Economy

US online giant Amazon on Thursday delivered stronger-than-expected financial results for the first quarter, pushing shares higher.Profit rose 41 percent from a year ago to $724 million, on revenues growing 23 percent to $35.7 billion.The results fuele…

Microsoft on Thursday reported a strong jump in profits in the just-ended quarter but revenue fell short of expectations in the tech giant’s first earnings report incorporating social network LinkedIn.Net profit rose 28 percent to $4.8 billion while re…

In a week full of trade discord, US President Donald Trump vowed Thursday to take action to boost the American aluminum industry which has been “unfairly damaged” by imports.The industry is “critical” to the defense industry,” Trump said at the White H…

Sales for the signature basketball shoe of NBA Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry have been below expectations, Under Armour chief executive officer Kevin Plank said Thursday.Curry, the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in the 2014-15 and 2015-16 c…

President Donald Trump’s threat to abandon the North American Free Trade Agreement has US farmers worried their access to prime Canadian and Mexican export markets could shrink.The US neighbors are the second and third-largest importers of American agr…

Samsung and Apple maintained their leadership in the smartphone market in early 2017 while Chinese-based Huawei’s strong growth cemented its number three position, a market tracker said Thursday.Research firm IDC said overall smartphone shipments grew …

Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem gave a “strong commitment” Thursday that a deal to break the deadlock over Greece’s bailout would be reached by next month.Differences remain wide on unlocking the latest tranche of cash for Athens from its 86-billion…

German airline group Lufthansa said Thursday it is not interested in snapping up troubled Italian carrier Alitalia, as Rome hunts for a buyer after workers rejected a bailout plan.”We are clearly not there to buy Alitalia,” finance chief Ulrik Svensson…

Shares in Germany’s biggest lender Deutsche Bank took a tumble in morning trading in Frankfurt Thursday, despite the bank reporting strong first-quarter results.Deutsche shares were down 2.83 percent by 0800 GMT to trade at 16.84 euros ($18.37), agains…

Finland’s telecoms giant Nokia reported Thursday that it remained deep in the red at the start of the year, with sales in its main business, networks, on the decline.The company posted a loss of 488 million euros ($532 million) in the first quarter, an…

Britain’s state-rescued Lloyds Banking Group said Thursday that first quarter net profit jumped 72 percent as exceptional costs from a year earlier were not repeated.

Lloyds, which has been returned almost fully to the private sector after a state bailout during the 2008 global financial crisis, added its performance was “strong” despite challenging trade.

Profit after tax soared to £871 million ($1.12 billion, 1.02 billion euros) in the first three months of the year, compared with £506 million in the same period of 2016, LBG said in a results statement.

However, the year-earlier figure was weighed down by a vast £790-million charge linked to the repurchasing of bonds launched after the global financial crisis.

Underlying pre-tax profits meanwhile grew one percent to just under £2.1 billion in the first quarter of 2017.

“In the first three months of this year we have delivered strong financial performance with increased underlying profit, a significant improvement in statutory profit and returns, and strong capital generation,” said Chief Executive Antonio Horta-Osorio.

“These results continue to demonstrate the strength of our customer focused, simple and low risk business model and our ability to respond to a challenging operating environment.”

He added: “The UK economy continues to benefit from low unemployment and reduced levels of indebtedness, and asset quality remains strong and is stable across the portfolio.”

Lloyds recently announced that it took another £350 million charge to cover compensation for mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI) claims.

The British government bailed out Lloyds at the height of the financial crisis at a cost of £20.3 billion, handing the state a 43-percent stake in the bank.

However, it has since slashed its holding to below two percent following numerous share sales.

British finance minister Philip Hammond revealed last week that the Treasury has now recovered all the money used to bail out Lloyds. It expects to sell the remaining share in the coming weeks.

However, the government still owns 73 percent of Royal Bank of Scotland, which was rescued with £45.5 billion of taxpayers’ cash during the crisis. That was the world’s biggest banking bailout.

German airline group Lufthansa on Thursday reported a much larger net loss in the first three months of the year, but sought to play up a return to positive operating results.The group reported a net loss of 68 million euros ($74 million) between Janua…

People in Germany are increasingly confident about the economy, with a closely-watched survey showing on Thursday that lower inflation has revived optimism for May after a stumble in April.Market research firm GfK’s forward-looking poll of 2,000 consum…