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World markets mixed ... UK’s May appeals to public on Brexit, braces for more blows ... FAO Schwartz is back

November 16, 2018

SINGAPORE (AP) — World markets were mixed today as trade tensions and political risks surrounding Britain’s exit from the European Union weighed on sentiment. France’s CAC lost 0.6 percent in early trading while Germany’s DAX was up 0.5 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 0.3 percent. Japan’s Nikkei lost 0.6 percent while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong added 0.3 percent South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.2 percent. Wall Street is set for a pessimistic open with Dow futures down 0.3 percent and S&P 500 futures down 0.4 percent.

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Theresa May is appealing directly to voters to back her Brexit plan, as she waits to see whether rivals within her party have gained enough support to launch a leadership challenge. May was answering questions from callers on a radio phone-in Friday, the day after she vowed to stay in office and see through Britain’s exit from the European Union.

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The head of the European Central Bank has indicated that a first interest rate increase could be postponed if unexpected trouble strikes the 19 countries that use the euro. Mario Draghi warned in a speech Friday the current economic expansion remains “resilient” as unemployment continues to fall and consumers remain willing to spend. He cautioned, however, that slowing world trade is proving to be a drag on the eurozone.

NEW YORK (AP) — Three years after it closed its beloved toy store on Fifth Avenue, FAO Schwarz is making a return to New York. A new FAO opens today in Manhattan’s Rockefeller Center, about 10 blocks from its former home near the southeast corner of Central Park. The new version will be smaller, but will have familiar attractions including a musical clock tower and the giant piano keyboard mat on which Tom Hanks danced in the film “Big.”

BEIJING (AP) — The Chinese tourism ministry has asked authorities in Beijing, Shanghai and three provinces to investigate room cleaning at 14 major hotels after hidden camera video showed workers using soiled towels to clean cups and glasses and other questionable practices. Several major hotels including a Shangri-La, Sheraton and Waldorf Astoria have apologized since an activist blogger posted the video online earlier this week.

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