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Weekly News Summary For October 4-10, 2019

Friday, October. 4, 2019: US Unemployment Drops Near 50-year Low

The US unemployment rate fell close to a 50-year low of 3.5% in September, with job growth showing moderate improvement, raising the odds of the economy avoiding a recession for the time being, despite the trade war weighing on manufacturing activity.

The Labor Department reported on Friday that hiring rose by 136,000 last month and non-farm payroll gains for August and July were revised higher by a combined 45,000, but the Labor Department warned that the risks to the longest economic growth on record remained on the downside.

Monday, October 7, 2019: Germany Posts Another Drop in Factory Orders

Europe’s markets continued to face difficulty on Monday, as another weak set of factory orders hit Germany.

Orders were down by 0.6% on the month in August, suggesting that the region’s biggest economy is still set to experience recession in the third quarter, although the figure was offset by an upward adjustment to July’s numbers, which only declined by 2.1%, instead of the 2.7% originally reported.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019: Pound Posts Losses as Brexit Talks Become Gloomier

The British pound shed 0.5% against the US dollar and the euro on Tuesday and is on track to post its lowest close in over a month after German Chancellor Angela Merkel found UK Prime Minister Borish Johnson’s plans to avoid customs inspections on the Irish-UK border to be impossible.

UK government sources acknowledged that the German position, which is shared by Ireland and the European Union’s negotiating group, makes it unlikely that the two parties will be able to settle a transitional agreement to minimize the impact of Brexit by next week’s two-day summit in Brussels.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019: Yuan Climbs on Renewed Hopes for a Trade Deal

The offshore Chinese yuan climbed to an intraday high of 7.13 against the US dollar on Wednesday, supported by news about Beijing still willing to arrange a limited trade deal with Washington, despite a wave of interventions that had seemed to eliminate possibilities of a major development.

China is open to a partial deal, provided that no more duties will be levied by President Donald Trump, including two rounds of higher tariffs due to be imposed this month and in December, according to an official, who asked not to be named as the talks are private.

Thursday, October 10, 2019: Apple Pulls Out Hong Kong Police-tracking App

Apple has pulled out its crowdsourced mapping app, HKmap.live, after some protestors in Hong Kong used it to monitor police movements from the company’s app store, saying it violated local laws as the app had endangered law enforcement and residents.

The iPhone-maker had started an immediate investigation, stating that they have confirmed with the Hong Kong Cybersecurity and Technology Crime Bureau that HKmap.live has been used to ambush police, threaten public safety, and victimize residents in areas where there is no law enforcement.

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