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Update on the latest in business:

September 18, 2018

FINANCIAL MARKETS

Asian shares recover after Trump orders new Chinese tariffs

UNDATED (AP) — Many Asian markets turned higher today after President Donald Trump’s move to place tariffs on $200 billion more in Chinese goods was not immediately met with retaliation.

Investors have been bracing themselves for the tariffs, and the Trump administration has said it was still open to talks with China to mediate an ongoing dispute over trade.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 jumped 1.4 percent today. The Kospi in South Korea added 0.3 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.6 percent. The Shanghai Composite index rebounded 1.6 percent. But Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.4 percent. Stocks fell in Taiwan and most of Southeast Asia.

Yesterday on Wall Street, a sell-off in technology stocks pulled U.S. indexes lower, snapping a five-day winning streak for the market. The S&P 500 index dropped 0.6 percent to 2,888.80. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.4 percent to 26,062.12. The Nasdaq composite, which has a high concentration of technology companies, gave up 1.4 percent to 7,895.79. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks tumbled 1.1 percent to 1,703.55.

TRADE-CHINA TARIFFS

Trump imposes tariffs on $200B more of Chinese goods

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is imposing tariffs on $200 billion more in Chinese goods starting next week, escalating a trade war between the world’s two biggest economies and raising prices on consumer goods ranging from handbags to bicycle tires.

The tariffs will start at 10 percent and rise to 25 percent starting Jan. 1.

Several business groups swiftly have condemned the move.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Donohue said, “The U.S. economy runs on pro-growth policies, but that’s not what tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods deliver.”

The Retail Industry Leaders Association called the tariffs a tax on American families. In a statement the group said, “Consumers — not China — will bear the brunt of these tariffs.”

Likewise, the National Association of Manufacturers said the tariffs risk offsetting the benefits of last year’s tax cuts and urged the administration to resume negotiations with China.

The U.S. previously imposed tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese imports.

TRADE-CHINA TARIFFS-DEVICES SHIELDED

Apple, other tech products shielded from tariffs

WASHINGTON (AP) — Apple and other technology companies avoided a financial threat to the popularity of smartwatches and other wireless devices by persuading President Donald Trump to spare those products from tariffs levied on Chinese goods.

Trump’s concession comes after Apple sent a Sept. 5 letter to the U.S. Trade Representative urging the administration to shield its smartwatch and wireless headphones, which contain parts from Chinese suppliers, from the tariffs.

Apple has particularly big plans for its smartwatch as it tries to transform it from a niche gadget into a medical device capable of taking high-quality heart readings and detecting falls.

Other tech companies also stand to benefit, particularly Amazon and Google, which have been trying to hold down the prices of their internet-connected speakers as part of an effort to get the devices into more U.S. households.

MIDEAST-OIL

OPEC chief: Cartel must stay together as US sanctions Iran

FUJAIRAH, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The head of OPEC says the oil cartel must stick together for the good of the global economy as Iran faces renewed U.S. sanctions.

OPEC Secretary-General Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo says that “Iran is not only a founding member of OPEC, it’s a very important member of this organization.”

He added: “We have no choice but continue to work with all parties.”

He didn’t however address how the global oil industry immediately can replace Iranian crude supplies in an already-tight market. Benchmark Brent crude already is nearing $80 a barrel and some believe it may go even higher.

President Donald Trump, facing a midterm election in the United States, has called for more production.

Barkindo spoke today at the Gulf Intelligence Energy Markets Forum in Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates.

JAPAN-UK-FOREIGN SECRETARY

UK’s Hunt says Britain can flourish even without Brexit deal

TOKYO (AP) — The U.K.’s top diplomat says Britain will flourish with or without an agreement on its exit from the European Union.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said in an interview today in Tokyo that he is cautiously optimistic a deal will be reached, but that “there’s a lot of work to do to get there.”

Japanese companies with operations in Britain are among those worried about the economic impact of a so-called “no-deal” Brexit next March.

Hunt is in the Japanese capital to hold “strategic dialogue” talks with Foreign Minister Taro Kono.

He also said dialogue with North Korea has helped improve the atmospherics, but it’s time for North Korea to take concrete actions toward eliminating its nuclear weapons.

SPACEX-MOON

Japanese billionaire to be first private passenger to fly around the moon.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Japanese billionaire has been chosen to be the first private passenger on a commercial rocket trip around the moon.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk says Yusaku Maezawa will fly to the moon aboard a new rocket called the BFR, which is still in development.

The 42-year-old entrepreneur appeared at an event Monday evening at the headquarters of the space launch company near Los Angeles.

He says it’s been his lifelong dream to go into space. He says he will invite six to eight artists, architects, designers and other creative people to join him on the weeklong journey in 2023.

NIKE PURCHASES-RHODE ISLAND

Rhode Island town passes resolution against Nike

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island town voted has voted 3-2 for a resolution to refrain from purchasing Nike products. The North Smithfield Town Council will ask its departments to not buy Nike items.

Council President John Beauregard is a former state trooper who is upset with Nike’s decision to use former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in ads.

North Smithfield hasn’t said what it buys from Nike, if anything. The ACLU of Rhode Island says it could be held liable for violating the First Amendment.

The mayor of a New Orleans suburb recently rescinded a similar directive based on an attorney’s advice.

Mississippi’s public safety chief said over the weekend that state police would no longer buy Nike products.

Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016 to protest police brutality and social injustice.

ATLANTIC COAST PIPELINE

Feds allow Atlantic Coast pipeline construction to resume

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Federal officials will allow construction to resume on the Atlantic Coast pipeline, weeks after work was halted when a federal appeals court threw out two key permits for the 600-mile natural gas pipeline.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission announced the change in a letter Monday to Dominion Energy, the project’s lead developer.

Last month, a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service permit was “arbitrary and capricious” regarding its effect on five threatened or endangered species. Last week, the service issued a revised opinion and the National Park Service issued a new permit for crossing the Blue Ridge Parkway.

The pipeline is planned to start in West Virginia and run through parts of Virginia and North Carolina.

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