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Weekly news summary for Jan 18 to Jan 24

Friday, Jan 18: Global Stocks Rally on US-China Trade Progress

Global equity markets climbed to their highest in more than a month on Friday after reports of new development in US-China trade talks boosted investors’ expectations of a deal in the tariff dispute.

Following the strong lead in Asian stocks, which the Shanghai Composite and Nikkei 225 rose 1.4% and 1.3% respectively, the pan-European STOXX 600 index gained 1%, while US futures indicated a higher open.

Monday, Jan 21: China’s GDP Growth Hits 28-Year Low

China’s economy slowed in the fourth quarter, pulling 2018 growth to the lowest level since 1990, weighed by weakening domestic demand and damaging US tariffs.

Data from the NBS showed fourth-quarter GDP dropped to 6.4% on-year as expected from the 6.5% registered in the third quarter, and bringing full-year expansion down 6.6% to mark its slowest annual rate in nearly three decades.

Tuesday, Jan 22: Oil Prices Down More than 1% on Demand Concerns

Oil prices dropped more than 1% on Tuesday as uncertainty about global growth stirred up concerns over future fuel demand.

US West Texas Intermediate futures were down 1.3% to $53.34 per barrel, while Brent crude oil futures shed 1.4% to $61.87 per barrel.

Wednesday, Jan 23: Dollar Trades Near Three-Week High, Yen Weakens

The US dollar held close to a 3-week high on Wednesday after the BOJ (Bank of Japan) kept its policy unchanged at -0.1%, raising risk sentiment and pushing the safe-haven yen down.

The US dollar index climbed at $96.32, trading near the $96.48 hit in the prior session, while the yen fell 0.2% and 0.4% against the greenback and the Aussie respectively.

Thursday, Jan 24: Apple Lays Off Over 200 Staff from Project Titan

Tech giant Apple has dismissed more than 200 employees from its autonomous car group Project Titan, as the company undergoes a likely restructuring under the relatively new headship of Project Titan, sources with knowledge of the matter said on Thursday.

Spokesperson for Apple stated that other employees affected by the restructuring will remain at the company, although some groups are being moved to projects in different parts of the firm, where they will support machine learning and other initiatives across all of Apple.

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