Shares sink…Last ditch Brexit effort…China trade surplus
BANGKOK (AP) – Shares were lower in Europe and Asia on Monday, extending the latest losses on Wall Street after China reported a slowdown in exports. Futures point to a lower opening on Wall Street. Benchmark U.S. crude oil gave up nearly a dollar to land just above $50.50 per barrel. The dollar fell against the yen and rose against the euro.
LONDON (AP) – British Prime Minister Theresa May planned to tell lawmakers Monday that she has received further assurances about her Brexit deal from the European Union, in a last-ditch attempt to stave off a crushing defeat for the unpopular agreement. May is due to make a statement in the House of Commons on the eve of a vote set for Tuesday in Parliament on her EU divorce deal. May argues that defeating the deal could open the way for pro-EU legislators to block Brexit, with “catastrophic” results for Britons’ faith in democracy.
BEIJING (AP) – China’s 2018 trade surplus with the United States surged to a record $323.3 billion but exports contracted in December as the delayed impact of President Donald Trump’s tariff hikes started to hurt demand. Exports to the United States in 2018 rose 11.3 percent to $478.4 billion despite Trump’s punitive duties in a fight over Chinese technology ambitions. Customs data showed Monday that imports of American goods rose just 0.7 percent over 2017, reflecting Beijing’s retaliatory tariffs and encouragement to importers to buy more from non-U.S. suppliers.
DETROIT (AP) – Automakers have promised to start selling hordes of electric cars in the next few years, but only two will be unveiled at the big Detroit auto show that kicks off this week – and those aren’t even ready for production. Meanwhile, there will be plenty of SUVs and high-horsepower sports cars on display as cheap gasoline helps SUV and truck sales continue their dramatic climb. Some environmental groups contend that companies aren’t really interested in efficiency because they’re making tons of money from the sales of less-efficient SUVs and pickup trucks.
UNDATED (AP) – The Wall Street Journal is reporting that MNG Enterprises, better known as Digital First Media, intends to push USA Today publisher Gannett Co. to offer itself for sale. The newspaper, citing “people familiar with the matter,” reported Monday that MNG, which is backed by a hedge fund, holds 7.5 percent of Gannett’s stock and has been rebuffed repeatedly by the company when it has approached it about a sale. Digital First owns about 200 newspapers and other publications. It has a reputation for cost-cutting. Gannett, based in McClean, Virginia, owns dozens of newspapers.