World stocks mostly higher … Fed likely to increase benchmark rate again … European officials agree to ban some single-use plastics
SINGAPORE (AP) – World stocks were mostly higher today ahead of an expected rate hike by the Federal Reserve, while Asian indexes were weighed by Japanese data that showed its exports slowing in November. Wall Street is expected to open higher, with S&P 500 futures up 0.5 percent and Dow futures up 0.4 percent.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Federal Reserve is expected today to raise its benchmark rate for a fourth time this year despite President Donald Trump’s repeated assertions that doing so would be a terrible idea. The president fired off two tweets this week objecting to a rate hike. In one of them, he called it “incredible” that the Fed would consider raising rates again when “the outside world is blowing up around us.”
GENEVA (AP) -China and the United States are trading barbs again at the World Trade Organization, with the U.S. ambassador accusing China of theft of technology and an envoy from Beijing retorting that the U.S. was “finger-pointing.” The standoff comes as many countries line up to criticize and question Trump administration policies in a WTO trade policy review of the United States, a regular process that WTO member states undergo.
Tokyo (AP) – SoftBank Group Corp.’s Japanese mobile subsidiary has suffered a bitter debut on the Tokyo market today, slumping 15 percent. It’s been hurt by a recent service outage in Japan and concerns about the use of parts from Chinese telecom giant Huawei (wah-way). Company executives rang a market bell to celebrate the IPO that reportedly raised $23 billion, exceeding the debuts years earlier of Alibaba and Facebook.
BERLIN (AP) – European Union officials have agreed to ban some single-use plastics, such as disposable cutlery, plates and straws, in an effort to cut marine pollution. Representatives from the EU’s 28 member states and the European Parliament say they’re following a recommendation made earlier this year by the bloc’s executive branch.