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Wall Street expected to gain momentum...Apple supplier denies charges of unsafe, unclean conditions...Volkswagen sales hit record

January 17, 2018

TOKYO (AP) — Shares are lower in Asia today after a flip-flop session on Wall Street, where the Dow industrial average ended almost flat after backtracking from a broad rally earlier in the day. In early trading, Britain’s FTSE 100 and France’s CAC 40 both fell 0.3 percent. Germany’s DAX lost 0.2. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.3 percent and the Shanghai Composite index added 0.2 percent. Wall Street futures signal a regaining of momentum, with Dow futures up 0.4 percent and S&P 500 futures up 0.2 percent.

SHANGHAI (AP) — An Apple Inc. supplier in eastern China has denied allegations by a New York rights group that its workers toil for ten-hour shifts in loud, polluted conditions. It was responding today to reports by a New York labor rights group that the workers are denied proper overtime pay or adequate safety protections to make MacBook and iPhone parts and are accommodated in filthy dormitories with cold showers.

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — German automaker Volkswagen recorded record sales of 10.74 million vehicles last year, boosting its bid to hold onto the title of world’s largest automaker. Sales rose 4.3 percent from 10.30 million in 2016, when the Wolfsburg-based automaker passed Japanese rival Toyota.

LONDON (AP) — Burberry shares are down 6.6 percent in early trading after the luxury fashion house reported disappointing retail sales for the holiday season. The company says same-store sales for the three months ended Dec. 31 rose 2 percent from a year earlier. London-based stockbroker Hargreaves Lansdown says that “looks a bit drab” compared with the 7 percent growth reported Tuesday by rival Hugo Boss.

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has ordered the transfer of $2 billion to Yemen, a day after the war-torn country’s Saudi-backed prime minister called on the kingdom and its allies to save the local currency from “complete collapse.” Saudi Arabia says in a statement today that funds will be deposited in Yemen’s Central Bank to help address the “deteriorating economic situation faced by the Yemeni people.”