Wild ride…Tariff talks…Brexit warning
NEW YORK (AP) – Wall Street is on a wild ride with the Dow Jones Industrial Average slumping 300 points at the open Thursday, a day after notching its biggest-ever point gain. Volatility has been the norm in December. The Dow has dropped 1 percent or more in eight of the 17 trading sessions. Even with Wednesday’s big gains, the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq are all down more than 10 percent for the month. The price of oil fell 1.8 percent after posting its biggest increase in two years Wednesday. Bank stocks fell along with Treasury yields.
BEIJING (AP) – China’s government said Thursday it has made plans with Washington for talks in January aimed at ending a tariff battle that threatens to depress global trade. Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng said the two sides have “made specific arrangements for face-to-face meetings” and are talking by phone, said a Gao gave no details. Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping agreed Dec. 1 to postpone more tariff hikes for 90 days.
LONDON (AP) – The commissioner of the Metropolitan Police has suggested that Britain’s departure from the European Union will be costly and could have a damaging effect on public safety. Cressida Dick told the BBC on Thursday that the adjustment to leaving the EU would be more challenging if there’s no deal in place between Britain and the bloc. She says U.K. police will have to work out access to vital databases and will need new procedures so people can still be quickly arrested and extradited despite Brexit.
VATICAN CITY (AP) – The Vatican’s criminal tribunal has convicted an Italian builder of using his accounts in the Vatican bank to launder money, and sentenced him to 2 1/2 years in prison. The Vatican press office said the Dec. 17 decision, announced Thursday, marked the first time the Vatican court had handed down a money-laundering verdict since the city state criminalized the offense in 2010 as part of its financial reform efforts. Italian police had placed Angelo Proietti under house arrest in 2016.
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) – Thousands of Taiwanese, taking a page from France’s yellow vest movement, protested Thursday for the third time in a week to demand lower taxes and the fair handling of tax disputes. Wearing yellow vests, they shouted slogans and blared air horns outside the Ministry of Finance in Taipei, the capital city, and waved banners calling Taiwan’s tax collection policies illegal. Some wore clear plastic raincoats over their vests in a light rain.