Stocks mixed…Tariffs coming…China critical
TOKYO (AP) – World share benchmarks were mixed on Friday, with Asia mostly advancing while several European markets lost ground after President Donald Trump announced new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. Wall Street futures are little-changed. Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose to remain above $60 a barrel. The dollar rose against the yen and the euro.
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump’s new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports to the U.S. will take effect in 15 days, with America’s neighbors indefinitely spared. Trump said that depends on whether deals can be made. Trump announced the trade policy while surrounded by steel and aluminum workers holding hard hats,. He contends his action is necessary to protect industries. Opponents say he risks starting a trade war that would hurt other industries and U.S. consumers.
BEIJING (AP) – China says President Donald Trump is damaging the global trading system by hiking steel and aluminum tariffs, while Japan and South Korea expressed alarm at potential economic damage. China’s Commerce Ministry says it “firmly opposes” Trump’s actions but gave no indication whether Beijing might make good on threats to retaliate. South Korea’s trade minister, speaking at an emergency meeting, appealed to other governments to prevent a “trade war.”
WASHINGTON (AP) – The February U.S. jobs report being released Friday will help address a question on the minds of many: Is worker pay finally accelerating? A broad and sustained pickup in pay gains is considered good news by most people. But Wall Street worries that an acceleration in pay would force companies to raise prices to cover their higher labor costs. Most economists forecast that the government’s February jobs report will show that average hourly wages grew 2.8 percent in February from 12 months earlier, down slightly from the 2.9 percent increase in January.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Barack Obama and Netflix reportedly are negotiating a deal for the former president and his wife, Michelle, to produce shows exclusively for the streaming service. The proposed deal was reported Friday by The New York Times, which cited people familiar with the discussions who were not identified. Obama senior adviser Eric Schultz, in a statement provided to The Associated Press, said the Obamas believe in the power of storytelling to inspire. The Times reports Obama doesn’t intend to use the shows to respond directly to President Donald Trump or conservative critics.