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Global shares mixed ... Germany pursues ‘balanced partnership’ with US ... Alexa for kids

August 22, 2018

TOKYO (AP) — Global shares have been mixed today, as some markets were cheered by bullish sentiment overnight on Wall Street despite concerns about U.S. trade tensions with China. France’s CAC 40 edged 0.2 percent higher, Germany’s DAX was flat and Britain’s FTSE 100 lost 0.4 percent. In Asia, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei finished 0.6 percent higher, while the Shanghai Composite fell 0.7 percent. Wall Street is expected to open lower, with Dow and S&P futures both down 0.2 percent.

BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s foreign minister is setting out proposals for a “balanced partnership” with the United States that would include setting up payment channels that are independent of the U.S. Heiko Maas wrote in today’s edition of the daily Handelsblatt that he envisions taking “our balanced share of responsibility” and being “a counterbalance when the U.S. crosses red lines.” Maas said the U.S. and Europe have been drifting apart since before Donald Trump’s presidency.

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon has updated its voice assistant with a feature that can make Alexa more kid-friendly. When the FreeTime feature is activated, Alexa answers certain questions differently. When Alexa is asked where babies come from, for example, the kid version tells youngsters to ask a grown-up. It also won’t spill the beans about Santa. FreeTime also doesn’t play songs with curse words, and parents can set a time for Alexa to go silent by bedtime.

LONDON (AP) — Ryanair has apologized after customers who received compensation for canceled flights complained that the checks bounced. Europe’s largest discount airline says “a tiny number” of checks were issued without a signature because of an administrative error. Ryanair says new checks have been sent to customers along with a letter of explanation.

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Lowe’s Cos. (LOW) is reporting fiscal second-quarter earnings of $1.52 billion, topping Wall Street expectations. The home improvement retailer posted revenue of $20.89 billion in the period, also exceeding Street forecasts. Lowe’s shares have risen slightly more than 7 percent since the beginning of the year. The stock has increased 35 percent in the last 12 months.

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