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FOREIGN

Dollar struggles in Asia on Fed rate hike uncertainty

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The dollar struggled Thursday in Asia following the previous day’s losses as dovish Federal Reserve minutes rowed back expectations for US interest rate hikes.While board members at the US central bank will likely lift borrowing costs next month, official records of their October meeting indicate some are increasingly concerned about persistently low inflation as well as high equity prices.

The release of the minutes came after data showing a surprise drop in key durable goods orders, fuelling a sell-off in the greenback across the board.

They also came out a day after Fed boss Janet Yellen had warned that too quick an increase in rates could cause inflation to stagnate well below the bank’s two percent target rate.

“The minutes reflected a continued push toward another rate hike because of economic strength and a tight labour market,” Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at AxiTrader, said.

“But like Fed chair Janet Yellen… the minutes also reflected the Fed’s concern that inflation may stay lower for longer. That suggests calls for three and four hikes next year may be misplaced.”

Expectations that rates would be lifted several times next year — partly through an improving economy and flagged tax cuts — helped drive the dollar up over the past year.

In Asian trade Thursday the dollar was flat against the yen, euro and pound, having tumbled against all three on Wednesday.

But higher-yielding units were well up. The Australian dollar 0.9 percent up and the Canadian dollar rising 0.4 percent, with both commodity-reliant currencies boosted by a recent jump in oil prices.

South Korea’s won added 0.4 percent, the Mexican peso jumped 0.8 percent and the Indonesian rupiah was 0.2 percent higher while India’s rupee strengthened 0.3 percent. The Singapore dollar, Malaysian ringgit and New Zealand dollar were also sharply higher.

Shanghai dives
The euro was also lifted by hopes of an agreement on Britain’s bill to leave the European Union, while Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel continues efforts to reach a deal to form a coalition government.

There are hopes she can persuade the opposition Social Democrat leader Martin Schulz to reconsider an alliance to avert months of paralysis in Europe’s biggest economy.

On equity markets Hong Kong sank one percent a day after closing above 30,000 for the first time in a decade.

Singapore fell 0.2 percent, while Seoul was off 0.1 percent.

Shanghai dived 2.3 percent on profit-taking and worries about government moves to crack down on risk-taking lead dealers to shift to cash holdings.

This in turn has led bond yields higher, fanning worries that borrowing is becoming too expensive for companies.

“Cash is king now on the mainland,” Castor Pang, head of research at Core-Pacific Yamaichi HK, told Bloomberg News. “Rising bond yields will be negative for corporate profits, since it will increase financing costs. That’s very bad news for the stock market.”

Sydney and Wellington were both flat but Manila, Taipei and Mumbai were up.

US markets provided a mixed lead with the Nasdaq hitting another record by Dow and S&P 500 dipping as dealers there headed into the Thanksgiving break.

In early European trade London fell 0.5 percent, Paris shed 0.3 percent and Frankfurt was 0.6 percent off.

Key figures around 0820 GMT
Hong Kong – Hang Seng: DOWN 1.0 percent at 29,707.94 (close)

Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 2.3 percent at 3,351.92 (close)

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: Closed for a public holiday

London – FTSE 100: DOWN 0.5 percent at 7,385.44

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1842 from $1.1824 at 2200 GMT

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3320 from $1.3326

Dollar/yen: UP at 111.20 yen from 111.18 yen

Oil – West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 14 cents at $57.88 per barrel

Oil – Brent North Sea: DOWN 16 cents at $63.16

New York – DOW: DOWN 0.3 percent at 23,526.18 (close)

 

EVENTS

Will Smith Is Set To Perform At The 2024 BET Awards

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Will Smith is set to perform at the 2024 BET Awards | Fab.ng

Get ready for a hot performance at the BET Awards! Will Smith is joining the lineup this year. The four-time Grammy winner and Oscar-winning actor will be gracing the stage with a brand-new song.

BET announced the exciting news in a press release on June 24th. They’re clearly thrilled to have Will back, with Connie Orlando, an executive at BET, calling him a “global icon” and expressing her honour at having him perform. This is sure to be a highlight of the award show!

She added, “We look forward to Will adding to yet another defining night for the culture that is not to be missed.”

Music is where it all began for Will Smith!

Before becoming a 90s acting icon with “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” Will rose to fame as a rapper. He even rapped the show’s unforgettable theme song! He’s no stranger to dropping new music either.

Just recently, he teamed up with Sean Paul for the song “Light Em Up” for their upcoming film “Bad Boys: Ride or Die.” Fun fact: Will first hit the music scene alongside DJ Jazzy Jeff, who also co-starred in “Fresh Prince” with him.

Will’s upcoming BET Awards performance isn’t his only recent musical venture.

Back in April, he joined forces with J Balvin to light up the stage at Coachella. But Will isn’t the only star bringing the heat to the BET Awards. The show boasts an impressive lineup. This includes Ice Spice, Sexyy Red, Latto, Lauryn Hill & YG Marley, Tyla, GloRilla, Muni Long, Shaboozey, and Victoria Monét.

On the BET Amplified stage, Tanner Adell will give an impressive performance. She will perform alongside Cardi B, Davido, Gunna, the Roots, Common, Queen Latifah, and the Jungle Brothers.

Also, hosting duties return to the talented Taraji P. Henson. The prestigious Lifetime Achievement BET Award will be presented to the GRAMMY-winning global entertainment icon, USHER.

Don’t miss out on all the action! The 2024 BET Awards air LIVE on Sunday, June 30th at 8 pm ET/PT on BET. Indeed, this award show promises to be a night filled with incredible music, unforgettable performances, and well-deserved recognition for some of the biggest names in entertainment.

Get more updates here.

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FOREIGN

Kendrick Lamar Beats Drake; Set New Spotify Record In The US

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Kendrick Lamar Beats Drake; Set New Spotify Record | Fab.ng

The latest release by Kendrick Lamar, ‘Not Like Us‘, has made waves in the music industry by setting a remarkable record on Spotify. This track has secured its place as the most-streamed hip-hop song in a single day in the United States. This marked a significant achievement for Lamar and further fueled the ongoing rivalry between him and Drake.

The beef between Kendrick Lamar and Drake has been a topic of intense speculation and discussion among fans. This latest development adds to their competitive dynamic. Now, ‘Not Like Us’ outperformed Drake’s previous record holder, ‘Girls Want Girls’ featuring Lil Baby, which had held the top spot.

Released on May 5th, 2024, ‘Not Like Us’ quickly gained traction.

It amassed an impressive 6.593 million Spotify streams on its debut day alone. This surge in popularity underscores Lamar’s influence and relevance in the hip-hop genre. It also highlights the interest surrounding his ongoing feud with Drake.

The significance of this record-breaking feat extends beyond mere numbers. It is a symbolic victory in the ongoing battle for dominance between the two rap heavyweights. Some listeners may interpret Lamar’s achievement as a bold statement of superiority, amplifying the tension and rivalry between the artists.

A series of diss tracks and public exchanges have characterised the feud between Kendrick Lamar and Drake. Each of these escalates the conflict to new heights. The origins of their feud can be traced back to Kendrick’s controversial verse on ‘Control’. In the song, he called out several fellow rappers, including Drake, igniting a rivalry that has captivated the hip-hop community.

The feud reached a tipping point when Kendrick delivered a scathing diss directed at Drake while featuring on Metro Booming & Future’s track ‘Like That’. Drake is never one to back down from a challenge. He responded with his own diss tracks, ‘Push Up’ and ‘Taylor Made Freestyle’. Expectedly, this sparked a back-and-forth exchange that has kept fans on the edge of their seats.

Other artists have been drawn into the fray amid this highly publicised feud.

Kendrick Lamar Beats Drake; Set New Spotify Record | Fab.ng

J. Cole

J. Cole initially responded to Kendrick’s provocations on his surprise album ‘Might Delete Later’. He later extended an olive branch by publicly apologising to Kendrick during his 2024 Dreamville concert.

As the feud continues, it has become a focal point of conversation within the hip-hop community. Fans eagerly await each new development and diss track release. Despite the controversy and tension surrounding their rivalry, the ongoing battle between Kendrick Lamar and Drake has solidified their status as two of the most influential figures in contemporary hip-hop.

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FOREIGN

BTS Singer V Ties Bandmates J-Hope, Jimin And Suga With New Hot 100 Hit

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BTS Singer V Ties Bandmates With New Hot 100 Hit | Fab.ng

South Korea’s global superstars, BTS, are currently fulfilling their mandatory military service. But that hasn’t slowed them down. A dedicated fan base continues to propel V, one of the BTS members, to new heights on the American music scene.

While the group is focused on their national duty, this particular member’s solo work resonates with American audiences.

BTS’s influence remains strong, even with all seven members enlisted. This latest achievement proves that their music transcends borders and continues to captivate listeners around the world.

V, a member of the global phenomenon BTS, is making waves as a solo artist. His brand new single, “Fri(end)s,” hit the prestigious Billboard Hot 100 chart at a very impressive No. 65 in its first week.

This marks V’s fourth time landing a song on the Hot 100, and this time, it’s all him. BTS, as a group, has already achieved an incredible record with 27 hits on the chart. But V’s solo success ties him with three of his bandmates for another impressive feat.

With “Fri(end)s,” V joins J-Hope, Jimin, and Suga in the exclusive club of BTS members with four Hot 100 hits to their names.

However, the top soloist title goes to another BTS member. Jung Kook has a whopping six Hot 100 entries under his name. That’s just one slot ahead of K-pop legend Psy, who boasts five hits on the chart.

V’s solo journey on the Hot 100 began in 2022 with the release of “Christmas Tree.” The song gained significant traction during the holiday season, but its official chart debut came in the new year.

This strong debut for “Fri(end)s” is a great sign for V’s solo career. Fans are eagerly awaiting to see how high the song can climb on the chart in the coming weeks.

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