Update on the latest in business:
Asian stocks retreat as China-US jitters set in
SINGAPORE (AP) — Asian shares slipped today on expectations that a trade dispute between China and the United States would simmer and possibly weigh on growth.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 gave up 1.2%. The Kospi in South Korea tumbled 1.3% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was 0.2% lower. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 eased 0.7%. The Shanghai Composite reversed early losses to edge 0.5% higher. Stocks fell in Taiwan and Singapore but advanced in Indonesia.
Over on Wall Street, stocks closed broadly lower Tuesday as investors who felt jittery about long-term growth shifted money into bonds. The yield on the benchmark 10 year Treasury fell to 2.26%, its lowest level since September 2017.
The broad S&P 500 index slipped 0.8% to 2,802.39. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.9% to 25,347.77 and the Nasdaq composite was down 0.4% at 7,607.35. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks retreated 0.7% to 1,504.02.
US does not brand China as currency manipulator
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration has again decided not to label China or any other country as a currency manipulator. But in a report to Congress, the administration is keeping China on a list of countries whose trade surpluses with the United States and other indicators are closely tracked.
The administration says that no country meets the criteria to be labeled as a currency manipulator seeking to gain unfair trade advantages over the United States. But the report says that nine nations are on the monitoring list. They’re China, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam.
India and Switzerland had been on the previous watch list issued in October, but have been removed.
Huawei says not right for FedEx to divert cargo
UNDATED (AP) _ Huawei says it is in communication with FedEx and will mount a legal defense if it finds its rights were infringed on following the diversion of packages.
Huawei chief legal officer Song Liuping told reporters today that the company was aware of FedEx’s apology over the incident.
Four packages containing paper work were found to have been diverted to FedEx headquarters in the U.S. instead of being delivered to Huawei offices in Asia.
Song says, “I don’t think it is right for any company to intercept or detain individual documents or information. If our rights were truly infringed upon, we have the legal rights to defend ourselves.”
FedEx apologized and said the packages were misrouted accidentally. It said the company wasn’t told by anyone to divert the packages.
The missed deliveries are drawing unusual attention because of speculation that they’re related to rising trade tensions and new U.S. sanctions on Huawei.
Oklahoma attorney blames corporate greed for opioid crisis
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) _ Oklahoma’s attorney general says corporate greed is responsible for an opioid crisis that has cost his state thousands of lives and will take billions of dollars to repair.
Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter made the charge in federal court on Tuesday at the start of the nation’s first state trial against the companies accused of fueling the problem. Hunter said overdoses killed 4,653 people in the state from 2007 to 2017.
Lawyers for Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson say the products the company manufactured were not just legal, but were heavily regulated and are important because they can help people manage debilitating pain.
Oklahoma is suing under a public nuisance claim, alleging it will cost more than $13 billion over 20 to 30 years to abate the opioid crisis.
City issues cease-and-desist order for private border wall
SUNLAND PARK, N.M. (AP) — A border suburb of El Paso, Texas, has issued a cease-and-desist order against construction of a privately funded border barrier.
A spokesman for Sunland Park, New Mexico, said Tuesday that the barrier being erected by We Build The Wall Inc. on private property doesn’t comply with city ordinances. City spokesman Peter Ibarbo says the company had applied for a construction permit but the application was incomplete.
The company didn’t immediately respond to a message from The Associated Press.
In a statement to KVIA-TV in El Paso, the company says it had “done everything they need to do to be in compliance with all regulations.” The company calls the stop order “a last ditch effort to intimidate us from completing this project.”
Canadian lawmakers blast Facebook’s execs for snub
OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Canadian lawmakers have voted to serve a summons on Facebook executives Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg that would compel them to appear before them the next time either visits Canada.
The decision comes after Zuckerberg and Sandberg failed to appear before the international grand committee on big data, privacy and democracy, which is being hosted by Canada’s parliament this week, despite being called on to testify. The panel of international politicians is examining the role of tech giants in safeguarding privacy and democratic rights.
New Democrat lawmaker Charlie Angus said Tuesday the Facebook executives were showing disrespect to legislators around the world. Conservative lawmaker Bob Zimmer called it “abhorrent.”
Zimmer said if they refuse to appear they will be held in contempt. It was unclear what consequences that might have.
US scientist pleads not guilty to lying about China contact
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A longtime scientist for a U.S. laboratory in New Mexico pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges that he lied about contacts he had with a state-run program in China that seeks to draw foreign-educated talent.
Turab Lookman, who lives in Santa Fe and until recently worked at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, entered the plea to charges of making false statements during a federal detention hearing in Albuquerque. Los Alamos is tasked with securing the nation’s nuclear stockpile, conducting research and reducing weapons threats.
A judge decided that Lookman could be released while he awaits trial on a $50,000 secured bond, despite a federal prosecutor’s argument that he posed a potential security threat if he tried to flee the country.
Authorities said Lookman came under scrutiny after he told a co-worker that he had citizenship in four difference countries — including India, where he was born.
8 charged in Canada over fake goods at mall cited by US
MARKHAM, Ontario (AP) — Canadian authorities say eight people are facing charges following a police raid on a Toronto-area mall that U.S. officials have called a “notorious market’” for counterfeit luxury goods.
York Regional Constable Laura Nicolle said Tuesday that police noticed a spike in tips from the public following the release of a 2018 report from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative on the sale of counterfeit products. The Pacific Mall in Markham, Ontario, was one of the shopping centers named in the report.
Police launched an investigation into several stores in April 2018.
The Pacific Mall is the largest Chinese shopping center in the Western world, and the U.S. report described it as “a well-known market for the sale of counterfeit and pirate goods.”
Interior secretary, tribes meet amid drilling fight
CHACO CANYON NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK, N.M. (AP) — U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt met with leaders of the Navajo Nation and Pueblo tribes at Chaco Canyon National Historical Park on Tuesday, saying the remote, ancient site that’s been central to a yearslong dispute over oil and gas development had “blown him away.”
The meeting at the site near the northwestern corner of New Mexico came at the urging of U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich. He has sponsored legislation with other members of New Mexico’s all-Democratic congressional delegation to establish a formal buffer zone around the park held sacred by tribes.
Oil industry representatives say robust protections already are in place within the park and beyond.
Venezuela confirms major contraction in rare data release
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela’s government has made a rare acknowledgement of the severity of the country’s economic crisis by publishing the first economic data in nearly four years showing a severe contraction and soaring hyperinflation.
The central bank says the oil-rich economy contracted 22.5% in the third quarter of 2018 from a year earlier. It said inflation soared to 130,060%.
Opposition economists, and the International Monetary Fund, have put inflation figures even higher.
Some 3 million Venezuelans have fled the country in recent years as the economy has crashed amid a bitter fight over power between socialist leader Nicolás Maduro and his opponents.
Maduro’s government has not commented on the data, which was published quietly Tuesday on the central bank’s website.