Business briefing

The daily business briefing: April 2, 2018

China imposes tariffs on some U.S. goods, hackers steal credit card data of Saks and Lord & Taylor customers, and more

1

China imposes tariffs on some U.S. goods in response to U.S. duties

China announced Sunday that it was imposing new tariffs on 128 kinds of imported U.S. products, including meat and fruit, in retaliation for U.S. duties on imported steel and aluminum that took effect March 23. Chinese officials had warned for weeks that they would respond. Beijing's latest move threatened to boost fears of a trade war between the world's two largest economies, after reports of behind-the-scenes talks had soothed investors in recent days. China's tariffs target just $3 billion in annual U.S. imports, a tiny fraction of the total, which reached $115.6 billion in 2016, but a bigger clash is looming over Trump's plans to raise duties on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods in response to Beijing's technology policies.

2

Hackers steal card numbers of Saks, Lord & Taylor customers

The Hudson's Bay Company, the Canadian corporation that owns the Saks and Lord & Taylor luxury department store chains, confirmed Sunday that it had been targeted in a massive cyberattack. A cybersecurity research firm said a well-known ring of hackers had obtained the credit and debit card numbers of 5 million customers. "We have become aware of a data security issue involving customer payment card data at certain Saks Fifth Avenue, Saks Off 5th, and Lord & Taylor stores in North America," the company said in a statement. "We have identified the issue, and have taken steps to contain it."

3

NTSB 'unhappy' Tesla released information on fatal crash

Federal investigators said Sunday they were "unhappy" that Tesla revealed that the Tesla Model X involved in a fatal crash late last month was in "autopilot" mode when it slammed into a highway barrier in California. The driver, Walter Huang, was killed. Autopilot is a semiautonomous mode that allows the vehicle to change lanes and speeds, and maintain a safe following distance. Tesla tells drivers to remain alert with their hands on the wheel while using the feature, but Tesla said Huang did not follow the instructions immediately before the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board said Tesla should not have released any information suggesting a particular cause for the crash while the investigation is still underway.

4

U.S. stock futures lose ground as trading resumes after Easter weekend

Global stocks were mixed in moderate trading on Monday, with markets in Hong Kong, Australia, and Europe closed for Easter. U.S. stocks were poised to resume trading lower after the three-day Easter weekend, with Dow Jones Industrial Average futures falling by 0.4 percent and S&P 500 futures dropping 0.3 percent early Monday. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 closed down by 0.3 percent and China's Shanghai Composite dropped by 0.2 percent as fears of a trade war between the U.S. and China lingered. Asian markets had advanced early but lost ground due to late selling as trade fears bubble up again after China imposed new tariffs on some U.S. goods, and investors took profits.

5

Philippines, Malaysia announce anti-competition review of Uber-Grab deal

The governments of the Philippines and Malaysia said Monday that they would conduct reviews to determine whether Uber's proposed sale of its Southeast Asian business to regional rival Grab would hurt competition in the ride-hailing industry. "The Grab-Uber acquisition is likely to have a far reaching impact on the riding public and the transportation services. As such, the PCC is looking at the deal closely," the Philippine Competition Commission said in a statement. Days earlier, Singapore launched an investigation over similar concerns. The regulatory scrutiny could impede Uber's effort to boost profitability by shedding money-losing operations. Uber, which earlier sold off its China business, announced the deal with Grab a week ago.

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