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Stocks edge higher...Trump to ease retirement regulations with executive order

August 31, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are turning slightly higher in morning trading on Wall Street. Stocks slid yesterday afternoon after Bloomberg News reported that the Trump administration could escalate the U.S.-China trade war next week by putting tariffs on $200 billion in imports. Meanwhile, the U.S. and Canada are scheduled to resume trade talks today.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is set to sign an executive order to make it easier for small businesses to group together to provide their workers with retirement plans. The White House says Trump will direct the Labor and Treasury departments to issue regulations to help businesses join together to offer Association Retirement Plans. Administration officials say high costs discourage employers from offering plans like 401(k)s at a time when surveys show workers worry about being able to live comfortably in retirement.

BEIJING (AP) — Japan’s finance minister and Chinese officials have pledged support for the multilateral system of global trade regulation ahead of a possible new round of U.S. tariff hikes in a battle over Beijing’s technology policy. Taro Aso, in Beijing for financial talks, made no mention of the U.S.-Chinese tariff war but said the two sides agreed “protectionist measures” help no country. He also gave no indication whether they discussed Chinese industrial policies and curbs on foreign business activity that are the core of disputes with Washington, Europe and other trading partners.

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union is promising Britain an unparalleled trade partnership if Brexit is concluded on amicable terms. Both sides are still seeking a full U.K. withdrawal agreement by an October summit despite a series of outstanding issues and barely six weeks to overcome a deadlock on the Ireland-Northern Ireland border. There are also divisions over whose court should have the final say in case of specific disputes and the recognition of the designation of origins concerning foodstuffs.

LONDON (AP) — Official figures show that inflation across the 19-country eurozone eased back during August but remains just above the European Central Bank’s target rate. Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics agency, says its annual headline measure of consumer price inflation came in at 2 percent, down from 2.1 percent the month before. The ECB is bringing its bond-buying stimulus program to an end but wants to see evidence that underlying inflation is strong before raising interest rates.

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