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Markets gain...Solid jobs report expected...More tariff talks

January 4, 2019

SINGAPORE (AP) — World markets are climbing as investors look forward to trade talks between the U.S. and China next week. Futures point to opening gains on Wall Street. Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose nearly a dollar to get just above $48 per barrel. The dollar strengthened against the yen and fell against the euro.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Even with fear of a global economic slump depressing stock markets, Friday’s jobs report for December is expected to offer reassurance that the U.S. economy remains sturdy and on track to expand for a 10th straight year. The financial data firm FactSet says economists have forecast that the Labor Department will report that employers added a solid 180,000 jobs last month and that the unemployment rate stayed at a five-decade low of 3.7 percent.

BEIJING (AP) — China’s government says American envoys will visit Beijing on Monday for talks on resolving a tariff fight that threatens to hobble global economic growth. The two days of talks are aimed at carrying out last month’s agreement by Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping to postpone new tariff hikes, the Ministry of Commerce announced Friday. It said the American delegation will be led by a deputy U.S. trade representative, Jeffrey D. Gerrish, but gave no other details of the agenda or participants.

LONDON (AP) — Official figures show that falling oil prices reduced inflation in the 19-country eurozone in December to its lowest in eight months. Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics agency, said consumer prices were up 1.6 percent in the year to December, down from the previous month’s 1.9 percent and the lowest since April. Analysts had expected a decline to 1.8 percent.

WASHINGTON (AP) — On their first day in the majority, House Democrats have passed a plan to re-open the government without funding President Donald Trump’s promised border wall. The largely party-line votes Thursday night came after Trump made a surprise appearance at the White House briefing room, pledging to keep up the fight for his signature campaign promise. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Trump and Senate Republicans should “take yes for an answer” and approve the border bill, which was virtually identical to a plan the Senate adopted on a voice vote last month.

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