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Overseas stocks wobble...China suspends automotive tariff hikes...Climate talks enter last stretch

December 14, 2018

SINGAPORE (AP) — European and Asian stock indexes are wobbling after British Prime Minister Theresa May failed to get assurances for a Brexit divorce deal at an EU summit in Brussels. China reported weaker-than-expected economic data, stirring up worries about the state of the world’s second largest economy.

BEIJING (AP) — China has announced a 90-day suspension of tariff hikes on $126 billion of U.S. cars, trucks and auto parts following its cease-fire in a trade battle with Washington that threatens global economic growth. The tax agency said the suspension that takes effect Jan. 1 is intended to carry out the agreement reached by Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) during a Dec. 1 meeting in Argentina.

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Automaker Volkswagen says it is on track for a new annual sales record despite trouble getting vehicles certified for new European emissions tests. Sales head Christian Dahlheim said Friday that “we are confident” 2018 will end with a figure slightly above the previous record from 2017, when the company sold 10.74 million vehicles. Volkswagen faced delays getting cars certified under tougher emissions regulations that went into effect Sept. 1, hurting sales in the period after.

KATOWICE, Poland (AP) — Negotiators at the U.N. climate meeting in Poland have gathered to discuss the first comprehensive draft agreement to emerge after almost two weeks of talks. Some of the key issues at the talks remain unresolved, but European diplomats and campaigners are expressing hope that an agreement was in sight. In preparation for lengthy debate, organizers extended the close of the meeting by two days, until Sunday.

PARIS (AP) — A survey suggests the “yellow vest” protests in France have dealt a significant blow to business activity in the country’s services sector, which includes tourism and retail. The so-called purchasing managers’ index, which measures activity in various parts of an economy, fell to 49.6 points in December for France’s services sector. That is down sharply from November’s 55.1 points.

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