Lots of reductions in today’s news. On the big picture front, UBS has reduced its forecast for China’s 2009 GDP growth to 8.0% from 8.8%, the second time in less than three months that the bank has lowered its estimate. The culprit: good ol’ US of A. The bank pointed to an expected significant US recession and weak global growth as reasons behind its lowered GDP forecast. The global financial turmoil will also be bad news for Ping An Insurance, which said it would report a loss of US$2.3 billion in its 5% stake in European financial group Fortis. The Fortis alliance had once been the cornerstone of Ping An’s ambitions to become a full-fledged, card-carrying member of the financial big boys club (membership dwindling), but expectations are being downgraded. Ping An last week scrapped a deal to buy half of Fortis’s asset management arm for US$3 billion. China’s steelmakers also are reportedly set to reduce output by about 20% in October in a bid to buoy steel prices, which have suffered from a soft property market. On the enterprise level, Chalco announced that it expects third quarter profits to have fallen by more than 50% year-on-year mostly due to rising prices for raw materials and fuel. And for the final reduction of the day: love between the US and China. The mainland canceled a series of military and diplomatic contacts with the US in response to an announced US$6.5 billion arms sale to Taiwan. Among the cancellations: port calls by naval vessels, cooperation on meetings regarding WMD, not to mention humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.