Markets gain…Trade talks reaction…VW shakeup
SEOUL, South Korea (AP)- Global stock markets were mostly higher Friday as risk sentiment returned after the U.S. said it was exploring the possibility of returning to trade talks with 11 Pacific countries. Sentiment also improved as the U.S. clarified it is consulting allies before making a final decision on possible military strikes against Syria. Futures point to a tepid start on Wall Street today. Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose above $67.50 per barrel. The dollar rose against the yen and declined against the euro.
TOKYO (AP) – Japan, Australia and New Zealand reacted cautiously Friday after President Donald Trump signaled he might reopen talks on a Pacific Rim trade deal that he pulled the U.S. out of shortly after taking office. Japanese officials said they welcome the move if it means that Trump is recognizing the importance of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. New Zealand’s trade minister said his country is not blind to the benefits of free trade with the world’s largest economy, but U.S. participation remains theoretical.
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) – German automaker Volkswagen is creating a new management structure it says will enable faster decision-making as autonomous and electric cars transform the industry. The Wolfsburg-based automaker is to release on Friday details about plans to reorganize its management into six broad business areas plus China. It announced Thursday CEO Matthias Mueller was being replaced with core brand head Herbert Diess.
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) – Moody’s upgraded Indonesia’s credit rating on Friday due to increased confidence the government will maintain its recent track record of responsibly managing the national budget and interest rate policy. In a boost for President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s ambitious plans to carpet Indonesia with modern roads, ports, rail and airports, Moody’s Investors Service said state-owned enterprises taking on more debt to fund those projects does not pose a “significant risk.” The upgrade raised Indonesia’s sovereign credit rating to Baa2 from the lowest investment grade rating.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – The marriage of two technologies – motion sensors and artificial intelligence – is making mass-scale dairy farming more efficient. Dutch company Connecterra uses a motion-sensing device attached to a cow’s neck to transmit its movements to an artificially intelligent program that makes sense of them. It can then predict whether a particular cow is ill, has become less productive, or is ready to breed – alerting the farmer to changes in behavior that might otherwise be easily missed.