Global News March 26, 2018

  1. BBC
  2. Global News March 26, 2018

“Stocks Rebound, Dollar Slumps as Trade Angst Ebbs: Markets Wrap.”

U.S. equities rallied back from the biggest weekly rout in more than two years, with major benchmarks climbing on signs that an escalation of trade tensions was beginning to ease.
Chipmakers and banks were among the biggest gainers on the S&P 500 Index. The gauge gave up some of its early advance as Facebook Inc. fell after the Federal Trade Commission said it has an open, non-public investigation into the company’s privacy practices. Ten-year Treasury yields edged higher ahead of major debt sales. The dollar dropped to a one-month low and the yen slipped from the strongest in more than 16 months as investors left havens.
The worst global stocks rout since early February appears to be giving way to a more optimistic mood this week as the limits of the Trump administration’s willingness to embrace protectionism came into view. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Fox News that he’s “cautiously hopeful” that China will reach a deal to avoid tariffs on $50 billion of U.S. exports, while European leaders demanded a permanent exclusion at the threat of retaliation and a deal was struck with South Korea.
The Trump administration tends “to negotiate to a more reasonable position, or more toward the center, as time goes on,” Maggie Gage, the head of Washington research at Credit Suisse Securities, said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. “We’re cautiously optimistic that that will apply here too with the Chinese tariffs.”
Elsewhere, Brent crude traded near $70 a barrel on lingering tension in the Middle East. A measure of U.S. corporate junk bonds rose the most in two weeks. The euro advanced to the strongest since mid-February.


“China’s premier pledges market opening in bid to avert U.S. trade war.”

Premier Li Keqiang said on Monday China and the United States should maintain negotiations and he reiterated pledges to ease access for American businesses, as China scrambles to avert a trade war.
Li told a conference that included global chief executives that China would treat foreign and domestic firms equally, would not force foreign firms to transfer technology and would strengthen intellectual property rights, repeating promises that have failed to placate Washington.
The United States asked China in a letter last week to cut a tariff on U.S. autos, buy more U.S.-made semiconductors and give U.S. firms greater access to the Chinese financial sector, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing unidentified sources.
Alarm over a possible trade war between the world’s two largest economies has chilled financial markets as investors anticipated dire consequences should trade barriers go up due to President Donald Trump’s bid to cut the U.S. deficit with China.
The newspaper reported that Mnuchin was considering a visit to Beijing to pursue negotiations. Despite a steady stream of fierce rhetoric from Chinese state media lambasting the United States for being a “bully” and warning of retaliation, Chinese and U.S. officials are busy negotiating behind the scenes


BBC News
“Spain Catalonia: Puigdemont’s arrest in Germany sparks mass protests.”

Protests broke out across the Spanish region of Catalonia on Sunday after former leader Carles Puigdemont was taken into custody in Germany. At least 89 people were injured in clashes with police and four arrests were made.
Mr Puigdemont, who is wanted in Spain for sedition and rebellion, was detained by German police acting on a European arrest warrant. He will appear before a German judge later on Monday. Mr Puigdemont was detained while crossing from Denmark on his way to Belgium, where he has been living in self-imposed exile since Catalonia’s parliament unilaterally declared independence from Spain in October.
A European warrant for his arrest was reissued on Friday. In central Barcelona, protesters chanted «Freedom for the political prisoners» and «This Europe is shameful!» as they headed to the offices of the European Commission and the German consulate.
Spanish news agency Efe estimated crowds of 55,000 in the centre of the city. Smaller demonstrations were held in Girona, where Mr Puigdemont once served as mayor, Tarragona and Lleida.
Some protesters also formed road blocks in various locations. Tensions in Catalonia are very high and its separatist leaders abandoned plans to name a new president after the arrest on Friday of the latest candidate, Jordi Turull, sparked protests in Barcelona.
He had been on a trip to Finland to meet lawmakers and attend a conference last week when the arrest warrant against him was reissued, taking him by surprise. He slipped out of Finland before the authorities could arrest him but only got as far as Germany before being intercepted.


“May Praises Mass Expulsions in Diplomatic Win: Russia Update.”

From the U.S. and across the European Union, more than 100 Russian diplomats are being expelled in a coordinated response to the nerve-agent poisoning of a former Russian spy in the U.K.
For Theresa May it represents a political triumph after the British leader presented allies with the evidence that convinced them it was highly likely Russia was to blame for the chemical attack in English town of Salisbury.
We are following developments here. The timestamps are in Brussels time.
Premier stood up to update the House of Commons on her visit to Brussels, where she successfully made her case against Russia.
To cheers, she said: “Today 18 countries have announced their intention to expel more than 100 intelligence officers” in what she described as the “largest collective expulsion of Russian intelligence officers in history.” She warned that the “challenge of Russia is one that will endure for years to come.”
“This unfriendly step by this group of countries won’t pass without impact and we will respond,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a website statement, accusing the U.K.’s allies of “blindly following the principle of Euro-Atlantic unity.” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the moves “mistaken” and said Russia’s response “will be guided by the principle of reciprocity.” President Vladimir Putin will make the final decision on retaliation, he said.