Stock markets edge higher … Fed expected to leave key interest rates alone … China and US talk tariffs
WASHINGTON (AP) – Stock markets are edging higher ahead of a Federal Reserve policy meeting at which the central bank is not expected to change its interest rates but could give clues on their future direction. Futures for the Dow and the S&P 500 are both up 0.4%. The indexes that are open for trading in Europe, where much of the region is closed for a holiday, are also up slightly, with Britain’s FTSE 100 up 0.1%. The dollar was steady against the yen and euro.
WASHINGTON (AP) -Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will hold a news conference after the Fed wraps up its policy meeting today. Economists expect the Fed to say that it will not increase its key interest rates anytime soon as it monitors the health of the U.S. and global economy. Low rates tend to help stock markets and the economy by making it cheaper to borrow money. President Donald Trump has called for what no mainstream economist is advocating: interest rate cuts.
BEIJING (AP) – American and Chinese trade negotiators met today for talks on their bruising tariff war after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the U.S. side might be moving toward a decision on whether to make a deal with Beijing. Both governments have said they’re making progress. That has helped to calm jittery financial markets. Washington wants Beijing to roll back industry development plans it says are based in part on stolen technology and that violate its market-opening commitments.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – Thousands of trade union members and activists are marking May Day today by marching through Asia’s capitals and demanding better working conditions and expanding labor rights. Protesters in Seoul rallied in streets near City Hall, calling for the government to ratify key International Labor Organization conventions that would strengthen South Korean workers’ rights. Unions in Greece are holding strikes and rallies. And in Moscow, Kremlin-friendly trade unions are gathering on Red Square.
LONDON (AP) – Campaigners fighting British government plans to expand Heathrow Airport have lost a challenge in one of the country’s highest courts. A coalition of local councils, environmentalists and London residents claim the government has failed to properly address the impact on air quality, climate change, noise and congestion that adding a third runway would entail. London Mayor Sadiq Khan has also backed the lawsuit.