Mixed markets…More China trade talks…New EU rules
HONG KONG (AP) – World stock markets were mixed Friday after North Korea issued a surprisingly restrained response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s abrupt decision to cancel a planned summit. Futures point to a higher opening on Wall Street. Benchmark U.S. crude oil to just above $70 a barrel. The dollar rose against the yen and fell against the euro.
BEIJING (AP) – The Chinese government says U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross will arrive in Beijing on Saturday for more talks on settling a sprawling dispute over technology policy and China’s trade surplus with the United States. An announcement by the official Xinhua News Agency said Friday the two sides will “continue negotiations on Chinese-U.S. economic and trade issues” but gave no details. It said the visit would last through Monday. China promised last week to buy more American goods but the two sides have yet to report progress toward a final settlement of the dispute.
LONDON (AP) – The new General Data Protection Regulation is taking effect today in the European Union. Companies that collect or process the personal information of EU residents must take a number of extra precautions to comply with the new rule, which the EU calls the most sweeping change in data protection rules in a generation. The rollout is welcome but also causing confusion among companies, some of which have simply blocked EU users from their sites.
LONDON (AP) – A day after the Bank of England’s governor warned about the damaging consequences of a “disorderly” Brexit, official figures Friday confirmed that the British economy barely grew in the first three months of the year. The Office for National Statistics said the economy expanded by a quarterly rate of just 0.1 percent amid weak household spending and business investment. Both have been held back by factors directly related to the country’s vote to leave the European Union.
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) – A closely watched survey of German business executives’ optimism was unchanged in May after five straight monthly drops, offering a hopeful sign that Europe’s economy is still growing strongly. The Munich-based Ifo institute said Friday its index stayed at 102.2 points, the same as in April. The 19-country euro currency union has seen a string of less than impressive economic data in the first three months of this year, after finishing 2017 strongly.