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Asian shares struggle for footing after tough week

SYDNEY: Asian shares were trying to end a bleak week in the black on Friday as upbeat U.S. economic news and solid company earnings offered a respite from the interminable Sino-U.S. trade saga.

For now, Asian markets were just happy for a break. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan inched up 0.1% and off a 15-week trough, but was still down 1.8% for the week.  Japan's Nikkei bounced 0.7% in early trade, while the main Australian index added 0.5%. E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 were steady.

Singapore April exports slump 10% year-on-year

SINGAPORE: Singapore's non-oil domestic exports (NODX) fell more than expected in April from a year ago, hurt by fewer shipments to most major trading partners and a plunge in pharmaceutical sales, official data showed on Friday.

Exports fell 10% in April year-on-year, data from the trade agency Enterprise Singapore showed, slightly better than a revised 11.8% decline the month before.

Economy grows 4.5% in first quarter

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s economy performed above expectations in the first quarter of 2019 (1Q19) and the country’s foreign investments staged a strong improvement, amid elevated external challenges. However, despite these positive developments, more warnings signs on the economy have begun to crop up.

Malaysia's Economic Performance Chart. Source: Department of Statistics Malaysia.

PetChem buys Da Vinci Group BV for RM761mil

PETALING JAYA: Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd (PetChem) is making a foray into specialty chemicals by acquiring Netherlands-incorporated Da Vinci Group BV for €163mil (about RM760.6mil).

The petrochemical group announced on Thursday that it had signed a sale and purchase agreement to buy 100% of Da Vinci from its shareholders, including, among others, funds managed by Bencis Capital Partner

Geneva’s allure may be fading

ZURICH: Just off rue du Rhone, Geneva’s luxury shopping street, a six-story building once home to a private bank lies vacant, its brass door shuttered and the marble siding cracked.