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Update on the latest in business:

June 27, 2017


Asian stocks mostly higher after Wall Street closed mixed

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Asian stocks were mostly higher in range-bound trade today after Wall Street closed mixed.

Some Asian tech shares mirrored losses in their U.S. peers overnight. Tech stocks were among the biggest losers on Wall Street on Monday, reflecting investors’ indecisiveness in the sector.

On Wall Street, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index added 0.03 percent to 2,439.07. The Dow gained 0.1 percent to 21,409.55. The Nasdaq composite slid 0.3 percent to 6,247.15.

Investors will pay attention to upcoming remarks by central bankers around the world even as they do not expect major revelations on monetary policies. Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, is scheduled to speak at the ECB forum in Sintra, Portugal later in the day. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is due to speak in London.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose to $43.50 per barrel.

The dollar rose against the yen and weakened against the euro.


Premier Li: China can control financial risks as debt rises

BEIJING (AP) — China’s top economic official tried to quell fears surging debt might threaten growth, saying today that financial risks are “generally under control” and Beijing can achieve this year’s development targets.

Speaking at a meeting of the World Economic Forum in the northeastern city of Dalian, Premier Li Keqiang also gave a ringing endorsement of free trade and said China will stick to its commitments to fight climate change.

Li tried to dispel concern about the rapid rise in Chinese debt since the 2008 crisis, which private sector analysts cite as the biggest potential risk to the world’s second-largest economy. The Moody’s rating agency cut Beijing’s credit rating May 25 and the International Monetary Fund urged Beijing on June 14 to take faster action to get debt under control.

China has relied on infusions of credit to prop up economic growth since 2008, causing total nongovernment debt to rise from the equivalent of 170 percent of annual economic output in 2007 to an estimated 260 percent last year. That unusually high level for a developing country has prompted warnings it could cause a financial crisis or drag on economic growth.


Weed killer ingredient going on California list as cancerous

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Regulators in California took a pivotal step on Monday toward becoming the first state to require the popular weed killer Roundup to come with a label warning that it’s known to cause cancer.

Officials announced that starting July 7 the weed killer’s main ingredient, glyphosate, will appear on a list California keeps of potentially cancerous chemicals. A year later, the listing could come with warning labels on the product.

However, it’s not certain whether Roundup will ultimately get a warning label.

Monsanto, the chemical’s maker, has filed an appeal after losing in court to block the labeling, arguing that Roundup doesn’t cause cancer and that the labels will harm the company’s business.

Glyphosate has no color or smell. Monsanto introduced it in 1974 as an effective way of killing weeds while leaving crops and plants intact.

It’s sold in more than 160 countries and used on 250 types of crops in California.

Attorney Michael Baum, who represents more than 300 people who claim a loved one became sick or died from exposure to Roundup, says the state’s failure to set the proper risk level would undermine protections California put in place by listing harmful chemicals.


Business events scheduled for Tuesday

WASHINGTON (AP) — In today’s economic reports, Standard & Poor’s releases its S&P/Case-Shiller index of home prices for April.

The Conference Board will releases the Consumer Confidence Index for June.


Budget office: Senate health bill adds 22 million uninsured

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the Senate Republican health care bill would leave 22 million more Americans uninsured in 2026 than under President Barack Obama’s health care law.

That complicates GOP leaders’ hopes of pushing the plan through the chamber this week.

Minutes after the report’s release, three GOP senators threatened to oppose a pivotal vote on the proposal, enough to sink it unless Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., can win over some of them or other GOP critics. The bill will fail if just three of the 52 Republican senators oppose it, an event that would deal a humiliating blow to President Donald Trump and Senate leaders.

The 22 million additional people without coverage is just a hair better than the estimated 23 million who’d be left without insurance under the measure the House approved last month. Trump has called the House version approved last month “mean” and told Senate Republicans to approve legislation with more “heart.”


Trump pushes ‘energy week’ and goal of exporting resources

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. exports of oil and natural gas are surging.

President Donald Trump says the U.S. is on the brink of becoming a net exporter of oil, gas and other resources.

The White House is launching its “energy week” with a series of events focused on jobs and boosting U.S. global influence. The events follow similar policy-themed weeks on infrastructure and jobs.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry says the Trump administration is confident officials can “pave the path toward U.S. energy dominance” by exporting oil, gas and coal to markets around the world. He also says the U.S. will promote nuclear energy and even renewables such as wind and solar power.


Senate confirms nuclear chief Svinicki to new 5-year term

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has confirmed the chairwoman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to another five-year term on the panel.

President Donald Trump nominated Republican Kristine Svinicki for a new term last month. The Senate confirmed her nomination, 88-9.

Svinicki, a nuclear engineer, has served on the commission since 2008 and chaired it since January. She is expected to continue as chair.

The NRC oversees the nation’s commercial nuclear power plants, as well as storage and disposal of nuclear waste and other issues related to nuclear power.

Svinicki worked at the Energy Department and as a Senate aide before joining the NRC.

Trump has nominated two other Republicans to fill out the five-member commission: Annie Caputo, a Senate aide and former Exelon executive, and former South Carolina Public Service Commission Chairman David Wright.


Ex-CEO’s reputation precedes him, affects jury selection

NEW YORK (AP) — Opening statements could come as soon as today in the federal securities fraud trial of Martin “Pharma Bro” Shkreli.

Several potential jurors were excused after telling the judge they couldn’t be impartial toward the flamboyant former pharmaceutical CEO because of his notoriety for raising the cost of a life-saving drug 5,000 percent.

At jury selection in a Brooklyn courtroom, the judge questioned the potential jurors at sidebars out of earshot from Shkreli. One called him “the face of corporate greed,” while another labeled him “the most hated man in America” and a third gestured as if wringing his neck.

Prosecutors say that after Shkreli lost millions of dollars through bad trades through his side business hedge fund, he looted a second pharmaceutical company for $11 million to pay them back. The defense has argued that he had good intentions.


Bankrupt company’s air bags still out there

UNDATED (AP) — Takata’s lethally defective air bags proved to be the company’s undoing. But it could take years to get the dangerous devices off the road in the U.S. and around the world.

Crushed by lawsuits, fines and recall costs, the Japanese auto parts supplier filed for bankruptcy in Tokyo and Delaware and will sell most of its assets for $1.6 billion to a rival company. A small part of Takata will continue to manufacture replacements for the faulty air bag inflators.

The problem, though, is that 100 million of the Takata inflators worldwide have been recalled, 69 million in the U.S. alone in the biggest automotive recall in American history. It will take the industry years to produce that many replacements.

In the meantime, millions of car owners are forced to nervously wait for someone to fix a problem blamed for at least 16 grisly deaths worldwide, 11 of them in the United States. Many owners have been put on waiting lists by their dealers until the parts arrive.


Iridium says newly launched satellites are functioning well

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Iridium Communications says its 10 new satellites launched from California during the weekend are functioning normally.

The McLean, Virginia-based company said Monday the satellites will undergo about 45 days of testing to ensure they can be integrated into its operational constellation that provides mobile voice and data communications around the globe.

Sunday’s launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base carried the second batch of 10 satellites that are being used to replace Iridium’s entire original fleet of satellites.

Iridium plans six more launches aboard SpaceX rockets to place a total of 75 new satellites into orbit, including nine spares.

The satellites also carry payloads for an Aireon LLC service that will allow real-time tracking of aircraft everywhere on the globe. Aireon says its testing is also underway.


Airline vet to lead Amtrak in a summer of repairs, reckoning

WASHINGTON (AP) — America’s railroad is turning to an airline industry veteran to lead it through a summer of reckoning for congested tracks and crumbling infrastructure.

Amtrak on Monday named former Delta Air Lines chairman Richard Anderson as its new president and CEO.

He’ll take charge of the government-owned railroad on July 12 as it rushes to address years of deferred maintenance at New York’s Penn Station.

The project, hastened by recent derailments and rush-hour snarls, will disrupt and delay millions of commuters at Amtrak’s busiest station.

Amtrak says Anderson and current president and CEO Charles “Wick” Moorman will be co-CEOs through the end of 2017.

That’s when Moorman will become an adviser to Amtrak.

Anderson was CEO of Northwest Airlines from 2001 to 2004 and CEO of Delta from 2007 to 2016.

Update hourly