PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - May 30
May 30 The following are the top stories in the Wall Street Journal. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
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TORONTO May 3 Manulife Financial Corp, Canada's biggest life insurer, on Wednesday reported a rise in first-quarter earnings, slightly beating market forecasts with help from strong sales in Asia.
The company said core earnings, excluding one-time items and market movements, rose 22 percent to C$1.1 billion ($801 million), or 53 Canadian cents a share. Analysts on average had expected core earnings of 52 Canadian cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S data.
"In Asia, we achieved a 31 percent increase in annualized premium equivalent sales, with strong double-digit growth in most territories and importantly, a 53 percent increase in new business value, which speaks to the quality of sales we generated," said Chief Financial Officer Steve Roder.
Manulife is expanding in Asia as the region's burgeoning middle class looks to save and invest. The company has benefited from a partnership with Singapore's DBS Group, agreed in 2015, through which it sells its products through the lender's Asian branch network.
Net income rose to C$1.35 billion, up C$305 million from the year before, while assets under management rose to over C$1 trillion for the first time in the company's history, it said. ($1 = 1.3729 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Matt Scuffham; Editing by David Gregorio and Diane Craft)
* Euro weakens on fears Greece may forego next bailout payment
* Political uncertainty in Europe stokes safe-haven buying * Spot gold, silver touch one-month peaks * Spot gold may rise to $1,276 per ounce -technicals (Adds comment, updates prices) By Nithin ThomasPrasad May 30 Gold edged up to touch a one-month high on Tuesday, with investors turning to the safe-haven asset as geopolitical tensions sapped their appetite for risk. Spot gold had risen 0.1 percent to $1,267.70 per ounce by 0349 GMT. It earlier touch