The daily business briefing: July 24, 2017
Singapore-based Uber rival Grab raises $2.5 billion, Dunkirk leads weekend box office, and more
Singapore-based Uber rival Grab raises $2.5 billion
Grab, a Singapore-based ride-sharing rival of Uber, said Monday that it expected to raise $2.5 billion in a new round of funding as a battle for dominance in Southeast Asia heats up. Grab will be getting $2 billion from Didi Chuxing and Japanese tech investor SoftBank. The investments put Grab's value at more than $6 billion. The investments are seen as an attempt by Didi and SoftBank to repeat their success in China, where they outdid Uber, forcing it to sell its operations to Didi for a 17 percent stake in the company.
Dunkirk leads weekend box office with $50.5 million debut
Warner Bros.' Dunkirk, the latest film by Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan, led the weekend domestic box office with a $50.5 million debut. It was the best opening in years for a World War II film. Dunkirk also made $55.4 million overseas, but it will need to continue bringing moviegoers into theaters to make up for a production budget of $100 million and big marketing expenses. Another big winner over the weekend was Universal's Girls Trip, which raked in $30.4 million in its opening weekend. French filmmaker Luc Besson's Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, a sci-fi epic that cost $180 million to make, bombed with a haul of $17 million.
Stocks head for lower open with Fed meeting looming
U.S. stock futures pointed to a lower open on Monday as investors braced for more political turmoil in Washington and awaited the results of a two-day Federal Reserve meeting concluding Wednesday. The Fed is not expected to raise interest rates at this meeting. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expect central bank policy makers to reveal the timing of their plan to unwind the Fed's portfolio of federal bonds and mortgage-backed securities in September, and wait until December to hike interest rates again, with the jobs picture improving but inflation falling back after heading toward the Fed's target rate of 2 percent.
OPEC leaders indicate no change expected in output meeting
OPEC leaders signaled that they expected no changes to output levels as they headed into a Monday meeting in Russia. Oil prices wavered on Monday, showing little change following a sharp decline in the previous trading session due to skepticism over whether production cuts are working, as prices remain stuck below $50 a barrel. Six OPEC and non-OPEC ministers are expected to discuss production compliance with agreed cuts, and increases in Nigeria and Libya, both OPEC members exempted from the output-cut agreement. The ministers also could discuss deeper production cuts in an ongoing effort to end oversupply and boost prices.
The New York Times demands apology from Fox & Friends
The New York Times on Sunday accused Fox & Friends of airing a "malicious and inaccurate segment" claiming that the newspaper had published a 2015 article that tipped off Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi so he was able to "sneak away under the cover of darkness" before the U.S. military could get him. The Times demanded an on-air apology. A Fox & Friends host said the U.S. would "have had al-Baghdadi based on the intelligence that we had, except someone leaked information to the failing New York Times." President Trump, a viewer of the Fox News morning show, later tweeted that the "failing" New York Times "foiled" the government's attempt to kill al-Baghdadi. The Times responded Sunday with an article saying the accusations were wrong, and that the Pentagon revealed the information in a press release three weeks before the Times article.