Asian shares mostly retreat ahead of Fed statement
TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares were mostly lower today in quiet trading as investors awaited signs of what might be ahead for U.S. interest rates.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei finished up 0.1%, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 dipped 0.1%. South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.6%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.7%, while the Shanghai Composite lost 0.2%.
Shares fell on Wall Street amid growing speculation an unexpectedly strong pickup in U.S. employment growth last month may lead the Federal Reserve to hold back on aggressively cutting its benchmark interest rate. Many investors still expect a cut of a quarter percentage point, but fewer are now expecting a half-point reduction.
The market rallied through much of June after the Fed signaled that it’s prepared to cut interest rates to offset slowing global growth and the fallout from U.S. trade conflicts.
The S&P 500 fell 0.5% to 2,975.95. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 0.4% to 26,806.14. The Nasdaq composite lost 0.8% to 8,098.38. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks dropped 0.9% to 1,561.39.
Judge strikes down rule requiring drug ads to reveal prices
WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge says the Trump administration went beyond its legal authority by requiring prescription drug manufacturers to disclose their prices in TV ads, blocking a White House policy aimed at reducing costs.
Monday’s ruling by U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta in Washington, D.C., strikes down a requirement that was set to go into effect Tuesday. Drugmakers had argued that requiring them to disclose prices amounted to coercion that violated their free speech rights.
In his 27-page ruling, Mehta says the administration had failed to show it had legal authority under the statutes that govern federal programs such as Medicare to require price disclosure.
US to apply tariffs to Mexican fabricated steel imports
MEXICO CITY (AP) — The U.S. Commerce Department has decided to once again apply tariffs on fabricated steel imports from Mexico.
In a statement Monday, the U.S. agency says the decision came after an investigation into government subsidies assisting companies that export steel from Mexico, China and Canada. The agency says it determined Canadian exports do not warrant the tariff, but those from Mexico and China do.
Mexico’s economy ministry says the decision was unrelated to tariffs that the U.S. lifted on Mexican steel and aluminum May 20 or to President Donald Trump’s since-rescinded threat to put tariffs on all Mexican exports to the U.S.
The Commerce Department says the determination is preliminary, but the tariff goes into effect immediately.
The Chicago-based American Institute of Steel Construction Full Member Subgroup requested the investigation.
^UNITED STATES-TAIWAN-ARMS SALE
State Department proposes $2 billion sale of arms to Taiwan
WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department is proposing the sale of $2.2 billion in arms to Taiwan, including 108 Abrams tanks and 250 Stinger surface-to-air missiles, sidestepping protests from China.
The tanks represent a significant upgrade to Taiwan’s aging armored battle fleet. Congress has been notified of the proposed sale and lawmakers can vote to stop it.
The Chinese foreign ministry has said it firmly opposes U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, a self-governing island that China claims as its territory.
The State Department says the arms will help Taiwan “meet current and future regional threats” and enhance its ability to operate with the U.S. and other partners.
Taiwan split from China in 1949, and has no formal diplomatic ties with the United States. The U.S. is Taiwan’s main supplier of defensive weapons.
Saudi carrier cancels troubled Boeing 737 order for Airbus
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A Saudi airline has canceled an order with Boeing worth up to $5.9 billion in favor of a European rival. That’s a blow to Boeing’s campaign to restore the reputation of its best-selling plane after two deadly crashes suffered a blow.
Flyadeal, the budget airline arm of Saudi Arabian Airlines, ordered 30 A320neo jets from Airbus and took options on 20 more, meaning that its entire fleet will consist of planes from that company.
It’s a potentially troubling sign for Boeing, which has not seen customers divert orders to Airbus en masse. A small number of airlines have threatened to cancel 737 Max orders since crashes off the coast of Indonesia and in Ethiopia killed 346 people. The Max has been grounded since March. Dozens of lawsuits have been filed by families of those aboard the downed planes. Boeing will also likely have to compensate airlines that already own Max planes — nearly 400 around the world — which are not expected to be allowed in back into the air any time soon.
^MARIJUANA LAWS-TEEN USE
Teen odds of using marijuana dip with recreational use laws
CHICAGO (AP) — New research suggests legalizing recreational marijuana for U.S. adults in some states may have slightly reduced teens’ odds of using pot.
One reason may be that it’s harder and costlier for teens to buy pot from licensed dispensaries than from dealers.
The researchers analyzed national youth health and behavior surveys from 1993 through 2017 that included questions about marijuana use. Responses from 1.4 million high school students were included.
Thirty-three states have passed medical marijuana laws and 11 have legalized recreational use, many during the study years. There was no change linked with medical marijuana but the odds of teen use declined almost 10% after recreational marijuana laws were enacted.
The latest survey shows that about 20% of high school students use marijuana.
The study was published Monday in JAMA Pediatrics.
23 US governors join Calif. in opposing Trump mileage freeze
WASHINGTON (AP) — Twenty-three U.S. governors are pointing to climate-damaging tailpipe emissions as they back California leaders in their showdown with the Trump administration over relaxing vehicle mileage standards.
The stand by leaders of states and Puerto Rico — nearly all Democrats — comes as the Trump administration moves to freeze tougher mileage standards laid out by former President Barack Obama. The mileage program was one of Obama’s key efforts against climate change.
The Trump administration says consumers increasingly want bigger, gas-guzzling SUVs and pickup trucks. It also argues that demanding ever-more fuel-efficient vehicles will drive up automobile costs and keep less-safe, older vehicles on the road longer. Many engineers challenge that claim.
The governors’ pledge commits to sticking to the program of annual tightening in mileage standards that reduce climate-changing carbon emissions.
Starbucks execs, police meet after incident in Arizona shop
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Starbucks executives have met with a suburban Phoenix police department after several officers were asked to leave one of the company’s shops because a customer felt unsafe.
Tempe police spokesman Ron Elcock told KPHO/KTVK-TV that executives and Police Chief Sylvia Moir talked over the weekend about the incident.
Police officials did not immediately return a request seeking comment Monday.
Executive vice president Rossann Williams reiterated the company’s apology in a note to Moir after their talk.
The Tempe Officers Association said six officers were having drinks at a Tempe Starbucks on July 4 when the barista made the request.
The New York Times reports that the customer and the officers were all white.
The incident has sparked calls to boycott Starbucks as well as to examine police brutality.