Mixed shares…Powell to speak…Sam’s delivers

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Global stock markets were mixed Tuesday ahead of Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell’s testimony in the U.S. Congress later in the day, his first public appearance as head of the Fed. Futures point to a lukewarm start on Wall Street. Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell but remains above $63.50 per barrel. The dollar gained against the yen and weakened against the euro.

WASHINGTON (AP) — When Jerome Powell testifies to Congress on Tuesday in his first public appearance as chairman of the Federal Reserve, investors will be paying close attention to his every word. Financial markets are always on high alert for any hints of policy shifts when the leader of the world’s most powerful central bank speaks publicly. But in this case, they will be listening with particular care. It will be the first time they will hear Powell articulate his views since he succeeded Janet Yellen.

NEW YORK (AP) — Walmart’s Sam’s Club is teaming up with delivery startup Instacart to offer same-day service in three U.S. markets. The move is part of a strategy to better cater to shoppers who are shifting more of their purchases online. The service will launch Tuesday in two Texas markets — Austin and Dallas-Fort Worth — and in St. Louis, Missouri. Sam’s Club plans to expand it to other parts of the country. Instacart’s other retail partners include CVS and Costco. Sam’s Club is seeking to make inroads on Amazon.com’s Prime membership.

LONDON (AP) — Comcast, the owner of NBC and Universal Pictures, has launched a bid for British pay TV broadcaster Sky that threatens to thwart the takeover ambitions of media mogul Rupert Murdoch. The firm is offering 22.1 billion pounds ($29.50 billion) for Sky. The possible cash offer values each Sky share at 12.50 pounds per share, which represents a 16 percent premium to the bid from Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox. Comcast Chief Executive Brian Roberts called Sky “an outstanding company” that would boost Comcast’s global presence. Fox’s bid has been slowed by regulatory problems in Britain.

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s trade minister says the country must leave the EU customs union to strike new trade deals after Brexit, widening a major fissure within British politics over future trade relations. International Trade Secretary Liam Fox says remaining inside the tariff-free EU trade zone “would limit our ability to reach new trade agreements with the world’s fastest-growing economies.” But Fox was contradicted Tuesday by the trade department’s former top civil servant. Martin Donnelly says quitting the customs union is like “giving up a three-course meal … for the promise of a packet of crisps.”

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