Business briefing

The daily business briefing: June 25, 2018

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom leads a stellar weekend for Hollywood, Trump steps up threats on trade partners, and more


Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom leads the weekend box office

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom led the box office with $150 million in ticket sales on its opening weekend, according to studio estimates released Sunday. 2015's Jurassic World debuted with a record-breaking $209 million, but Fallen Kingdom's better-than-expected haul was enough to show that the 25-year-old dinosaur franchise still has plenty of fans. The film's success also gave Hollywood its first back-to-back $100 million-plus openings in a non-holiday stretch following the $183 million debut of Pixar's Incredibles 2, which added another $81 million in its second week. The total box office take for the weekend reached $280 million, Hollywood's fourth best weekend ever.


Stocks under pressure after Trump's fresh trade threat

President Trump tweeted fresh threats against U.S. trade partners on Sunday, warning that any nation with "artificial Trade Barriers and Tariffs on goods going into their country" must remove them or "be met with more than Reciprocity by the U.S.A. Trade must be fair and no longer a one way street!" The tweet came after the European Union on Friday implemented tariffs on $3.2 billion worth of imported U.S. goods. As tensions escalated, futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average slid down by 0.7 percent early Monday, while those of the S&P 500 and the Nadaq-100 fell by 0.6 percent.


Oil prices fall in anticipation of OPEC output hike

Oil prices dropped on Monday as traders braced for an expected 1 million barrel-per-day output increase by members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Prices initially fell after OPEC, which held a meeting in Vienna last week, announced that its members had agreed to hike output. The decline was interpreted as a sign that traders had expected OPEC to boost supply more aggressively. OPEC and non-OPEC producers, including Russia, have cut output by 1.8 million barrels per day since 2017 to end a glut that brought down prices. Early Monday, Brent crude futures were down by 1.7 percent, while the U.S. benchmark, West Texas Intermediate, was down by 0.2 percent.


Turkish currency rises after Erdogan claims victory

The Turkish lira rose by as much as 3 percent against the U.S. dollar early Monday, then dropped and was trading down by about 1 percent in bumpy trading after incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed victory for himself and his party in snap elections in Turkey. With 2 percent of the vote still to be counted, Erdogan had 52.5 percent, enough to avoid a July runoff. His party won a majority in Parliament. Opposition parties complained of fraud and did not concede. Erdogan will assume sweeping new powers approved in a 2017 referendum. In the past, Turkey's currency has gained on events signaling stability, then lost ground again as investors shift their attention back to lingering concerns about the lira, including Erdogan's call for lower interest rates and his campaign vow to play a more active role in monetary policy.


Uber starts hearing on appeal of London license denial

Uber has a hearing in a London magistrates' court on Monday to appeal the denial of its application to renew its license to operate in the city. Transport for London last September refused to renew the ride-hailing service's license due to public safety and security concerns, but Uber says it has made significant changes since then, including improving its procedures for reporting crimes by drivers. London transportation officials also were concerned about Uber's use of secret tracking technology. The hearing is expected to last three days. Uber's fate in London is critical to its success in the regional market. Uber is asking for an 18-month license instead of the normal five years, a sign it recognizes it would remain on probation.


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