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Apple iPhone XR and iPhone XS smartphones are displayed during an event at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California, on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018. 

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Apple iPhone XR and iPhone XS smartphones are displayed during an event at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California, on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018. 

Another Wall Street firm has cut expectations for Apple amid fears of soft smartphone and overall iPhone demand.

Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley reduced his 12-month price target to $225 from $250 over the next year. The new target is still 24 percent higher than Wednesday’s closing price.

Canaccord Genuity also lowered its 2019 and 2020 earnings per share estimates. It now expects EPS of $13.25 next year and $14.69 in 2020 versus $13.46 and $15.18 previously. Walkley slashed his iPhone units sales expectations to 213 million in 2018, 208 million in 2019 and 217 million in 2020.

“Our surveys indicated soft smartphone demand with disappointing initial XR sales,” Walkley wrote in a note to clients Thursday. “Given the soft start to the latest lineup of iPhones, we are lowering our iPhone estimates and forecast lower year-over-year unit sales in calendar 2019.”

The analyst said muted demand for the XR fell short of his high expectations. He added that survey feedback for “lackluster” initial sales included its inferior quality perception given its aluminum construction versus the XS and XS Max, as well as lack of an HD screen and lower-cost options in the older iPhone X and 8 models.

Despite the target cut, Walkley still has a buy rating on the company’s stock. Shares of Apple rose 0.9 percent in premarket trading Thursday.

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Saudi Arabia and Russia look to impose production cuts

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Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih (L) speaks to journalists as he attends the 175th OPEC Conference of Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Vienna, Austria on December 06, 2018.

JOE KLAMAR | AFP | Getty Images

Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih (L) speaks to journalists as he attends the 175th OPEC Conference of Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Vienna, Austria on December 06, 2018.

OPEC and its allies are poised to debate the terms of price-boosting supply cuts on Friday, after the influential oil cartel failed to reach a consensus over production policy for the first time in almost five years.

The 15-member organization will hold talks with allied oil-producing nations at its headquarters in Vienna, Austria on Friday. It comes after deep divisions in the energy alliance were laid bare at a closely-watched meeting on Thursday, with the group unable to agree on the terms of crude output cuts.

International benchmark Brent crude slipped below $60 a barrel Friday morning, as a lack of guidance from the Middle East-dominated group rattled energy markets.

The cartel has agreed how many barrels it would aim to remove from the market in principle, two unnamed sources told Reuters Thursday. But, de facto OPEC leader Saudi Arabia was forced to delay making a final decision on how deeply it would cut production until after it meets with non-OPEC heavyweight Russia.

The meeting between OPEC and non-OPEC members comes at a time when the oil market is near the bottom of its worst price plunge since the 2008 financial crisis.

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China’s Huawei appoints chairman as acting CFO 

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A profile of Huawei's chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou is displayed on a Huawei computer at a Huawei store in Beijing, China, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018. 

Ng Han Guan | AP

A profile of Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou is displayed on a Huawei computer at a Huawei store in Beijing, China, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018. 

China’s Huawei Technologies has appointed Chairman Liang Hua as acting chief financial officer (CFO) following the arrest in Canada of its CFO, who faces extradition to the United States, a source close to the matter told CNBC.

CFO Meng Wanzhou, who is also the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, was detained in Canada on Saturday. Canada’s Department of Justice said on Wednesday the country arrested Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver, where she is facing extradition to the U.S. The arrest is related to violations of U.S. sanctions, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.

U.S. authorities have been probing Huawei, one of the world’s largest makers of telecommunications network equipment, since at least 2016 for allegedly shipping U.S.-origin products to Iran and other countries in violation of U.S. export and sanctions laws, sources told Reuters in April.

—Reuters and CNBC’s Huileng Tan contributed to this report.

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93% of tech funding goes to all-male founders

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Europe’s tech start-up scene has a problem: almost all of its funding is going toward men.

A new report from venture capital firm Atomico found 93 percent of the money invested into European tech start-ups in 2018 went to companies with all-male founding teams.

The report paints a bleak picture for female entrepreneurs in Europe with no progress in the data over the past five years.

“It’s clear that the European tech ecosystem has a challenge around diversity and inclusion,” Tom Wehmeier, partner and head of research at Atomico who authored the report, told CNBC last week.

Atomico’s report, which surveyed 5,000 founders, investors and tech sector employees across Europe, showed discrepancies in perception versus reality around gender discrimination. While nearly 90 percent of respondents said having a diverse team benefits company performance, nearly half of the women who responded said they had experienced discrimination while working in the European tech industry.

“I don’t know, to be honest, any friend of mine who is a founder or entrepreneur who is female who would say I never experienced this,” Tugce Bulut, founder and CEO of London-based market research start-up Streetbees, told CNBC on Thursday.

Bulut said she has experienced discrimination in a variety of forms, from inappropriate comments to dismissive behavior. She said part of the problem is that women are not encouraged to be as “pushy” as men from an early age, which can result in a lack of confidence and entrepreneurship.

“That has a snowball effect over years,” Bulut said.

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