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US markets closed lower Tuesday in shortened trading ahead of the July 4th holiday with weakness appearing in the Tech sector. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 132.36 points to close at 24,174.82, with Apple falling more than 1.5 percent. The S&P 500 fell 0.5 percent to 2,713.22, with tech sliding 1.4 percent. The Nasdaq composite pulled back 0.9 percent to 7,502.67 as Micron and Facebook dropped 5.5 percent and 2.4 percent.
European markets meanwhile ended higher, with German stocks climbing after German Chancellor Angela Merkel steered her coalition government away from immediate collapse by reaching an agreement over migration. The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.4% to 378.25 with all sectors gaining and Germany’s DAX 30 index climbed 0.7% to 12,327.82. France’s CAC 40 index gained 0.3% to 5,292.35 with the U.K.’s FTSE 100 index inching up 0.1% to 7,554.37.
Chinese ban on sales from Micron
A Chinese court temporarily banned chip sales from Micron Technology Inc., cutting the U.S. company off from the world’s largest semiconductor market, Taiwanese rival United Microelectronics Corp. said. The case is part of a broader dispute between the two companies centering on accusations that UMC acted as a conduit for the theft of the Micron’s designs in an attempt to help China grow its domestic chip industry and replace imports that rival oil in total value.
In a patent ruling in favor of UMC, the Fuzhou Intermediate People’s Court of the People’s Republic of China issued a preliminary injunction stopping Micron from selling 26 products, including dynamic random access memory and Nand flash memory-related products, UMC said in a statement Tuesday. Shares in Micron, the Idaho-based company dropped as much as 5.2%. Overall China is the largest maker for semiconductors, yet isn’t home to even one of the top 10 producers of the crucial electronic components.
Tesco – Carrefour alliance
A deal between Carrefour and Tesco to team up on global purchasing will help them not only cut prices but also expand their own-label ranges, tightening a squeeze on major brand producers such as Nestle and Kraft Heinz. In a further blow to major consumer goods firms, the pair will also jointly source own-brand products, sales of which are growing rapidly in Europe due to the expansion of discounters like Aldi and Lidl which mostly stock private-label goods.
The Carrefour-Tesco alliance will reset relationships with global suppliers like Unilever, Nestle and Procter & Gamble, at a time when they are already battling sluggish demand and start-up rivals. The deal compounds pressure on suppliers after Britain’s second-ranked Sainsbury’s agreed to buy Wal-Mart owned Asda, the number three player.
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