Global stocks mixed…Trump hosts Caribbean leaders…Boeing cancellation
SINGAPORE (AP) – Shares in Europe slipped on Friday after preliminary surveys showed that manufacturing in Germany, France and the wider eurozone had slowed in March. News that the European Union offered to only briefly extend the Brexit deadline added to uncertainty. Asian shares reversed early losses. Futures point to a lower opening on Wall Strett. Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell to just above $59.50 per barrel. The dollar eased against the yen and strengthened against the euro.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The political and economic crisis in Venezuela tops the agenda of President Donald Trump’s meeting Friday with leaders from the Caribbean, a region that has been far from united in joining the U.S. call for the ouster of President Nicolas Maduro. Trump is hosting the leaders of Jamaica, Bahamas, Haiti, Dominican Republic and St. Lucia at his affluent Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, to show his support for Caribbean countries that back democratic transition in Venezuela.
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) – Indonesia’s flag carrier is seeking the cancellation of a multibillion dollar order for 49 Boeing 737 Max 8 jets, citing a loss of confidence after two crashes in the past six months. It is the first announcement of a cancellation since Boeing’s new model aircraft were grounded following fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia. PT Garuda Indonesia’s spokesman Ikhsan Rosan said Friday that the airline, which ordered 50 Max 8 jets in 2014 and so far has received just one, sent a letter to Boeing last week asking to cancel the order worth $4.9 billion.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Trump administration on Thursday sanctioned two Chinese shipping companies suspected of helping North Korea evade sanctions – the first targeted actions taken against Pyongyang since its nuclear negotiations with the U.S. in Hanoi last month ended without agreement. The White House says the sanctions are evidence that the U.S. is maintaining pressure on North Korea in an effort to coax its leader, Kim Jong Un, to give up his nuclear weapons program.
BRUSSELS (AP) – European Union leaders worried about China’s growing power are devising plans to counter the ambitions of a country they describe as a “systemic rival.” The European Council will discuss on Friday a 10-point strategy set out by the European Commission before an EU-China summit next month. China is the EU’s second-biggest trading partner behind the U.S. while China is the EU’s second largest partner. The trade in goods between the two is worth around 1.1 billion a day, but the balance is largely in China’s favor.