Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Saturday that the country should not focus on its economic growth rate only, reiterating China's push for a more sustainable, higher-quality expansion. Chinese leaders have announced an economic growth target of around 7 percent for this year, below the 7.5 percent goal in 2014 and the slowest rate in a quarter-century. Analysts anticipate further interest rate cuts in China this year.
By Ann Saphir and Michael Flaherty SAN FRANCISCO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen signaled that the U.S. central bank will likely start raising borrowing costs later this year, even before inflation and wages have returned to health, but emphasized the return to normal interest rates will be gradual. A downturn in core inflation or wage growth could force the Fed to delay the first increase to borrowing costs since 2006, the central bank's chief said on Friday, but policymakers should not wait for inflation to near the Fed's 2-percent goal before tightening monetary policy. The Fed has held short-term borrowing costs near zero since December 2008. After the first rate increase, Yellen said, a further, gradual tightening in monetary policy will likely be warranted.
(Reuters) - Intel Corp is in talks to buy fellow chipmaker Altera Corp in a deal likely to top $10 billion, according to a source familiar with the matter, making it Intel's biggest purchase ever and the latest merger in the quickly consolidating semiconductor sector. The acquisition of Altera, which makes programmable chips widely used in cellphone towers, the military and other industrial applications, would underscore Intel Chief Executive Officer Brian Krzanich's determination to expand into new markets as the personal computer industry loses steam. Earlier this month, Intel slashed nearly $1 billion from its first-quarter revenue forecast to $12.8 billion, plus or minus $300 million, as small businesses put off upgrading their personal computers. Shares of Altera shot up about 28 percent after the talks were first reported by the Wall Street Journal, closing at $44.39 per share on the Nasdaq.
Wall Street investors may find little reason to make big moves next week as they await monthly U.S. jobs data and any news that could change expectations for the first interest rate hike in almost a decade. The Labor Department report is due on Friday, when the stock market will be closed for Good Friday, leaving investors unable to trade on the data until the following week. In the meantime, investors will continue adjusting to lowered earnings forecasts for the first quarter and the uncertain direction of the dollar. Stocks have trended downward since rallying on the Federal Reserve's March 18 statement, in which it suggested a less-aggressive approach to raising interest rates than investors had expected.