Markets gain…Brexit medicine worries…German economy concern
TOKYO (AP) – Global shares advanced Friday amid persisting optimism over the potential for China-U.S. trade talks to help end a tariffs war between the two largest economies. Futures point to opening gains on Wall Street. Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose above $53.50 a barrel. The dollar edged up against the yen and the euro.
COBHAM, England (AP) – For the sick and elderly in Britain, the question of whether trade will be interrupted if the U.K. leaves the European Union without a deal is not an academic question. Drug supplies are already stretched because of market forces that have little to do with Brexit. Now pharmacists are concerned that shortages of life-saving medicines may occur if Britain can’t negotiate a divorce deal.
BERLIN (AP) – There was mounting concern about the German economy Friday after a key indicator showed business confidence falling and there were reports the government is lowering its growth forecasts for this year. The Ifo Institute said its business confidence index dropped to 99.1 points in January, from 101.0 points in December. The index is based on responses from some 9,000 firms in manufacturing, services, trade and construction. Separately, business daily Handelsblatt reported that the government is lowering its growth forecast for the current year from 1.8 percent to 1 percent.
BERLIN (AP) – Scientists, politicians, company representatives and environmental campaigners are meeting in Berlin to decide the fate of Germany’s coal industry amid pressure to end the use of fossil fuels as part of efforts to curb climate change. The meeting Friday could finalize a report the German government can adopt to ensure the transition away from coal is as smooth as possible. The government appointed the panel last year to ensure all interests, including those in the regions where coal mining still takes place, are heard.
NEW DELHI (AP) – India and South Africa will boost ties in key areas such as defense, maritime security and trade under a three-year strategic exchange program. The plan was announced by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting South African President Cyril Ramaphosa after they met in New Delhi on Friday. Two-way trade is expected to rise to $10.65 billion in 2018-19 from $9.38 billion in 2017-18.