Markets mixed…Optimistic prediction…Toyota profit
BANGKOK (AP) – Shares were mostly higher in Europe early Friday after a mixed day in Asia ahead of the release of U.S. jobs data later in the day, with scant apparent carry-over from overnight gains on Wall Street as Apple surpassed $1 trillion in value. Futures point to a slow start on Wall Street. Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell slightly to remain just below $69 a barrel. The dollar rose against the yen and the euro.
WASHINGTON (AP) – With a robust economy at their backs, optimistic employers likely added jobs at a solid pace in July. Economists forecast that employers added 191,000 jobs last month, down from 213,000 in June but easily enough to lower the unemployment rate over time. The jobless rate is projected to decline to 3.9 percent, near an 18-year low, from 4 percent. The Labor Department’s monthly jobs report will be released at 8:30 a.m. Eastern.
TOKYO (AP) – Toyota Motor Corp. logged a better than expected performance in the last quarter, reporting Friday that its quarterly profit jumped 7.2 percent to a record 657.3 billion yen ($5.9 billion), thanks to strong sales in the U.S. and other overseas markets. The maker of the Camry sedan, Prius hybrid and Lexus luxury models said sales rose 4.5 percent, also to a record, of 7.4 trillion yen ($66 billion). Toyota’s profit in the same quarter a year earlier was 613.0 billion yen. The results were better than expected given recent trends in the U.S. market and Japan, where Toyota’s sales did fall in the April-June quarter.
LONDON (AP) – Amazon is facing criticism after its British tax bill fell despite a big jump in sales and profits. Records show Amazon U.K. Services Ltd. faced a 2017 tax bill of 4.6 million pounds ($6 million) but paid 1.7 million pounds ($2.2 million), deferring the rest. Its pre-tax profits for the period were 72.4 million pounds, almost triple the previous year’s 24.3 million pounds. Revenue was 1.99 billion pounds, up from 1.46 billion pounds. Amazon said Friday that it pays “all taxes required in the U.K. and every country where we operate.”
LONDON (AP) – The Royal Bank of Scotland announced a steep fall in second-quarter profit Friday after being hit by a big charge from U.S. authorities over past misdeeds. But the bank said it is putting its troubled past behind it and will pay its first dividend to shareholders in a decade. RBS, which remains 62 percent owned by U.K. taxpayers after a 2008 bailout, said Friday that net income was 96 million pounds ($125 million) for the first half of 2018, down from 680 million pounds ($883 million) in 2017. First-half net profit was 888 million pounds, down from 939 million pounds in 2017.