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Update on the latest in business:

May 28, 2019

^FINANCIAL MARKETS

Asian shares up in muted trading after Trump visit to Japan

TOKYO (AP) — Asian stocks mostly rose in muted trading today in the absence of major market-driving news on trade negotiations during President Donald Trump’s visit to Japan.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 finished 0.4% higher, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.5%. South Korea’s Kospi edged up 0.4%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.4%, while the Shanghai Composite rose 0.5% to 2,905.88.

Markets in the United States were closed Monday for the Memorial Day holiday.

^MED-E-CIGARETTES

Study suggests e-cigarette flavorings may pose heart risk

WASHINGTON (AP) — E-cigarettes aren’t considered as risky as regular cigarettes, but new research finds a clue that their flavorings may be bad for the heart.

Longtime smokers sometimes switch to e-cigarettes in hopes of avoiding the cancer-causing chemicals in tobacco smoke. But cigarette smoking also is a leading cause of heart attacks.

There’s little known about risks from chemicals inhaled in e-cigarettes’ vapor, something especially important to learn as more teens take up vaping.

In a study published Monday, Stanford University researchers write about how they used lab dishes to grow cells that normally line healthy blood vessels. Exposing the cells to flavorings from e-cigarettes or blood from people who’d just vaped triggered blood vessel dysfunction that can increase the risk of heart disease.

This kind of small study can’t prove harm; more research is needed.

^FIAT CHRYSLER-RENAULT

New auto giant? Fiat Chrysler wants to merge with Renault

PARIS (AP) — Fiat Chrysler proposed on Monday to merge with France’s Renault to create the world’s third-biggest automaker, worth $40 billion, and combine forces in the race to make electric and autonomous vehicles.

The merged company would reshape the global industry: it would produce some 8.7 million vehicles a year, leapfrogging General Motors and trailing only Volkswagen and Toyota.

Shares of both companies jumped on the news of the offer, which would see each side’s shareholders split ownership in the new manufacturer.

Renault welcomed what it called a “friendly” offer. The company’s board met Monday at its headquarters outside Paris and said afterward that Renault will study the proposal “with interest.” In a statement, Renault said such a fusion could “improve Renault’s industrial footprint and be a generator of additional value for the Alliance” with Japan’s Nissan and Mitsubishi.

^ENDANGERED WOLVES-CATTLE KILLS

Endangered Mexican wolves blamed for more livestock deaths

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — It’s shaping up to be a deadly year for livestock in the American Southwest as the number of cows and calves killed by Mexican gray wolves has skyrocketed, aggravating an already tenuous relationship between U.S. wildlife managers, environmentalists and rural residents.

Federal reports show the endangered wolves have been blamed for the deaths of 88 domestic animals in New Mexico and Arizona in the first four months of the year.

That’s on pace to surpass the nearly 100 livestock kills confirmed in all of 2018 and significantly more than has been recorded over the same four-month period in any year since the predators were reintroduced in 1998.

Some ranchers and rural residents expect things to get worse as the wolf population grows. There are at least 131 of the predators in the mountain ranges spanning southwestern New Mexico and southeastern Arizona.

^CAVALIERS-GILBERT

Cavs owner Dan Gilbert suffers stroke, remains in hospital

CLEVELAND (AP) — Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert is resting comfortably after suffering a stroke.

Quicken Loans CEO Jay Farner said in a statement released Monday night that the 57-year-old Gilbert was hospitalized Sunday after not feeling well and had the stroke while under medical care. Gilbert was immediately taken in for a catheter-based procedure at a Detroit-area hospital and then moved to recovery in an intensive care unit.

Farner says Gilbert is “awake, responsive and resting comfortably,” and he says that Gilbert and his family are “immensely grateful to the doctors and nurses whose early intervention is already paying dividends toward his recovery.”

Gilbert, who has owned the Cavs since 2005, founded Quicken Loans, the nation’s largest online mortgage lender.

^CHINA TOURISM

Chinese tourism to US drops for 1st time in 15 years

UNDATED (AP) _ Chinese travel to the U.S. is falling after more than a decade of rapid growth. And that has cities, malls and other tourist spots scrambling to reverse the trend.

Travel from China to the U.S. fell 5.7% in 2018 to 2.9 million visitors, according to the National Travel and Tourism Office. It was the first time since 2003 that Chinese travel to the U.S. slipped from the prior year.

Trade tensions with the U.S. as well as economic uncertainty in China are among the reasons for the slowdown.

China commands some of the highest tourism traffic to the U.S. and any falloff will be felt by destinations that rely on Chinese spending power. Experts say the tourism industry must do more to keep up with Chinese travelers and their changing needs.

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