    He said that by sticking to the austerity programme and implementing
    the remaining reforms, Greece would emerge from its economic crisis
    in 2016.

    Tsipras was confident that he would be successful in getting a
    pension reform plan through parliament, saying his majority of 153
    out of 300 lawmakers was “absolutely solid.”
    –SPA
    13:39 LOCAL TIME 10:39 GMT
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