In today’s market report… Asian stocks rose broadly Tuesday after flirting with multi-month lows, as markets such as Japan climbed from key support levels. The yen’s rise again weighed on Japanese exporter shares, but the Japanese benchmark and firms such as Honda rebounded, taking heart from a bounce in Chinese shares. Chinese banks and property shares led advancers after the easing of an IPO-related liquidity squeeze. Subscriptions for the Hong Kong listing of Agricultural Bank of China close on Tuesday. As expected, Australia’s central bank kept rates on hold at 4.5 percent. The Reserve Bank echoed current sentiment about uneven growth rates, adding Chinese expansion was starting to moderate at sustainable levels. The RBA also said commodity prices remained at very high levels, approaching peaks last seen two years ago. Separately, mining giant Rio Tinto said the Australian government’s watered down mining tax is still among the highest in the world. Rio said it would study the tax further before committing to any future expansion in iron ore projects.
For all you Toyota drivers out there…
After announcing that it would recall around 270,000 cars worldwide, Toyota Motor Corp. this week has begun its safety recall, starting with more than 95,000 vehicles sold in Japan and South Korea. Other countries will follow by the end of the week.
The recall affects Lexus models produced between July 2005 and August 2008—including 138,000 vehicles in the United States, 91,903 cars (including the Toyota Crown) in Japan, 15,000 in Europe, around 10,000 in the Middle East, 6,000 sold in China, 4,000 in Canada, and 8,000 vehicles sold elsewhere.
The recall is targeting valve springs in the cars’ engines, which could cause the motor to stall while in operation. So far, no accidents due to the defect have been officially reported.
Coca-Cola Co.spares no expenses to remain the No. 1 soft drink maker in the world.
Coke plans to pump $12 billion into the African market by 2020, according to a June website report. The six-year “Replenish Africa Initiative known as (RAIN)” was rolled out in March of last year, with a promise of pumping $30 million into that effort.
A series of global television commercials was announced in April. The first one is called “History of Celebration,” which shows Roger Mills, the hero of the 1990 FIFA World Cup, watching a rendition of his corner flag dance while drinking a bottle of Coke.
In another effort to integrate into the African market, just days ago, 21 winners from black colleges and universities went on an all-expenses-paid cultural activities trip to South Africa, paid for by Coke. The contest was part of the company’s RAIN program.
In other news…
Hewlett-Packard Company’s (HP) acquisition of Palm Incorporated. became official on July 1. The $1.2 billion deal was announced on April 28 and HP has now confirmed that Palm’s WebOS smartphone will continue to be developed for mobile devices as well as upcoming tablets and netbooks.
“Palm will be responsible for WebOS software development and WebOS-based hardware products, from a robust smartphone roadmap to future slate PCs and netbooks,” an HP statement said.
And lastly today:
According to a statement on its website, U.K. oil firm BP Plc has already spent around $3 billion on its Gulf of Mexico cleanup efforts. The total of $3.12 billion was spent since the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig occurred on April 20.
The total includes emergency response, relief well drilling, paying claims, and other compensations paid to local businesses and governments. Shares of BP has fallen more than 50 percent since the accident on both the NYSE and on the London Stock Exchange. Some analysts say that BP’s declined market capitalization makes the company ripe for a takeover by a rival. “Approximately 44,500 personnel, more than 6,563 vessels and some 113 aircraft are now engaged in the response effort,” BP announced in its statement.
That’s all for this week’s market report, until next time, I’m Michael Feltz Signing off.