Off To Europe

Sony’s smartphone focus shifts to Japan, Europe, says CEO

debt deal Fri Oct 11, 2013 4:10am EDT * FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.2 pct, Euro STOXX 50 down 0.1 pct * Euro STOXX 50 hovering around 2-1/2 year high * Stocks still in ‘sweet spot’, says Lyxor AM’s Asseraf-Bitton By Blaise Robinson PARIS, Oct 11 (Reuters) – European stocks inched up in early trade on Friday, extending the previous day’s rally, as investors waited to see if an agreement will be reached in Washington on the U.S. debt ceiling. At 0740 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.16 percent at 1,247.09 points, after gaining 1.7 percent on Thursday. The euro zone’s blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index was down 0.08 percent at 2,967.06 points, hovering just below a 2-1/2 year high hit earlier in the session. Stocks around the world had lost ground in the past three weeks after a deadlock in budget talks led to a partial shutdown of the U.S. government and sparked worries about negotiations on the country’s debt ceiling. On Thursday, President Barack Obama and Republican leaders appeared ready to end the deadlock after meeting at the White House, and talks continued into the night with one senior Republican saying an agreement could come on Friday. “Even though investors get nervous when political tensions rise, the backdrop for equities remains quite positive: very accommodative central banks, improvement on the macro front, and relatively good corporate fundamentals,” said Jeanne Asseraf-Bitton, head of global cross asset research at Lyxor Asset Management, which has $98 billion under management. “It’s sort of a ‘sweet spot’ for stocks. Now, with the earnings season set to start, we need to see an improvement in the earnings momentum. It has improved lately in Europe, although it remains negative for now.” Around Europe, UK’s FTSE 100 index was up 0.2 percent, Germany’s DAX index up 0.2 percent, and France’s CAC 40 down 0.1 percent. French hotel group Accor topped the FTSEurofirst 300 leader board, with a 2.5 percent rise after investment bank Citigroup’s upgraded the stock to a “buy”. Darren Courtney-Cook, head of trading at Central Markets Investment Management, said even a short-term extension to the U.S.

Sony’s smartphone focus shifts to Japan, Europe, says CEO Kazuo Hirai says that, for now, his company will attempt to appeal to customers in Japan and Europe rather than in the US and China. October 11, 2013 6:43 AM PDT Sony chief Kazuo Hirai holding one of his company’s smartphones. (Credit: CBS Interactive) Sony’s attempt to reassert itself in the smartphone market will start outside the US. Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai told reporters on Friday that his company’s smartphone-related resources will be dedicated to Europe and Japan. According to Reuters , which was in attendance at the talk, Sony’s smartphone division has no big plans for the US and China. Related stories Game console updates will come faster, GameStop CEO predicts “It’s not realistic to try to do everything at once,” he said, according to Reuters. “In the US, we’ll start gradually.” Hirai’s decision is not necessarily surprising. Sony has little market share in the US or China, but has been able to at least make a dent in Europe and Japan, its home country. Mobile was cited earlier this year by Hirai as one of the keys to reviving the slumping Sony, but so far, the effort has been slow going. Just about every other major smartphone maker is trying to establish a foothold in the US and the increasingly lucrative Chinese market. Hirai ostensibly hopes his mobile plans could help Sony gain ground in area his competitors might be overlooking.

Europe, China agree currency deal

chinese yuan euro

3. Mix Max, but Omaha WSOP Europe is the birthplace of the Mix Max event. Players play nine-handed on Day 1, six-handed on Day 2 and a heads-up bracket on Day 3 to play down to a winner. It’s always been played with no-limit hold ’em, but the most exciting addition to the schedule this year is this variation. The Mix Max will be a pot-limit Omaha event, and if fireworks are your thing, this is for you. This event will be fun to watch because of the caliber of player it’s going to attract. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the final four made up of former bracelet winners and some of the younger online cash game beasts who make their living playing high stakes pot-limit Omaha, the game players with a little bit more gamble love to play. 4. Big Bucks Buy-In: The High Roller comes to WSOPE Another new event on the schedule this year is a high-roller event with a bracelet at stake. In Cannes last year, there was a 50,000 euro buy-in nonbracelet event that attracted 49 players. This year, WSOP organizers have lowered the buy-in to 25,600 euros and put a bracelet up for grabs. High-roller events are becoming more and more commonplace, but given the talent that fills the fields in these events, they tend to be a poker fan’s dream. This will fourth largest buy-in bracelet event in WSOP history and the biggest ever outside Las Vegas. The event takes place after the two Day 1s of the main event, ensuring that big-name players busting out of the main event still have a shot at a bracelet and bragging rights. Be warned though, given recent history, a German is going to win this thing.

Europe shares inch higher on prospect of U.S. debt deal

debt loses some appeal in Hong Kong In June, China struck a similar agreement with the Bank of England worth up to 200 billion yuan. The deal with the ECB comes as political gridlock in the U.S. weakens the U.S. dollar against many other global currencies. A spokesperson for the ECB said the deal had been in the works for the last few months. China’s wine obsession spurs Bordeaux sales The yuan, also called the renminbi, currently trades directly with the U.S. dollar, the Australian dollar and the Japanese yen . In September, the Bank for International Settlements announced the Chinese yuan was the ninth most traded currency in the world. The yuan was involved in 2.2% of foreign exchange trading worldwide in April, the period examined by the report, more than double its share in April 2010. The dollar was involved in 87% of all trades, the euro was part of 33% of trades, and the Japanese yen was involved in 23%.