Global markets higher … US steps up scrutiny of funds for asbestos exposure victims … Singaporean accused of NKorea dealings
UNDATED (AP) – Global markets are broadly higher today after big American companies reported strong earnings for the third quarter, soothing fears that rising interest rates may deter corporate investment. Wall Street is also expected to open higher today, with Dow futures up 0.6 percent and the broader S&P 500 futures up 0.7 percent.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Trump administration has stepped up scrutiny of trust funds for victims of asbestos exposure. The Justice Department is demanding documents for a civil investigation and injecting itself into corporate bankruptcy cases. The actions take aim at a system that compensates the sick but that critics say is opaque, prone to fraud and manipulation. The government’s intervention aligns it with business groups who complain about the process and could result in closer oversight.
SINGAPORE (AP) – A Singaporean businessman says he taking “very seriously” the criminal charges he faces in the United States for allegedly violating sanctions against North Korea. In a note to stakeholders of his commodities trading company Wee Tiong, Tan Wee Beng says he’s fully committed to his business. Tan has been blacklisted by the U.S. Treasury Department for allegedly doing business with the North and engaging in money laundering.
BANGKOK (AP) – The Pacific rim trade pact abandoned by President Donald Trump will take effect at the year’s end after Australia became the sixth nation to ratify it. Australia announced today that it has completed procedures needed for the trade arrangement, the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership, to progress. It will take effect Dec. 30. The deal is aimed at streamlining trade and slashing tariffs to facilitate more business activities between member nations.
BRUSSELS (AP) – Official figures show that inflation across the 19-country eurozone has risen to its highest level in nearly six years, largely on the back of higher energy prices. Eurostat says that its headline measure of consumer price inflation rose to 2.2 percent in the year to October, up from 2.1 percent the previous month. October’s rate is the highest since December 2012 when inflation was also 2.2 percent.