NEW YORK (AP) _ U.S. stocks nosedived, with every major index tumbling in morning trading on Wall Street, as China’s currency fell sharply and stoked fears that the trade war between the two nations will escalate. China let its currency, the yuan (yoo-AHN’), sink to an 11-year low against the dollar, putting the currency under the politically sensitive level of seven per dollar
Investors are concerned that Beijing is using its currency in an escalating trade war with U.S. President Donald Trump.
The Dow fell more than 700 points. Bond prices rose sharply.
Technology and financial stocks posted the biggest drops. Apple and Bank of America fell.
Trump accuses China of manipulating currency as yuan weakens
WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Donald Trump accused China of manipulating its currency after Beijing let the yuan (yoo-AHN’) fall to a politically sensitive level against the U.S. dollar for the first time in 11 years. Trump tweeted this morning that, “It’s called ‘currency manipulation’,” adding that the move “is a major violation which will greatly weaken China over time.”
The currency weakened to 7.0391 to the dollar, making one yuan worth 14.2 cents. That’s the lowest level since February 2008. The level of seven to the dollar has no economic significance but carries significant symbolic weight.
China’s central bank blamed the yuan’s drop on “trade protectionism” — an apparent reference to Trump’s threat last week to impose tariffs Sept. 1st on the $300 billion in Chinese imports to the United States that he hasn’t already targeted.
The U.S. and China are engaged in a bitter dispute over allegations that Beijing steals trade secrets and pressures foreign companies to hand over technology.
The weakness of the China’s currency is among the U.S. grievances against Beijing. American officials complain that a weak yuan gives Chinese exporters an unfair price edge in foreign trade and helps swell the trade surplus.
US services sector slips to worst growth in 3 years
WASHINGTON (AP) _ The pace of expansion for U.S. services companies fell to its slowest pace in nearly three years, as gauges of business activity and new orders weakened. The Institute for Supply Management says its non-manufacturing index fell to 53.7 from 55.1 in June. The July measure was the weakest since August 2016. Readings above 50 signal growth, so the index suggests that overall growth will continue but has downshifted.
The services sector accounts for the bulk of U.S. jobs and economic activity.
The index’s measures of business activity and new orders decreased, though both still pointed to growth. The hiring measure improved.
The chair of the ISM’s non-manufacturing business survey committee said that a slowdown can occur during the summer months, but the survey indicates that the decade-plus expansion will continue.
Laid-off Kentucky miners head to hearing to request back pay
HARLAN, Ky. (AP) _ Laid-off miners blocked coal trains in Kentucky and protesters took a caravan to court in West Virginia today in an effort to prod their bankrupt employer Blackjewel into making good on millions that employees say they are owed in back pay. Former Blackjewel coal miners boarded a bus and passenger vans to attend a federal bankruptcy court hearing in Charleston, West Virginia.
Workers hope to push the judge to make sure they are paid amid the bankruptcy and the sale of Blackjewel’s assets.
Contura Energy made a successful bid at an auction for the assets of three Blackjewel LLC coal mines, including two of the top producers in the country.
Protests began last week when more than 20 miners and their families camped on railroad tracks preventing coal trains from passing.
LONDON (AP) _ Officials at London’s Heathrow Airport say a planned labor strike has been suspended after the union representing security guards, firefighters and other workers agreed to take a pay offer back to its membership. Unite union members had planned to strike Monday and Tuesday at Europe’s busiest airport over an ongoing pay dispute. Another two-day strike is planned for Aug. 23-24.
Unite members earlier rejected an offer that Heathrow officials said had included a 7.3% pay increase over 2½ years.
Union officials had said they were focused in the negotiations on closing disparities between airport workers doing the same job.
Titanic shipyard in Northern Ireland faces administration
LONDON (AP) _ The Belfast shipyard that built the Titanic is facing administration. The Harland and Wolff shipyard risks going into bankruptcy after its Norwegian parent company, Dolphin Drilling, failed to find a buyer. The Shipyard once boasted a workforce of 30,000, but now employs only 125.
In recent years, the shipyard diversified to work on cruise liner retrofits and wind energy projects.
Workers demonstrated in hopes of persuading the government to step in to rescue the company, but the government has so far declined to intervene.
LAS VEGAS STADIUM-ALLEGIANT
Las Vegas stadium for relocating Raiders gets Allegiant name
LAS VEGAS (AP) — The $1.9 billion stadium being built for the NFL’s Oakland Raiders when they move to Las Vegas is being named for Allegiant Travel Co.
Officials made the announcement Monday during a ceremony marking installation of the final steel beam for the roof of the 65,000-seat indoor stadium.
Las Vegas-based Allegiant Travel is the corporate parent of Allegiant Air.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported in May the company had filed to trademark the name “Allegiant Stadium.”
Terms of the agreement weren’t made public, but experts on similar deals tell the Review-Journal that Allegiant might pay up to $25 million annually in cash and in-kind services for naming rights.