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Wall Street expected to open higher ...China rejects ‘blackmail’ on eve of US tariff hike... Dotcom still fighting extradition

July 5, 2018

SINGAPORE (AP) — European shares rose today following a German report that the U.S. may propose reducing suggested auto tariffs to zero. But in Asia markets were overshadowed by concern over trade tensions between Washington and Beijing. Wall Street is expected to open higher, with S&P 500 and Dow futures each up 0.6 percent.

BEIJING (AP) — China has rejected what it calls “threats and blackmail” ahead of planned U.S. tariff hike. The Trump administration plans to impose 25 percent duties on Friday on $34 billion of Chinese goods in its biggest sanctions yet over complaints Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology. Beijing has threatened to retaliate by raising its own tariffs on American goods, but a Commerce Ministry spokesman said Chinese authorities will wait to see what Washington does.

UNDATED (AP) — The German newspaper Handelsblatt is reporting that a U.S. official has met with German carmakers to discuss impending American tariffs on auto imports from the European Union. Ambassador Richard Grenell reportedly told representatives from Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW about a U.S. proposal to reduce proposed auto tariffs from 20 percent to zero. The report says the U.S. is now pursuing talks with the EU and the German government. Auto stocks rebounded on the news.

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Flamboyant internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and three of his former colleagues have lost their latest bid to avoid extradition to the U.S. to face criminal charges. New Zealand’s Court of Appeal today upheld earlier court rulings that found the men were eligible to be handed over to U.S. authorities. More than six years ago, U.S. authorities shut down Dotcom’s file-sharing website Megaupload and filed charges of conspiracy, racketeering and money laundering against the men.

BEIJING (AP) — The co-chairman of HNA Group, a conglomerate that operates China’s fourth-largest airline, has died. The company says Wang Jian, a co-founder of the company, suffered “severe injuries” in a fall in Provence in southern France and died Tuesday at age 57. Launched in 1993, HNA expanded into finance, hotels, logistics and other businesses in a multibillion-dollar global acquisition spree, racking up tens of billions of dollars in debt. Its holdings include stakes in Deutsche Bank and China’s fourth-largest airline, Hainan Airlines.

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