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Stocks rise...GM autoworker upheaval...UK auto industry under siege

March 4, 2019

BEIJING (AP) — Most global stocks rose Monday after news reports said Washington and Beijing are close to an agreement to end their costly tariff war. Futures point to opening gains on Wall Street. Benchmark U.S. crude rose to just below $56 per barrel. The dollar slipped against the yen and strengthened against the euro.

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Hundreds of workers at four General Motors plants slated to close by January are facing a painful choice: Take the company’s offer to work at another factory — possibly hundreds of miles away — even if that means leaving behind their families, their homes and everything they’ve built. Or stay and risk losing their high-paying jobs. The automaker says nearly all of its blue-collar U.S. workers with jobs in jeopardy have work waiting for them. Many from the targeted factories in Michigan, Ohio and Maryland already have voluntarily transferred. Others are still agonizing over the decision.

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s auto industry is under siege while the government struggles to negotiate a divorce deal with the European Union. As Prime Minister Theresa May tries hammer out an agreement Parliament will support, people in the car business are making decisions based on production cycles, not politics. Some can’t wait for May, and are moving investment out of the country. Carmakers are being forced to weigh uncertainty about possible tariffs and border checks at a time when the industry faces a wholesale overhaul amid changing consumer habits, concerns about global warming and electric vehicles.

BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese government spokesman took issue Monday with U.S. claims that telecoms giant Huawei Technologies poses a threat to other countries’ information security because of Chinese laws. The comments by spokesman Zhang Yesui ahead of the annual session of China’s rubber-stamp parliament followed news that Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested by Canada at the request of the U.S., is suing the Canadian government over her treatment.

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece says it is planning a benchmark 10-year bond issue, in its second market test since the country officially exited its international bailouts in August. The Public Debt Management Agency said Monday that the issue would be launched “in the near future” subject to market conditions. In January, Greece raised 2.5 billion euros with a five-year bond. The decision follows Friday’s two-notch upgrade of Greece’s credit rating by Moody’s ratings agency, from B3 to B1. Although that is still well below investment grade the upgrade offers a considerable boost to market confidence.