Global shares mostly higher … US warns vessels transiting Gulf amid tensions with Iran … Toyota recalls nearly 700,000 vehicles
TOKYO (AP) – Global shares mostly followed Wall Street higher today amid optimism that a trade deal between the U.S. and China will be a boon for the regional economy. In early trading, France’s CAC 40 was little changed, Germany’s DAX gained 0.2% while Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.1%. Japan’s Nikkei closed 0.7% higher, South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.4%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.2% and the Shanghai Composite edged 0.3% lower. U.S. shares are set for a tepid start, with Dow futures unchanged and S&P futures also steady.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – The United States is warning of threats to commercial vessels in and around the Persian Gulf in the wake of its confrontation with Iran. It says vessels transiting the key oil-trading route could encounter GPS interference or communications jamming. It says some vessels have reported communications from “unknown entities falsely claiming to be U.S. or coalition warships.” Tensions have soared since the U.S. airstrike that killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s top general and the architect of its regional military activities. Iran responded by firing ballistic missiles at U.S. troops in Iraq, without wounding anyone, and accidentally shot down a Ukrainian jetliner near Tehran, killing all 176 on board.
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) – Volkswagen says he had record sales last year. The total of just under 11 million vehicles for 2019 will help determine whether Volkswagen keeps its title as the world’s largest automaker. Last year the company beat out the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance and Toyota as the globe’s largest vehicle maker. The alliance and Toyota report their figures in the coming weeks. Volkswagen grew its sales despite shrinking global auto markets. That means its share of the market has grown as the company moves on from its 2015 diesel scandal.
DETROIT (AP) – Toyota is recalling nearly 700,000 vehicles in the U.S. because the fuel pumps can fail and cause engines to stall. That can increase the risk of a crash. The recall covers certain 2018 and 2019 Lexus LS 500, LC 500, RC 350, RC 300, GS 350, IS 300, ES 350, LX 570, GX 460, and RX 350 models. Also included are certain 2018 and 2019 Toyota 4Runner, Camry, Highlander, Land Cruiser, Sequoia, Sienna, Tacoma, and Tundra models. Some 2019 models also are affected including the Avalon and Corolla. Owners will be notified by mail in mid-March.
BEIJING (AP) – China’s global exports rose 0.5% in 2019 despite a tariff war with Washington as the two governments prepared to sign an interim trade deal. China’s global exports rebounded in December, rising 7.8% over a year earlier due to stronger demand from non-U.S. markets. Exports to the United States fell 12.5% compared with 2018 after a 14.5% decline in December. American and Chinese envoys are due to sign an interim trade agreement this week that investors hope will be a first step toward ending the costly tariff war over Beijing’s technology ambitions and trade surplus.