“Dozens Killed as Gaza Erupts Over Jerusalem Embassy Move.”
Forty-three Palestinians were killed in confrontations with Israeli troops after thousands converged on the Gaza Strip border in a protest marred by violence, casting a pall over President Donald Trump’s contentious inauguration of a U.S. embassy in Jerusalem.
It was the deadliest day in Hamas-run Gaza since Israel warred with militants there in 2014. Hundreds were also wounded by live fire, the Gaza Health Ministry reported. About 100 Palestinians have been killed since a campaign of protests began on March 30, according to the health officials.
The U.S. decision to relocate the embassy from Tel Aviv was a diplomatic victory for Israeli officials, but a blow to the Palestinians, who see it as undermining their claim to establish a capital in the city’s eastern sector. The Israeli military airdropped leaflets warning protesters to stay away from the frontier. It said that it stopped militants from laying an explosive device and that aircraft targeted Hamas security posts after troops were fired upon, it added.
The “March of Return,” as the weeks-long protest is known, began as an effort by grassroots groups to draw attention to the Palestinians’ demand to return to homes lost in fighting surrounding Israel’s 1948 creation. The campaign, which took shape after the embassy transfer was announced, was quickly co-opted by Hamas, eager to divert popular anger away from its management of impoverished Gaza. Border confrontations are expected to spill into Tuesday, when Palestinians mark the 70th anniversary of the “nakba,” or “catastrophe,” of their displacement by Israel’s birth.
“HSBC says performs first trade finance deal using single blockchain system.”
HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA.L) said on Monday it has performed the world’s first trade finance transaction using a single blockchain platform, in a push to boost efficiency in the multi-trillion-dollar funding of international trade.
HSBC and Dutch bank ING completed the deal for Cargill last week when a shipment of soybeans was transported from Argentina to Malaysia via the global commodities trader’s Geneva and Singapore subsidiaries, the British lender said in a statement.
While there have been other trade finance deals that use blockchain in conjunction with other technologies, the Cargill transaction marked the first use of a single, shared digital application rather than multiple systems, HSBC said.
The use of blockchain technology in the banking industry is expected to reduce the risk of fraud in letters of credit (LoC) and other transactions as well as cut down on the number of steps used.
LoCs are the widely used way of financing between importers and exporters, helping guarantee more than $2 trillion worth of transactions, but the process creates a long paper trail and takes between five and 10 days to exchange documentation.
Putting all of Asia Pacific’s trade-related paperwork into electronic form could slash the time it takes to export goods by up to 44 percent and cut costs by up to 31 percent, the HSBC statement said, citing a study by the United Nations.
HSBC said the transaction was executed on a platform called Corda, which was developed by R3, a New York-based blockchain consortium whose members include more than 100 banks, regulators and trade associations.
“Iran nuclear deal: The EU’s billion-dollar deals at risk.”
The EU is scrambling to find ways to safeguard huge business deals with Iran, amid the threat of US penalties. Washington is re-imposing strict sanctions on Iran, which were lifted under the 2015 international deal to control the country’s nuclear ambitions. On 8 May President Donald Trump denounced the deal, saying he would withdraw the US from it.
Since the deal took effect in 2016 major European firms have rushed to do billions of dollars’ worth of business with Iran, and now thousands of jobs are at stake. Many of those firms fear their business ties with the US could be at risk if they continue to do deals with Iran past a November deadline.
There is an existing EU «blocking statute», from 1996, aimed at countering US sanctions linked to communist Cuba. Now EU officials say they are revamping the statute to avoid the latest US restrictions on firms doing business with Iran. But there are doubts about the statute’s legal power. Reuters news agency says Shell and some other European firms with big operations in the US prefer to push for US waivers on a case-by-case basis.
US authorities have imposed hefty fines on banks for processing Iranian transactions, including UK-based Standard Chartered, HSBC and Lloyds. France, Germany and the UK all say they remain committed to the nuclear deal with Iran and to expanding business ties, provided Iran sticks to its commitments.
“U.S. Stocks Rise, Treasuries Decline With Dollar: Markets Wrap.”
U.S. stocks edged higher as trade tensions between the world’s two biggest economies showed signs of abating. The dollar slipped and the 10-year Treasury yield pushed toward 3 percent.
The S&P 500 Index climbed as technology shares paced gains after President Donald Trump made a major reversal on an earlier move to block telecom equipment maker ZTE Corp. from its U.S. suppliers. Treasury yields edged back toward 3 percent and the dollar retreated. The euro jumped and German 10-year yields touched their highest level this month after a senior European Central Bank official said the first rate hike could come quarters, not years after the end of asset purchases.
Trump’s shock move on ZTE provided a sign that he may be open to easing trade tensions ahead of a meeting in Washington with Chinese officials this week. A slew of Federal Reserve officials speak in the five days, with investors looking for clues on the pace of monetary tightening. In Europe, political pressures remain high as Italian populists near completion of a government plan, Britain faces a crunch week over Brexit, and the U.S. formally moves its embassy to Jerusalem.
Elsewhere, oil traded below $71 a barrel as the United Arab Emirates said OPEC has enough spare production capacity to mitigate any impact on crude markets if the U.S. re-imposes sanctions on Iran. Earlier, most Asian markets advanced, and Malaysian stocks recovered from an early slide on the first trading day after last week’s unprecedented election result.