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December 20, 2018
Financial News





Global stocks plunge … Pushing to tighten work requirements … More US-China tariff talks in January?



BEIJING (AP) – Global stock prices plunged today, following Wall Street down after the Federal Reserve raised U.S. interest rates. In early trading, France’s CAC 40 index fell 1.4 percent and Germany’s DAX lost 1.3 percent. London’s FTSE 100 retreated 1.2 percent. In Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei closed down 2.8 percent, Seoul’s Kospi shed 0.9 percent and the Shanghai Composite Index retreated 0.5 percent. Wall Street is likely to open lower this morning, with Dow and S&P futures each down 0.6 percent.


WASHINGTON (AP) – The Trump administration wants to tighten work requirements for millions of Americans who receive federal food assistance. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is proposing a rule that would restrict the ability of states to exempt work-eligible adults from having to obtain steady employment to receive food stamps. The move comes just weeks after lawmakers passed a $400 billion farm bill that reauthorized agriculture and conservation programs while leaving the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program virtually untouched.


BEIJING (AP) – China’s Ministry of Commerce says that Chinese and U.S. envoys will hold talks in January aimed at resolving a tariff battle. The ministry says timing and other details are being worked out following discussions by phone about intellectual property protection, trade balances and other issues. Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) agreed Dec. 1 to postpone more tariff hikes while the two sides negotiate over U.S. complaints that Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology.


BEIJING (AP) – China is striking back at U.S. news media reports about forced labor in its heavily Muslim region of Xinjiang (shihn-jahng). A foreign ministry spokeswoman calls the reports “a malicious attack that severely distorts the fact.” The Associated Press and other media have reported that Muslims detained in internment camps have in some cases been forced to work in factories and that clothing made in one camp had been shipped to an American sportswear company.


LONDON (AP) – Flights in and out of Britain’s second-busiest airport have been suspended since Wednesday evening because of flying of drones over Gatwick Airport. British police believe it’s a deliberate act, but say there are no signs it’s related to terrorism. Police from two forces, backed by a helicopter, have been scouring the area around the airport south of London for the drone operators.



AP-WF-12-20-18 1136GMT