HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Australia's labour market shows an economy in need of work. More people had jobs Down Under in August, mostly because of part-time positions. Overall unemployment ticked higher. It augurs additional monetary policy easing. Loosening government purse strings would be a better option.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - It looks as if China is now flying Cathay Pacific Airways. Chief Executive Rupert Hogg and one of his top deputies abruptly resigned on Friday after the company spent a week scrambling to quell a mainland backlash related to Hong Kong protests. The shakeup occurs at an especially bad time for the carrier.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Iron ore is feeling the pain of Beijing's stimulus restraint. Prices for the steelmaking ingredient have cooled after a spike this year. That's partly thanks to easing supply pressures. China, though, has yet to help demand by splurging on bridges and buildings to counter flagging growth. Government efforts to revive a cooling economy may be far less steel-intensive this time around.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Beijing officials have crowded the cockpit at Cathay Pacific Airways. Hong Kong's unofficial flag carrier is allowing China to vet staff flying to and over the mainland, as anti-government protests heat up at home. "Overly radical" employees will be kept away altogether. The airline and its parent company, Swire Pacific, are especially vulnerable to such interference.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - A Glencore coal split could scratch multiple itches. The $42 billion commodities giant is the world's largest thermal coal exporter, at a time when miners are under growing pressure from investors to clean up. Separating the dirty fuel from the rest would help that, and more. It might even make sense for boss Ivan Glasenberg to lead the carve-out.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - There's a rush for the exits in thermal coal. Miner BHP has become the latest heavyweight to consider a sale, according to Bloomberg. That's sensible, given weak prices, environmental pressure and a business that is barely material for the world's largest digger. But it shifts the spotlight to Anglo American, for whom the power station fuel matters more.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Rio Tinto has sounded a copper warning from the Mongolian steppe. The $104 billion mining giant says its flagship Oyu Tolgoi expansion in the country's south will be up to 30 months late, and could cost as much as a third more than planned. That's a fresh blow to a project that has been battered by local politics and other troubles for years. It's also a reminder of just how hard it has become to dig up the coveted red metal.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Amazon can afford to indulge in some Southeast Asian shopping. The U.S. e-commerce titan pushed into Singapore in 2017 with two-hour deliveries, but has yet to tackle larger and faster-growing markets in the cutthroat region. Buying Sea’s Shopee arm would be a fast way to establish a presence.
SINGAPORE (Reuters Breakingviews) - Australia's climate-focused election is blowing a lot of hot air. It’s a rare country where green issues sit atop the list of priorities. The $1.3 trillion economy is among the most vulnerable to global warming, but also depends on coal. Unfortunately, neither of the main political parties is tackling the contradiction head-on.
SINGAPORE (Reuters Breakingviews) - Indonesia’s presidential election may change how some investors vote on the country. Early indications are that incumbent Joko Widodo won another term, but with a lead narrow enough to embolden a conservative opposition. There were pockets of populist success, too. That will temper expectations for new policies that warm up growth and attract foreign cash.