Stocks gain…Trade talks coming…Nissan profits dip
HONG KONG (AP) – World stocks were mostly higher Monday, led by gains in Hong Kong, after President Donald Trump signaled a possible improvement in U.S.-China relations, and in Malaysia, where shares rallied after resuming trading following last week’s surprise election result. Futures point to a higher opening on Wall Street. Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell below $70.50 a barrel. The dollar rose against the yen and weakened against the euro.
BEIJING (AP) – China is sending an envoy to the United States for talks aimed at cooling a trade dispute that threatens to upend markets from soy beans to steel. The Foreign Ministry said Vice Premier Liu He will visit the U.S. from Tuesday to Saturday for consultations with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and his team. That follows a visit by the U.S. officials to Beijing earlier this month, where they conveyed a demand that China slash its trade surplus with the U.S. by $200 billion by the end of 2020.
TOKYO (AP) – Japanese automaker Nissan Motor Co.’s profit fell 32 percent in the last quarter from a year earlier as a strong yen, rising raw materials costs and research expenses bit into earnings. The company said Monday that its January-March profit was 168.8 billion yen ($1.5 billion), down from 249 billion yen last year. Quarterly sales fell 0.9 percent to 3.4 trillion yen ($31.3 billion). Nissan said some losses for the fiscal year through March, such as costs from production halts in Japan due to illegal inspections that surfaced last year, have now ended.
TOKYO (AP) – Snoopy may be joining Sony. Japanese electronics maker Sony Corp.’s music unit said Monday that it is buying a stake in Peanuts Holdings, the company behind Snoopy and Charlie Brown. Sony said it sees Peanuts as “world-class,” and hopes to use its character business expertise to strengthen the brand and push the business to grow. Sony has a range of characters under its wings, including those from its PlayStation video games. Its film division makes the Spider-man movie series.
SPRINGFIELD, Ore. (AP) – A glut of legal marijuana has driven Oregon pot prices to rock-bottom levels, prompting some nervous growers to start pivoting to another type of cannabis to make ends meet – one that doesn’t come with a high. Applications for state licenses to grow hemp – marijuana’s non-intoxicating cousin – have increased more than twentyfold since 2015, and Oregon now ranks No. 2 behind Colorado among the 19 states with active hemp cultivation.