Shares retreat…Jobs report expectations…Chinese exports fall
SINGAPORE (AP) – Shanghai led a retreat in world markets on Friday amid worries that the U.S. and China may not be as close to a trade deal as President Donald Trump has suggested. Futures point to opening losses on Wall Street. Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell below $56 a barrel. The dollar weakened against the yen and the euro.
WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. employers are thought to have extended their streak of hiring in February even as the overall economy is showing signs of slowing. Data provider Fact Set estimates that the government will report that the economy added 182,000 jobs last month, down from a blockbuster gain of 304,000 in January. Even such a smaller job gain, though, would be enough to lower the unemployment rate over time. The consensus forecast is that the jobless rate dipped to 3.9 percent last month from 4 percent in January. The Labor Department releases official figures this morning.
BEIJING (AP) – China’s exports to the United States plunged in January and February as President Donald Trump’s punitive tariffs chilled demand, while sales to the rest of the world also weakened. Exports to the United States, China’s biggest trading partner, fell 14.1 percent from a year earlier to $52.3 billion in the first two months of 2019, customs data showed Friday. Analysts usually look at the first two months of the year together to screen out the effect of the Lunar New Year holiday, when factories close for up to two weeks. China’s global exports sank 4.6 percent to $353.2 billion for the two-month period.
BEIJING (AP) – China’s foreign minister on Friday promised “all necessary measures” to defend Chinese companies and citizens abroad amid legal clashes between tech giant Huawei and Washington. Wang Yi told a news conference that recent legal action against Chinese companies and individuals is “deliberate political suppression.” China’s government has demanded Canada release Huawei’s chief financial officer. She is fighting U.S. efforts to extradite her to face charges of lying to banks about dealings with Iran.
TOKYO (AP) – Japan’s economy grew at an annual pace of 1.9 percent in October-December, according to revised data from the Cabinet Office that showed stronger investment than earlier reported. The seasonally adjusted figure released Friday was an improvement over an earlier estimate for 1.4 percent growth in the final quarter of 2018. It also showed a rebound from a 2.4 percent contraction in the previous quarter for the world’s third-largest economy as storms and earthquakes crimped travel and spending.