Stocks gain…China steel dilemma…Health care debate
BEIJING (AP) – Global stocks rose Monday despite U.S.-Chinese trade tension following Wall Street gains on unexpectedly strong U.S. employment data. Futures point to opening gains on Wall Street. Benchmark U.S. crude oil slipped to just under $62 per barrel. The dollar weakened against the yen and the euro.
BEIJING (AP) – China’s steel mills, a target of U.S. President Donald Trump’s ire, are their industry’s 800-pound gorilla: They supply half of world output, so every move they make has a global impact. The steel industry swelled over the past decade to support a history-making Chinese construction boom. Once that tailed off, Beijing closed mills and eliminated 1 million jobs but is moving too slowly to defuse American and European anger at a flood of low-cost exports that is double the volume of second-place Japan. Trump responded last week with a blanket tariff hike on steel and aluminum.
WASHINGTON (AP) – It started as a bipartisan attempt to curb soaring health care premiums. But Congress’ effort to stabilize the nation’s insurance markets is faltering amid escalating demands by each party and erratic positions by President Donald Trump. Democrats want bigger federal subsidies for consumers under President Barack Obama’s health care law while Republicans, still fighting that statute, aim to relax coverage requirements and win abortion restrictions. The bickering could collapse the whole effort when next year’s expected higher insurance rates are announced – just before the election.
NEW DELHI (AP) – Tens of thousands of farmers who marched up to six days from across western India arrived Monday in the country’s business capital to demand loan waivers, fair prices for their produce and other help as India’s agriculture sector struggles from years of declining earnings. The farmers, the bulk of them impoverished, plan to surround the state legislature of the western state of Maharashtra in Mumbai. Many had walked barefoot in the already soaring March temperatures. The farmers want the government to ensure they earn at least one and a half times the cost of producing their crops.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – T’Challa still rules the box office four weeks in, even with the fresh rivalry of another Walt Disney Studios release in “A Wrinkle in Time.” “Black Panther” took the No. 1 spot at the North American box office with $41.1 million according to studio estimates Sunday, leaving another newcomer in its wake. The Marvel and Disney phenomenon crossed the $1 billion mark worldwide this weekend and became the 7th highest grossing domestic release with $562 million. Ava DuVernay’s adaption of “A Wrinkle in Time,” opened in second place with $33.3 million.