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Update on the latest in business:

September 20, 2018


Asian shares track mixed finish on Wall Street over tariffs

SINGAPORE (AP) — Asian shares are mixed today, trading in a narrow range after news of a fresh round of tariffs by the U.S. on $200 billion in Chinese goods drew a muted reaction on Wall Street.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 was less than 0.1 percent higher. The Kospi in South Korea added 0.7 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was flat. The Shanghai Composite index dropped 0.1 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.3 percent. Shares rose in Indonesia and Thailand but fell in Taiwan and Singapore.

Wednesday on Wall Street, U.S. indexes were mixed as gains by banks and other financial companies balanced out losses elsewhere in the market. Bond yields surged to their highest level in four months, driving demand for bank stocks and triggering a sell-off in utilities and real estate companies.

The S&P 500 index gained 0.1 percent to 2,907.95. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.6 percent to 26,405.76. The Nasdaq composite fell 0.1 percent to 7,950.04. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks dropped 0.5 percent to 1,702.93.


Trump to nominate economist Nellie Liang for Fed board seat

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is set to nominate former Federal Reserve economist Nellie Liang to the central bank’s board of governors, tapping an official who played a key role at the Fed in dealing with the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.

White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters has confirmed the president’s intention, which was first reported Wednesday by The Wall Street Journal.

Liang was tapped by then-Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke to become the first director of the bank’s Division of Financial Stability, which was created in 2010 to manage risks following the country’s worst financial crisis since the 1930s.

The division has now grown to be as large as the Fed’s monetary policy division, underscoring the importance Fed officials now put on detecting potential instability problems after missing the warning signals in 2008.


US, Canada will keep talking Thursday to revamp NAFTA

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. and Canadian negotiators — facing a deadline at the end of the month — will extend until at least Thursday their negotiations to keep Canada in a North American trade bloc.

After her second meeting of the day with U.S. Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland told reporters they plan to keep talking on today.

Freeland says, “Our officials now have more work to do and will continue to work this evening. Ambassador Lighthizer and I agreed to meet again tomorrow.”

President Donald Trump began negotiations last year to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico.

The U.S. and Mexico reached a preliminary deal last month designed in part to shift more auto production to the United States. But Canada wasn’t part of that agreement. Freeland is trying to get America’s No. 2 trading partner back into the trade bloc.


3 hackers get light sentences after working with the FBI

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Three young computer hackers whose “botnet” known as Mirai virtually paralyzed chunks of the internet two years ago have received light sentences after helping the FBI with cybercrime and cybersecurity.

Twenty-two-year-old Paras Jha of Fanwood, New Jersey, 21-year-old Josiah White, 21 of Washington, Pennsylvania and 22-year-old Dalton Norman of Metairie, Louisiana, were sentenced Tuesday to five years of probation and 62½ workweeks of community service in U.S. District Court in Anchorage.

The three men, who pleaded guilty to computer fraud charges in December, also were ordered to pay $127,000 in restitution and gave up what authorities said was a significant amount of cryptocurrency.


Police: Motive unknown in Wisconsin office shooting

MIDDLETON, Wis. (AP) — Authorities say they still don’t know why a Wisconsin software company employee went to his office with a pistol and extra ammunition and opened fire on his colleagues, seriously injuring several before he was fatally shot by police.

The attack happened Wednesday morning at WTS Paradigm in Middleton. Investigators haven’t released the suspect’s name but say he lived in nearby Madison.

Middleton Police Chief Chuck Foulke says three victims suffered serious injuries, while a fourth suffered a graze wound.

Foulke says officers were on the scene and shot the man within eight minutes of getting an emergency call. Foulke says the man was using a semi-automatic pistol and had extra magazines, and that he believes officers prevented more bloodshed.

He says the man fired at officers before he was shot.


Japan digital currency exchange hacked, losing $60 million

TOKYO (AP) — A Japanese digital currency exchange has been hacked, and 6.7 billion yen ($60 million) worth of cryptocurrencies are gone.

Tech Bureau Corp. says a server for its Zaif exchange was hacked for two hours last week, and some digital currencies got unlawfully relayed from what’s called a “hot wallet,” or where virtual coins are stored at such exchanges.

Japan has been bullish on virtual money and has set up a system requiring exchanges to be licensed to help protect consumers. The system is also meant to make Japan a global leader in the technology.

Bitcoin has been a legal form of payment in Japan since April 2017, and a handful of major retailers here already accept bitcoin payments.

But the recurrence of cryptocurrency heists shows problems persist.


Ex-PM Najib Razak faces new corruption charges in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Police and Malaysia’s anti-graft agency say that detained former Prime Minister Najib Razak will face at least two dozen fresh charges of abuse of power and money laundering over the looting of a state investment fund.

Najib will be brought to court today after being detained by the anti-graft agency over the transfer of $681 million into his bank account. He pleaded not guilty to earlier charges against him.

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