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Mixed stocks...Business economists see minimal impact of NAFTA do-over...Gasoline falls

September 25, 2017

HONG KONG (AP) — World shares were mixed today as investors turned their attention to global politics and evaluated weekend election results from Germany and New Zealand. Futures point to a lower opening on Wall Street. German Chancellor Angela Merkel won a fourth term. New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English’s National Party won the most votes but failed to gain an outright majority. The dollar gained against the yen and the euro. Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell to just below $50.50 a barrel.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Most business economists expect the Trump administration’s efforts to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement will make no difference to the U.S. economy or cause harm. The National Association for Business Economics survey of 47 economists found that one-third think the renegotiation will have no impact, while one-fifth think it will harm the economy slightly. Seven percent see its impact as strongly or moderately negative. One-quarter said the renegotiation will be slightly positive while 9 percent said it would be moderately positive.

CAMARILLO, Calif. (AP) — The average price of a gallon of regular-grade gasoline fell 7 cents nationally over the past two weeks, to $2.62. Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg of the Lundberg Survey said Sunday that the drop comes as flooded refineries continue to come back online after devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey. Lundberg says she expects prices will continue to fall in the next few weeks. Gas in San Francisco was the highest in the contiguous United States at an average of $3.18 a gallon. The lowest was in St. Louis at $2.19 a gallon. The U.S. average diesel price is $2.51, down 2 cents.

LONDON (AP) — The Bank of England is warning of “a pocket of risk” in the rapid growth of consumer credit in the British economy. Though it says that it is “not a material risk to economic growth” as consumer credit only accounts for 11 percent of household debt, the bank says the increase is a “risk to banks’ ability to withstand severe economic downturns” because consumer credit is the asset class that is “disproportionately more likely to default.” The bank’s Financial Policy Committee said Monday that lenders have been “underestimating the losses they could incur in a downturn.”

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union on Monday ramped up pressure on Britain ahead of a new round of Brexit talks, warning again that time is running out for Prime Minister Theresa May to clinch a deal. Estonian deputy EU affairs minister Matti Maasikas, whose country holds the bloc’s rotating presidency, and his team, meet their British counterparts in Brussels in the afternoon to kick off four days of talks.

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