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Futures edge higher ahead of key U.S. inflation data

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FILE PHOTO: A trader watches his chart while working on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange July 8, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

U.S. stock index futures edged higher on Wednesday, with investors bracing for consumer prices data that is expected to show an almost four-decade high in December, while big technology stocks bounced after a bruising selloff at the start of the year.

Growth and technology stocks, hit by rising Treasury yields and hawkish commentary from the Federal Reserve, have attempted to climb back this week, with investors watching a variety of metrics to decide whether to buy the rally or brace for more declines.

Mega-cap growth companies including Apple Inc, Amazon.com Inc, Microsoft Corp, Meta Platforms Inc and Tesla Inc extended their gains and edged up to 0.8% in premarket trading.

Big Tech recovered early losses and led gains on Tuesday after Fed Chair Jerome Powell sounded less hawkish in his testimony to Congress, easing concerns sparked by minutes from the central bank’s December meeting.

Consumer prices data at 8:30 a.m. ET will likely show a headline number of a 7% rise year-on-year in December, its highest level since 1982. Core inflation is seen at 5.4%.

An inflation reading like that could bolster expectations of the Fed kicking-off interest rate hikes from as early as March, especially after data last Friday pointed to an unemployment rate of 3.9% in December, suggesting that the labor market is at or near maximum employment.

At 6:54 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 51 points, or 0.14%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 7 points, or 0.15%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 42.75 points, or 0.27%.

Analysts at Cantor Fitzgerald warned that a “significant sell-off is coming” in the face of a more hawkish Fed, calling for a pullback of 10% or more by the end of February.

They added that alarming signs include a sharp rise in global bond yields that has dulled the attractiveness of equities, and an 80% jump in margin debt among individual investors over the past two years.

The earnings season will kick off this week, with JPMorgan Chase & Co, Citigroup Inc and Morgan Stanley reporting their quarterly results on Friday, followed by Bank of America Corp on Jan. 19.

Shares of U.S.-listed Chinese companies were set to extend gains from last week, with many outperforming their U.S. counterparts.

Ride-hailing company Didi Global was leading the gains, up 5.1%, on a media report that its Hong Kong IPO, announced in December, could happen in the second quarter of this year along with its withdrawal from the NYSE.

Biogen declined 10% after the U.S. government Medicare program said on Tuesday it plans to cover Alzheimer’s treatments but will require patients to be enrolled in a clinical trial, limiting access to the treatment more than many expected.

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OneWeb, Hughes to provide satellite broadband connections in India

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Satellite communication companies, OneWeb and Hughes, offered high-speed, low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite broadband connectivity across India.  

The agreement between OneWeb and Hughes Communications India Private Ltd. (HCIPL), a joint venture between Hughes and Bharti Airtel Limited, follows the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the companies in September 2021.  

“OneWeb’s constellation will cover the length and breadth of India, from Ladakh to Kanyakumari and from Gujarat to the Northeast and bring secure solutions to enterprises, governments, telcos, airline companies, and maritime customers,” said Neil Masterson, CEO, OneWeb.  

Through its parent company EchoStar, Hughes is a well-established and supportive OneWeb shareholder. It is also an ecosystem partner to OneWeb, creating gateway electronics – including those in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu – and the core module that will power every user terminal for the system.  

The main contractor also agrees with the U.S. Air Force Research Lab to integrate and demonstrate managed LEO SATCOM using OneWeb capacity in the Arctic region.  

“This announcement marks a turning point for Digital India. Enterprise and government customers, including telecom service providers, banks, factories, schools, defense organizations, domestic airlines, and offshore vessel operators,” Partho Banerjee, president and managing director, HCIPL, said.  

“They are eagerly anticipating the arrival of new high performing satcom services. We look forward to bringing them high-speed, low-latency services from HCIPL using OneWeb capacity—and catapulting India to the cutting edge of connectivity,” he added.  

Neil Masterson, CEO, OneWeb, commented: “OneWeb is delighted to partner with Hughes to offer high-speed, low-latency satellite broadband solutions and contribute to the Digital India vision. OneWeb’s constellation will cover the length and breadth of India, from Ladakh to Kanyakumari, from Gujarat to the Northeast, and bring secure solutions to enterprises, governments, telcos, airline companies, and maritime customers. OneWeb will invest in setting up enabling infrastructure such as Gateways and PoPs in India to light up the services.”  

OneWeb’s latest satellite launch on 27 December 2021 brought its total in-orbit satellites to 394, over 60 percent of the planned 648 LEO satellite fleet.  

It plans to begin global service by the end of 2022 as demand continues from telecommunications providers, aviation and maritime markets, ISPs, and governments worldwide for its low-latency, high-speed connectivity services. 

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Yemen’s internet service returns after four-day outage following air strike

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Internet services were largely restored in Yemen on Tuesday, residents said, after a four-day outage https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/yemenis-struggle-without-internet-third-day-after-air-strikes-2022-01-23 following air strikes by a Saudi-led coalition on the Red Sea city of Hodeidah, which damaged telecoms infrastructure.

The Iran-aligned Houthi group’s deputy foreign minister, Hussein al-Ezzi, in a Twitter post praised efforts to repair the damage and restore services.

“To all friends and loved ones: We missed you,” he said.

Internet blockage observatory NetBlocks said at 1000 p.m. GMT Monday that services were starting to be restored.

Seven years of conflict have divided Yemen between an internationally recognised government based in the southern city of Aden, and the Houthi group that largely controls the north.

The coalition had said its strikes on Friday were aimed at Houthi military capabilities in Hodeidah, the main landing point for the country’s undersea web connection.

The outage hindered money transfers by Yemenis outside the country. The war and ensuing economic collapse has pushed millions into poverty and parts of Yemen to the brink of famine.

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Thailand to introduce data center campus by Etix

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A new data center is expected to be rolled out by IT service management company ETIX Everywhere, which has acquired a 67 percent interest in Genesis data center in Bang Chalong, 30 km from Bangkok’s historical center.   

This data center will create a new data center campus, which will be jointly developed with its local partner Interlink Telecom.  

As such, Louis Blanchot, Group CEO ETIX Everywhere, said: “We are very excited to announce our expansion into Asia starting with this acquisition in Bangkok, one of the most dynamic markets in the zone. This first step in Asia is a major milestone in ETIX’s strategy to support our global customers providing them our best-in-class colocation services wherever they need”.  

According to a press release, the Genesis data center – renamed ETIX Bangkok #1 – began working with 2.4 MW of IT power. The future development of the campus will offer significant additional capacity.   

In addition, this data center campus is the first of its kind in the market, offering such a high level of severance with four diverse routes for fiber access and power supply coming from two separate substations.  

On his part, Nuttanai Anuntarumporn, CEO of Interlink Telecom PLC, said: “We are very pleased to have a strong partner like ETIX Everywhere with experience in this industry. We believe that our partnership will support the booming Southeast Asia data center and cloud industry and lead us to common success.”  

Thailand has a large population, and remarkable internet penetration is an important growth market for the public cloud and OTT service providers.  

They need to bring their data as close as possible to the end-users to deliver better service, driving demand for colocation services.  

“Telehouse Bangkok will be the first data center of its kind in Bangkok and will come at a time when we expect the data center market in the country to see robust growth owing to the boom in the digital economy,” said Kenichi Miyashita, managing director, Telehouse Thailand.   

“It aims to provide the best environment for all the Internet-related customers, such as cloud service providers, content providers, telecoms and ISPs, to connect with one another with minimal latency.”  

The company, established in 1988 and owned by Japanese telco KDDI, has operations in 15 cities globally, including the U.S., UK, France, Germany, China, Singapore, Vietnam, and Japan. 

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