World Bulletin / News Desk
Japan's Toyota Motor Corp. on Tuesday suspended some of its car production operations in China after anti-Japan protests flared across China in response to a territorial row between Tokyo and Beijing.
Beijing-based spokesman Hitoshi Yokoyama said in a text message sent to Reuters that the Japanese auto maker has decided to halt manufacturing and other operations, jointly run with its two Chinese partners, to "ensure employee safety."
He declined to elaborate and provide information on which plants are being affected by the move Tuesday. He did not say how long the suspension would last.
Toyota and its partners manufacture automobiles in the southern China city of Guangzhou, the eastern city of Tianjin, as well as the northeastern city of Changchun.
AIM TO SELL 1 MILLION CARS
The company aims to sell 1 million cars in China this year, up from the nearly 900,000 cars it sold last year.
The Toyota move follows a string of anti-Japan protests that have erupted in China over the last several days. Over the weekend, Toyota and other Japanese-brand outlets in Qingdao were torched by angry demonstrators.
Hundreds of Japanese businesses and the country's embassy suspended services in China on Tuesday, as anti-Japan protests threatened to reignite and drag a territorial dispute between Asia's two biggest economies deeper into crisis.
Volatility eased as traders focused on the world economy and corporate earnings after a week dominated by the dramatic spike in tensions over North Korea, which triggered a global sell-off before prices bounced back Monday.
Investors greeted the more conciliatory tone after US stocks dropped three days in a row last week on President Donald Trump's vow of "fire and fury" if North Korea continued to pursue its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.
The ultra-conservative kingdom has moved to diversify its traditionally oil-dependent economy following a sharp fall in crude prices.
In its monthly report on the global oil market, the International Energy Agency said, however, that it believes the supply glut is easing, partly because demand is growing faster.
US stocks have been in retreat since President Donald Trump Tuesday issued a fiery warning to North Korea to halt its nuclear program.
The move by one of Japan's best-known firms greatly reduces the chance of an embarrassing delisting from the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE).
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index weakened by 0.5 percent to 7,503.39 points.
The approval by the European Commission comes just over two months after the European Central Bank -- which took on the role of the eurozone's banking supervisor in 2014 -- allowed the sale to go ahead for a symbolic fee of one euro.
BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell and Total have all published results in recent days, showing they pocketed $23 billion in net profit in the first half fo the year.
Higher cereal, sugar and dairy prices pushed food price index by 10.2 percent annually in July
HSBC was also a big riser, gaining three percent at £7.65 ($10, 8.5 euros) in late morning trade after the British banking giant announced a share buyback plan alongside a rise in first-half profits.
Both main crude contracts made strong gains, with WTI testing $50 a barrel for the first time since late May and Brent heading towards $53, while mining giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto saw their share price rise as commodities strengthened.