Weekly World Global Outlook – 19th April 2005

WORLD OUTLOOK     China’s Economy Grows 9.5 Percent, More Than Expected   China’s economy, which accounted for a 10th of global growth last year, expanded more than expected in the first quarter as exports and investment surged.   Gross domestic product rose 9.5 percent from a year earlier to 3.14 trillion yuan ($379 billion), matching the fourth- quarter’s gain, the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement released in Beijing. That exceeded the median 9 percent gain forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of 11 economists. Fixed- asset investment rose 23 percent.   Asian Stocks Rise as Tokyo Electron Gains on Intel; China Drops   Asian stocks rose, led by Tokyo Electron Ltd. and Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing Ltd., after Intel Corp. reported earnings that beat analyst estimates and said it will boost spending.   China Development’s $2.4 Bln Acquisition May Fail   China Development Financial Holding Corp., bidding to form Taiwan’s biggest securities firm, may scrap its $2.4 billion takeover of two domestic brokerages after a board member opposed the purchase, people involved in the plan said.   U.S. Stock-Index Futures Advance After Intel, Yahoo Earnings   U.S. stock-index futures rose after first-quarter earnings from companies including Intel Corp. and Yahoo! Inc. topped analysts’ estimates, allaying concern corporate profit growth may wane.   The “outlook may not be as bad as people had expected,” said Hiroyuki Kakehida, who helps oversee $58 billion in global assets as chief fund manager at DL-IBJ Asset Management Co. in Tokyo.   European Stocks May Rise, Paced by Infineon After Intel Profit   European stocks may rise, led by technology companies including Infineon Technologies AG and STMicroelectronics NV after Intel Corp. reported earnings yesterday that beat estimates.   BP Plc and Total SA may gain as crude oil climbed to its highest in a week. China’s economy grew more than expected in the first quarter, signaling higher fuel demand from the world’s second-largest energy consumer.   US Airways, America West in Merger Talks US Airways Group Inc. and America West Holdings Corp. are in advanced merger talks to create what would be the nation’s sixth-largest airline, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.   The deal has not been completed and some obstacles remain, particularly since US Airways, the No. 7 U.S. airline, remains in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the newspaper said on its Web site.   Stocks Rally on Earnings; Intel Jumps   U.S. stocks rallied on better-than-expected earnings on Tuesday, with the Dow snapping a four-session losing streak, while the outlook for Wednesday’s session improved further when Intel Corp. reported strong earnings after the closing bell.   Wall Street got some good news on the inflation front when the core producer price index, a measure of wholesale prices excluding food and energy, rose by only half of what economists expected. That soothed worries about more aggressive interest-rate increases ahead from the Federal Reserve.   Oil Leaps 4 Pct on U.S. Refinery Worries   Oil prices vaulted over $52 a barrel on Tuesday, breaking a two-week slump from record highs as refinery problems in the United States, the world’s largest energy consumer, reignited supply worries.   U.S. light crude climbed $1.92, or nearly 4 percent, to $52.29 a barrel, leaving the price within $6 of the record $58.28 struck on April 4. London’s Brent crude rose $2.16 to $52.94 a barrel.