Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day
China and the U.S. schedule yet more tariff talks. Corporate earnings, not trade, remain the focus for markets. And a special note to readers: We're planning to make the redacted Mueller report available soon after the Department of Justice releases it on Thursday. Here are some of this morning’s key stories.
More U.S.-China Trade Talks
Senior U.S. and Chinese officials are scheduling two more rounds of face-to-face trade talks in an effort to reach a deal that President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping could possibly sign by late May, a person familiar with the plans said. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin plan to travel to Beijing the week of April 29, according to the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. Xi is preparing to host more than 40 world leaders at the second Belt and Road Forum in Beijing in late April.
Jokowi Set to Win Second Term
Indonesian President Joko Widodo was poised to win another term running the world’s largest Muslim-majority country, even as opponent Prabowo Subianto signaled he would challenge the outcome. Seven top private polling agencies had Widodo, known as Jokowi, ahead of the former general by at least seven percentage points with about 95 percent of the vote counted. While election authorities must confirm any final outcome over the next few weeks, results from private companies have proven accurate in past elections. “Let’s be united again as brothers and countrymen after the election, weaving unity and brotherhood,” Jokowi told a crowd of cheering supporters who were chanting his name. He didn’t declare victory, saying he would wait for official results.
Stocks Edge Lower
Asian stocks look set for a mixed open after most U.S. benchmarks drifted lower into the close. The S&P 500 fell to a one-week low as the drop in health-care providers extended amid concern about policy changes and the latest batch of corporate earnings did little to boost confidence in the economy. The yield on 10-year Treasuries was virtually unchanged after climbing to a four-week high and the dollar fell amid data showing the U.S. trade gap unexpectedly narrowed. European debt also dropped, while the euro strengthened even as Germany’s economy ministry revised its growth forecast lower.
U.S. Regulator Moves to Reject China Mobile Bid
The top U.S. communications regulator urged the rejection of China Mobile Ltd.’s application to provide telecommunications services in the American market, opening another front in the trade fight between the world’s biggest economies. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said Wednesday he was scheduling a vote May 9 on a measure to deny the application of China Mobile USA, described as a Delaware-registered subsidiary that is indirectly controlled by the Chinese government, on national security grounds.
China to Help Out Small Firms
Chinese policymakers will work to both lower the cost of loans for small and private companies and expand the amount of money that is lent to them, as the government looks to support an economic recovery. The central bank and other policymakers should quickly work on a system in which medium and small sized banks can put aside less money in reserves, according to a statement after the State Council meeting on Wednesday.
What we’ve been reading:
This is what caught our eye over the last 24 hours.
- North Korea test-fires a new tactical guided weapon.
- The king of debt has a $35 billion fortune and lots of doubters.
- Powell adopts stance Yellen once shunned.
- India’s Jet Airways halts flights after wrestling with debt pile.
- Why can’t Japan and South Korea be friends?
- Mending broken hearts with destination divorce parties in Vegas.
- What to drink while reading the Mueller report.
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