Asian shares rise as trade fears on Trump’s tariffs ease
TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares were mostly higher Friday on relief that President Donald Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum imports may not be as harsh as earlier feared. News Trump and North Korea’s leader will meet also lifted sentiment.
Wall Street rallied following reports that Canada and Mexico will be exempted indefinitely from the tariffs and that other countries will be invited to negotiate for exemptions as well. Although the tariffs are likely to hurt some Asian nations, the impact may be not that damaging to countries like Japan that export more to other Asian countries such as China.
Trump agreed to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jung Un by May to negotiate an end to Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program, South Korean and U.S. officials said Thursday. No American president has ever met with a North Korean leader while still in office.
On Wall Street Thursday, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index climbed 0.4 percent to 2,738.97. The Dow Jones industrial average also gained 0.4 percent, to 24,895.21. The Nasdaq composite rose for the fifth day in a row, adding 0.4 percent to 7,427.95.
Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose slightly to remain above $60 a barrel.
The dollar rose against the yen and the euro.
Trump orders stiff trade tariffs, unswayed by grim warnings
WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite reservations by members of his party, President Donald Trump has pushed ahead with new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports to the U.S.
The new tariffs will take effect in 15 days, with America’s neighbors indefinitely spared. Trump said that depends on whether “we can make the deal.” He suggested in an earlier meeting with his Cabinet that Australia and “other countries” might be spared, a shift that could soften the international blow amid threats of retaliation by trading partners.
Trump announced the trade policy while surrounded by steel and aluminum workers holding hard hats,. He contends his action is necessary to protect industries he said are “ravaged by aggressive foreign trade practices.”
Opponents say he risks starting a trade war that would hurt other industries and U.S. consumers.
China accuses Trump of damaging global trade with tariffs
BEIJING (AP) — China’s government says it “firmly opposes” U.S. President Donald Trump’s tariff increase for imported steel and aluminum but has given no indication whether Beijing might impose its own measures in response.
A Commerce Ministry statement on Friday accused Trump of damaging the global trading system by taking unilateral action instead of filing a complaint through the World Trade Organization.
A ministry statement said, “The misuse of the ‘national security exception’ clause by the United States is wanton destruction of the multilateral trade system represented by the WTO and will surely have a serious impact on the normal international trade order. China firmly opposes it.”
Central banker: China can be ‘bolder’ about market opening
BEIJING (AP) — China’s central bank governor says the country can be bolder in opening its financial markets following steps to strengthen its regulatory system and encourage use of its currency abroad.
The comments Friday during the meeting of China’s national legislature follow government promises last year to give foreign investors more access to its state-owned banking and securities industries.
The official cited progress in developing financial regulation, improving management of financial institutions and Beijing’s efforts to promote use of its tightly controlled currency, the yuan, abroad.
The central banker gave no details but said, “Now that we have entered a new stage, we can be bolder about increasing market access and a higher degree of opening to the outside world.”
Missouri governor, others to announce aluminum smelter plans
NEW MADRID, Mo. (AP) — A Swiss-based company will open an aluminum smelter in the Missouri Bootheel region, creating up to 400 jobs in one of the state’s most impoverished areas.
Gov. Eric Greitens, U.S. Rep. Jason Smith and other political leaders will announce details about the new Magnitude 7 Metals plant Friday in New Madrid County. It’s not clear when the plant will open.
Smith said in a news release this week that the company is already hiring. The plant in southeastern Missouri will occupy the facility formerly operated by Noranda Aluminum, which closed after filing for bankruptcy two years ago.
Greitens’ appearance comes as he faces an invasion of privacy indictment in St. Louis related to an affair he had with his hairdresser in March 2015, before he was elected governor. A Missouri House commission also is investigating the governor.
11 nations sign Pacific trade pact as Trump plans US tariffs
SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Trade ministers from 11 Pacific Rim countries signed a sweeping free trade agreement Thursday to streamline trade and slash tariffs. The pact came on the same day President Donald Trump announced his plans to impose new tariffs on aluminum and steel to protect U.S. producers.
Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership last year, causing fears that it would not prosper without its most influential country. But the remaining 11 members pressed ahead, saying they were showing resolve against protectionism through global trade.
The ministers dropped key provisions that the Americans had required on protection of intellectual property, among others. The renegotiated pact signed in Chile’s capital was also renamed the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership, or CPTPP.
Racist recordings of ex-Pilot Flying J head released
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Secret recordings have been released capturing the ex-president of the country’s largest diesel fuel retailer using racial slurs and profanely criticizing his own board of directors and his boss’ football team and fans.
The Knoxville News Sentinel reports the recordings made public Thursday are only some of the ones that captured former Pilot Flying J President Mark Hazelwood and a crew of his sales executives using the harsh language. The recordings were sought by USA Today’s Tennessee network.
Hazelwood was convicted of conspiracy, wire fraud and witness tampering by a jury who heard the recordings.
Pilot Flying J is controlled by the family of Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam. The Haslams haven’t been charged with any wrongdoing. The governor hasn’t been involved in the company in recent years.
‘Pharma Bro’ faces high stakes sentencing in fraud case
NEW YORK (AP) — Is “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli (SHKREL’-ee) a manipulator who conned wealthy investors or a misunderstood eccentric who made those same investors even wealthier?
A federal judge in Brooklyn will have to weigh the conflicting portrayals of the former pharmaceutical company CEO on Friday at his sentencing on a securities fraud conviction.
The stakes are high: The defense wants the judge to give Shkreli a sentence of 18 months or less because his investors in two failed hedge funds got all of their money back. Prosecutors say he deserves at least 15 years behind bars for lying to them.
Missouri turkey farm quarantined after bird flu detected
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the first commercial case of bird flu in the country this year has been confirmed at a turkey farm in southwestern Missouri.
USDA spokeswoman Lyndsay Cole said Thursday that the H7N1 avian influenza, a low-pathogenic form, was detected through pre-slaughter testing on a farm in Jasper County that houses 20,000 turkeys. The state put the farm under quarantine.
Cole says two other commercial poultry properties within 6 miles of the farm tested negative for influenza.
HOME DEPOT SETTLEMENT-CALIFORNIA
Home Depot to pay $27M in hazardous waste, privacy deal
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Officials say Home Depot will pay $27 million to settle allegations in California that the retailer illegally disposed of hazardous waste and tossed customer records without first rendering personal information unreadable.
The state’s attorney general, Xavier Becerra, said Thursday that inspections of Home Depot trash bins over a two-year span uncovered the violations.
The company said in a statement that it will work with California in its commitment to responsible waste disposal.