Shares higher in the few open markets…Tariff delay…EU calls for tariff exemption
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – Shares were higher in Britain and Japan on Tuesday while most other major markets in Europe and Asia were closed for public holidays. The White House’s announcement that it would postpone a decision on imposing hefty tariffs on U.S. imports of steel and aluminum products from some countries helped boost investor sentiment. Futures point to a lackluster start of Wall Street today. Benchmark U.S. crude fell below $68 per barrel. The dollar gained against the yen and the euro.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The White House is postponing a decision on imposing tariffs on U.S. imports of steel and aluminum from the European Union, Canada and Mexico for 30 days, avoiding the potential for a trade battle with Europe as the U.S. prepares for tense trade talks in China this week. The Trump administration said Monday it had reached an agreement with South Korea on steel imports following discussions on a revised trade agreement, the outlines of which were previously announced by U.S. and South Korean officials.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The European Union says the decision by the U.S. administration to grant a one-month tariff extension on EU imports of steel and aluminum is bad for business and that the bloc should be granted a permanent exemption. The 28-nation EU said the U.S. decision “prolongs market uncertainty, which is already affecting business decisions.” The U.S. announcement only postpones for a month a potential trans-Atlantic trade war since the EU has already said it will retaliate if the Trump administration imposes the tariffs.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) – New Zealand announced plans Tuesday to start taxing people who buy books, shoes and other small items online from abroad in a measure many people are calling the “Amazon Tax.” Revenue Minister Stuart Nash said the government plans to close a loophole that allows people to buy low-cost items from abroad without paying the 15 percent tax imposed on goods sold in New Zealand stores. The new system would levy the same tax and must be approved by lawmakers. It would take effect from October 2019.
LONDON (AP) – BP says first-quarter earnings surged 70 percent as the energy company profited from rising oil prices and increased production. The London-based company reported net income of $2.47 billion, up from $1.45 billion in the same period last year. Underlying replacement cost profit rose 71 percent to $2.59 billion. The figure, which excludes fluctuations in the value of inventories and one-time items, is the industry’s preferred gauge of earnings. Oil companies are profiting after they cut costs and sold assets to adjust to an era of lower oil prices.