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Wall Street poised for higher opening...China’s legislature takes up law to ban forced tech transfer...South Korea fines BMW $10 million

December 24, 2018

SINGAPORE (AP) — European and Asian markets were mostly lower in light trading today as a partial U.S. government shutdown has stemmed holiday cheer. France’s CAC 40 dropped 0.9 percent, Britain’s FTSE 100 index was 0.8 percent lower. South Korea’s Kospi dropped 0.3 percent while the Shanghai Composite index was 0.4 percent higher. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.4 percent. Wall street is poised for a higher open after ending its worst week in more than seven years. Dow futures are up 0.6 percent and S&P 500 futures are up 0.7 percent.

BEIJING(AP) — China’s legislature is considering a law to prohibit government officials from pressuring foreign companies to hand over technology, a practice that helped spark Washington’s tariff war with Beijing. The communist government has long denied complaints companies are required to trade technology for market access but has promised to crack down. The official Xinhua (shihn-wah) News Agency says a proposed law on foreign investment would make clear government agencies cannot ‘force the transfer of technology.’

WASHINGTON (AP) — A top White House official is warning that a partial government shutdown could stretch into January. Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, who is also the budget director, says he’s waiting to hear from Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer about a counteroffer the White House presented Schumer over the weekend. President Donald Trump has been pressing for funding of a U.S.-Mexico border wall.

PARIS (AP) — France’s prime minister met today with police officers targeted by violent yellow vest protesters, in a show of support amid growing concerns about growing brutality from both sides. During the sixth straight weekend of protests by the grassroots movement protesting high taxes and other economic problems, an officer pulled a gun after protesters kicked over his motorcycle. He did not fire it, but the move prompted a surge of anger by demonstrators.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea says it will fine BMW $9.9 million and file a criminal complaint against the company over an allegedly botched response to dozens of engine fires. South Korea’s Transport Ministry says its investigation panel concluded the German automaker deliberately tried to cover up technical problems and moved too slowly to recall vehicles. BMW recalled some 172,000 vehicles over the fires it has blamed on a faulty exhaust gas component.

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