Business briefing

The daily business briefing: July 10, 2017

EU negotiators reject U.K. Brexit terms, Spider-Man: Homecoming leads weekend box office, and more


EU negotiators say U.K. Brexit proposal unfair to EU citizens

The European Parliament's Brexit negotiation group said in a letter to EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier on Monday that Britain's proposals on the rights of EU citizens living in the U.K. amounted to "nothing less than relegation to second-class status." The group said the U.K.'s Brexit proposal "does not respect the principles of reciprocity, symmetry, and non-discrimination," offering greater rights to Britons in the EU and giving EU citizens in the U.K. rights at "a level lower than third country nationals in the EU." Citizens' rights across borders are a key starting point for negotiations on the terms of Britain's exit from the EU, so the group's judgment signals a potentially significant obstacle. British Cabinet Office minister Damian Green said the "basic rights" of EU citizens in the U.K. would be "preserved" under Britain's proposal.


Spider-Man: Homecoming leads box office in strong debut

Spider-Man: Homecoming led the weekend box office in its debut, raking in $117 million in the U.S. and Canada. The haul exceeded Sony Pictures' estimate of $80 million and independent analysts' forecast of a $100 million opening weekend. The film, the sixth Spider-Man film in the last 15 years, was directed by relative newcomer Jon Watts and stars Tom Holland. "I usually like to play it cool, but on this one I may have done a little dance," Thomas E. Rothman, Sony's movie chairman, said. The strong showing eased industry concerns that moviegoers were getting sick of sequels and remakes, following recent disappointing performances by Transformers: The Last Night, The Mummy, and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.


Two more Middle East airlines exempted from laptop ban

Royal Jordanian and Kuwait Airways said on Sunday that their passengers could take laptops and tablets onto flights to the U.S., making them the latest Middle East airlines to receive exemptions from a U.S. ban designed to prevent terrorists from hiding bombs in large electronic devices. The news followed similar announcements last week by Emirates, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, and Turkish Airlines. The U.S. imposed the ban in March at 10 airports in eight countries — Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and Turkey. The U.S. on June 29 unveiled new security measures, including additional screening time to screen passengers and electronic devices for explosives, for flights into the U.S., and airlines affected by the ban have secured their exemptions after the measures were put into effect at the airports they use.


U.S. stocks rise after jobs report spurs Friday rally

U.S. stock futures edged higher early Monday, pointing to a higher open following Friday's solid jobs report. S&P 500 futures rose by 0.1 percent and Nasdaq-100 futures gained 0.3 percent, although Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were down by a hair, less than 0.1 percent. A Friday rally following the release of the employment figures helped raise U.S. stocks to a positive week, giving all three main indexes gains of 8 percent or more so far this year. Investors are watching slipping oil prices early this week. Asian stocks started the week with slight gains.


Chinese shipper COSCO makes $6.3 billion bid for rival

COSCO Shipping Holdings shares rose on Monday after the company made a $6.3 billion bid for rival Orient Overseas International that would turn it into the world's third-biggest container shipper. The offer came as China's government is trying to make the country a bigger player in global shipping. Just last year China merged two shippers to form COSCO, and the new deal would make it third behind Denmark's Maersk Line and Switzerland's Mediterranean Shipping Co. "This is negative for Maersk and MSC" because it would make COSCO a "tougher competitor to deal with on the major trade lanes," said Corrine Png, chief executive of Singapore-based transport stock researcher Crucial Perspective.


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