Toyota forecasts record net profit for full fiscal year

Tokyo (APP):Japanese car giant Toyota on Tuesday forecast a record full-year net profit, as the figure jumped more than 40 percent for the nine months to December.
Boosted by robust global sales and a weak yen, Japan’s top carmaker expects to bank net profit of 2.4 trillion yen ($22 billion) for the fiscal year to March 2018, up from its earlier estimate of 1.95 trillion yen.
Annual sales are now forecast at 29 trillion yen, up from an earlier projection of 28.5 trillion, the Prius maker said.
Its net profit rose 40.5 percent to 2.0 trillion yen for the nine months to December, on sales of 21.8 trillion yen which were up 8.1 percent.
During the previous fiscal year, Toyota suffered its first drop in annual profit for five years, which it blamed on the cost of customer incentives in the key US market.
Toyota said global sales for the nine months edged up slightly from a year earlier, to 7.85 million units.
Operating profit from its domestic and European markets showed moderate gains for the nine months.
But operating profit from North America fell by more than half due to a decline in sales and swelling incentives.

Bitcoin drops below $6,200 for first time in three months

Tokyo (APP):Bitcoin plunged 20 percent to a three-month low on Tuesday, its latest sharp loss following a series of setbacks for the cryptocurrency that, with a collapse across global mainstream markets adding to the selling.
The virtual currency fell to $6,190 for the first time since mid-November, according to Bloomberg News, and represents the latest hammering for a unit that saw a stratospheric 26-fold rise last year.
Tuesday’s collapse comes just six weeks after bitcoin hit a record high of $19,511, fuelled by a flood of speculators looking to make a quick buck, with warnings it could fall another 50 percent.
Central bank in Europe, Japan and the United States have also flagged concerns about the unit and this week saw several commercial lenders say they would stop allowing their customers to buy bitcoin through their credit cards owing to debt concerns.
The sell-off on Tuesday was exacerbated by crushing losses on world stock markets, with the Dow on Wall Street suffering its biggest one-day points loss and wiping out all its 2018 gains.