Markets gains…Economic growth optimism…SKorea to open up more
BEIJING (AP) – Major global stock markets rose Monday despite mounting fears about U.S.-Chinese trade tensions. Futures point to opening gains on Wall Street. Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell below $65.50 per barrel. The dollar gained against the yen and fell against the euro.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Business economists are expressing optimism that tax cuts and increased government spending will accelerate economic growth over the next two years. The latest survey by the National Association for Business Economics projects that the economy will grow 2.9 percent this year. That would be the best performance in three years, up from the NABE’s forecast of three months ago, which envisioned 2.5 percent growth this year.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – South Korea has agreed to further open its auto market to the United States as the two countries prepare to amend their six-year-old trade agreement following complaints by President Donald Trump. South Korea’s top trade negotiator said Monday that the revised agreement calls for delaying the earlier agreed-to elimination of tariffs on South Korean-made pick-up trucks to 2041 from 2021.
BANGKOK (AP) – Ride-hailing giant Uber is selling its business in Southeast Asia to regional rival Grab in its latest withdrawal from a daunting overseas market. Grab, a fast growing Southeast Asian ridesharing, food delivery and financial services business, said Monday that Uber will take a 27.5 percent stake in it and a seat on its board as part of the deal. Financial details were not disclosed. Uber’s full-year net loss widened to $4.5 billion in 2017 as it endured multiple scandals and the replacement of its CEO.
LONDON (AP) – Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is promising to do a better job protecting user data following reports that a political consultant misused the personal information of millions of the company’s subscribers. The fact is, European regulators are already forcing him to do so. A similar data breach in the future could make Facebook liable for fines of more than $1.6 billion under the European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation, which will be enforced from May 25.