August 21, 2019

Venezuela’s Maduro confirms secret high-level talks with US officials

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro delivers a speech during a pro-government rally against US sanctions in Caracas on August 10, 2019.FEDERICO PARRA | AFP | Getty ImagesThe leaders of the U.S. and Venezuela have confirmed high-ranking officials from their respective governments have been engaged in talks "for months." It comes less than three days after both Axios and the Associated Press reported that the U.S. had opened secret communications with top members of Venezuela's socialist administration. Speaking at the White House during a meeting with his Romanian counterpart on Tuesday, President Donald Trump said: "We are talking to various representatives of Venezuela … I don't want to say who but we are talking at a very high level." Shortly thereafter, Venezuela's embattled President Nicolas Maduro said during a televised address: "I can confirm that for months that we have had contact." Maduro said the aim of discussions was to "normalize and resolve this conf..
August 21, 2019

Uber rival Bolt launches food delivery service in Europe

Bolt Food is a food delivery service from Estonian ride-hailing company Bolt.BoltCompetition in Europe's food delivery market is getting even more heated. Uber rival Bolt announced Wednesday it will launch a food delivery service in Tallinn, Estonia, where it is headquartered. The Estonian start-up said it would expand the service to Latvia, Lithuania, and South Africa later this year before launching in more markets in Europe and Africa in 2020. Bolt, formerly known as Taxify, is entering an already-crowded field of competitors in the European food delivery market. Uber Eats and Amazon-backed Deliveroo are aggressively expanding across the region, while Britain's Just Eat recently agreed to merge with Amsterdam-based Takeaway.com to create the biggest food delivery company outside of China. VIDEO1:5201:52Amazon investment will enhance competition, Deliveroo COO saysSquawk Box EuropeBolt Chief Product Officer Jevgeni Kabanov said in an interview with CNBCWednesday the company..
August 20, 2019

Amazon and SoftBank help UK tech start-ups score record foreign investment

U.S. and Asian investors poured $3.7 billion into U.K. tech start-ups in the first seven months of 2019, research shows.
August 20, 2019

Trump says he’s ‘thinking about’ a payroll tax cut — a day after the White House denies it

US President Donald Trump takes part in a meeting with Romania's President Klaus Iohannis(not shown) in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on August 20, 2019.Mandal Ngan | AFP | Getty ImagesPresident Donald Trump on Tuesday said he was "thinking about" cutting payroll taxes, less than a day after the White House denied that a payroll tax cut was under consideration. "Payroll tax is something we think about, and a lot of people would like to see that, and that very much affects the workers of our country," Trump told reporters at the White House. Trump went on to say that he has "been thinking about payroll taxes for a long time" — and he cautioned that "whether or not we do something now, it's not being done because of recession." His remarks were at odds with a White House official's statement to CNBC on Monday evening: "More tax cuts for the American people are certainly on the table, but cutting payroll taxes is not something under consideration at ..
August 20, 2019

Italian prime minister’s resignation kicks off fresh uncertainty and could push up borrowing costs

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte gestures as he delivers a speech at the Italian Senate, in Rome, on August 20, 2019, as the country faces a political crisis.Andreas Solaro | AFP | Getty ImagesItaly's prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, formally tendered his resignation Tuesday evening in Rome, after a day of confrontational drama in the Italian Senate triggered a fresh round of uncertainty over the country's political future but also a surprisingly beneficial jolt to its borrowing costs with yields falling. Conte, a law professor-turned-premier who was handed power after inconclusive elections last spring, assailed Matteo Salvini, his deputy prime minister and interior minister, repeatedly in an address to the upper legislative chamber. He said Salvini's demands earlier this month for a fresh national vote, which had precipitated the current crisis, had been "irresponsible" and rooted in personal and partisan motives. Salvini heads the anti-immigrant and euroskeptic L..
August 20, 2019

Pimco’s Ivascyn warns US-China trade breakthrough could trigger a ‘powerful snapback’ in yields

Dan Ivascyn, chief investment officer of PIMCO.Kyle Grillot | Bloomberg | Getty ImagesThe world's largest actively managed fixed-income fund has scaled back its positions in government debt, according to a report published by the Financial Times on Tuesday, citing fears that a breakthrough in U.S.-China trade talks could spark a dramatic market sell-off. Dan Ivascyn, chief investment officer of Pimco group, reportedly said that while he remains confident bond yields will remain relatively low over the coming months, the power of the market rally over the summer had shifted the balance of risks. "We are lot a more defensive… Even if we get a narrow trade agreement (between the U.S. and China) we could see a pretty powerful snapback in yields," Ivascyn said in an interview, as reported by the Financial Times. His comments come at a time when many investors expect government bond yields to continue to sag lower, with major economies seen pushing through a fresh wave of stimulus to t..
August 19, 2019

Trade war impasse casts a ‘dark cloud’ over outlook for US oil shipments, analysts warn

Matthew Smith, director of commodity research at ClipperData, told CNBC via email that it was still "too early" to tell whether China's intake of U.S. crude imports had fallen away in recent weeks.Arterra | Universal Images Group | Getty ImagesAn escalating trade war between the world's two largest economies is negatively impacting the outlook for U.S. crude shipments, energy analysts have warned, amid fears that China could soon dramatically reduce its intake of American oil. Trade tensions between Washington and Beijing prompted some external observers to warn the outlook for China-bound U.S. crude shipments was firmly skewed to the downside. "Casting another dark cloud over the outlook for U.S. crude shipments is the ongoing U.S.-China trade impasse," Stephen Brennock, oil analyst at PVM Oil Associates, said in a research note. It was around this time last year that China emerged as the biggest buyer of U.S. crude, Brennock said, but Chinese buyers were now seen as a "vir..
August 19, 2019

The world’s ‘largest all-electric ferry’ has completed its maiden voyage

As technology develops, the way that larger types of transport are powered is changing.
August 19, 2019

Amazon is passing along costs of a new digital tax to thousands of French sellers

Amazon is raising seller fees for thousands of small and medium-sized businesses in France because of a new digital tax passed by the French government.

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