Wall Street to open following holiday …China’s economy czar heads to Washington … Honda to shut plant in Britain, imperiling 3,500 jobs
BANGKOK (AP) – Shares have been mixed in Europe today following a choppy day in Asia as Chinese and U.S. negotiators gear up for trade talks in Washington. Germany’s DAX is flat while the CAC 40 in France is down 0.3 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 is down 0.5 percent. In Asia, the Shanghai Composite index closed 0.1 percent higher. Japan’s Nikkei 225 edged 0.1 percent higher. South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.2 percent. Wall Street is expected to open lower with Dow and S&P futures each down 0.2 percent.
BEIJING (AP) – China’s economy czar is heading to Washington for talks Thursday and Friday aimed at ending a fight over Beijing’s technology ambitions ahead of a deadline for a massive U.S. tariff hike. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer had said that talks last week in Beijing “made headway” on key issues. Both governments have expressed optimism but they have given no details of their talks.
TOKYO (AP) – Japanese carmaker Honda plans to close its car factory in western England in 2021, putting some 3,500 jobs and possibly many more in peril. Honda’s president and CEO (Takahiro Hachigo) says the decision is not related to Brexit, but is based on what makes most sense for its global competitiveness in light of the need to accelerate its production of electric vehicles. Honda Motor Co. makes the Civic at the factory 70 miles west of London.
BRUSSELS (AP) – The European Union has reached a tentative agreement on the first specific EU standards for trucks, seeking to get polluting CO2 levels down. The agreement among negotiators from the European Parliament and member states says that such emissions for new trucks will have to be 30 percent down by 2030 compared with today’s levels. Heavy trucks carry over two-thirds of freight across the bloc.
BERLIN (AP) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel says Europe may need to rethink its competition rules if it wants to create companies that can play a significant role on the global stage. Merkel’s comments at a digital business conference in Berlin today come two weeks after European Union antitrust authorities blocked a deal to create a rail giant that could compete with China. Without directly mentioning the failed deal, Merkel said the EU’s stance on competition “leaves me in doubt about whether we can really produce global players this way.”