Thursday, 12 May 2011
widening US trade deficit painted a gloomy picture of the global recovery. The biggest Footsie risers were Burberry up 36p at 1365p and competitors for the big middle class shoppers, Sainsbury an M&S.

Against the odds, the FashionUnited Top 100 Index reflected the general good spirits reigning within the apparel traded companies closing Wednesday at 1332.68, what implied a rise of 17.35 points. The FTSE 100 was down 0.71 percent to 5,976 in London, while the FTSE 250 dropped 0.31 percent to 12,017.9.

Still in Europe but already with one foot on the continental markets, it was to be highlighted how French Hermes International posted a 26% rise in first-quarter sales Wednesday, capping a series of brisk sales reports from a sector that has strongly rebounded this year. Its shares rallied 3.3 percent to 167.05 euros, the highest price since October.

Macy's shares were jumping higher during yesterday´s early trading hours in Wall Street, up 6.7%. They just announced it will be doubling its dividend to $0.10 per share, payable of July 1 to shareholders of record as of June 15. The department store said first quarter earnings rose to $131 million, or $0.30 per share, compared to $23 million, or $0.05 per share, last year. Sales rose 5.7%, to $5.89 billion, on same-store sales growth of 5.4%. Macys hiked its full-year forecast to earnings in a range of $2.40 to $2.45 per share, ahead of Wall Street predictions, compared to prior guidance of $2.25 to $2.30 per share.
 
Brazil and Argentina are among almost 100 countries expected to lose tariff breaks for their textile and clothing exports to the European Union (EU), under a planned reform of the EU's Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) system.

The European Commission on Tuesday (May 10) announced it wanted to focus import duty concessions on poorer countries, and that those regarded by the World Bank as high or upper middle income states would no longer qualify from January 2014.

Other countries likely to lose out would include Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. There would also be formal losses of GSP status for Mexico, South Africa, Turkey, Chile and Algeria, but these countries (and others - especially many neighbouring the EU) already have good market access through free trade and association agreements. Major textile exporters such as Vietnam and Indonesia would probably hang on to GSP, but that status could be lost in future if their growing wealth gained them World Bank-certified upper middle income countries (with average per capita income of US$3,946 to US$12,195).

The same would apply if their clothing and textile exports surged above 12.5% of all EU GSP imports of these products. This is also why GSP preferences do not currently cover Indian and Chinese clothing and textile exports to the EU.

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