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Stocks down...China criticizes rating agency...Regulations unlikely post Equifax

September 22, 2017

HONG KONG (AP) — Most world stock markets fell today as investors turned cautious following new U.S. sanctions targeting North Korea and credit rating downgrades for China and Hong Kong. Futures point to a lower Wall Street opening. Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose to remain above $50.50 a barrel. The dollar weakened against the yen and the euro.

BEIJING (AP) — China’s Finance Ministry is criticizing the cut in the Standard & Poor’s rating agency’s credit rating on Chinese government borrowing as a “wrong decision” and said it ignores the country’s economic strength. The Finance Ministry complained S&P ignored China’s stable economic growth and reform efforts. S&P announced the change Thursday, citing rising debt it said increased financial risk.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Prospects are good for a public shaming in the Equifax data breach, but it’s unlikely Congress will institute sweeping new regulations after hackers accessed the personal information of an estimated 143 million Americans. Several bills unveiled after Equifax are so far missing a key ingredient for success: Republican co-sponsors. Since early this year, President Donald Trump and the Republican-led Congress have strived to curb government’s influence on businesses.

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Theresa May will try to revive foundering Brexit talks, proposing a two-year transition after Britain’s formal departure from the European Union in 2019 to ensure there are no problems during the changeover. May’s office released extracts from a speech she will deliver today in Florence, Italy, stressing that both sides share “a profound sense of responsibility” to ensure their parting goes “smoothly and sensibly.” The speech comes before the fourth round of talks, which have stalled on several issues.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Cheap solar panels imported from China and other countries have led to a boom in the U.S. solar industry, where rooftop and other installations have surged 10-fold since 2011. But two U.S. solar manufacturers say the flood of imports has led one to bankruptcy and forced the other to lay off most of its workforce. The International Trade Commission is set to decide today whether the imports, primarily from Asia, are causing “serious injury” to the companies. If so, the commission will recommend this fall whether the Trump administration should impose tariffs on solar panels from abroad.

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