BEIJING (AP) — China’s yuan (yoo-AHN’) has fallen below the politically sensitive level of seven to the U.S. dollar, possibly adding to trade tension with Washington.
The tightly controlled currency weakened to 7.0177 to the dollar on Monday following President Donald Trump’s latest threat of tariff hikes on Chinese goods.
The yuan’s weakness is among a series of U.S. complaints that are fueling tensions with Washington. American officials complain a weak yuan makes China’s exports too inexpensive, hurting foreign competitors and swelling Beijing’s trade surplus.
The level of seven yuan to the dollar has no economic significance, but could revive U.S. attention to the exchange rate.
Trump’s tariff hikes in a fight over China’s trade surplus and technology ambitions have put downward pressure on the yuan by fueling fears economic growth might weaken.
Blackjewel’s coal assets sold at auction; hearing Monday
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Contura Energy has made a successful bid of $33.75 million at an auction for the assets of three Blackjewel LLC mines in Wyoming and West Virginia.
The results were announced Sunday and are subject to a federal bankruptcy judge’s approval today in Charleston.
Bristol, Tennessee-based Contura Energy’s bid was an increase from its original offer of $20.6 million as the stalking horse bidder for the Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr mines in Wyoming and Pax Surface Mine in Scarbro, West Virginia. They’ve been closed since Blackjewel filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection July 1.
The results did not indicate whether any mines would reopen and enable hundreds of idled miners to return to work. Contura Energy did not immediately reply to an email seeking comment.
‘Hobbs & Shaw’ is No. 1 but trails pace of ‘Fast & Furious’
NEW YORK (AP) — The first spinoff of the 18-year-old “Fast & Furious” franchise, “Hobbs and Shaw,” has pocketed $60.8 million in its North American debut and another $120 million internationally.
That’s the smallest domestic opening for a “Fast & Furious” film since 2006’s “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.” But the $200 million Universal Pictures release is aiming to do its largest damage abroad. It opens in China, where “Fast & Furious” films have excelled, on August 23.
“The Lion King” slid to second in its third weekend with $38.2 million. The Disney remake earlier this week crossed $1 billion worldwide.
In third is Quentin Tarantino’s 1969 fable “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood,” which held strong with $20 million in its second weekend.
Labor union, airport avert midnight London Heathrow strike
LONDON (AP) — Heathrow Airport officials and labor union leaders averted the start of a two-day strike by workers at Europe’s busiest airport, agreeing Sunday to keep on talking with a mediator’s help for at least another day.
Security guards, firefighters, engineers and drivers at Heathrow had planned to go on strike at 12:01 a.m. today over an ongoing pay dispute. The airport cancelled more than 170 flights scheduled for Monday and Tuesday in preparation of a work stoppage.
Airport workers in the Unite union earlier rejected an offer that Heathrow officials said included a 7.3% pay increase over 2½ years.
Unite officials said they were focused on closing disparities between airport workers doing the same job, as well an “unacceptable” pay gap between workers and Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye.
HSBC says John Flint out as CEO after 18 months
LONDON (AP) — HSBC has announced the surprise departure of CEO John Flint after 18 months in the job, saying the bank needs new leadership.
HSBC Holdings PLC says that Flint stepped down because “a change is needed” to meet challenges.
Flint spent almost 30 years at HSBC before being named CEO last year.
A statement by HSBC chairman Mark Tucker says, “the board believes a change is needed to meet the challenges that we face and to capture the very significant opportunities before us.”
The bank says its chief executive of global commercial banking, Noel Quinn, will serve temporarily as CEO while HSBC looks for a permanent replacement.
South Korea to boost R&D spending to reduce Japan reliance
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea says it will spend $6.5 billion over the next seven years to develop technologies for industrial materials and parts as it moves to reduce its dependence on Japan during an escalating trade row.
Trade Minister Sung Yun-mo says the Seoul government will also financially support South Korean companies in mergers and acquisitions of foreign companies.
The announcement came days after Japan’s Cabinet approved the removal of South Korea from a list of countries with preferential trade status, which followed a July measure to strengthen controls on certain technology exports to South Korean companies.
South Korea says the move could hurt its export-dependent economy and has vowed tit-for-tat retaliation, such as removing Japan from its own trade “white list.”